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Ultimate 2-Day Itinerary in Page, Arizona: Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell and More!

By Ryan / April 18, 2017

You have two days in Page, Arizona. Sweet! Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend are definitely on your to-do list. We’re with you so far. Then what else are you going to do to occupy your time? Here’s a news flash for you: you’re going to find so much cool stuff to do here, you’ll wish you had three days to spend in the area! More on that later…

So, what’s the Ultimate 2-Day Itinerary in Page, Arizona? Well, like the Ultimate 1-Day Itinerary, it consists of touring Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell, but with a few twists.  

Since a good majority of Page/Lake Powell visitors come to us from Grand Canyon South Rim, Flagstaff and points South, we’re going to assume that you are, too. If not, just take our suggested itinerary and shuffle it around a bit.

Day 1

Sunrise: Pack up the night before so you can get an early start on the drive to Page, Arizona. Depending on how often you stop, the drive from Grand Canyon South Rim or Flagstaff can take anywhere from 2.5- 4 hours. Enjoy breakfast at the Historic Cameron Trading Post. The Navajo Taco with an egg on top is amazing, but fair warning: unless you’re starving, get the “mini.” The regular is huge!

Mid-morning: Stop at the Horseshoe Bend Overlook just 5 miles South of Page, AZ  at Mile Marker 545 on US89. The walk to the overlook is .6 miles each way and is manageable for most people in relatively good health. There is a slightly steep incline just off the parking lot you need to tackle first; the rest of the trail features both mild uphill and downhill sections, but there are benches placed every few hundred yards if you or anyone in your party needs a breather. Remember, this is an exposed overlook in a desert environment. Water and sun protection are a must, as is appropriate shoes for walking a trail whose surface can range from packed dirt to deep “sugar” sand on any given day. Also, it’s a 500’+ drop to the river and there are no guardrails. Keep children and pets under control at all times. Restrooms are available at the parking lot. Allow 60-90 minutes to enjoy the stunning view of this 270° turn (what geologists call an “entrenched meander”) of the Colorado River! Can’t make the walk? Here’s what to do.

Early afternoon: Tour Antelope Canyon. This world-famous slot canyon is on the photographic “bucket list” of every traveler to Northern Arizona, and deservedly so. Its surrealistic colors and shapes must be seen to be believed. You’ll need to decide ahead of time whether to tour Upper Antelope Canyon or Lower Antelope Canyon. Upper is 100 yards long, flat pretty much the whole way, easy-peasy. You can choose to drive directly to the Tribal Park Entrance on Highway 98, or take a tour from downtown Page, AZ. Lower is a bit more physical, requiring some stair climbing and simple boulder scrambling. For Lower, you must drive to the Tribal Park Entrance Gate directly. Whichever branch of Antelope Canyon you choose to tour, you’ll need to book a tour well in advance of your arrival. This attraction is becoming more popular – and crowded – every year. If the prospect of sharing a confined space with all those people doesn’t thrill you, or Antelope Canyon tours are already sold out, consider doing an Antelope Canyon Alternative Tour which will take you to slot canyons that are every bit as beautiful as Antelope, but far less populated OR check Antelope Canyon Now for last minute availability.

Depending on the time of year, your preference and Antelope Canyon tour availability, these activities can easily be done in reverse order as well.

Did we forget that you had to eat at some point? Not at all! Page, AZ has a diverse array of restaurants to choose from, both familiar franchises and independently owned. For those who choose to tour Antelope Canyon directly from the Tribal Park Entrance Gate on US98, grab a hearty, hand-made sandwich to go from the Deli at Big Lake Trading Post, or sit down to a relaxing lunch or dinner with a view that’s off the hook at the Sandbar Restaurant at Antelope Point Marina.

In the town of Page itself, you can take your pick of burgers to sushi and everything in between! For a dining experience that’s more than just a meal, but an educational and fun introduction to Page’s  unique place in history, Sanderson’s Into the Grand features home-cooked Navajo tacos, Native American dances, live music, and a Colorado River Rafting exhibit. Rated #1 on TripAdvisor, reservations are strongly recommended. Or if you prefer things a little more spontaneous, dig into an oven-baked pizza or bowl of pasta at the Canyon King Pizzeria, built inside a vintage paddleboat that logged many tours on Lake Powell in its heyday.

What a day it’s been, and you’re just getting started! Go to your Page, Arizona hotel or vacation rental and get a good night’s sleep. Be sure to set your alarm – here in Page, AZ, the fun starts early in the morning.  

Day 2

Sunrise (optional): Many of you like to start your day back home with a brisk walk or jog to get the blood pumping. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with your exercise routine, and do a little sightseeing to boot! The Page Rim View Trail is a 10-mile dirt track that encircles Manson Mesa (the site Page, AZ was originally built on). Popular with local walkers, runners and cyclists, it is manageable for adults and children who are at least moderately fit. It offers spectacular views of Lake Powell (though no lake access), and for those visiting in springtime, a radiant display of colorful wildflowers. Once on the trail, you are able to exit it at several points along the way. You are by no means obligated to do the full 10 miles! Also, it is completely exposed to the elements, so water and sun protection are a must, as is appropriate footwear. 

Be sure to fuel up for your busy day with a good breakfast. Some Page, AZ hotels may include continental or cooked-to-order breakfast in their room rates. Those staying at vacation rentals or accommodations with full kitchens have the freedom to do their own cooking. Favorite breakfast spots in Page, AZ include the River’s End Cafe inside Colorado River Discovery, the Ranch House Grille and Canyon Crepes.

Option 1 – 6:30 AM: Check in for the Glen Canyon Half Day Float TripThis leisurely raft trip takes place on a silky-smooth 15-mile stretch of the Colorado River through the last remaining intact section of Glen Canyon and is safe for children as young as 4. Putting in at the base of the massive Glen Canyon Dam, you’ll coast through Horseshoe Bend (be sure to wave to the people gazing down at you from the overlook!) and stop at Petroglyph Beach where you can take a cool dip in the river, marvel at centuries-old etchings in the canyon walls left by Ancestral Puebloan people, or munch on a bag lunch purchased at one of the local grocery stores or restaurants. After pulling off the river at Historic Lees Ferry, you’ll board a motorcoach and be dropped off back in Page at approximately 11:30 AM.**  

Grab lunch if you desire, then head over to the John Wesley Powell Memorial Museum to learn more about the first Anglo-American to raft the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in 1869, setting the stage for the modernization of the Southwest U.S., and sparking the debate about land and water conservation that continues to this day. You can also examine specimens of dinosaurs excavated in the local area, as well as ancient artifacts made by the native peoples of the Colorado Plateau. By the way, the employees at the JWP are carefully selected for their knowledge of not only the Lake Powell area, but Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Paria Canyon and way beyond. If you have a question about anything within a 200-mile radius of Page, AZ, there’s a 99.9999% probability these guys can answer it! The museum is also a great place to shop for souvenirs of your visit for the folks back home.

Option 2 – 7:00 AM: Check in for the Lake Powell & Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour at Lake Powell (formerly known as “Wahweap”) Marina. This 6-hour tour will immerse you in the beauty of Lake Powell in a way that can only be experienced by boat. Your certified tour boat captain will show you the sandy beaches and intimate coves of Warm Creek Bay, Padre Bay and Navajo Canyon en route to Rainbow Bridge National Monument, the world’s largest known natural stone arch, sacred to many indigenous peoples of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. Towering red rock formations juxtaposed with the expansive blue-green waters is a scene like no other on Earth – small wonder this place is so popular as a movie location! On the return trip, you’ll stop at Dangling Rope Marina, which is only accessible by water. The soft-serve ice cream at the local snack bar is a welcome treat on a hot summer day. Depending on the water level of Lake Powell, a walk of 1.5 miles each way may be required to access the viewing area of Rainbow Bridge. Portions of this walk are slightly uphill, and devoid of shade, so people with mobility issues or sun sensitivity must consider carefully whether or not they can fully enjoy this tour. Complimentary water, coffee and lemonade are provided on the tour boat. You are welcome to bring a reasonable amount of snacks and/ or preferred beverages with you.

After your tour, enjoy lunch or an early dinner at one of five on-site dining outlets at Lake Powell Marina. Everything from light appetizers and custom coffee beverages to gourmet entrees with a world-class wine list can be had here, and the best part? They all come with a prime lakeside view! Then, head down to the Carl Hayden Visitors’ Center at Glen Canyon Dam and join a tour with the Glen Canyon Natural History Association. In less than one hour’s time you’ll get down in the depths of this monumental structure that is responsible for the creation of Lake Powell, an integral and still-controversial component of the Colorado River Storage Project. Tours are conducted on a first-come first-served basis. The Glen Canyon Dam is a federally-managed facility, therefore Department of Homeland Security regulations are strictly enforced. You will be passing through a metal detector, and armed guards are in place throughout the facility. No knives or any weapons will be permitted in the building. Bags and purses are prohibited on the tour.

Head back to your hotel, kick back and reflect on your day’s adventures, or discover a new place for dinner. If you’re still feeling perky towards the day’s end, take the short drive off the mesa to the Glen Canyon Dam Overlook, also known as the “White House” to enjoy sunset. Or, kick up your feet to some live music at Ken’s Old West, the Windy Mesa or the Dam Bar.

Hit the sack, sleep in if you want. You deserve it!

A few last notes: this suggested trip plan is designed for Page, Arizona’s peak travel season of late spring through early fall. Due to extreme heat typical of this time period, you don’t want to be out on the water in the blazing afternoon sun if you can possibly avoid it. If you happen to be traveling in early spring or late fall, you can flip the order of these activities around and still be comfortable, for example, on Day 2, do the Glen Canyon Dam or John Wesley Powell Museum tours in the morning, then do the raft or boat tour in the afternoon. Keep in mind, also, that many of these activities are offered seasonally. If you’re visiting in the winter months, water-based activities most likely won’t be running at all, or would require a certain number of passengers to guarantee operation.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

So here it is, Day 3, and time to head to your next destination, like Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park or maybe back to Phoenix, AZ or Las Vegas, NV. We hope you’ve had fun! If you’ve followed these suggestions, and maybe done a little “mixing and matching,” the last 48 hours will have certainly been memorable ones. But, that doesn’t mean the fun is over until you hit your next park. Here are just a few ideas for some “bonus activities” to add on to your list as you leave Page, AZ for the next phase of your vacation:

On US89 as you head toward Bryce, Zion or St. George:

  • The “New Wave:” approximately one mile past the Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge, opposite the turn-off to the Lake Powell Resort complex, turn left instead and you’ll come to a small but interesting cluster of rock formations that bear more than just a passing resemblance to “The Wave.”  Unlike the “Old Wave,” the “New Wave” requires no permits, and at the moment, no admission fee. The only caveat: the road is not regularly maintained and prone to washing out. If you see any signage stating “no admittance” or the like, obey it.  
  • The Big Water Visitor Center: located 15 miles Northwest of Page, AZ over the Utah border on US89, this small but impressive facility features locally-excavated dinosaur bones, a topographical relief map of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and award-winning paleontology and geology displays.
  • The Paria Rimrocks-Toadstools Trail: at mile marker 19 between Page, AZ and Kanab, UT on US89 you’ll find a moderate 1.5 mile round-trip trail leading to a Mars-like landscape of whimsical hoodoos, balanced rocks and other geological oddities. Don’t be fooled by what looks like the end of the trail; a short rock scramble leads to the main hoodoo garden.  
  • Kanab, Utah: once the on-location darling of Western movie producers, Kanab, Utah is a charming small town with plentiful shopping and dining opportunities. Locals and visitors alike are partial to the Rocking V Cafe and Houston’s Trail’s End Restaurant.

