Reflection Canyon Shortcut

by Shane McDermott

“You can’t access the Reflection Canyon overlook from the lake”! At least that is what I have always been told by numerous other photographers and lake lovers. Judging by few available photos of this spectacular overlook, I assumed this information to be true, but I wanted to see for myself.

Typical access to this vista involves a road trip to Escalante, Utah, a bumpy 40 mile drive down Hole-in-the-Rock road and a trial-less 8 mile scramble over slick rock. Even though I was willing to do this, I still wanted to see if I could access this amazing overlook from Lake Powell.  Well, it turns out you can! However, this non-technical route requires a boat drop off, very good physical agility, decent route finding skills and enough day light for about a two hour round trip.

Copyright Shane McDermott
Copyright Shane McDermott

The access point is a small bay, which can be clearly seen on google earth 600m to the west of the entrance to Reflection Canyon. Head northwest approximately .5 miles to avoid deep impassable canyons. Be sure to wear good hiking boots with plenty of traction, carry enough water, a head lamp and wide angle lens. Have fun!

Shane is a nature photographer based in Flagstaff, Arizona.  To learn more about Shane visit his website Wild-Earth-Illuminations.