Page is a small town right by the border of the Utah and Arizona states. It was founded in 1957 when the construction of the Glen Dam has begun. Back in the days it was an important landmark to provide water for the surrounding areas. Now it remains as important but it also became a tourist attraction and not only because of the Dam.

I discovered the city accidentally, browsing through Arizona pictures in the Google Images. When I found a picture of Antelope Canyon I was absolutely sure that I have to visit Page and the Canyon. After researching a bit more I found such gorgeous places as Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Natural Bridge monument and it was clear that I’m going to explore this place during my next visit.

Now every time I visit Nevada or California, I know that one of my destinations will also be Page. I want to come back every time!

Page is a 4.5-5 hour drive from Las Vegas but it is totally worth it. I usually visit Grand Canyon South Rim or Zion Canyon on my way to Page and stay in Page for the night. On the road to Page the desert becomes red just like you see in the movies. I couldn’t believe it but it was really red! I can say without any doubt that this is my favourite part of the whole US.

Lake Powell. Image by Julie Edgley / CC2.0

Lake Powell. Image by Julie Edgley / CC2.0

Tip: Note that the US Highway 89 is closed due to a landslide. If you are coming from South Rim or Flagstaff you should take the newly built Highway 89T to get to Page.

Horseshoe Bend

Once I’m in Page, I usually visit Horseshoe Bend early morning. To get there go south by the 89th Highway for approximately 4.5 miles from the center of Page until you see a sign “Horseshoe Bend Overlook Trail”. You have to turn right and park your car on the unpaved road. The hike is 1.5 miles round trip but there are hills up and down so it makes the hike of a medium level. Be prepared for the hot sun and take water with you. There are no permits required and there are no entrance fees for the Horseshoe Bend.

When you follow the trail you don’t know what to expect until the very last moment. And when you get there it is absolutely stunning. The green colored Colorado river makes a complete U-turn and you can observe it all from an astonishing height of 300m without any rails in between you and the canyon. It’s just you and the nature. I’m usually very quiet there, just sipping the fresh air and enjoying the moment. Sometimes I even get scared to move closer to the edge because you never know whether the rock below is stable or it is going to fall down under your weight. I also look around. All you can see is the red desert and some gray bushes.

Horseshoe Bend is by far my favourite place in the Grand Canyon State – Arizona!

Horseshoe Bend. Image by Alexis Fam Photography / CC2.0

Horseshoe Bend. Image by Alexis Fam Photography / CC2.0

Antelope Canyon

There are two Antelope Canyons – the upper and the lower one. Both are only accessible with a local guided tour. Both are amazing. Both are worth to see. But for the first-time visitors one of them will definitely be enough.

Both canyons are narrow tunnel-like passages in between rock formations. When the daylight falls in the canyon it can become red, orange, yellow or even purple. Although the canyon photographs are usually very surreal and sometimes look better than the canyon in reality, it is still the must see landmark. The walls of the canyon are curvy but very smooth as the water and the wind did their job to polish the walls to the current condition.

Antelope Canyon Surrealistic Colors. Image by Aleksejs Kolpakovs

Antelope Canyon Surrealistic Colors. Image by Aleksejs Kolpakovs

During the strong rain the canyons get flooded extremely fast. The water flashes rapidly in the narrow passageway making its job and eroding the rock formations. It is not advisable to go on a tour on a rainy day as it can become hazardous.

Upper Antelope Canyon is only accessible by 4-wheel drive car with a special tour as you have to go through the deep sand to get to the entrance. The whole level of the canyon is flat and does not require climbing. However the tour is quite pricey. It costs $50 for the peak-time 11:30a.m. tour and $40 for other off-peak tours + tips. The peak-time is when the sun is directly above the canyon which is the perfect moment for photographers to catch the whole beauty. You go in a group of 10-15 people and the canyon is almost always crowded so it is sometimes difficult to make the right picture. The tour requires prior reservation.

Lower Antelope Canyon is narrower and requires climbing stairs but it is as spectacular as the Upper Antelope. When I was there, I had a local 18-year old Navajo guide who played his tribal musical instrument and gave some excellent photographing tips. This canyon is less crowded and tour groups are smaller than in the Upper Antelope Canyon. The tour costs $28 + tips. My suggestion is to go with the Lower Antelope Canyon tour if you don’t mind narrow passages and climbing stairs. You can book the tour here or just arrive at the spot. Best time for the visit would be around 12:00a.m. when the sun shines directly into the canyon.

Lower Antelope Canyon / Image by Aleksejs Kolpakovs

Lower Antelope Canyon / Image by Aleksejs Kolpakovs

Glen Canyon Dam

This is probably the central landmark of Page as it’s the main reason why the whole city was built in the first place. It’s a concrete dam on the Colorado River. It provides hydroelectricity and controls a flow of the river to provide fresh water to closest states.

There is a museum right by the Dam in the visitors center, where you can learn about the history of the Dam. You can also take a guided tour which requires prior reservation (usually 24h before the tour).

Glen Canyon Dam. Image by Aleksejs Kolpakovs

Glen Canyon Dam. Image by Aleksejs Kolpakovs

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is a man made lake which was formed after the completion of the Glen Canyon Dam. It serves as a reservoir of the drinking water, but also as a vacation spot for 2 million people each year. You can go sunbathing, swimming, boating, kayaking, camping or just sightseeing by the lake.

