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Quick trips down or above the Colorado river.

Even if you don't have time for a lengthy float trip on the Colorado or a houseboat tour of Lake Powell, you can still taste adventure on a visit to Page, Arizona, near the Utah border. You can easily arranged either a one-day rafting trip or a bief aerial tour of the lake. Both show off the area's spectacular geography.

One-day river trips. May through September, Wilderness River Adventures runs daily scenic 15-mile floats on the Colorado. Tours begin in Page at 9 A.M. at the John Wesley Powell Museum, Seventh Avenue and Navajo Drive. Then it's a 1-hour (50-mile) van ride to Lees Ferry, where you board a raft and motor upriver 15 miles to the base of Glen Canyon Dam.

On the relaxed float back, you pass sandstone cliffs soaring 500 feet above the river, with stops to view ancient Indian petroglyphs on canyon walls. The water is so clear you can often spot rainbow trout far below. You'll eat lunch ashore. The 5-1/2-hour float ends at Lees Ferry; the van returns to the museum about 4:30.

Float trips normally begin at the dam. But for most of this summer, Lees Ferry will be the put-in point while repairs are being made on the dam's spillways, damaged by record high water in spring 1983. At press time, engineers estimated August 15 as the earliest date repairs could be completed and normal river tours resumed. (When they are, the float trip will begin at the foot of the dam, with a return by van to Page.)

Cost (41.95 for adults, half fare for children under 12) includes lunch and transport to and from the river. Weekend trips may be sellouts, so call ahead to reserve: in Arizona (602) 278-8888; outside the state, call toll-free (800) 528-6154.

Bird's-eye views from plane, chopper. Aerial tours of Lake Powell reveal dramatic red rock canyons and cliffs, and possibly wild horses grazing on plateaus. Most tours require a minimum of two or three passengers. You'll encounter the least turbulent air during early morning flights.

Lake Powell Air Service, which flies single-engine Cessnas out of Page Airport, offers a dozen choices. Least expensive is a half-hour flight ($30) to Rainbow Bridge--an enormous natural arch. Longer tours (to 4 hours, $150) explore within several hundred miles, including Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and Bryce Canyon. Children 2 to 12 fly for a third of adult fares. (Ask about scenic flights to Page from Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, or Grand Junction, colorado.)

The firm also offers helicopter tours daily 8 to 5: 1/i hour (minimum of three, $360 each) and 1 hour (four or more, $115 each).

For a free brochure, write the company at Box 1385, Page Airport, Page, Ariz. 86040; for reservations, call (602) 645-2494.

For more on the lake, river. To read details on houseboat cruises and boat tours on Lake Powell, see the October 1983 Sunset, pages 68 to 74. For more on other Colorado River float trips, see the May 1983 issue.
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Date:Jul 1, 1984
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