As you step into Marble Canyon Az, you’re transported to another time. This is a place where the sheer beauty of the natural world is on full display and where the past seems to reach out and touch you at every turn.
From the towering cliffs of the Vermillion Canyons to the mighty Colorado River winding its way through the heart of the canyon, Marble Canyon is a place of endless wonder and adventure.
It offers a diverse range of experiences, making the canyon perfect destination for history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
And if you’re looking for adventure, you won’t be disappointed. Fishing, kayaking, and exploring historic cliff dwellings are just a few of the many activities that await you.
This article will guide you with everything you need to spend a memorable trip at Marble Canyon. All you need to do is pack your bags, leave your worries behind, and journey through time in one of the most spectacular places on earth.
Marble Canyon National Park
Marble Canyon is a scenic gorge located in northern Arizona, just southwest of the town of Page. The canyon is part of the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument and is notable for its stunning sandstone cliffs that rise hundreds of feet above the Colorado River.
The canyon is believed to be around 270 million years old, formed by the erosion caused by the river over millions of years.
It is also home to several notable landmarks responsible for creating Lake Powell, one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the United States.
The Canyon is a truly unique and awe-inspiring place that offers you a glimpse into the ancient history and natural beauty of the American Southwest.
How to reach there?
The closest major airports are Las Vegas in Nevada, and Phoenix in Arizona. From there, you can rent a car and drive to Marble Canyon, about a 4.5-hour drive from Las Vegas and a 5.5-hour drive from Phoenix.
If you prefer not to drive, you can also take a shuttle bus directly to the Canyon from Las Vegas or St. George, Utah. Companies like Salt Lake Express offer shuttle services to the area.
Once you arrive, you can explore the area by car or foot or book a guided tour. There are plenty of scenic drives and hiking trails to explore and opportunities for fishing and kayaking on the Colorado River.
Things to do in Marble Canyon
The Canyon is a beautiful destination in Arizona with plenty of activities. Here are 10 things you can do when visiting:
Drive the Vermillion Cliffs Scenic Highway
A 104-mile stretch of highway with spectacular views of the Vermillion Cliffs and Marble Canyon.
Visit the Navajo Bridge
A historic bridge was built in 1929 that spans over 465 feet above the Colorado River. You can walk across the newer bridge and visit the interpretive center to learn about the area’s history.
Explore Lee’s Ferry
A historic site where pioneers and settlers once crossed the Colorado River. Today, it’s a popular spot for fishing and rafting.
Fish the Colorado River
A popular activity in the Canyon, the Colorado River offers fly fishing, bait fishing, and more opportunities.
Kayak or raft the Colorado River
A thrilling way to experience the beauty of the Canyon is by kayaking or rafting the Colorado River.
Hike the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness
With over 100 miles of trails, this wilderness area offers a variety of hikes, including the popular Wave trail.
Visit the Marble Canyon Dam
The second-highest concrete arch dam in the United States offers impressive views of the canyon and the Colorado River.
Take a scenic flight
Take a scenic flight over the area for a bird’s eye view of the Canyon.
Explore the Old Cliff Dwellers Lodge
A National Historic Site located in the area, the lodge offers a unique glimpse into the past.
Enjoy the stunning views
With its beautiful red cliffs, deep canyons, and unique rock formations, the canyon offers plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the stunning scenery.
Marble Canyon Trail
Many trails in the area offer varying difficulty levels and stunning canyon views. Here are some of the most popular routes to explore:
This is a moderate trail that is about 3 miles long round trip. It follows a dry creek bed and offers views of towering cliffs and unique rock formations.
Marble Canyon Rim Trail
This reasonably easy trail is about 2 miles long round trip. It offers beautiful canyon views and is perfect for a quick hike or a stroll.
Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area
This area has multiple trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels, ranging from easy to strenuous. Some popular trails in the area include the Buckskin Gulch Trail, the White Pocket Trail, and the South Coyote Buttes Trail.
Lee’s Ferry Trail
This is an easy trail that is about 0.5 miles long round trip. It leads to the historic Lee’s Ferry, an important crossing point for early settlers.
The Wave Trail
This is a strenuous trail that is about 6 miles long round trip. It leads to a unique sandstone formation that looks like waves.
South Kaibab Trail
This is a strenuous trail that is about 14 miles long round trip. It descends into the Grand Canyon and offers incredible views of the canyon and the Colorado River.
North Kaibab Trail
This is an energetic trail that is about 14 miles long round trip. It descends into the Grand Canyon and offers views of waterfalls and other unique rock formations.
Buckskin Gulch Trail
This trail is about 20 miles long round trip. It follows a slot canyon and offers stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and rock formations.
Paria Canyon Trail
This trail is about 38 miles long round trip. It follows the Paria River and offers views of towering cliffs and unique rock formations.
Vermilion Cliffs Trail
This is a moderate trail that is about 4 miles long round trip. It offers views of towering cliffs and unique rock formations and is a popular spot for photography.
Marble Canyon Lodge
If you plan to stay them, a few hotels in the canyon offer comfortable accommodations. Here are some of the best hotels to consider:
Marble Canyon Lodge
This lodge is located right in the heart of your destination, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and the lodge has an on-site restaurant and gift shop.
Cliff Dwellers Lodge
It is at short distance and offers a variety of room options, from cozy cabins to larger suites. The lodge also has an on-site restaurant and gift shop.
Vermilion Cliffs Lodge
This one is a bit further but offers easy access to the area’s attractions. The rooms are clean and comfortable, and the lodge has an on-site restaurant and outdoor pool.
Cameron Trading Post Lodge
It is located about 30 minutes but is an excellent option if you’re looking for more luxury. The rooms are beautifully appointed!
You can always look for more options and evaluate them based on your budget and luxury requirements.
Marble Canyon’s budget varies depending on the time of visit, transportation mode, stay length, and preferred activities.
|Accommodation||$100 – $300 per night|
|Roundtrip Flights||$300 – $500|
|Car Rental||$50 – $100 per day|
|National Park Entrance||$20 – $35 per person|
|Activities||$50 – $500 per person (depending on the activity and duration)|
|Dining||$20 – $30 per meal|
|Reasonable Budget||$1,500 – $2,500 per person (excluding airfare)|
You can save by choosing cheaper accommodations, cooking meals, and opting for less expensive activities.
Tips for a perfect outing in Marble Canyon
Here are some valuable tips for an ideal outing in the Canyon
- Plan and book accommodations and activities in advance
- Bring comfortable shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and water for outdoor activities
- Check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly
- Respect wildlife and follow National Park regulations
- Stay hydrated and properly dispose of trash
- Take breaks when needed and stay on designated trails
- Enjoy the stunning scenery and geological formations
A journey through Marble Canyon is a one-of-a-kind experience that offers something for everyone, from hiking and outdoor activities to stunning vistas and unique geological formations.
With careful planning and a few valuable tips, you can make the most of your trip and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Whether a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, the canyon will leave you in awe of its natural beauty and rich history.