On US89 heading toward Flagstaff, Sedona or Phoenix:

  • The Gap Trading Post: if you’re into Old West trading posts, but prefer those that are more trading post than tourist trap, pop into The Gap Trading Post just 45 miles South of Page on US89. Still an active commerce center, albeit a low-key one, you can purchase Navajo textiles, jewelry and pottery, or a cool beverage to refresh you for the drive ahead.
  • Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks: 20 miles South of the Gap Trading Post, take a slight Eastern detour off US89 to AZ160. A few miles before you get to Tuba City, you’ll find an unassuming sign advertising free parking. Here you can see fossilized dinosaur tracks, eggs and dung. The jury is still out on the latter two; the former, though, is obviously the real deal. This area is located on Navajo Indian Tribal Land, so you must have an authorized representative escort you to the track site. There is no charge, technically, but gratuities are appreciated.
  • Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monuments: Double your pleasure, double your fun, two cool monuments are better than one! Just North of Flagstaff, Arizona, these are actually two separate monuments connected by a convenient loop drive. Wupatki showcases the remains of an ancient, and surprisingly expansive Ancestral Puebloan Village with some unusual features, including a multi-story complex and a ball court. Sunset Crater is a dormant cinder cone that last erupted approximately 800 years ago, which, according to geologists, seemed like yesterday.

Do you have anything to add to this list? We’d love to hear about it! Feel free to write us in the comments, or visit our sister site, www.horseshoebend.com.

‘Til next time, good luck and happy traveling!

About the author

Ryan

Ryan is an avid hiker and long time resident of Page, AZ. What he lacks in spelling and grammatical expertise he makes up for with extensive knowledge from a lifetime of questionable choices and the ability to ask for help from great editors

144comments
Anil - April 3, 2019

Hello Ryan,

First of all. Fantastic website. This is like Google for Antelope :). We are coming to Vegas for 7 days (14 to 21) and appreciate if you can suggest what is the best way to visit West Rim & Antelope canyon (want to do both Upper & lower, though still to find a tour). Shall I take a tour from Vegas or self -drive as I have a rented car also? Another thing is shall I drive to West Rim & come back t Vegas or continue onward journey for Antelope. ? I already booked a hotel in Vegas so thinking if we can avoid booking another hotel in antelope, but don’t mind if I have to book 1 night. would you suggest to do South rim as well?

In addition to my earlier comment, if you suggest any decent place to stay (2 Adults & 2 kids – 11 & 6 ) near antelope will be great, We are vegetarian (no fish, no meat) so if you suggest any good vegi food place also.
I am only getting a tour at 6am for Upper canyon and 10am for lower, so I have to stay the night before somewhere nearby. As mentioned earlier we have total 6days in Vegas, out of which I am thinking to put 2 for Grand Canyon & Antelope canyon. I am thinking for below itniery;, as this is our first time in Vegas, want to fully explore the sin city 🙂
Day 1 – Vegas
Day 2 – Leave early and visit West Rim / South rim (whichever one is possible on the way to Antelope) and night at Page
Day 3 – Antelope canyon and back to Vegas
Day 4-6 – in Vegas.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thanks in advance
Anil

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - April 3, 2019

    Hi Anil, and thanks for your compliments!
    I combined your comments so I could try to answer all your questions at once!
    First off, I recommend doing this trip on a self-drive basis, but you’re trying to cram too many destinations into a limited timeframe. To illustrate, the drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon West takes approximately 2.5 hours. You’re then looking at 4.5 hours to drive from GC West to the South Rim, and another 3.5-4 hours to get from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page. There’s no way you’re going to pull that off in one day and be on speaking terms with your family the next morning!
    In light of that, I’d strongly recommend taking the West Rim off the table. The South Rim is where you’ll find the iconic picture-postcard views that you’re expecting to see. You can stop at Hoover Dam on the way there if you wish. Still, you’re looking at ~a 5-hour drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim, therefore, it would be best if you were to overnight at the Grand Canyon and drive to Page, AZ, the next morning.
    Here again, due to the distance between Page, AZ, and Las Vegas, I recommend you overnight in Page, AZ, after your Antelope Canyon touring. Try to hit up Horseshoe Bend while you’re there as well.
    The drive back to Las Vegas afterward will be about 5 hours. If you have to sacrifice a day in Las Vegas to accommodate that, I’d recommend doing so.
    As for restaurants with vegetarian options, you’ll find that most places can accommodate that as long as you’re OK with dairy products like cheese or yogurt. If you’re vegan, eat no animal products whatsoever, you might have a harder time. A good source of information on vegetarian and vegan dining options is HappyCow.net You can search by state, then by city. You might also purchase a small cooler and visit a couple of supermarkets along your route to stock up on supplies for snacks or meals. Super-Walmarts are best for this, and you’ll find them in Las Vegas, NV, and one in Page, AZ.
    Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Mary - April 2, 2019

Great blog! I am visiting Arizona for the first time from April 25 through 30. We are choosing not to include grand canyon as we want to make that a separate trip of its own maybe in the fall. Our itinerary is day 1 late evening arrival into Phoenix and overnight. Day 2 drive to Flagstaff and spend two nights. There seem to be a number of close by hikes, etc to do in the area. Suggestions for your favorites in this area? Day 4 drive Flagstaff to Page. Spend two nights. Horseshoe bend, slot canyon and maybe a float trip are on our list. Day 6 drive page to Hopi cultural center. Spend one night and take tour of mesas. Day 7 drive Hopi cultural center to Phoenix for evening flight. I had hoped to fit canyon de chelly but it does not seem to work for this trip. I prefer to spend at least two nights in each location rather than packing in too much. Thoughts?

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - April 2, 2019

    Hi Mary,
    Your plan looks nice and relaxed, and that’s cool that you’re planning to hit the Hopi Cultural Center.
    Flagstaff does indeed have a lot of nice hikes to do. Which ones you choose depends on your physical fitness level, and how well you acclimate to the altitude. Walnut Canyon National Monument is fascinating, offering a glimpse into the daily lives of Ancestral Puebloans by getting into their actual dwellings. The only drawback is it has a lot of stairs. The lava tubes are neat, too, but you’ll want to have 2-3 flashlights for it. Plus, they might not be open at the time of your visit due to the heavy snows we got this season. There are all kinds of possibilities! For more suggestions, visit AllTrails.com: Best Trails Near Flagstaff
    If you want to include Canyon de Chelly on your trip, sacrificing a day in Flagstaff would probably be the most logical way to work it in. It’s about a 3-hour drive from Flagstaff to Canyon de Chelly going direct. The option is also there to include stopovers at Meteor Crater and/or Petrified Forest, which will extend the drive time only by a bit, technically, but may delay your arrival at Canyon de Chelly. Also, there is not much in the way of lodging at Canyon de Chelly, the town of Chinle, AZ, has a couple hotels, but that’s about it. Kayenta, AZ, about 1.5 hours North, has a few more, but options are still limited. Page would then be about 1.5 hours from Kayenta. Map However… if you were to go as far as Kayenta, it would be a shame not to visit Monument Valley, but that would probably mean sacrificing a day in Page, AZ, as well. *sigh* So many places, so little time! LOL
    Whatever you decide, be sure you make all lodging reservations and bookings for guided tours well in advance, especially for Antelope Canyon if you haven’t done so already.
    Good luck and safe travels!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Usha - March 19, 2019

Hey Alley and Ryan,

Family of six including 3 older teenagers (13, 15 &17) will be traveling from Phoenix. Dates are May 31 – June 6

Tentative itinerary at this point:

Sedona – May 31st & June 1st

Cathedral Rock
Chapel of the Holy Cross
Bell Rock
Devil’s Bridge Trail
Oak Creek Canyon
Pink Jeep Broken Arrow tour

Grand Canyon June 2nd, 3rd- Staying at Yavapai Lodge

Page – June 4th & 5th

June 4th – Upper Antelope Canyon Tour – 3 pm (there is chance of changing the tour time to 1 pm)

June 5th -Glen Canyon Half day Float or Lake Powell & Rainbow bridge Boat Tour. Which one?

Horseshoe Bend
Sunset at Wahweap Overlook
Glen Canyon Dam

We have one free day before returning to Phoenix on June 7th. Would appreciate any suggestions on where to go and what to do on June 6th.

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience and recommendations.

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - March 20, 2019

    Hi Usha,
    You have a very well-planned itinerary, and I’m glad to see that you’re allowing ample time in each destination to really enjoy it!
    With teens in the party, I’d recommend the Glen Canyon Float Trip. Even though it does not go through any rapids, it includes a lot of beautiful scenery and fascinating history. The kids will even get an opportunity to swim if they so desire. Fair warning, though: the water’s cold! 😀
    I’d also recommend hitting Horseshoe Bend right after sunrise to take advantage of cooler weather, easier parking, and thinner crowds.
    With an extra day to work with, and seeing as though June is going to be hot, I’d recommend going somewhere to cool off: The White Mountains. Lodging is available in the town of Payson, AZ, and popular activities/sights there include, but aren’t limited to: Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, Fossil Creek Creamery, Woods Canyon Lake, and Sunrise Park. From Payson, the drive to Phoenix is about 2 hours.
    Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
CL - March 19, 2019

Hi Ryan – awesome website!

Question about the Horseshoe Bend Canyon parking/shuttle situation. Am I correct in reading that if you arrive before the shuttle starts at 10AM, you can park at the closer parking lot to see the Canyon?

Thanks!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - March 19, 2019

    Hi CL,
    Yes, you are correct, but to be on the safe side, I’d recommend clearing the parking lot before 10:00 AM so you don’t get caught up in a traffic jam. It takes on average 60-90 minutes to hike to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook and back, so try and get there about 8:30 AM to be on the safe side.
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
      CL - March 20, 2019

      Thank you! It’s an awesome website!

      Reply
Christian - March 18, 2019

Just to edit my previous comment. I didn’t check all the tour websites and have come to realize that not everything is sold out.

My choices for that Tuesday are:
Upper with ASCT @
6am for $60
8am for $70
10am for $80
2:30pm for $70
4:30pm for $60

Lower with Ken’s Tours @
3:30pm or 4:00pm for $52.8

Lower works better for pricing, but earlier in the day (upper) is preferable due to convenience, planning, and because I’ve heard these Canyons are best at midday. It would maybe be easier to choose if I knew the rest of my itinerary for the day. Truthfully I feel like the lower interests me more because they’re longer and it’s more of a trek to get into them, but I am open to whatever is best or works best. Do you have any recommendations?

Thanks again!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - March 18, 2019

    Hey Christian,
    See my reply to your earlier inquiry and recommendations for alternate slot canyons to Lower 🙂
    Alley

    Reply
Christian - March 17, 2019

Okay so I will quickly say I really appreciate all the info you’re giving out! Now if you don’t mind, I have a few questions about my proposed trip with my gf.

The plan is Monday April 29th (Morning) – Thursday May 2nd (Night). Flying into Phoenix and renting a car.

The must sees on our list are South Rim, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend. We are students and thus want to keep costs down when possible. We were lucky enough to get one night at the GC and that will be Wednesday night, so the rest of the trip will be worked around that.

My Girlfriend and I really enjoy the outdoors/hiking, and aren’t huge fan of tours when there is a do-it-yourself option. This is because of enjoyment, autonomy, and $$$

The plan:
Monday – Land in the morning, drive to Page AZ and stay there overnight. Now we want to do something on the way. I’m thinking something in Sedona, but am looking for ideas. Maybe Sliding Rock Park? We land at 9am, and would hope to be in Page by sunset. That will give us a few hours if the plane/car doesn’t delay us too much to do something for a few hours on the way to Page.

