(ARIZONA HIGHWAYS TV) - Most Native American art is filled with images of animals, mythical beings and human figures. But the most powerful images are not found on pots, baskets or rugs. They are found in petroglyphs and rock art.

[WATCH: Petroglyphs tell a story along Colorado River walls up river of Lake Powell]

Now, much of this rock art is protected and it's hard to get to. But, it's well worth the journey to go see.

Experts say Lake Powell has something like 3,000 miles of shoreline. But don't think the awe and splendor ends here at the Glen Canyon Dam that created the lake.

"This is a nice, calm and smooth water float through here. There are also lots of beautiful things you can see," said Corey Sylar, a guide with the Colorado River Discovery, a rafting tour company. 

Welcome to the other side of the dam, and the rest of the Colorado River

While this isn't the churning whitewater, Sylar says it's not always mellow either.

"This canyon is constantly eroding, there's all kinds of things," Rocks falling off here that are eroding this canyon away," he said.

"In fact, you know, a few times a year, we've seen some pretty big rock falls.Down here and they sound like a thunderous boom, like muskets going off sometimes, and I like to tell people this whole place is falling apart."

Several kids came to the area on a school field trip, they're hitting the beach at a very special spot.

A short hike up the beach is this spot, where the blackened tails stone is marked with stories and mystery.

"That's kind of a life and death scene, so as we're looking at it, it's facing east in this direction, it's also got an Adelaide or a spear, basically, in its back and it looks like it's been pecked out there, down there, which means there is a kill that has been made," Sylar said. 

"The ages on here are probably from 700 years to about 2500 years old. The ancestral puebloans were actually in the region from about 1000 years ago to 3000 years ago." 

Petroglyphs and rock art are thought to be made by ancient native Americans.

Periodic floods among the river will dump or remove sand and reveal even more.

"It just came into view about 17 years ago, so those are fresh and were there stored underground and are incredibly detailed," Sylar added. 

"You know, if you think it'd be difficult to get down on your belly and actually carve those into the rock there. So that probably, when they carved it, was up at about chest level."

The things you will see on the upper Colorado River can change depending on the time of day and even the time of year you take this ride.

Hot days have some riders eager for a swim, so Sylar has this warning about the one thing that never changes here.

"The water comes out of the dam at a consistent 48 degrees Fahrenheit," he said.

"So it's chilly! It'll be the quickest swim you ever take in your life, that's for sure." 

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