Roaming The Rim Trail Around PageI’m always on the prowl for new vistas of familiar places, so when I heard about the newly signed City of Page Rim Trail, I loaded up my bike and grabbed a friend to scout and take some images. The Rim Trail loops for eight miles around Page, and is easily accessed from four trailheads, so you can ride it all or just do it in sections. And of course if you don’t ride or are carrying heavy photo gear you can hike it in a day.
To me the most promising section for scenic photography is the trail that begins near Lakeview Elementary, off North Navajo Road. To the north and west you can glimpse the sapphire waters of Lake Powell, and the trail offers a variety of angles and foregrounds to include in each image. In spring, there is cactus in bloom, and possible ground wildflowers blooming even earlier.
For riding, I would rate the trail easy to intermediate, although I imagine expert riders would not be challenged by any part of the trail. I was able to shoot both stills and video while riding on this section, and do so safely. And, strange to say, we saw literally no one on any part of the trail on a late summer morning. If you crave peace and quiet, take a walk, or pedal away the day.
Photographically, this is panorama country, and you can either make multiple exposures with your DSLR for later stitching, or use that ubiquitous smart phone. Think about your starting and ending points before shooting panoramas, and try to include landmarks, like the Glen Canyon Dam, Navajo Mountain or Tower Butte. That will strengthen the composition. And as always, dynamic clouds add depth and dimension to every landscape. Lastly, bring a polarizer for your lenses and definitely bring optics to cover a range of 28-200, to compress the distant buttes over the lake, and perhaps your friends too.
Note that if you are into photographing from a drone you’ll have to leave it in the car, per the following regulation/rule: ‘Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft (drones) from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is prohibited, even if the operator is outside the boundary’. Best not to risk having your drone and camera be confiscated, and have to pay a fine as well...
Bring water and snacks for the lonely parts of the trail, and wear sunscreen and a hat, as Page’s elevation can give you more solar radiation than you expect. The trail is very clean, so please take home your trash and keep it pristine, and don’t hike or ride off trail. The macrobiotic soil in exceedingly fragile and quite old, and worth saving.
Now when I come to Page I can explore the slot canyons, enjoy the watery coves, and get some good muscle work while riding, or hiking, the Rim Trail. Yet another reason to return to Page, a gem on the Grand Circle circuit…