Tuesday – The plan was to do an Antelope Canyon tour, but because of our relatively last minute planning, they all seem to be booked up. I am curious what you recommend? Attempt a walk in? An alternative? There is an opening at 4:15pm on the Monday, but I feel like that would severely hinder the previous day. We’d be rushing and miss seeing things. Plus then we’d have to find more things to fill in the next day. Also had an idea of renting a kayak at the Wahweap Marina or Antelope Point Marina. Another option is one of the cheaper boat tour. We’d also like to see the Dam overlook (non-essential; but I’d assume it wouldn’t be too time consuming). Then stay in Page again.

Wednesday – Wake up very early, see horseshoe curve (Could see this Monday or Tuesday instead), and head to the South Rim. Spend the day exploring the rim or hiking down a little. See the sunset there. Stay there overnight.

Thursday – Ideally wake up for sunrise. Spend the day exploring the rim or hiking down a little (Have yet to look into how we will spend our time at GC these two days). Leave in the mid-late afternoon to catch our 11pm flight.

Now I am looking for:
– Help regarding the Antelope Canyon tour? (I was eyeing the lower, but would be open to either)
– Filling in our Monday and Tuesday. Is a Canyon tour and a boat tour or renting kayaks too much for one day?
– If you have any recommendation, Wahweap or Antelope Point kayak rental?
– Where you would place Horseshoe curve?
– Is there enough to do at GC South Rim for us to fill almost 2 full days of daylight?
– Any changes you’d make? Any additions or subtractions? Am I missing something that you feel we’d enjoy?
– If we were to rent bikes one day, is the GC the best place to do that? A different location?
– Any great hikes you’d recommend for any day?
– Any advice on saving money anywhere? Food is the obvious one that doesn’t have to be mentioned.
– Will we have any problems only having a carry-on bag each?
– Any big recommendations for the GC?
– Any tips for renting a car for someone under 25?

Notes:
– The trip cannot be extended
– The only locked in aspect is the Wednesday night at the GC, which I could cancel but I feel like one night there would be very nice.

Thanks for any help!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - March 18, 2019

    Hi Christian and thank you for your inquiry!
    Your trip looks well-planned, but I still caution against falling prey to the temptation to schedule every second of every day of your vacation. There will be moments that unfold unexpectedly, and you should allow your curiosity to guide you at a leisurely pace, rather than playing a game of “beat the clock” to get to your next scheduled activity. Hope that makes sense.
    On Day 1, for example, where you want to swing through Sedona and visit Slide Rock State Park. It’s doable as long as you’re not delayed for too long upon landing in Phoenix, but the logistics of picking up a rental car and just getting out of the Phoenix metro area tend to take longer than most visitors realize. So as much as I hate to say it, I’d recommend taking Sedona off the table this time around. Instead, plan on maybe having lunch in Flagstaff, AZ, then taking the scenic loop drive through Wupatki and Sunset Crater National Monument just North of Flagstaff. Doing this will add another 90 minutes to 2 hours onto your drive time to Page, AZ. Whatever you do, just make sure you’re at your final destination for the day by sundown, which is ~7:15 PM. You want to avoid having to drive at night due to the fact that local roads are very dark, and large animals, such as deer, elk, free range cattle, and even wild horses, tend to graze around them at night.
    Regarding the availability, or lack thereof, of Antelope Canyon tours, this comes as no surprise. In your case, since you were considering touring Lower Antelope Canyon, I’d recommend looking at Antelope Canyon X. As the name suggests, it’s a secondary drainage of Antelope Canyon, is comparable physically and cosmetically to Lower, and tour group sizes are kept smaller for a more personalized experience. You might also look at Mystical Antelope Canyon, an alternate slot canyon that has only been recently opened to the public, and has some unique geological features.
    A slot canyon tour and a boat or kayak tour would be a wonderful way to make good use of a full day in Page, AZ. All of the kayak and boat tour operators have excellent reputations for safety and service, and are licensed by Park Service, so no need to be overly picky as to who you go with. As for where I’d put Horseshoe Bend in the mix, I’d recommend visiting just after sunrise (~5:30 AM). Earlier in the day, you’ll encounter fewer people, whereas mid-day becomes extremely crowded, not to mention the light is better when the sun is not directly overhead, washing out the colors. Another concern is that at the present time, due to some construction projects running behind schedule, the main parking area is closed between the hours of 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM, and visitors are required to use a shuttle for $5/head. It’s not certain whether that arrangement will still be in effect at the time of your visit, but it’s likely to be due to inclement weather pushing back a few project deadlines. Frankly, the shuttle is a pain, and best avoided if you can help it.
    As for good hikes to take, no shortage there! In Page, AZ, the Rim Trail, Hanging Gardens, and the “New” Wave are good candidates. At the Grand Canyon, the paved Rim Trail extends for 10+ miles along the canyon rim, or you can venture down the Bright Angel Trail for a short way to get a taste for what the inner canyon is like. RE: the latter, remember that for every hour you hike down, you’ll need 2 hours to hike back out. Food and water must be carried if you plan on spending any longer than 1 hour, or hiking for more than 1 mile in the inner canyon. “Big recommendations” for the Grand Canyon? Splurge on a special dinner for you and your girlfriend at the El Tovar Hotel! Reservations are strongly recommended, they can be made up to 30 days in advance by calling 928-638-2631 x6432. And you are correct, the Grand Canyon would be the best place to do a bike rental if you desire.
    For saving money on the rest of your trip, you’ve correctly deduced that food is a major expense, so you might purchase a small cooler in Phoenix and hit a grocery store before heading North. There’s a Super Wal-Mart in Page, AZ. The other major expense you’ll have is gas. Taking advantage of apps such as Gas Buddy is very helpful. As a general rule, the larger cities tend to have the lower gas prices, but check around to pinpoint where the least expensive gas is along your itinerary, and fill up whenever/wherever you get the chance. Regarding renting a car for individuals under 25, I don’t think that should be a problem as the minimum age for car rentals IIRC is 21, but according to a disclaimer on Enterprise’s website, you may incur a surcharge for being a younger renter.
    Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
      Christian - March 19, 2019

      Thank you so much for the detailed information! I am going to use a lot of your ideas!! I didn’t know about the shuttle/construction so that is very helpful to know!!

      My updated itinerary:

      Monday:
      – Land (9-10am), grab car, stop at a Walmart for a cooler and food for the next 4 days, and then head for Page.
      – On the way to Page the plan is to stop and hike Cathedral Rock.
      – (Horseshoe bend)
      – Stay in Page

      After doing a little more research, I believe that my girlfriend and I would enjoy Cathedral rock the most and it is something we could do in under a couple hours. If we feel our time is more limited, or don’t feel like hiking at all, Wupatki would most likely be our secondary plan. Depending on what time we are getting in to Page, maybe we will stop at Horseshoe Bend to check if there is parking because we will be driving right past it, and it will be something to do to kill time as well.

      Tuesday:
      – (Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise)
      – Renting Kayaks at Antelope Point Marina, and kayaking through Antelope Canyon
      – Have to be at Lower Antelope Canyon tour for 3:30pm
      – Stay in Page

      Wednesday:
      – (Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise)
      – Drive to South Rim, stopping at anything we find interesting on the way
      – Hike down South Kaibab trail (Not sure what our turnaround point will be at this point, will probably stay flexible).
      – See sunset (Not sure the best spot to see it at South Rim)
      – Have dinner at El Tovar
      – Stay at South Rim

      Thursday:
      – See sunrise (Again not sure best spot to see this)
      – Hike down Bright Angel Trail. (I’d love to reach the plateau, but that might be very ambitious).
      – Possible shower at Mather Campground
      – Head for the airport

      Some additional questions:
      1. There is nowhere cheap-ish to stay between Page and the South Rim on our Tuesday night right? The idea would be to use some of the hours after the Lower tour before sunset, to get closer to the South Rim, to give us more time to hike the next day.
      2. Do you know if it’s possible to bring a lunch on the kayak and disembark in the canyon at some point to eat? If so, what’s the best way to do it to keep our lunch secure and waterproof in case something happens?
      3. If the plan is to see the sunset and then go for dinner, what time should I make the reservation for? Is 7:45pm too early? Also, what should we be wearing to this dinner? We each are only bringing a small carry-on suitcase, so space is at a premium. I love this idea by the way (my wallet doesn’t though).
      4. If our flight leaves at 11pm, and we need to both fill up and return a car, at what point should we be planning on leaving the Grand Canyon? The plan would most likely be to eat in the car, and drive straight to the airport.
      5. Grand Canyon = $35 | Antelope Marina = $25 | Wupatki = $25
      The plan right now only includes the first two, and I know they both accept “America is Beautiful” passes. My question to you is, should we go for the 12 month pass? The chances of us visiting another park in a year is slim, but possible (We are from Ontario). I would like to make that decision while there, but if Antelope Marina is the first place we visit, I don’t believe they’d sell these 12 month passes, correct? Are there any other locations around our planned trip that accept these passes and you believe we could realistically visit with our limited time to make the full $80 worth it? We are obviously trying to save money, and paying $25 to visit a marina is bothering me a little, so that’s why I am hoping that maybe getting the 12 month pass could be the optimal solution.
      6. Any idea of the best spots to see sunset/sunrise at GC?
      7. Any additional feedback/critiques?

      Notes:
      – I was aware of the young driver fee, but was hoping there was a company or a method to reduce or eliminate it. That fee effectively doubles the price of the car. But after further research I don’t think there is a way.
      – My girlfriend and I recently completed a 9-10 mile hike with 1000 feet of elevation change, so we do know how to be prepared and safe, but will also do a lot more research before our trip. I know going to the plateau is 12 miles, and 3000 feet of elevation change with a lot of direct sunlight.

      Thank you so much for your help! I really appreciate it.

      Reply
        Alley Keosheyan - March 19, 2019

        Hi again, Christian!
        Your revised plan does look feasible, but again, don’t beat yourself up too bad if some of the plans, such as hiking Cathdral Rock, don’t happen. My understanding was always that it was more than a couple hours’ hike, but if the two of you are young and fit as you sound, you could probably pull it off. Speaking of things to do in the Sedona area, you might consider a visit to Montezuma’s Castle National Monument. It’s not too far out of your way between Phoenix and Sedona. The normal entrance fee is $10/adult, and factored in along with the Grand Canyon and Glen Canyon, that might make the purchase of the Annual National Park Pass a worthwhile investment. Just a though.
        In answer to some of your other queries:
        1. The selection of lodging options between Page, AZ, and Grand Canyon South Rim is very slim. There’s the Cameron Trading Post Hotel, and that’s pretty much “it.” Unfortunately, you’re traveling during what’s considered high season, so, no cost savings there. Sorry!
        2. Hate to say it, but I can’t really answer that question since it’s been years since I’ve kayaked in that area. Fluctuating water levels can often create beaches one year and wash them away the next, so my advice would be to contact your kayak rental outlet for guidance.
        3. Sunset at the Grand Canyon in late April occurs at 7:15 PM, so 7:45 PM would be an OK time. The dress code at El Tovar is casual, they just ask that you don’t wear shorts to dinner.
        4. To make an 11:00 PM flight, and turn in your rental car, I would recommend trying to get to Phoenix by 8:00 PM, which means leave Grand Canyon South Rim by 3:30 PM.
        5. See my suggestion above re: Montezuma’s Castle, or another option might be Walnut Canyon NM in Flagstaff, AZ. The NPS Fee Station at Antelope Point Marina does sell the Annual Pass, BTW.
        6. Best spots to see sunset/sunrise at the Grand Canyon? Anywhere on the canyon rim! No need to overthink. My personal favorite spot for sunset is Grandview Point. It’s ~5 miles East of Grand Canyon Village, and has good views of the river. Fast forward to the 1:08 mark on this video to see what that looks like. For sunrise, you might take an early shuttle to Yaki Point and hike down the South Kaibab Trail as far as Ooh-Aah Point. Remember there is no water on this trail, so you’ll need to bring your own, and probably a light snack at least.
        7. Additional feedback/inquiries: going all the way to Plateau Point may indeed be a bit ambitious, and if that’s the case, that’s OK. Hiking even a short distance down the Bright Angel Trail is a lot of fun, and a good way to get a sense for what life is like in the inner canyon. Just remember that 1 hour down = 2 hours up for most hikers, so keep an eye on your watch. You don’t want to miss your flight back to Phoenix! Also, on Day 3 where you drive from Page to GC with a “hike down the South Kaibab Trail” en route, that won’t happen. Yaki Point, where the South Kaibab Trailhead is located, is closed to all vehicular traffic, so, as I mentioned previously, you’ll need to take a shuttle from Grand Canyon Village there.
        So hope that helps again, if you think about it after your trip is complete, let us know how you got on!
        Alley 🙂

        Reply
Stacey G - March 5, 2019

Hi Ryan and Alley,

We’re 2 couples planning to visit in the beginning of May. Las Vegas is our starting and ending point. We’re giving ourselves 8 to 10 days and would like to visit the Grand Canyon South Rim, Page for Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Rainbow Bridge and Glen Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion NP. I’m trying to figure out how many days are needed at each place (we don’t want to rush). We want to be sure to do photography and star gazing. If time allows, we’d like add on either Monument Valley, Arches NP or Sedona. Appreciate your thoughts!

