Tag Archives: Marble Canyon


Perched up high on Antelope Mesa I found this vibrant Yucca. I loved the deep warm colors of the young heart of this plant surrounded by the faded greens and sun-bleached, sharp edges of the fronds circling it.

Kaibab Yucca © Ryan Hertz
Kaibab Yucca © Ryan Hertz

Antelope Mesa, The Big Cut, Colorado River, Vermillion Cliffs

If you’re like me you love driving and if you love driving there isn’t a more thrilling piece of highway engineering on the way to Page, AZ than “The Big Cut”. Highway 89 rips up side of the Antelope Mesa and provides expansive views of the Colorado River — well, at least the path it carved through the rock below.

I had the opportunity to 4×4 and climb out to the edge of this canyon with a Navajo guide (most of this area is in the Navajo Nation). From here we could see Lee’s Ferry and the confluence of the Paria River with the Colorado River.

I will start you off with one photograph to give you a sense of scale. We’re at the top of Antelope Mesa here, and if you look in the upper right corner… yes, those are people. Our guide and a companion.

This is one of the highest points of the Kaibab formation. Roughly 3,000 feet below us, the sliver of dark just below, is the Colorado River Gorge, in which the river flows another 3,000 feet deeper.

The face on the opposite side is Vermillion Cliffs and Marble Canyon. Here you’ll find a number of small fly fishing lodges, rafting outfitters and is one of my favorite places to stop is the Lee’s Ferry Lodge at Vermillion Cliffs especially because of the 100 or so gourmet beers they have in their collection.

Antelope Mesa Overlook Vermillion Cliffs
Antelope Mesa Overlooking the Vermillion Cliffs © Ryan Hertz