We headed toward Page, Arizona after spending a day on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona which you can read about here. It’s just under 2.5 hours to Page from the South Rim. We were able to do a few things in just over a full day’s time in the Page, AZ area. While we were able to do a lot, when we return to this area we already have a list of other things we’d like to do in the area. You can find both what we did and what we’re planning for next time below.
Navajo Bridge at Marble Canyon
Getting to the Navajo Bridge was a slight detour of our route from the Grand Canyon to Page but it was well worth it. You make a left off highway 89 to highway 89A before you’d get to the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument area.
This bridge is a few miles south of where pioneers in the late 1800s crossed the Colorado River. It was named Lee’s Ferry after the first ferry operator. Eventually, a location was chosen for a bridge to help navigate across the river without having to take a ferry. In 1929 the bridge was open to traffic and since that time, the original bridge has now become a pedestrian bridge and a more updated bridge with a higher weight capacity was added for traffic.
After checking out the Navajo Bridge, we grabbed a late lunch in Page and headed toward Horseshoe Bend for sunset. It’s $10 per car to enter and the National Park Pass doesn’t work here, as it’s operated by the city of Page. There’s a hike to get out to the overlook that’s about .6 miles one way. When you get to the overlook, you’ll see an area that has a fence across it where it’s intended that you stand to take in the views, but you can navigate to either side and sit or stand on the edge of the 1,000 foot drop. That’s not at all for me, so I stuck to the fenced area. The views here are going to be best at sunrise and sunset but truly it’s an incredible view at any time of day.
Antelope Canyon (Canyon X)
One of Teddy’s “must dos” on our trip was taking photos in a slot canyon. Antelope Canyon was his choice, as we we were able to book a three hour photography tour in the canyon with only 3 other people on the tour with us. Canyon X is the less popular section of Antelope Canyon, and the only one that allowed for a photography tour where Teddy could bring his tripod. We went into one side of the canyon for about an hour and then crossed over to the other for the last two hours. The first side was wide at the top and narrow at the bottom so it allowed more light in and the second was narrow at the top and wider at the bottom so darker inside with more shadows.
I was the only one of the 5 without a professional camera, so I did my best to stay out of the way of photos and just take some photos on my phone and appreciate the beauty of the slot canyon. It was such an awesome experience to intentionally move slowly through the canyon since the canyons aren’t that long where you enter.
I think we both had high hopes for Monument Valley thinking we would spend a few hours in the area. We didn’t plan to do the scenic drive through the monuments as the 17 mile loop road only allows 5 cars per hour and is based on a first come first serve basis. It was to be open until about 4 PM on the day we were there but when we arrived at 2 PM they already warned us that it was closed. I was very glad we didn’t plan on doing it or else we would have been very disappointed.
It’s $20 to enter and go to the Visitor Center which was getting renovated while we were there so aside from the gift shop, there wasn’t much to do other than take photos from the overlook. It was worth the $20 but we truly only spent 30 or so minutes in the park before driving further north with a stop at Forest Gump Point along the way.
Eating in Downtown Page
We had a late lunch / early dinner when we got into Page at Big John’s Texas BBQ. I got a salad with pulled pork on it, Teddy got a pulled chicken sandwich and ribs, and then we split the brisket nachos. We also grabbed a pie slice and ice cream to go as a snack before our time at Horsehoe Bend.
The next morning, we stopped in at LP Espresso before our Antelope Canyon tour. I got a latte and a burrito, and Teddy got sausage gravy over biscuits. We both LOVED the food. It was incredible and we loved the space. Connected to the coffee shop is also a restaurant for dinner that if we would have been another day we likely would have checked out.
Where to Stay:
We stayed at the Best Western View of Lake Powell Hotel. It was only $57 for the night all in and was truly a great budget friendly room. There was a view of Lake Powell out the big window, but you couldn’t see the water in the lake well, just the sides. It was right near downtown and a great spot.
There’s a variety of options in the area for where to stay. Since we were spending money on experiences in the area, we decided budget friendly for the night was the way to go.
Other Things to Do:
- Lake Powell – Lake Powell is part of the Colorado River and in the Glen Canyon Recreation Area. It is incredibly popular for boating as it has 2000 miles of shoreline.
- Vermillion Cliffs – This is where the Instagram famous location called “The Wave” is located. It’s part of the Coyote Buttes in the Vermillion Cliffs area. To explore portions of this area including The Wave include a lottery system for selection as they limit the amount of people who can visit daily.
- Valley of the Gods – We considered driving through here, which is compared as a small scale Monument Valley, but decided not to at the last minute since we were hoping to get to Moab before sunset.
- Gooseneck State Park – This is a bit like Horseshoe Bend in that it’s the Colorado River weaving through rock. What’s different here is that you can see a few more curves and the stone is more of a grey brown than a reddish color. If we had more time, we could have definitely stopped here for a sunrise or sunset view.