Thank you,
Stacey

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - March 6, 2019

    Hi Stacey!
    With 8-10 days to work with, you should have a wonderful vacation! If at all possible, make it 10 days, if not 12 or more. There’s a lot to see and do out here!
    A good 10-day itinerary in this area could go something like this:
    Day 1 – Drive from Las Vegas to Sedona, ~4.5 hour drive, overnight in Sedona
    Day 2 – Explore Sedona, Pink Jeep Tour, hiking, etc., spend another night in Sedona
    Day 3 – Drive from Sedona to Grand Canyon South Rim, ~2.5 hour drive, overnight at Grand Canyon
    Day 4 – Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, ~3.5-4 hour drive (I know Google maps lists it as 2.5, but there are lots of photo ops on this leg of the trip!), tour Antelope Canyon, overnight in Page, AZ
    Day 5 – Visit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise, take Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour, spend 2nd night in Page
    Day 6 – Drive from Page, AZ to Bryce, ~3 hour drive, overnight in Bryce
    Day 7 – Drive from Bryce to Zion NP, ~3 hour drive, overnight in Springdale, UT
    Day 8 – Explore Zion, spend 2nd night in Springdale, UT
    Day 9 – Drive back to Las Vegas, ~3 hour drive, detour to Valley of Fire State Park, time permitting
    As you can see, 8 days is easily filled in this part of the U.S. If you can add another day or two onto your itinerary, maybe swing through Monument Valley between the Grand Canyon and Page. The hard part will be finding lodging there as there aren’t many choices, so, push comes to shove, you could do it as a “drive by,” which will extend your drive time to ~6 hours. If you can tack another 3 days onto your trip, or — horrors! — sacrifice Sedona, you could add Moab, UT (for Arches and Canyonlands) between Page and Bryce Canyon. That would add Capitol Reef onto your itinerary by virtue of the drive you’d have to take.
    As you can see, the possibilities are practically endless! For more suggestions, visit “14 Days In The Grand Circle” on our companion site, http://www.HorseshoeBend.com
    Good luck and safe travels!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Lea Price - February 28, 2019

Hi my husband and I are flying in and out of Phoenix in July (I know it will be hot!) landing about noon sunday and heading home 10 pm. Is that enough time to hit Sedona, the grand canyon and Page/antelope canyon? Thanks!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - March 1, 2019

    Hi Lea,
    So, let me get this straight: you have until noon to 10:00 PM on a Sunday and that’s it? If that’s the case, then no, you don’t have enough time to do much of anything! You could maybe make a quick jaunt up to Sedona and that’s it — it’s a 2 hour drive, each way, from Phoenix to Sedona. With 8 hours to work with, you’d be better off sticking closer to Phoenix.
    If you want to visit Page and the Grand Canyon, you need to add at least another 3 days onto your trip time, and even then, you’re not giving enough time to Sedona. It’s one of those places where you could spend a week and still feel as though you’d only touched the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Please provide further clarification of your trip plans.
    Good luck and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
NS - February 28, 2019

Hello!

Your post is very helpful! My family is flying to Phoenix on March 16th (arriving early morning at 8am), returning on March 20th (evening 8pm) with plans to stay in Flagstaff as home base to visit the South Rim and Sedona. However, I would like to fit in a day at Page to visit Antelope Canyon and Horsebend. Glad you mentioned it’s not recommended to drive at night. What do you recommend if we wanted to visit South Rim (no hiking), Sedona, Flagstaff (to see Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monuments), and Page?

Thank you for your help!

NS

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - March 1, 2019

    Dear NS,
    Thank you so much for taking note of our advice to avoid nighttime driving. It really is for everyone’s own good!
    For your family’s safety, comfort, and enjoyment, I’d recommend NOT using Flagstaff as a base from which to explore the various attractions, unless you have no other choice. It’s a 90 minute drive, each way, from Flag (that’s what we call it here) to GC South Rim, then 2.5 hours, each way from Flag to Page. For Sedona, it’s not so bad, only ~1 hour each way. You also have to remember that your days are going to be short at the time of year you’re visiting. Sunrise occurs at about 6:30 AM, and sunset takes place about 6:30 PM. You may thing 12 hours of daylight is enough time to get your sightseeing in, but trust me, it goes by fast!
    Ideally, I’d recommend something like this:
    March 16th – Drive from Phoenix to Page at a leisurely pace, visit Wupatki/Sunset Crater en route, overnight in Page
    March 17th – Visit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise, tour Antelope Canyon, overnight in Page, AZ, again
    March 18th – Drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim, overnight at the Grand Canyon.
    March 19th – Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Sedona, overnight in Sedona
    March 20th – Sightseeing in Sedona, drive back to Phoenix that afternoon
    Hope that helps and that you have a wonderful trip!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Donna - February 18, 2019

Thank you so much for the wonderful information you share – absolutely love this site. I’m getting anxious as we are within a month window and I would really appreciate your input on a trip I am making with my college-aged daughter over her spring break from 3/8 to 3/12.

Our rough plan at this point:
3/8 – late flight into Phoenix and staying near airport
3/9 – up early and driving to the South Rim. Staying at Yavapai Lodge. Planning on hiking/shuttle bus through the Park to Hermits Rest.
3/10 – up early and driving to Page. Stopping at the sites outlined in your comments to others. Antelope Canyon lower hike at 2:30. Sunset at Horseshoe Bend.
3/11 – up early and driving to Monument Valley – would especially love some suggestions for this day. Driving back to Sedona for overnight.
3/12 – Pink Jeep tour in the morning, spa/hanging out until we head to the airport for 10:30pm overnight flight.

Would appreciate any suggestions overall about the trip or specific suggestions for tours/must do’s. Thank you in advance for sharing your experience and recommendations.

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - February 18, 2019

    Hello Donna and thank you for visiting our site!
    Your trip looks very well-planned, there aren’t many changes I’d propose making, with a couple of exceptions:
    On 03/10, sunset at Horseshoe Bend may not happen. That’s an extremely popular time for visiting the overlook, and you may find parking difficult to come by, if not impossible altogether. You might plan on visiting at sunrise the following morning. Hopefully, you’ll be staying overnight in Page, AZ, instead of planning to drive back to the South Rim. the exception of 03/11 where you’re proposing to visit Monument Valley as a “drive-by” between Page and Sedona. It takes 2 hours to drive from Page to Monument Valley, then another 3.5 hours to drive from Monument Valley to Sedona. You’ll “lose” an hour transitioning from Page, AZ, to the Navajo Indian Reservation because they observe Daylight Saving Time, whereas Page, AZ, does not, but you’ll “get it back” traveling from Monument Valley to Sedona. However, another thing to keep in mind is that your daylength at that time of year is short: sunrise occurs at ~6:30 AM and sunset at ~6:15 PM. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the country due to lack of ambient lighting, and the possible presence of deer, elk, free range cattle, and wild horses on the highways. The stretch of US98A from Flagstaff to Sedona is especially twisty and turn-y, and is definitely not recommended for driving after dusk.
    Monument Valley tours run the gamut from guided hikes to horseback rides and jeep tours. Which one you choose will depend on your tastes, budget, and timeframe. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find one that starts early enough so that you won’t risk arriving in Sedona too late. For a complete list of Monument Valley tour operators, visit Navajo Nation Parks: Monument Valley Tours
    Good luck and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Lekha Chauhan - February 13, 2019

Hello,
Ally this is a wonderful page filled with information.
I am a resident from the Caribbean Island of St Kitts and don’t have much knowledge about the places in Arizona but I have always wanted to visit Antelope Canyons it’s been on the top of my bucket list.
Me and my husband finally decided to go there this year in the month of September when we would be coming for some work in Miami. We’ll fly from Miami.
We have 3 days with us with an interest to see Antelope Canyons and horseshoe bend.
We plan to hire a car rental to get around.
Other then this we are lost as to what other places we should visit and add to the list and which airport would be the closest to the destination?
What place would you suggest we stay?
Also what would be your tips to do this trip on a budget?
Please help us island folks get and understanding of your beautiful state.
I would like to thank you in advance for your help.

Love from the Caribbean,
Lekha

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - February 14, 2019

    Hello Lekha and thank you for visiting our site, and out state!
    First off, since you didn’t specify where you were flying into from Miami, so let me recommend Las Vegas. It’s well situated to not only visit Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, but many other beautiful parks and attractions in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.
    I don’t know if you have the option to add more time to this trip, but if possible, try to tack on another couple of days. 3 days will only allow you to visit the Grand Canyon and Page, and not much more. With 5 days to work with, you could also visit Zion and Bryce Canyon.
    As for managing this trip on a budget, September, while a beautiful time of year weather-wise, is still considered peak tourist season. Hotels will be going for full rack rate with discounts being extremely hard to find, if not impossible. If you’re serious about saving money on travel to this area, the time to visit is winter, as in January or February. This is considered “off” or “shoulder” season and incentives abound for travelers prepared to deal with the colder weather.
    But assuming that changing your travel dates and timeframe isn’t an option, here’s what I’d recommend:
    Day 1 – drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim. Realistic drive time: approximately 5.5 hours. Stops to make along the way, if desired:
    Hoover Dam
    Seligman, AZ (Route 66 stalwart)
    Bearizona Wildlife Park in Williams
    Planes of Fame Museum in Valle
    IMAX Movie “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets” in Tusayan
    Overnight at the Grand Canyon , preferably somewhere in Grand Canyon Village (in-park), or Tusayan (7 miles South of park)
    Day 2 – Morning: sightseeing in Grand Canyon Village area, then drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ. Realistic drive time: 3.5-4 hours. Stops to make:
    – Grandview Point, Moran Point, Zuni Point, Papago Point, Lipan Point, Navajo Point, Desert View Watchtower (on East Rim Drive)
    – Little Colorado River Overlook
    Cameron Trading Post
    – Chinle formation views
    – The “Cut” Overlook
    Horseshoe Bend
    Overnight in Page, AZ (for more competitively priced lodging, look to the “Street Of Little Motels”)
    Day 3 – Tour Antelope Canyon – for best rates, tour at “off-peak hour” time slots, such as earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. If interested, you might also consider taking the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip and spending another night in Page, AZ, or driving over to Zion and spending the night in Springdale, UT.
    The drive back to Las Vegas from Page, AZ, is approximately 4.5 hours. From Springdale, the return trip is approximately 3 hours.
    As previously mentioned, if September is the only option you have for traveling to this area, you won’t be able to save much money on lodging, but one area you still have control over is food. You might consider picking up an inexpensive cooler in Las Vegas and hitting a supermarket on your way out of town to stock up on sandwich fixings and preferred beverages. That way you don’t have to spend a ton of money eating out 3 meals a day. In Page, AZ, many of the properties on the “Street of Little Motels” come equipped with full kitchens, so you can do your own cooking.
    Good luck and safe travels from American Southwest!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Dipti Garg - February 12, 2019

Hi Alley

I came across this website while searching itineraries for Antelope and surrounding parks and attractions.
Would you be able to suggest me an itinerary for Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Bryce and Zion National Park.
I am planning to travel in the first week of March this year with my husband and 6 year old daughter. We are trying to fly to Vegas from Toronto and looking for a self drive option instead of bus tours so trying hard to keep our drive time limited to 5-6 hours max a day. An overnight stay or if needed two nights stay at Lake Powell is what we are looking at. But, please guide if you think one if enough or if there’s any other place you recommend for an overnight stay.

