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Page, Arizona


Page, Arizona

November 15, 2020


It's not often that I run into a town founded in 1957. Page was founded as part of the development of the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. To my eye, it is your typical town of 7,000 in a tourist area -- a Walmart, a McDonalds, a number of nationally known budget hotels. I don't think anybody is getting rich here, but it looks like a place where there is employment for almost everyone.


I took the above photo from a high point above Page. In the middle of the photo is the shut-down Navajo Generating Station. If you look hard on the right side of the photo you can see the top of the Glen Canyon Dam.


Here's more about the town from Wikipedia:


Page is a city in Coconino County, Arizona near the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 7,247.


History


Unlike other cities in the area, Page was founded in 1957 as a housing community for workers and their families during the construction of nearby Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. Its 17-square-mile site was obtained in a land exchange with the Navajo Nation. The city is perched atop Manson Mesa at an elevation of 4,300 feet above sea level and 600 feet above Lake Powell.

The city was originally called Government Camp, but was later named for John C. Page, commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, 1936–1943.

After the Glen Canyon dam was completed in the 1960s, the city was officially incorporated (March 1, 1975) and grew steadily to today's population over 7,000. Because of the new roads and bridge built for use during construction, it has become the gateway to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Powell, attracting more than 3 million visitors per year. Page is also the home of two of the largest electrical generation units in the western United States. Glen Canyon Dam has a 1288 MW -kilowatt capacity when fully online. The other power plant to the southeast is the Navajo Generating Station, which ceased operations in 2019. It was a coal-fired plant with capacity oof 2,250 MW.

In 1997, Antelope Canyon was discovered on Navajo land adjacent to Page. This natural slot canyon, formed by erosion, has created a steady increase in tourism for Page, as word spread of the beauty of the canyon. Several tour companies, all Navajo owned, now offer guided excursions into Antelope Canyon. Visitors are not allowed to explore on their own, and must be accompanied by a Navajo guide from one of the local tour companies.

Another natural treasure that has recently increased in popularity is Horseshoe Bend Overlook. This dramatic view from above allows visitors to see the U-shaped turn in the Colorado River. Half of Horseshoe Bend Overlook is owned by the City of Page. The other half is on Navajo land and is privately owned. On the side owned by the city, visitors can pay a $10 fee, and walk about 20 minutes to the overlook.

Due to social media, and the awareness of Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, the City of Page has grown significantly in recent years. Many new hotels and other services have opened to support the increase in tourism to the area. Although Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam have had a longer time to draw tourists, they now combine with these more recently known attractions to offer a multifaceted tourism destination.


Climate


Page has an arid climate with hot, very dry summers and chilly winters with very little snow. It is located in the southern edge of the Great Basin Desert on the Colorado Plateau. It is very dry due to being in the rainshadow of the mountains of California and too far north to get consistent North American monsoons.

Transportation


Page is located on U.S. Route 89. Arizona State Route 98 heads east into the Navajo Reservation. Page Shuttle provides 24/7, nonstop, door-to-door shuttle service between Page and any city in Arizona. Public transportation is provided by Helping Hands Agency, a local nonprofit, under the name Helping Hands Express. Salt Lake Express provides a shuttle between Page and St. George, Utah. National Park Express provides a daily shuttle between Page and Las Vegas.


Page Municipal Airport serves Page with scheduled, charter, and general aviation.

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