Legend has it that when one of the wives of a Mormon settler came west to this spot on the Colorado River, she declared, “Oh! What a lonely dell!” Hence, the name of the new homestead came to be–and continues to this day–Lonely Dell. For RVers, a lonely spot away from the crowds might just be what you’re looking for. You’ll find a quiet campground alongside a beautiful stretch of the Colorado, not far from Page, Arizona.
Not dubbed with the homestead’s name, rather, Lee’s Ferry is what the Park Service has monikered this 54 site campground. A number of the sites border right on the cliff-side of the river, giving wonderful views of the rolling water, dotted with occasional passing rafters, as not far away is the “put in” for many Grand Canyon float expeditions. It’s said this is a good spot for experienced fishers to maybe pull in a big trout, but we’ve never tried. Rather, we find Lee’s Ferry a place to pull in, set up camp, and just unwind for several days.
The National Park Service charges what seems to be reasonable $12 a night fee for this no-hookup-but-flush-toilets-available campground. Of course, with the appropriate pass in your possession, you can knock that fee down to just $6 a night. If you’re enthusiastic, you can do a self-guided tour of the Lonely Dell ranch site and imagine hand-watering the garden and orchards as the original family did.
Getting There: From Highway 89 near Page, go northeast on Highway 89A. Cross the Navajo Bridge over the Colorado. At Marble Canyon take the Lee’s Ferry Road north about 5 miles to the campground.
All photos: R&T DeMaris