And if I have to choose between Lower and Upper Antelope which one is feasible with a child on board. Or can we do both given we have two days to cover these places. We are not planning to go hiking or trekking at any of the parks.
Your feedback will be a great help!!

Thanks 🙂

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - February 12, 2019

    Hello Dipti,
    It’s good that you’re already planning to self-drive on your vacation as that is always the best way to go in this part of the country!
    Using Las Vegas as your “staging city,” you could do something like this:
    Day 1 – drive to Grand Canyon, stay overnight at GC (LAS-GC drive time ~4.5 hours)
    Day 2 – drive to Page, AZ, tour Antelope Canyon (GC-Page drive time ~3.5 hours), stay overnight in Page
    Day 3 – visit Horseshoe Bend at sunrise, drive to Bryce Canyon, overnight in Bryce (PGA-Bryce drive time ~3 hours)
    Day 4 – drive to Zion National Park, stay overnight in Springdale, UT (Bryce-Zion drive time ~2 hours)
    Day 5 – spend 2nd night in Zion
    Day 6 – drive back to Las Vegas (Zion/Springdale – LAS drive time: ~3 hours)
    The first week of March, weather will be cold, so be prepared by packing a few pieces of warmer clothing, jacket, gloves, scarves, etc.
    As to whether you should tour Upper or Lower Antelope, a 6-year-old is usually on that “dividing line” between Upper and Lower. If you think your child would be able to handle a few stairs and ladders, and scramble over a few small boulders, they should be able to handle Lower. If not, choose Upper. It is not necessary to tour both Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon in order to have a fulfilling visit to Page, AZ. Many Antelope Canyon Tours are already sold out, so you’ll need to act quickly. To gauge whether your 6YO would be OK in Lower Antelope, watch this Full Video Walk-Through of Lower Antelope Canyon.
    Good luck and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
      Dipti - March 3, 2019

      Really appreciate your feedback Alley.
      Thank you so much.
      I do have a few questions about the itinerary. Since we’ve already been to the Grand Canyon back in 2010 our goal is to cover the Antelope, horseshoe bend, Bryce & Zion in roughly 3 days. Let me know if this plan looks doable :
      Day 1 – Leave LV early and cover the Antelope Canyon and horshoe bend and overnight in Page.
      Day 2 – Leave Page and cover Bryce and Zion and overnight at one of the closest motel/hotel.
      Day 3 – Drive back to Vegas.

      Also if the weather conditions are not favourable in Bryce or Zion we might skip that and would rather go to Monument Valley.

      Can you plz recommend us any specific scenic routes. And any tips or must see places enroute.

      TIA!

      Dipti

      Reply
        Alley Keosheyan - March 4, 2019

        Hey Dipti,
        Sorry, friend, you’re trying to do too much in too short a timeframe.
        Your plan on day 1 is doable – the drive from Las Vegas to Page, AZ, takes ~4.5 hours, so with an early start, you can tour Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend that afternoon. Be sure you make your Antelope Canyon tour reservations well in advance.
        On day 2 is where you are IMO getting overly ambitious. It takes approximately 3 hours to drive from Page, AZ, to Bryce Canyon. It takes a minimum of 3 hours to hit the viewpoints along the park’s scenic drive. You’re then looking at another 2 hours to drive from Bryce to Springdale, UT. If you’re not staying at Zion Lodge, you’ll have to ride the shuttle from Springdale on the main scenic drive. Factor in at least another hour to sort out parking, etc. Depending on when your visit is, you could be working against a short daylength, also. In March, sunrise in Springdale, UT, occurs at approximately 7:00 AM, and sunset takes place at about 6:30 PM. You want to make sure you are done with all driving by nightfall. Springdale, UT, would be the most logical place to stay as that will put you ~2.5 hours from Las Vegas.

        Another thing to keep in mind if your trip is coming up within the near future is that some rockslides have occurred recently which have resulted in the closure of the Zion-Mt. Carmel drive. That is the main traffic artery into the park via Bryce, and it is expected to remain closed long-term. If this is the case when you visit, you’ll have to enter Zion National Park from the West, which will add more driving onto an already long day on the road.

        I’m not saying that your plan can’t be done, I’m saying that it won’t be as pleasant as it would be if you could somehow add another day or two onto your trip. BTW, using Monument Valley as a “plan B” isn’t optimal either as that will put you ~7 hours from Las Vegas.
        Sorry to be the bearer of semi-bad news, but I’d rather see you enjoy your vacation here rather than rush through it.
        Good luck and safe travels,
        Alley 🙂

        Reply
Bo Bo - January 26, 2019

Hi Alley,

Thank you so much for posting a lot of helpful information.

I am planning to visit Page , AZ on 3rd week of April. We have 4 adults and two kids (9 1/2 and 6 1/2 years old). I already have some ideas where to go, but I am not sure if it will work well. Can you please give me some advice?

Day 1 – Drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas – stay 1 night
Day 2 – LV AM drives to Page 1 night
Day 3 -Sunrise Horseshoe Bend back to hotel for breakfast, 10:30 tour Antelope Canyon , please advise lower or upper
Day 4 – Bryce Canyon hiking a little bit , in the afternoon will drive back to LV stay overnight
Day 5 LV drives back to San Francisco

Thank you, Bo Bo

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - January 26, 2019

    Hi Bo Bo and thank you for visiting our site!
    My first impression is that you’ve got way too much driving required to pull this off, especially with young children in tow.
    On Day 1, for example, you’re proposing to do at least 9 hours driving from SF to Las Vegas. Are your kids going to be OK with sitting in a car for that long? If so, this itinerary might work. If not, you might want to consider breaking up your first day’s drive somewhere like Sequoia National Park, maybe overnighting in Three Rivers, CA.
    It will then take another 5 hours or so to drive from Las Vegas to Page, AZ, on Day 3. Take an Antelope Canyon tour in the afternoon, then visit Horseshoe Bend the following morning. RE: which branch of Antelope Canyon you should tour, it depends on how much hiking your party is willing to do – or not do. Upper Antelope is an easy, flat 100-yard walk to the end of the canyon and back. There is a 2-mile buckboard truck ride required to get to the mouth of the canyon. Lower Antelope is longer (~600m), and more physical: you must be able to navigate several ladders and do some simple bouldering to enjoy it fully. It’s a good idea to watch this Full Walk-Through Video of Lower Antelope Canyon before committing. Whichever you decide, advance reservations should be made ASAP.
    Now if you absolutely have to get back to San Francisco by Day 5, you’d probably have to drop Bryce Canyon from your “wish list.” It takes approximately 3 hours to drive from Page, AZ, to Bryce Canyon. It would then take another 4-4.5 hours to drive to Las Vegas from Bryce Canyon. As it is, you’re still looking at a 12-hour drive to get from Page, AZ, back to San Francisco, with a possible stopover in Barstow, CA.
    Long story short, it would be best if you could add at least a couple more days to your itinerary in order to make it feel like a vacation instead of a long drive for essentially one day of touring. I know, I’m originally from California myself and took my share of road trips and remember that 4-5 hours in the car was pushing it, and I liked traveling.
    Now onto my second impression: the Grand Canyon is conspicuously absent from this itinerary. Have you already been there? If not, I recommend prioritizing it first. After all, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. In terms of drive time, it will be about the same as driving to Page, AZ. Obtaining advance reservations in either place will be a must, and one word of warning: you’ll probably have to get two hotel rooms. Arizona State fire codes prohibit more than 5 people staying in one room. Page, AZ, has vacation rental homes, but Grand Canyon hotels do not. Just something to be prepared for.
    Good luck and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Vikrant Jain - December 15, 2018

Hi Alley,
Thanks for sharing lot of details and information on your website which is really helpful.
I am planning to visit Page, AZ during Spring break (April) or June and will be flying in & out from Las Vegas.
I’ll be travelling with my wife and two kids (5yr & 1yr) and do you think any other time will be good to travel with kids. I have already

visited Grand Canyon twice (West & South Rim).
From your website the 2 Day Itinerary looks perfect for me but I am planning to add if possible Grand Canyon North Rim. I am looking

forward to visit the following attractions:-

1.Grand Canyon North Rim
2.Horseshoe Bend
3.Antelope Canyon (Upper but if possible try to look lower too)
4.Rainbow Bridge National Monument
5.Glen Canyon Dam & lake Powell
Any other near by attractions either in AZ or in UT which can be covered with kids and in that case we can leave grand canyon north rim.

I’ll be starting in morning from LV so do you think if anything can get covered on the same day or not. If not, what all are the options

to add for that day.

From the details mentioned on the website, I am having few questions regarding the Antelope Canyon, Option 1 Glen Canyon Half Day Float

Trip & Option 2 the Lake Powell & Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour. Whether on all these tours I’ll be allowed with my 1yr old kid or not. I know

for Option 1 Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip, it starts from ages 4 and up but for rest I am not able to find this information.
Also for visiting these places do i need to book a tour or it can be drive through Car. If tours needs to be booked for all of them then

please suggest which tours allows 1yr old for visiting these attractions. Can we travel with a diaper bag in the tours or not.

