Page, Arizona is a really cool city in northern Arizona. It has a population of 7,553 people, an elevation of 4,117′, and a plethora of tourism hot spots. If you’re visiting the American Southwest this is a city you cannot pass up!
There are tons of things to do here, and if I’d had more time I would have planned a few days here! However, if you only have one perfect day here this is how you should spend it.
Start your day off right with one of the biggest attractions in the United States. Antelope Canyon is this incredible canyon with sharp twists and turns, beautiful red rock and rays of sunlight pouring in. It has been on mine and Paige’s bucket lists for years and we finally crossed it off!
This is a spot you have to plan ahead of time. You cannot visit the canyon on your own, so book a tour with a company a few weeks before your trip. It’s on the Navajo reservation so you’ll pay an extra fee and get a local guide. I booked with Antelope Canyon Tours and loved it. You meet in town and then ride in the back of jeeps for about 15 minutes out to the canyon. You’re inside the actual canyon for about 45 minutes. It’s not very large, but every turn seems more beautiful than the last!
Our guide, Ryan, was very knowledgable about the canyon and about photography! It can be difficult to capture the drastic lighting, so having a guide who can adjust camera settings and point out unique angles was so helpful! I was in awe the entire time. The whole experience felt surreal!
Fun Fact: The canyon used to be home to antelope, which is where its name comes from. However, after the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam, the vegetation changed and the antelope migrated north to Utah.
When you book a tour, make sure you know which part of the canyon you’re booking. We went to the Upper Canyon because it’s famous for light beams. This canyon is accessible to everyone and is more internationally famous. When visiting the lower canyon you actually descend down a ladder and then walk through, and our guide said it is easier to photograph. Honestly, I don’t think you could go wrong with either! You can even choose tours that visit both sides and then you don’t have to pick.
Up next is another very iconic photo spot in the American Southwest. Just a few miles outside of town is Horseshoe Bend. This epic spot in the canyon has been carved out by the river forming an extreme horseshoe shape, leaving a giant island in the middle.
Not only is the shape iconic, but the color of the water draws people to this spot. The bright blue and green water really stands out against the orange rock, creating gorgeous contrast that will have photographers hiking around the rim until they find that perfect shot.
All you have to do is pay $10 and navigate the crowds.
It’s actually about 3/4 of a mile from the parking lot to the bend, but it’s very manageable. They recommend bringing water and sunscreen, and I agree if you’re going to stay for long photoshoots.
In my opinion, Horseshoe Bend was beautiful and very cool, but you get bored after 10 minutes because there’s nothing to do except look at it. You can’t walk very far around it or down into it. I learned after the fact that there are rafting rides through the bend, which I think would be awesome! If I’m ever back here that’s what I’m going to book because I think it’s a cooler way to experience it.
If you’re looking for a lunch recommendation, look no further. We passed Big John’s Texas BBQ on our tour of Antelope Canyon and we decided we needed to go there. You can see and smell the BBQ as you drive by and we couldn’t resist!
The brisket is delicious, and so are the nachos! I tried both of the sauces, normal and spicy, and decided mixing them was the way to go. They also have a good selection of beer and a very friendly wait staff. There’s even a stage where they were setting up for a musician that evening. It’s a great spot to rest after Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
A much lesser-known, but just as cool dam in the United States is the Glen Canyon Dam. I actually liked this more than the hoover dam because you can get closer and see more. Plus the water of Lake Powell contrasting against the rocks are just beautiful. Park the car and walk across the bridge – but be warned, it’s windy and shaky!
You should also stop in the visitor’s center here. It is a phenomenal visitor’s center where you can learn all about the dam and even book guided tours. They also have information on all the other activities in the area and you can talk to a ranger about recommendations.
Lake Powell was hands-down my favorite part of the day. In fact, Paige and I loved it so much we changed up our itinerary so we could have a second day dedicated to it.
Lone Rock Campground is located about a mile over the border into Utah, and they offer beach-front camping! Your National Park Pass will get you in because it’s part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The camping fee is not included, but it’s only $14 a night and you get to drive your car on the sand right up to the water!
Travel Tip: Watch the sand when you’re driving! You can see which areas are packed down from other vehicles, and which areas might be too deep to drive in. The closer you get to the water the more dangerous it is. Don’t get stuck!
Grab your floaties, sunscreen & sunglasses and enjoy the rest of your day. The water is chilly, but can feel good against the hot desert sun, and you’re bound to get a tan.
Did I mention the sunsets are some of the best in the world? You can’t miss this. Lone Rock was my favorite day of my entire trip out west!