Posted by: kerryl29 | November 13, 2012

Arizona Day 4: Lake Powell at Sunrise and an Introduction to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

We stayed in Page overnight after the afternoon shoot at Lower Antelope Canyon and the sunset shoot at Horseshoe Bend and that made possible a sunrise shoot the following morning at Lake Powell, prior to beginning the rather lengthy trek to the Grand Canyon’s North Rim later that day.

I must concede that my expectations for Lake Powell were pretty low.  Had I been on this trip myself, I doubt I would have scheduled Lake Powell on the itinerary.  I definitely would have missed something.

Lake Powell at Dawn, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona

The lake itself is quite controversial, to put it mildly, given the environmental impact caused by the flooding of the magnificent Glen Canyon  following the building and implementation of the Glen Canyon Dam.  But the lake does offer some unique landscapes, and on the morning we were on site, we had a marvelous sunrise.

Lake Powell at Sunrise, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona

Just before the sun crested the horizon, we were treated to a truly marvelous light beam phenomenon, which seemed to pierce the sky.

Morning Glory, Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona

When we finished at Lake Powell, we prepared for the long ride to the North Rim, by way of the Vermillion Cliffs area of northern Arizona.  We stopped for a break at Marble Canyon.  The mid-day light was predictably harsh, but I picked out a few long lens details in open shade, including what you see below, before we moved on.

Marble Canyon from Navajo Bridge, Arizona

We arrived at the North Rim Lodge area of Grand Canyon National Park around mid-afternoon and after dealing with some administrative matters, spent the late afternoon and early evening shooting at Bright Angel Point, which abuts the lodge.  This was my first look at the canyon and I was appropriately awed.

Bright Angel Point, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

The late afternoon skies were hazy, as advertised, and we weren’t treated to much of a sunset, but the views were still spectacular.

Bright Angel Point, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

As dusk approached, the colors of the canyon changed markedly with the light.

Bright Angel Point, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

Bright Angel Point, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

There was a fairly heavy cloud cover on the western horizon, but every once in awhile the sun would peek through as it sank, creating some interesting spotlighting on the canyon’s features.

Bright Angel Point, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

While no grand sunset would be in the offing on this day, we did get some nice skies and light before calling it an evening.

Bright Angel Point, Grand Canyon National Park – North Rim, Arizona

If the sunset had been less than spectacular–and this would be the case again the following evening–we would be treated to a pair of very nice sunrises before wrapping up the workshop, beginning with the following morning at Cape Royal.  That will be the subject of the next installment.

Next:  Arizona Day 5:  Cape Royal and Point Imperial



  1. Lovely despite the disappointing skies. The light beams at Powell and the spotlighting at North Rim look to have made the day.

    • Thanks. Yeah, I’d have to agree; the beams at Lake Powell were quite something (though as it turns out I was to see something quite similar the final morning at Point Imperial–still to come).

  2. Amazingly magical. That third one is especially glorious to me.

    • Thanks very much, Naomi.

  3. Such beautiful locations…wonderful photos, Kerry.

    • Thanks very much, Scott. Have you been to any of these locations? It struck me that this is (kind of) in your back yard.

      • You’re most welcome, Kerry, and yes, I have been to some of those places, one actually, Lake Powell, on two separate occasions. Between the two occasions, roughly 15 years apart, I spent close to two weeks on a houseboat there…back in the day before I looked at the landscape with a more serious eye…simply absorbed the beauty and didn’t have thoughts of capturing images of it as I might today…and as you have done so fabulously. It was certainly a pleasure viewing it again through your lens….

        • I’ve only seen Lake Powell twice; the second time was this trip in August. The first was about 15 years ago, on the Utah side. This was right around the time that I was getting serious about photography. I remember going through the area in the middle of the day (so the light was poor), but being really intrigued by the “lunar” landscape.

          I believe the lake has receded quite a bit since then, but the place still has a very unique look to it.

  4. Fantastico, panorami da sogno

    • Thanks very much!

  5. So beautiful. I’d love to visit the Grand Canyon one day.

    • Thanks very much. I hope you have the opportunity to visit the Canyon at some point.

  6. I was not expecting the blues… beautiful shades all around.

    • Thanks, Mike. The blues are a function of haze, always an issue at the GC…

  7. […] they had all been terrific: the first and second mornings had been spent at Monument Valley; the third morning saw as at Lake Powell; the fourth had been at Cape Royal on the North Rim.  Could we […]

  8. […] years ago, while on a photo tour of northern Arizona, we spent a few days on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The tour ended with a morning session at […]

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