We are pure vegetarians and need to know whether fooding is available near by for veg (No meat, chicken etc.) We are planning to spend

couple of nights in Page, AZ to avoid long drives and enjoy most of the attractions. So which can be the good lodging option either with

Kitchennete or BnB.
Thanks,
Vikrant

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - December 15, 2018

    Hi Vikrant,
    See my reply to your earlier inquiry 🙂
    Alley

    Reply
Vikrant Jain - December 14, 2018

Hi Alley,
First of all, I find your website really good and informative which is really useful.
I am planning a trip to Page, AZ either in spring break (April) or June with my wife and 2 kids (5yr and 1yr old). I’ll be flying in and out from Las Vegas. I have been to LV thrice and even Grand Canyon West & South rim but now planning to explore other attractions near by LV and for which I felt Page, AZ would be the best option.
I’ll be driving from LV to Page, AZ and will be staying out there. Although bookings are not yet done so looking forward for your advice to plan my itinerary.
I’ll be driving from LV in the morning and is planning to cover these attractions:-
1.Grand Canyon, North rim
2.Horseshoe Bend
3.Antelope Canyon (Upper), since it will be easy with kids or can lower & upper both be done.
4.Rainbow Bridge National Monument
5.Glen Canyon Dam & Lake Powell
6.Vermilion Cliffs National Monument (if possible)
Any other interesting near by attractions (either in UT) which can be covered with kids. and then driving back to LV

From the details mentioned in your website, I feel the 2 day itinerary mentioned will perfectly fit in my plan and Day 1 looks promising to cover. Regarding the day 2, it looks like Option 1 Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip, will not be possible for us since my kid will be 1yr old and can we make Option 2 Lake Powell & Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour with 1yr as age limit is not mentioned in it.
Also we are vegetarians (no meat, chicken, beef etc) so are there veg options around for fooding and which can be the best lodging option near by all these attractions so that less driving can be done to enjoy the places.
Also whether all these attractions can be covered by car or do I have to purchase any tickets or tours.
Thanks,
Vikrant Jain

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - December 15, 2018

    Hello Vikrant and thank you for your visit!
    With a 1-year-old in tow, you will be somewhat limited on your options, which is entirely for their safety. Still, you should be able to have a fun and memorable trip to this area.
    First off, if you have your heart set on seeing Grand Canyon North Rim, you will have to schedule your trip for June. The visitor facilities at the North Rim do not open until May 15th, and they typically book out 1 year in advance. You might be able to find availability at the Kaibab Lodge (20 minutes North of the park) or Jacob Lake Inn (1 hour North), but if those properties are also full, you may want to save the North Rim for another time when you are able to make plans further ahead of time. Grand Canyon North Rim Hotels
    The Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour is another item on your “wish list” I would recommend saving for another trip, specifically, when your youngest is a bit older. Though younger children are allowed on the tour, it’s not recommended for children under the age of 4, mainly because it’s a very long tour (6-7 hours depending on lake level), and the hike from the boat dock to the bridge itself can be anywhere from 1-1.5 miles EACH WAY, again depending on the level of Lake Powell. Somebody would probably end up carrying the 1-year-old, which would be quite taxing, especially in June, when it’s extremely hot. If a boat tour is what you were specifically wanting to experience, you might consider one of several shorter tours, such as the Canyon Princess Dinner Cruise or the Antelope Canyon Waterside tour. If it was Rainbow Bridge that you were specifically wanting to see, a more efficient way to do so would be to fly over it. Fixed-wing airplanes depart from the Page Municipal Airport daily, usually first thing in the morning, and can take you over Rainbow Bridge, and a significant area of Lake Powell, in just 30 minutes. Children under 2 travel free as long as they’re seated on the lap of an adult. Rainbow Bridge Air Tour
    As to the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, this area is easily incorporated as a “drive-by” en route from Grand Canyon North Rim to Page, AZ. Even if you don’t stop at the North Rim, you can route your drive from Las Vegas to Page so that your itinerary takes you past the Vermillion Cliffs between Jacob Lake and Marble Canyon, AZ. Time permitting, you might even drive up to the Colorado River’s edge and wade a short way into the water, just to say you’ve done so 😉 Don’t go too far in, though, the water in the river is very cold!
    Of the branches of Antelope Canyon, Upper is the one that is safest for young children, as you’ve deduced. It is not necessary to tour both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon to have a fulfilling visit to Page, AZ. With any extra time you find, you could visit the Glen Canyon Dam Visitors Center, the John Wesley Powell Museum, the Wahweap Overlook, or the Glen Canyon Dam Overlook (aka the “White House” overlook locally). All the afore-mentioned areas may be visited by car. Antelope Canyon, however, does require a guided tour, which should be booked well in advance of your arrival. Upper Antelope Canyon tour outfitters do allow diaper bags to be brought, but they must be left in the vehicle while you are touring the canyon.
    Horseshoe Bend is best visited first thing in the morning due to the fact it gets very crowded at mid-day and parking might be difficult or impossible to find.
    Regarding your diet, as long as you’re OK with dairy products like yogurt, cheese, etc., you should have no problem being accommodated at local restaurants. If you are vegans, and eat no animal products whatsoever, you might want to call ahead to restaurants where you’re interested in dining to determine if they would be compatible.
    For lodging with kitchenettes, you might visit VRBO, Flipkey, or Homeaway to browse availability of vacation rental homes. Many Page, AZ, rental homes require a 2-night minimum stay. If this does not appeal/is not possible, you might consider staying at one of several motels in what’s known as the “Old Quarter” of Page, AZ. These motels are actually apartments that have been re-purposed for tourists, but for the price of a traditional hotel, you get a unit with separate sleeping areas, and a full kitchen, stocked with pots, pans, dishes, etc. The only property not listed on that link, since it was in a change of ownership at the time, is the Desert Canyon Inn, formerly known as Debbie’s Hideaway.
    So, all that said, with 1 day at Grand Canyon North Rim and 1 day at Page, AZ, you can have a wonderful visit to Northern Arizona. If you decide to leave the North Rim off the table, just plan on staying in Page, AZ for 2 nights. Even with the limitations on what you can/should do, you’d still have a great time.
    I hope I covered all your inquiries!
    Good luck and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Catherine - November 25, 2018

What a wonderful forum, thank you.

I’m planning a trip last week of June with husband, two son’s (20,22) and a girlfriend. Flying into LV spending few days there, no hotel booked yet.

Plan: hotel already booked in Zion, so order is in somewhat reversed. Any suggestions welcomed.

leave early from LV drive to LP region hitting Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe bend. Thinking of staying at LP Motel in town vs on the Lake.
Day 2 in LP- renting boat ourselves and spending day on water, exploring caves was our original plan or should we do Glen Canyon 1/2 float. Thinking we should stay overnight LP and leave early to drive to Zion, Desert Pearl in already booked for two nights. Then drive back to Vegas.

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - November 26, 2018

    Hi Catherine, and thank you for visiting!
    Before I say anything, I have to point out that the Grand Canyon is conspicuously absent from your itinerary. Therefore, I’m assuming you’ve already been there and do not feel the need to revisit it. If you haven’t, I recommend prioritizing it and dropping one park from your itinerary.
    With the limited amount of time you have to give to Page/Lake Powell, you will have to make a choice between the Glen Canyon Float Trip or a boat rental. In terms of scenery, it’s an “apples to oranges” comparison: the GC Float Trip will take you down a 15-mile rapids-free stretch of the Colorado River, and your raft will be piloted by a trained captain, so you can kick back and relax. If you were to opt for the boat rental, you’d have to do the work of navigating, piloting, etc. As for “exploring caves,” depending on the water level, there may not be many (or any) caves to see, but I wouldn’t let that deter you from this activity. The scenery would consist of more wide-open spaces, highlighted by red rock formations of varying heights and shapes, and beaches to relax on should you desire. Since either activity will have you in the hot summer sun for the better part of a day, you will be tired, no matter what you do. I would strongly recommend overnighting in Page, AZ, then heading to the Desert Pearl. The Lake Powell Motel is a cute property, it used to be called “Bashful Bob’s” and had something of a cult following back in the day. What I like about it is that for the price of a traditional hotel/motel, you get an apartment with a full kitchen and separate living and sleeping areas. Plus, it’s “off the main drag,” but close enough to restaurants, museums, stores, etc. in Page.
    Good luck and safe travels – have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Ellen - November 21, 2018

Hi. this is such a useful site that we would like to mirror for our upcoming trip to Page!! May i check if you think Xmas is a good time to visit? the native american fun dining was also closed from nov 1 – march, so just curious if its a bad season to go? thank you!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - November 21, 2018

    Hi Ellen, and thank you for your visit today!
    Christmas is a wonderful time to travel in Northern Arizona and visitor numbers definitely seem to support that sentiment. However, as you’ve discovered, some activities are on seasonal hiatus. “Into The Grand” appears to be one; others worth noting are water-based activities such as Lake Powell Boat Tours and the Glen Canyon Float Trip . Daytime temperatures are a usually too cold to enjoy these anyway.
    The good news is, though, the majority of Page, AZ’s other signature activities are in full operational mode, including the Horseshoe Bend Overlook, Antelope Canyon and other slot canyon tours, the John Wesley Powell Museum, and the Glen Canyon Dam… just to name a few.
    Even though some local activities are scaled back for the season, Christmas remains a busy time of year, so all lodging and guided tours should be reserved ASAP. Don’t worry, you’ll find plenty of wonderful ways to occupy your time! Start monitoring the weather about 2 weeks before you get ready to travel, and be prepared to pack clothing suitable for cooler weather, including jackets, scarves, and gloves.
    Best wishes for safe travels, and a Happy Holiday Season 🙂
    Alley

    Reply
donna - November 1, 2018

Hi. Thank you so much for your post! I need some additional advice and hope you can help. My family and I will be visiting Sedona and Scottsdale for the first time next April arriving on March 30 and leaving on April 6. I’m struggling with our itinerary because it seems there is so much to do and see. We are staying in Sedona from 3/30 to 4/3 and then spending 4/3 -4/5 in Scottsdale.

I already booked the Pink Jeep tour for Sunday march 31, leaving from Sedona. Other than that our itinerary is open, and we want to do the following things, if possible:

1. Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend
2. maybe see the south rim of the Grand Canyon
3. Easy trail bike ride in the sedona area (would need bike rental)
4. is there something called splippery rock falls in sedona?
5. is there anything else in sedona that’s a “must do”?

Would you help me plan an itinerary? Are there any tour tix that I need to purchase in advance?

Finally, are there any ” Must Do’s” in Scottsdale?

Thank you so so so much in advance for your advice. My friend said you were a tremendous help when she was planning her trip out west.

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - November 1, 2018

    Hi Donna and thank you for visiting our site!
    My first question would be are you locked into your hotel reservations in Sedona and/or Scottsdale? If not, you might want to rethink your plans a bit so you can spend the night at the Grand Canyon, and also at Page, AZ (gateway city for Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend). The main reason I suggest this is because of the driving distances involved. The drive from Sedona, AZ to Grand Canyon South Rim takes ~2.5 hours each way; similarly, the drive from Sedona, AZ to Page, AZ takes ~3 hours. However, these figures rarely materialize IRL as they are wheels turning, no stops. Both drives are very scenic and you’ll no doubt find yourself stopping to take photos.
    Another consideration: sunset and/or sunrise at the Grand Canyon really shouldn’t be missed, and you don’t want to be driving back to Sedona or Scottsdale at night. Ambient/artificial lighting is kept to a bare minimum in Northern Arizona. What’s more, wildlife like deer, elk, coyotes, and such have a tendency to hang around the roadsides after dusk, ratcheting up your risk of getting into a car accident.
    If possible, get a hotel room at the Grand Canyon and at Page, AZ as well.
    As for “Slippery Rock,” I think you’re actually thinking of Slide Rock State Park. This is a natural waterslide that is one of Sedona’s most popular attractions. Unfortunately, at the time of year you’re visiting, it might be a bit too cold to get into the water. Therefore, you might want to plan doing some other things, which, fortunately, are in no short supply in Sedona! If you’re interested in a bike rental, there are several companies in town who can supply the equipment, and suggest good, easy trails for your family. For other recommendations, go to http://www.VisitSedona.com
    For Scottsdale/Phoenix, popular activities and attractions include but certainly aren’t limited to, Old Town Scottsdale, Taliesin West, the Commemorative Air Force Museum, and the Desert Botanical Garden.
    As for tour tickets to purchase in advance, Antelope Canyon is definitely one to have lined out before you arrive. In the event you find Antelope Canyon tours sold out, there are numerous slot canyons in Page, AZ that are just as beautiful and a lot less crowded.
    Hope the helps – have a safe trip and a happy Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
      Donna - November 3, 2018

      We are committed to our place in Sedona however we could re-think Scottsdale and maybe book a night in one or both of the other places you mentioned. Thanks for the advice!!!

