The Sad, Strange Story of Car Canyon

May 19, 2016    /    get off the beaten track, weird + wonderful

In the small town of Page, Arizona, sandwiched between famous Lake Powell and the almost-as-famous slot canyons, there’s a┬áplace the locals call Car Canyon.

You won’t find it in the guidebooks or hear about it at the resorts, but if you take a short drive down S. Lake Powell Drive to the west, across Highway 89, and into the dead end, park your car near the animal shelter, and walk around and down from the two large white gas tanks (behind the shelter) to the canyon five minutes away, you’ll find it.

A pretty Arizona canyon with a giant pile of old, rusting, bent, smashed-up classic cars.

Car Canyon

How did they get there?

The locals say that years ago there was a mass exodus from Page. I believe it was after the construction of the dam, but can’t find confirmation of the timeline. People were out of work, so they picked up and left. And many of them left behind a lot of their possessions, including a bunch of cars.

The city didn’t want a bunch of cars hanging around in the streets and driveways, of course, so they tasked waste management with doing away with them.

And waste management? Well, they took the cars and threw them over a cliff into a canyon. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Except there they still are, in sight if you know where to look. Strange and sad, marring the landscape, yet somehow also adding interest to it.

Car Canyon Page Arizona

Rusted



All photos taken with my Sony a6000.


Interested in Arizona? I’m working on an unconventional guidebook. Be the first to know when it hits a bookshelf near you.

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