Page, Arizona has gained popularity in the last few years. Thanks to National Geographic and the age of Instagram, tourism has boomed in this beautiful little town. The last time I was in Page was six years ago when we wandered through four states in four days and discovered new places. That trip gave me a list of destinations I would always love: Page, Monument Valley, and Colorado. It was on that trip that we decided we would move to Colorado someday.
In those six years, so much has changed. The town of Page, the number of tourists and of course, me. I typically like to travel with my husband and my son, but this time, I needed some time to myself. I called my friend in Phoenix and we planned a mini girl’s trip. On Sunday, I booked a flight. By Thursday, I arrived in Phoenix. Over the next few days, I was reminded why Arizona will always be a state I love.
The drive from Phoenix to Page is about 4 hours. Add a few stops and good playlist and that drive will seem fairly short. I recommend leaving early in the morning and spending some time in Flagstaff which is the halfway point. Flagstaff has cute coffee shops, awesome breweries, and beautiful mountain views. If I wasn’t on a time constraint, I would have loved to spend a night in Flagstaff on the way to Page.
My favorite spots include Historic Brewing, Dark Sky Brewing, and Beaver Street Brewing (also a restaurant). There are several places that I haven’t been to so if you’re a craft beer lover, you may want to spend the night!
Super 8 Motel:
A quick google search will show there is no shortage of motel/hotel rooms in Page during the off-season. Summer tends to be busier but since this was still winter, we decided not to book until we arrived. We found a room at the Super 8 which came out to $52 including tax. There were cheaper options, but I opted for the Super 8 based on reviews. When we arrived, we were shocked! It was a beautiful motel! It looked newly renovated, the rooms were clean and nicely decorated plus the staff was very friendly. Our $52 also included a free continental breakfast.
Horseshoe Bend has changed significantly since the last time I was here. They are currently building a new parking lot and visitor’s center, and there are newly placed railings at the lookout point. When we arrived, we found that the parking lot was closed so we followed signs that led us to another parking lot where a shuttle was available. The shuttle was $5 roundtrip which I felt was expensive for the short trip, but since parking isn’t allowed on the side of the road and there is no option to walk, it’s cheaper than a parking ticket.
It’s a short walk up and down a dirt path to the bend. I recommend wearing hiking boots for extra stability. The sand on the rocks can get slippery, and if you want to hike up to get a better view, hiking boots will help. I saw several people in Nikes who lost their balance and slipped several times. I had to walk away from the crowds because I was certain someone was going to fall off a cliff.
We were there on a Friday around 3:30 PM and it was crowded. I’m assuming an early visit would be more peaceful, but I felt the timing was right for pictures. On my last visit, we arrived in the morning and part of the bend was covered in a shadow. This time, I was much happier with my photo.
We made our way back to the parking lot around five o’clock and waited for the shuttle to return. We were surprised to find that the parking lot was suddenly open and had turned into a disorganized mess. Cars and RVs were parked in every direction that the shuttle was having difficulty maneuvering out of the parking lot. It was ridiculous, and I couldn’t figure out why people couldn’t read the signs that said not to park there.
Lower Antelope Canyon:
Prior to this trip, I had no idea there was an Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. Turns out, the upper canyon is the popular route and is widely seen on social media with the photos of light beams peaking through a tight canyon. Since my trip was last minute, all of the Upper Antelope Canyon tours were booked so our only option was the lower canyon.
We were able to book a tour at the very last minute. At around 7 AM, I booked an 11 AM tour. They limit 10 people per guide, so I feel our luck was due to the off-season. We arrived at Ken’s Tours 30 minutes prior to our scheduled time and were greeted by really nice people. Our tour guide, Preston, was incredibly knowledgable, friendly and helpful with photos. He gave us tips on where and how to take photos, and was willing to take our phones and do the photos for us! I loved that. I ended up having great pictures and I got to enjoy myself because I wasn’t focused on my phone the entire time.
My advice: bring a jacket and gloves because it got really chilly in the canyon! My hands were freezing down there. Also, bring cash for your tour guides. We were so impressed with Preston, we didn’t hesitate to give him a good tip when we left.
Overall, we had a wonderful girl’s trip to Page. I would like to return in the summer to partake in all of the summer activities this area has to offer. I’d love to see Upper Antelope Canyon, complete a long scenic hike and take a boat tour on Lake Powell. Check out the city’s website to plan your own visit to Page, Arizona. You’ll be amazed at everything there is to do and see. You’ll probably have to make more than one trip like me!