      Reply
        Alley Keosheyan - November 3, 2018

        Donna,
        Good call – spending the night at one or both destinations will certainly make for a more relaxed and IMO enjoyable experience for your family.
        Take care,
        Alley 🙂

        Reply
Matt - September 11, 2018

Hi Alley,

Thanks for the awesome post ! My wife and I are planning to travel to AZ for 2.5 days (3 days, 2 night), starting and ending in Phoenix.

We plan to stay in Page for both nights so the first day will be driving from
Phoenix for 1st day. We are definitely going to the Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks and the Wupatki/Sunset Crater, maybe include the Antelope Canyon Boat Tour as well.

On second day we plan to go West to try our luck in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor center, on the way back visiting The Paria Rimrocks-Toadstools Trail. In the afternoon visit the lower antelope canyon and if time permit, drive to the famous Forrest Gump Point and go back to page.

Day 3 we will be going to horseshoe bend again for sunrise and tour canyon X before heading back to Phoenix for a night flight (or 1% going for The Wave if we won).

Do you think our plan is too aggressive? or a “better question” to ask is, if driving all the way to the Mexican Hat, Utah is worth it.

Thanks!
Matt

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - September 11, 2018

    Hi Matt, and thank you for visiting our site.
    Yes, I think your plan is a bit too aggressive. I think you’re underestimating drive times between attractions, plus you’re assuming that your flight to Phoenix will arrive on time and that your rental car check in will go smoothly.
    First off, on day 1, you’re looking at a 4.5 hour drive minimum from Phoenix to Page. However, that rarely materializes as the drive is very scenic, and you’ll no doubt find ample photo opportunities that warrant a stop, not counting Wupatki/Sunset Crater and Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks! You should allow 90 minutes-2 hours to tour Wupatki/Sunset Crater. Although the detour to Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks isn’t very long, you could very well see a 4.5 hour drive turn into a ~6+ hour trip. I don’t recall seeing when you were planning to visit, but if your trip is planned for the fall or winter months, keep in mind that daylength is rapidly shortening and you want to be sure that you’ve reached your destination well before sunset. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the country due to the lack of artificial lighting on local roadways, and the possible presence of deer, elk and other nocturnal wildlife that pose a very real hazard to drivers unfamiliar with the area.
    On Day 2, your plan to go all the way to Mexican Hat and back after the Wave lottery is unrealistic. It takes 1 hour each way to drive from Page to Kanab, UT. The lottery process takes anywhere from 1-2 hours. It then takes ~2.5 hours – each way – to drive from Page, AZ to “Forest Gump Point” (Mexican Hat). Besides, it would be a shame to go all that way and not make time to stop at Goosenecks State Park. It’s like seeing not one but two Horseshoe Bends side by side! So, unless you can free up the time to spend another night, I’d save the Monument Valley area for another trip.
    Good luck and hope that helps,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
      Matt - September 13, 2018

      Hi Alley,

      Thanks for that super quick reply! We did revise our plan based on your suggestion. We decided to remove The Wave all together in the trip. We are going in a month! Being in the late twenties, we are really hoping to find the best place to get that photo to share to friends/family. Here’s the revised Day 2 and Day 3 plans, can you let me know if this is better (or worse)?

      Day 2:
      Sunrise in Horseshoe bend
      Photo Tour in Canyon X (10am Tour)
      Drive to Goosenecks State Park by 3:30pm! (Thanks to your idea, its right next to parking right ?)
      Forrest Gump Point (Yes …we are huge movie fans and don’t want to miss that)
      Back to Page (With sunset time around 6pm in Oct), leaving Forrest Gump Point by 5:00 to 5:30 should safely get us back in 2 hours. (Nautical Twilight will end around 6:45pm)

      Day 3:
      Lower Antelope Canyon
      Glen Canyon Dam
      Drive back to Phoenix

      How do you feel about the plan if we really want to visit the Forrest Gump Point? We don’t mind getting in and out just to capture that picture.

      In addition, could you provide a guide as to where to pay those park parking with the above plan? There’s so many guides online as to where to go but we are confused as to whether we should pay individual parking for each place.

      Thanks in advance!
      Matt

      Reply
        Alley Keosheyan - September 13, 2018

        Hi again, Matt!
        If you have your heart set on going to Forrest Gump Point and the Goosenecks, then I would advise against doing any other tours that day. It is not necessary to do both Lower Antelope Canyon and Antelope Canyon X. They bear enough of a resemblance to one another that they would probably seem somewhat redundant, and your schedule has no margin for redundancy. Therefore, I would suggest doing just the day trip to Mexican Hat on Day 2, then visiting Horseshoe Bend, slot canyon tour and Glen Canyon Dam tour on Day 3.
        As for which parks require a fee, Antelope X and Lower Antelope Canyon are Native American Tribal Parks, so your tribal park fee will be included in the cost of your tour. Hang onto that receipt in case you want to do part of the Monument Valley drive (although you shouldn’t in a rental car). Goosenecks State Park requires a $5.00/vehicle entrance fee. The Glen Canyon Dam Tour is $5.00/person. Although there is no “formal” charge for visiting the Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks, the guides do appreciate gratuities. Parking at Horseshoe Bend is, at the present time, free of charge.
        If you choose to enter Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, there is a $25/vehicle entrance fee. It is not necessary to enter that area unless you’re wanting to explore or walk around down by Lake Powell. Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monument also takes a $25/vehicle entry fee. If you think you might be visiting additional National Parks, Monuments or Federal Fee areas within a year’s time, you might consider purchasing the “America The Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass.” For $80, this card grants you access to ALL National Parks and Monuments in the US for 1 year.
        Good luck!
        Alley 🙂

        Reply
          Matt - September 14, 2018

          Hi again Alley!

          Advice taken! What would you recommend in terms of general outfit in Early – Mid October?

          Weather forecast predicts a daily range between 50 to 75 degrees, which seems pretty cool to me (I’m from LA). With the slot canyon photo-tour and Mexican hat, would you say we should pack shorts/hiking hats/sun protection…etc? Or would it be more of a winter outfit with long sleeves and jackets.

          It would be really awesome if you can briefly talk about recommended outfits for us!

          Thanks!
          Matt

          Reply
          Alley Keosheyan - September 17, 2018

          Hey again, Matt!
          October is a wonderful time to be here. Weather is usually stable and pleasant, so the typical daytime hiking outfit of shorts, t-shirt, etc. usually suffices in more exposed areas like Horseshoe Bend and inner Grand Canyon trails. However, a cool snap or even an early season storm (which is rare) can move through at any time, so stash some warmer clothing in your pack in the event the temperature suddenly drops.
          Inside Antelope Canyon, the temperature remains constantly cool, so the long sleeved shirt and long pants would probably come in handy.
          Thanks again and happy traveling,
          Alley 🙂

          Reply
          Matt Lau - October 1, 2018

          Hi Alley,

          Looks like this trip might turn into a big mess with the rain coming up in this week.

          How likely would you say places like Antelope Canyon / Horseshoe bend would look in rainy weather. Or, is there any places you would recommend going if the weather is really bad?

          Thank you!
          Matt

          Reply
          Alley Keosheyan - October 1, 2018

          Hey Matt,
          Yeah, we were caught by surprise by Rosa, too! Normally, by this time of year, flash flood season would be pretty much over.
          Horseshoe Bend should not be closed at all, but you’ll still need to exercise caution if strong winds or rain occur during your visit. You might catch some neat temporary waterfalls in Glen Canyon!
          If there is any threat of flooding at all, slot canyon tours will not operate. If this occurs when you are scheduled to tour, your tour operator will give you the option to reschedule. If this is not possible, you’ll receive a refund.
          If bad weather puts the kabosh on outdoor activities, there are some options for indoor fun you might consider, such as Gunfighter Canyon (indoor shooting range), the John Wesley Powell Memorial Museum, Into the Grand Dance & Dinner Show, the Carl Hayden Visitors Center at Glen Canyon Dam, the dinosaur exhibits at the Big Water Visitors Center … just to name a few.
          Good luck and let us know how you get on!
          Alley 🙂

          Reply
          Matt - October 9, 2018

          Hey Alley,

          Thought I should reply and let you know about the trip!

          We were there last weekend and the thunderstorm and rain was horrifying but still didn’t stop us from taking good photos in Horseshoe Bend. Despite the clouds, we managed to do a little bit of star gazing and astrophotography there when we stay through the night, we even saw the SpaceX rocket!

          We also spent a day in Monument Valley, which we are so glad we went because that was almost the only sunny day we got. Those breathtaking scenes, epic landscapes, and even the road for Forrest Gump Point was fun!

          Admittedly, we were a little disappointed by weather and our slot canyon tour got cancelled , but we caught rainbow in the Horseshoe Bend, and double rainbow later in the day too!

          Thanks for providing all the useful information for our plans. We will be back!

          Thanks,
          Matt

          Reply
          Alley Keosheyan - October 9, 2018

          Hi Matt, and thanks for taking the time to let us know how your trip went! So sorry to hear that your slot canyon tour got cancelled, but believe me, it was for everyone’s safety. As you saw first-hand, conditions were horrible. Glad you made it to Monument Valley and that the weather at least cooperated for that part of your trip. Hope you do get a chance to come back when you have more time to spend! https://horseshoebend.com/grand-canyon-zion-moab-14-days-grand-circle/
          Take care and thank you again for visiting our site,
          Alley 🙂

          Reply
          Matt - December 17, 2018

          Hey Annie!

          It’s been a while, happy holiday!

          I just got the lottery for The Wave for next February and thought I should ask your opinions. I know it might be very cold at that time but I think I should really take the chance and visit AZ again!

          Since I wasn’t able to check out the slot canyon, I am planning to visit page as well during my 3 day trip. Do you have any recommendation? I read that the wave would require a 4WD/AWD to enter? Does that mean I am better off staying in Kanab the night before and Page the other night?

          Thanks in advance as always!

          Matt

          Reply
          Alley Keosheyan - December 17, 2018

          Hey again, Matt, and congrats on winning the Wave lottery! Yes, February will be cold, but if at all possible, bundle up and go for it.
          All slot canyon tours will be running in the month of February, and the likelihood of torrential rain, like what you encountered if I recall correctly, is low. As for which one you visit, I’d recommend either Lower Antelope, Antelope X, or Cathedral Slot Canyon. There are plenty of good options around Kanab, UT, too, including Buckskin Gulch, Willis Creek, Zebra, Peek-A-Boo, Whichever you choose, just be sure you have an advance reservation. Though February is a slower time here, it can still be busy and tours can and do sell out.
          As for where to stay prior to hiking The Wave, Kanab, UT, is a good option, but then again, so is Page, AZ. Either town is ~45 miles from the Wire Pass Trailhead, where you start your hike to The Wave. The general recommendation is that your wheels should be turning down the House Rock Valley Road just as the sun is beginning to come up. As for requiring 4WD/AWD, that might be handy to have since the House Rock Valley Road could be slick from prior storm activity. Best case scenario, it’s still an unpaved road, so caution should be exercised. Better yet, hire a local guide service to take you out there. Their vehicles are equipped with beefier suspensions than standard passenger vehicles, plus the guides know all the cool sites around the Wave that you might miss if you’re not familiar with the area.
          For more tips on getting the most out of your visit to The Wave, visit our companion site, http://www.TheWaveAZ.com
          Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and please let us know how your trip went!
          Alley 🙂

          Reply
Alyse Tumelson - September 11, 2018

Alley, I have poured through much of your information here and it has been very helpful. You seem to be the go-to for trip planning in Arizona/Utah! Amazingly, we won the lottery to hike The Wave this October (dream come true!), which prompted my research of the area. The more I read, the more things ended up on my “must do” list, and so I have planned a trip for next May. Below is my proposed itinerary. We plan to do a separate trip of Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce. I would be so grateful for any hints or advice before I make all the hotel reservations.

