River trips start just down the road from Lees Ferry and cover 279 miles of water through the majestic Grand Canyon while dropping 1,700 feet in elevation to Lake Mead.
In the greater Lees Ferry area and surrounding parks, many different outfitters offer tours by foot as well as rafting, jeep, bus, mule, airplane or helicopter.
With an array of campsites under red canyon walls, you’d be hard pressed to find a more beautiful location in one of the world’s most amazing national parks.
Whether it’s sunrises, sunsets, red canyon walls, diverse wildlife, nature or trails, the area around Lees Ferry is chockfull of captivating photo opportunities for lasting memories.
With three national parks and plenty of trails, mountain biking in and around Marble Canyon is the perfect destination for the adventure seeker and novice riders alike.
Captivated by the Vermilion Cliffs and endless blue skies, it’s no wonder settlers chose to homestead in such an inimitable environment. The Arizona Strip, with its isolation and solitude, offered a unique way of life for travelers seeking the mythological freedom of the American West.
Before Cliff Dwellers was a vacation destination, travelers came because it was the only place where the Colorado could be crossed for hundreds of miles on either side.
This was no exception for Blanche and Bill Russell, the original homesteaders at Cliff Dwellers. They established a small trading post here in 1920 after crossing the Colorado, and their original home still stands at the end of the property. The pair established camp next to Soap Creek where they constructed the unique rock house for which the community received its name. The cowboys who drove cattle on the AZ Strip called the Russell homestead ‘Cliff Dwellers’ because of its proximity to the Vermilion Cliffs.
The next proprietor of Cliff Dwellers expanded their financial repertoire by starting one of the first river guide operations on the Colorado River. Beginning in 1943, Art Greene Senior and his family ran trips from Lees Ferry upriver to Navajo Bridge. The early river operations were primitive at best with Art Greene running the 60 mile trip in a 450 horse power everglades fan boat. His boat burned 30 gallons per hour, and it took him three days to reach the natural bridge. He took every other trip up river solely to stash fuel reserves. The Greene family continued to manage the trading post at the rock house until they expanded their operation and built the original lodge at Cliff Dwellers.
Today, we still operate Cliff Dwellers Lodge and Lees Ferry Anglers in the same spirit of its forefathers.
The lodge continues to provide food and a place to stay for intrepid travelers heading to the Kaibab Plateau, and our guided fishing trips take adventure-seekers into the same spectacular reaches of the Colorado in which Art Greene ran his guide operation. The canyons have since become a destination for families and vacationers alike.
“This is an excellent spot to stay, in a remote, scenic area. Will definitely go there again!”