Hiking on Navaho Land

Waterhole Canyon near Page Arizona
Waterhole Canyon near Page Arizona

Waterhole – Milton squeezes through the slot canyon.

Page Arizona has been on my bucket list for a long time. I have always wanted to see Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell. But little did I know that I was in for a much bigger surprise.

I had no expectation of being able to hike The Wave or Vermillion Cliffs. The Wave is almost impossible to get a permit to hike and I couldn’t figure out how to find something similar.

In Page, the big deal is hiking Antelope Canyon. But, the only way to experience the canyon is to hire a Navaho guide which is quite costly and way beyond our budget.

In the lobby of our hotel, I heard someone mention Waterhole. I was intrigued to find out more. I scoured the Internet, but it also sounded too difficult to find for the one day we had to spend in Page.

As I was about to give up, I asked a ranger at the Glen Canyon Dam. She said you can purchase a back country permit from the Navaho Nation for $12 each and gave us directions to their office.

A Navaho Nation permit is required to hike Waterhole.

The parking area for Waterhole south of Page is barely marked and easy to miss. There were only a few cars there, and never seeing anyone else during our hike, we had the canyon completely to ourselves.

Waterhole turned out to be one of the most incredible hikes we have ever experienced. It’s a slot canyon with  beautiful swirling red rock formations, challenging tight squeezes and a fun, but sketchy ladder to climb out of the canyon at the end.

Waterhole quickly rose to #1 on our list of favorite hikes on our 17 day road trip to Utah and beyond. And that is saying a lot because there so many amazing ones.

 

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