Colorado Gooseneck

About 5 miles south of Page, Arizona lies a turnoff from US 89. The sign said that there is a viewpoint to observe a “gooseneck” in the Colorado River before it cuts its way into Marble Canyon and then the Grand Canyon a bit further southwest. With nothing to do except check into my hotel in Cameron, Arizona later that afternoon, I decided to take a look.

The park is actually a Page city park with lots of parking, even spaces for larger RV’s; I think the fee was $10. The park offers a very nicely marked trail that heads west from the parking lot to the overlook of the Colorado River. I don’t recall the exact length of the trail, but it was no longer than a mile (1.6 km) one way with a mild uphill pitch on the way in from the parking area.

Trying to get a shot without the crowd was a bit of a chore. You can see the Colorado River below even though this wasn’t the best angle.

About the time I got my camera out of the truck, a huge tour bus pulled in full of tourists – mostly Japanese, I think. The day was bright and sunny in early February, but it was chilly with a breeze that got stiffer near the river overlook. I had to laugh as many of these folks were definitely not dressed for the outdoors. Several of the women were wearing high heels. The younger ladies were mainly more appropriately dressed in jeans, leggings and sneakers, but a couple of young ladies were wearing shorts. One woman was wearing a full-length fur coat – I kid you not! Most of the guys were in typical tourist attire – jeans and sneakers.

Anyway, what a view! The overlook presented an excellent view of the Colorado River far below the rim right at the apex of a huge, tight gooseneck carved out into the several hundred-foot-deep canyon below us. The place was pretty jammed, so I took a couple of photos of the goose neck and then decided to head off of the path for some quiet and perhaps a few more photos.

It’s not a panorama, but these two photos should give you a really good idea about the look of this Colorado River gooseneck, cut deep into the canyon.

The light wasn’t really perfect for the river goosenecks as a good bit of the southern bed and canyon walls were in deep shadow. Oh, if I had only brought my tripod along that short trail! I could have used the tripod to construct an awesome panorama overlook shot. Oh well, this just means maybe I need to go back again one day soon.

Sometimes it’s best to look for the small things. This tiny sage bush was just hanging onto life amongst the sandstone. It almost looks like a little bonsai.

However, that light was just about right for revealing some awesome textures in the rocks a bit back from the canyon edge. I think I have saved my best photos here for last. Walking south away from the crowds, I found some cool sandstone wave textures that looked great in the mid-day winter sun.

Earlier I mentioned the breeze. Well, the ever-present canyon winds have carved these cool waves into the sandstone, exposing the numerous rock layers.
I think these textures really lend themselves to black and white. I converted the photo using an “infrared” algorithm to make the deep blue sky nearly black. Then I applied an 85-orange warming filter at a 35% density to warm up the gray tones.

The Colorado River gooseneck overlook was a really nice surprise that helped get me primed for the Grand Canyon photo trip. Hopefully you found something to enjoy here, and if you are ever in the Page, Arizona area, it is worth a quick stop.

Thank you for visiting my blog, and have fun out there.

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