Page, Arizona was the sixth stop on our summer road trip. Page is a small town of 7,600 people located on the southern shores of beautiful Lake Powell. So you’re probably wondering why the heck did we go there? Well, despite being small, Page is on the Smithsonian’s 2017 list of 20 best small towns and on Expedia’s top 34 most breathtaking places in North America. Page is full of history, culture and one of the best cities for outdoor lovers!
– Getting There –
Page is located five hours north of Phoenix, 2 hours north of Flagstaff and five hours east of Las Vegas. If you’re traveling from the east on Route 160, make sure you make a stop at the Four Corners National Monument – the only place in the United States where you can be in four states at the same time! The cost is $5, definitely worth the price to be in Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico all at once!
Also, in the distance, along Route 160 you can enjoy 17 miles of towering sandstone buttes known as the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. What a treat to catch it at sunset!
– Things to do –
A must do while in Page is to visit the iconic Horseshoe Bend and the best part about it, it’s free!
Horseshoe Bend is easily one of the most photographed and iconic spots located on the Colorado River.
We loved it so much, we visited three times on our one day visit! The morning had a really bad shadow, so we came back in the afternoon and we couldn’t miss it at sunset! It’s located off of Hwy 89, and it’s just a short 1.25 mile round trip hike. Make sure to bring a hat, sunscreen and water, there are no shaded areas and it gets hot!
Page is home to some amazing slot canyons, Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons to name the most well-known. These canyons, located on the Navajo Indian Reservation, have been naturally carved by water into the Navajo sandstone and can be visited through local tour companies. There are usually two different types of tours. The cheaper and quicker tours don’t allow tripods, while the photography tours are longer, fewer people, and more expensive but you are encouraged to bring all of your photography gear! The Upper Antelope Canyon is more accessible, which means more tour companies and more people. The great thing about the Upper Canyon is the light beams or “shafts”. The light shafts can be seen in late spring, summer and September with the best time of day being around 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. to capture them, but be prepared for heavy crowds and to book far in advance. We hope to plan a photography tour next year in the Upper Canyon. Fingers crossed we see some awesome light beams!
With fewer crowds, you can see the Lower Antelope Canyon through two tour companies. We booked through Ken’s Tours and had an unforgettable time. The beauty of these canyons is astounding. The coloring, contrast, texture, and the fact that the wind and water carved this amazing wonder. I was in awe the whole tour! 😍 Be prepared to climb up and down steep metal staircases to enter and exit the lower canyon.
To make sure you capture you’re amazing tour, you want to make sure your camera is on the right settings.
If you just have an iPhone, change your filter to “chrome”. If you have a Samsung change your filter to “cloudy”. If you have a higher end camera like a DSLR, you will want a wide to medium zoom lens. I’m a newbie with a camera, so I just had my 18-55 mm kit lens. Because I didn’t have a tripod, I set my ISO around 200. f11-16 is a recommended f-stop, I had mine at f8 and I just played around with my shutter speed. Change your picture control settings to “cloudy”, shoot in RAW, try HDR, and make sure to monitor your histogram with every change in settings for maximum quality.
Because of the dust, make sure you don’t change your lens inside the canyon!
Things to bring: hat, sunscreen, camera, water, snacks and a backpack to keep your items in and trash picked up. During the summer season, there could be a wait to enter the canyon up to 1.5 hours and up to 3 hours on holiday weekends, so be aware when booking other activities.
Time Zones: The time zones are a little tricky. This was listed in our Ken’s Tours confirmation email: All times and confirmations are in ARIZONA TIME (Summer time: Same time as Pacific Time; Winter time: Same time as Mountain Time. No Daylight Savings Time – Not Utah Time – Not Navajo Nation Time). Because the Utah State Line is less than 7 miles away, cell phone towers from Utah (and the surrounding Navajo Nation) often will be the wrong time!
Note: You will need to pay an extra $8 per person in cash for the Navajo Reservation Permit.
We had our heart set on kayaking or boating around Horseshoe Bend but unfortunately, by the time we went to check it out, it was too late in the day and the tour had already left. If you are interested in doing something like this and you’re more comfortable with a tour company, Colorado River Discovery is your place. Instead, we enjoyed a nice relaxing
Antelope Canyon boat tour, the most famous and photographed canyon on Lake Powell.
The tour was an hour long and cost $28/adults, $18/children and departed from Antelope Point Marina.
Note: There is a $25 Glen Canyon park fee that admits one single, private, non-commercial vehicle and all its passengers and is valid for 7 consecutive days. The America the Beautiful National Park Pass does work for this park fee.
After the boat ride, we grabbed a bite to eat and drove around the area. We checked out the Glen Canyon Dam and visited the visitor center and ended the night with one last visit to Horseshoe Bend at sunset. The next morning we woke up early and set out to explore the North Rim of the Grand Canyon!
– Additional Highlights Around Page –
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
- Rainbow Bridge National Monument
- Glen Canyon Dam Overlook
- Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
- Slot Canyons
- Helicopter Tours
Read Next: Ultimate Summer Road Trip: Week One