At Glen Canyon, receding waters reveal a cathedral ─ and shift debate

TONY DAVIS Arizona Daily Star

Editor’s note: This is part of a series on “Colorado River reckoning: Not enough water,” an investigative series by the Arizona Daily Star that observes, at length, the future of the Colorado River.

It was a scene many Southwestern water experts thought they’d never see. 

Certainly not at Lake Powell, the nation’s second biggest reservoir, playground for millions of boaters and fishers each year. It’s a place both beloved and hated after its creation three generations ago — by damming the Colorado River — obliterated a transcendent natural landscape with water hundreds of feet high.

But there it was, in a small side canyon, maybe six miles upstream of the main lake — a marvel that had been underwater for most of six decades: A ribbon of water tumbled down a 75-foot-tall slickrock face in a massive grotto of red, pink and orange Navajo sandstone.

People are also reading…

It is a place aptly named Cathedral in the Desert before the U.S. built Glen Canyon Dam and flooded it out.

Dark streaks of “desert varnish” above

View Source