Wahweap Marina. Image by Aleksejs Kolpakovs

Wahweap Marina. Image by Aleksejs Kolpakovs

I have been on a Rainbow bridge tour. It is quite expensive as it costs $125 per person and runs early morning from 7:30a.m. or 8:00a.m. depending on the season but it’s totally worth it. It takes two hours each way by boat to get to the landmark and 1,5 hours both ways by foot to explore the monument. The views you see on your way and once you are there are absolutely amazing. You get to see surrounding of the Lake Powell, the stunning stone bridge (Rainbow Bridge) and get to hear a guided tour about the history and the nature of the Lake Powell. The tour starts from Wahweap Marina which is a beautiful place to visit by itself.

Rainbow Bridge. Image by Aleksejs Kolpakovs

Rainbow Bridge. Image by Aleksejs Kolpakovs

Bare in mind that Wahweap Marina territory is a National park and you have to pay a $15 fee for a single vehicle entering the park. (or you can get an annual pass for all national parks for $80 if you plan to visit more than 5-6 parks in one trip). Check out details here and here for the locations where you can buy the pass.

I also rented a kayak from Wahweap Marina during my last trip and just kayaked around for 3-4 hours. It was two of us and we tried to reach the the Antelope Canyon by kayak, which is possible, but you have to be advanced kayaker and have to be physically prepared. So halfway there we decided to turn back as it was quite hot and we were already exhausted. We rented a double kayak for $45 here.

There is no actual space to keep you stuff on the kayak, but you can still take a small backpack with water and some food supplies to stop for a picnic in the middle of nowhere ;) I will also never forget taking a swim in the Lake after the long kayaking. It was priceless!

Taking a Swim in Lake Powell is Priceless. Image by Aleksejs Kolpakovs

Taking a Swim in Lake Powell is Priceless. Image by Aleksejs Kolpakovs

Just remember, when kayaking, keep close to the shore to be safe as there are a lot of motorboats passing by and creating some strong waves.

And finally, we stayed overnight in the Wahweap Marina on a campground. It was quite hot during the night, but we still liked it. It is very nice to get to sleep under the starry sky and weak up with a view of the Lake Powell :) We got a usual tent and a sleeping mattress in Wal-Mart. It makes sense if you are on a road trip and visit several National Parks as it might save you a great deal of money on accommodation. It’s also a great adventure!

Hikes

There are also numerous possibilities to go hiking in Page. You can check the list of hikes here. I have already written about Horseshoe bend and it is an absolute must. Apart from that I took the Hanging Garden trail. It is an easy hike as it’s only 1-mile round trip and the whole trail is marked with small rocks along it. It was also scenic and I would recommend this route.

Navajo

It is important to mention that Page lies on the historical land of Navajo tribe. It’s the largest Indian tribe in the United States. It’s not uncommon to encounter Navajo people in Page. Both Antelope canyon tours are guided exclusively by the Navajo tribe.

Navajo Girl. Image by Wolfgang Staudt / CC2.0

Navajo Girl. Image by Wolfgang Staudt / CC2.0

Places To Stay

I have stayed in several hotels in Page . I would say that Quality Inn ($$) was a bit more upscale, and more hotel-like, while other two are more of a motel-like accommodation. But in general, they are all very basic stays with a bed, shower and TV and they are absolutely fine for an overnight stay.

I have also stayed at Travelodge Page ($) and Knights Inn ($) and can recommend them both.

Staying in Kanab – Permit for the “Wave”

Once I stayed in a small town Kanab in the Treasure Trail Motel on my way from Zion Canyon to Page. I did it on purpose to try to win a hiking permit to the Wave (Coyote Buttes Canyon North). You can do it online 5 months in advance or on the spot in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument visitor center at 9a.m. Utah time. The chances are quite low but it’s worth a try. Note that you can only apply once from the whole group and you have to mention all the names. Also note that permits are personal and cannot be transferred. In total they usually allocate 10 permits online and 10 permits on the spot (each person listed in your group takes one permit).

I didn’t win the permit and was a bit disappointed. However after researching a bit I found a relief :) I was trying to win a permit on one of the hottest days of the year. The temperature was around 37C. The hike is around 3 miles each way, but with no shadow at all. Also there is no cell phone coverage so if you get lost the chances are not that huge to get rescued. So apply only if you are sure about your physical condition and sure that you can find a way using a map and a compass. Also if you do get a permit, get enough water (1l per every hour of hike), some sports drinks and some food. You will definitely need it!

I will sure try to win the permit next times and stay tuned for the detailed blog posts ;)

And good luck to you!

The Wave. Image by Alaskan Dude / CC2.0

The Wave. Image by Alaskan Dude / CC2.0

Food

There are not that many decent places to eat in Page, but there is one spot that I would recommend visiting. Butterfield Stage Steakhouse has the best steaks and ribs. I don’t know whether it’s the view, service or something else, but I still think that they have the best steak and ribs in the whole US :) My absolute favourite place!

Final words

Page is really great and worth a visit. It has the true western vibe and you can imagine how Indian tribes lived on this land long time ago. It also features spectacular nature landmarks concentrated just in one spot. I would say that this is one of the reasons why I keep coming back to the States. And for me, it doesn’t get old even after the 4th or 5th time in Page.

Don’t forget to check other destinations from my America’s Most Scenic Destinations blog posts.

Share your experience in Page in the comments below and stay tuned for more destinations on the Trip.Center Blogs!