About us: We are mid-30’s, husband and wife pair, going without the kids. We enjoy active things (hiking, swimming, etc.) and photography. I enjoy art but shopping isn’t really my thing. We like wine 🙂

May 2019 Arizona Itinerary

May 21: Flight to Flagstaff. 5p.m. meeting with trip leaders.

May 22: Havasupai hike into canyon (4-day Wildland Trekking Backpacking Tour)

May 23-24: Havasupai day hiking

May 25: Havasupai hike out. Transport back to Flagstaff. End around 5 p.m.
Hotel stay in Flagstaff.
(***Find a wine bar or something funky to do at night to unwind after 4 days of grubby hiking…suggestions?)

May 26: Rent car and drive to Sedona (1 hour drive, still on MST)
Things to do on Sedona days: Slide Rock State Park, Chapel of Holy Cross, Oak Creek Canyon, Vortexes, get a massage somewhere
(Need to research Sedona more. Any suggestions are welcome!)

May 27-28: Sedona

May 29: Early check out and drive to Page (3-3.5 hours, still on MST)
Horseshoe Bend
Lake Powell & Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour: 12:30-7:00

May 30:
Morning photography tour of Upper Antelope Canyon (~2 hours in duration, company is on MST)
Afternoon Canyon X tour: 2 or 3pm? (~2 hours)
(Can these two be done in one day? We wanted the chance to experience the less crowded one as well.)
Sunset at Glen Canyon Dam Overlook if we are not too tired

May 31: Drive to Kanab (1.5 hours, LOSE an hour crossing over to Kanab, so leave 2.5 hours before tour starts)
Kanab 7-8hr tour of White Pocket
Drive back to Page and stay the night (Gain the hour back)

June 1: Early am check out and drive to Monument Valley (~2.5 hours)
Check in to The View Hotel and enjoy the scenery

June 2: Travel home
Drive back to Flagstaff (~4hours)
Fly out in the evening

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - September 11, 2018

    Dear Alyse,
    Wow, congratulations on winning a Wave permit! Not surprised that planning the trip led you down the inevitable “rabbit hole” of other cool stuff to see and do in the Grand Circle area.
    Your itinerary looks pretty fun, but still might warrant a few modifications in order to avoid backtracking. To that end, I would suggest going to Monument Valley before hitting Page. That way you can tour Lower Antelope Canyon or Canyon X (no need to do both) on your way into town since you’ll be passing right by them as you travel on US98. By the way, Monument Valley is another one of those “lose an hour/gain it back” situations since the Navajo Reservation DOES observe Daylight Savings Time, while the rest of Arizona (including Antelope Canyon tour operators) doesn’t. Horseshoe Bend may be visited whenever you wish — in theory, anyway. Parking and traffic congestion are real problems during the peak visitation hours between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. In order to avoid all that craziness, you might plan your visit there first thing in the morning, and I do mean first thing, as in just after sunrise. If not, maybe consider some alternate means of seeing it, such as an airplane or helicopter tour, shuttle, or horseback ride.
    The tour of White Pocket is amazing, but there’s no need to drive all the way over to Kanab in order to take one. There are several tour operators out of Page, AZ who are authorized to visit that area, including:
    Grand Circle Tours 928-691-0166 http://www.VermilionCliffs.net
    Vermilion Adventures (a division of Roger Ekis’ Antelope Canyon Tours) 928-645-9102 https://www.antelopecanyon.com/vermilion-adventures/
    Grand Staircase Discovery Tours 928-614-2199 http://www.GrandStaircaseDiscoveryTours.com
    Paria Outpost & Outfitters (located between Page and Kanab) 928-691-1047 http://www.Paria.com
    If you do opt to to to Kanab to pick up a White Pocket tour, then consider returning to Page via Marble Canyon and Lees Ferry in order to avoid traveling the same road twice. Whatever you do, just make sure you time your driving so you are “back to base” before sunset. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the US.
    Regarding Sedona, you might want to see if you can free up another day to spend in that area. Aside from the “usual suspects,” like Slide Rock State Park, Chapel of Holy Cross, Oak Creek Canyon, Vortexes, etc., Sedona boasts a number of fine wineries you might wish to visit and sample their wares. Several local tour companies offer wine tours, so you don’t have to worry about driving! For more suggestions, check out http://www.VisitSedona.com
    In Flagstaff, you’ll find that microbreweries are the hip spots in the downtown area, so plan on hitting one, or two, or more. Fortunately, many are within walking distance of one another, or inquire about guided tours on FlagstaffAleTrail.com
    So, your “revised” itinerary would look something like this:

    Good luck and hope that helps – have fun at The Wave!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
      Alyse Tumelson - September 13, 2018

      Alley,
      Thank you very much for your help! I am so glad I asked you before I booked everything. Question- I have heard of a local spot that has Rainbow Mountains/hills. Saw it on this blog (below) and in another youtube video. http://globalgirltravels.com/they-really-exist-the-rainbow-mountains-of-arizona/

      My husband and I would be so grateful to experience this gorgeous place. The blog above listed a tour company she used, but I noticed on their website they don’t mention the rainbow mountains or show any pictures of it as part of the White Pocket Tour. Seems like this might be a secret spot a local might take you to if they like you (since nobody is advertising it). Is there any chance any of those White Pocket tour operators would be willing to take us there as part of the tour? I promise not to disclose the location.

      Best,
      Alyse

      Reply
        Alley Keosheyan - September 14, 2018

        Hey Alyse!
        This spot is indeed one of the many “hidden gems” you’ll find on the White Pocket tour, and elsewhere throughout the Grand Staircase-Escalante, Vermillion Cliffs, and other scenic “pockets” (ha ha ha) in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. If you do decide to take a tour to White Pocket, you should be aware that Grand Staircase Discovery Tours is one of several tour companies licensed to travel to that area. Which one you choose will probably come down to where you’re staying, and which company offers the most convenient pick-up location and competitive pricing. For a complete list of authorized outfitters, visit this link on our sister site, http://www.TheWaveAZ.com: Hire A Guide
        Good luck and safe travels!
        Alley 🙂

        Reply
    Steph - March 22, 2019

    Hi alyse! Did you book those dates? I find it funny while reading it as Ive got thoae exact days in May. I would love to hear about your schedule as I am still in the planning phase around those dates. I wanted to see how far havasu and antelope is. I’ll be arriving Vegas around the 18th and I’m looking to explore as much as possible.

    Reply
      Alley Keosheyan - March 22, 2019

      Hey Steph,
      Maybe you and Alyse will run into each other! BTW, Havasu Falls is a difficult place to get to, and if you don’t already have reservations for either a campsite or motel room, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to visit it this time around. For more information on Havasu Canyon and the falls, visit our companion site, http://www.Havasupai.AZ
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      Reply
Hammad - September 7, 2018

Hi Alley,

First of all, please know that we love all of your posts – they are very detailed, amazingly-awesome and so helpful for people like us who do not know much about these parks. 🙂

Secondly, I would like to get your opinion/suggestion, if that is possible of course. We are planning to come to Grand Canyon during the 1st week of November and are thinking to cover either both Grand Canyon & Zion National Park/Bryce Canyon combo or Grand Canyon & Antelope Canyon.

As our group will have four adults & 2 kids (one 18-month toddler and one 5-year old), we are thinking to rent a house or a cottage. One option we are discussing is to stay somewhere close to Grand Canyon for the first night, and then check-out the next day. After covering Grand Canyon the first day, check-in to a different lodge/rental home for the remaining two nights. But we are very confused because we do not want to change lodges during our whole trip (specially with 2 small kids). Below is our current plan:

1. 7th November (Wednesday): Drive to Grand Canyon from Los Angeles
2. 8th November (Thursday): Cover Grand Canyon
3. 9th November (Friday): Either cover both Zion National Park & Bryce Canyon or just Antelope Canyon
4. 10th November (Saturday): Drive back to Los Angeles with few hours stay in Las Vegas

Please advise which of these do you think is a better option during November: Antelope Canyon or Zion National Park/Bryce Canyon combo. Grand Canyon is a must and we think one-whole day would be sufficient. But we want to make use of another day of stay there by covering the other parks there.

I will really appreciate your valuable advise and hope that will help us finalize our plan. 🙂

Best Regards!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - September 11, 2018

    Dear Hammad,
    Hello and thank you for your compliments!
    Due to the time of year you’re visiting, the fact that you have a toddler in your party, and the driving distances involved, I would suggest taking Bryce Canyon off the table and saving it for another trip. Regarding Zion, it’s one of those parks that requires at least 3 days time to really explore, but you can still do a “drive through” in order to get a taste of it. Trust me, you’ll want to come back when you can spend more time, maybe when your little one is older.
    The drive from LA to the Grand Canyon will take ~ 8 hours. For lodging, your best bet will be to stay inside the park, or at least in Tusayan/GC Village South, which is ~7 miles South of the park entrance. There are no rental homes in this area, plus state fire codes prohibit more than 5 people staying in a single room, so you’ll need to get 2 rooms. Despite the potential inconvenience and cost, you’ll be glad to be close to the canyon rim in order to experience sunset and/or sunrise there! Grand Canyon hotels
    The drive to Page, AZ will take ~3.5-4 hours. I know Google maps gives the drive time as 2.5 hours, but that’s wheels turning, no stops. That rarely happens as there are a lot of photo opportunities on the trip, especially on the Desert View/East Rim Drive of the Grand Canyon that will no doubt warrant a stop. In Page, AZ, you will find a fine selection of vacation rental homes that can accommodate your family. Page, AZ VRBO Homes
    Because you are traveling with young children, you’ll need to consider carefully which branch of Antelope Canyon you wish to tour. Upper Antelope Canyon is the easier of the two main branches, 100m long, the trail is flat the whole way. Lower Antelope is longer (600m), and requires some stair climbing and simple boulder stepping. If you do choose to tour Lower, you’ll want to bring a baby carrier for the little one (they are allowed). Whichever you branch of the canyon you choose to tour, you’ll need to make reservations in advance of your arrival. Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon
    The drive back to Los Angeles from Page, AZ will take 8.5+ hours. You may wish to break up the drive by spending the night in Las Vegas. Either way, you can easily make a slight detour through Zion National Park on the way to get a taste for how beautiful it is!

    Getting back to the time of year, November is in the transitional period between fall and winter. It will be colder, plus higher elevations like the Grand Canyon might see snow, although this typically doesn’t occur until later in the month. Still, it’s a good idea to pack some warmer clothing and sturdy footwear, just in case.
    Good luck and hope that helps,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Grace - August 25, 2018

Hello Alley,
Thank you so much for your wonderful site. It is very informative and helpful. I’d like you advise to finalize my trip intenary.
I’m going to have a photograph workshop in Zion Park and it will end on 11/01/18. I’m planing to extend my trip and here is the detail. I’m traveling solo and I guess no choice but rent a car.
– 11/1: heading to Bryce Canyon fm Springdale. Then drive to Page. Any recommendation for Lodging in Page?
11/2:Antelope Canyon- is there any photography tour?
Horseshoe Bend-both ground and helicopters tour if
available and possible.
11/3:Lake Powell & Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour.
11/4:heading to Grand Canyon South Rim. Any recommendations for attractions on the way and lodging in South Rim?
11/5: Grand Canyon South Rim
11/6:heading to LV airport. My flight is 4:30pm

Pls help to fine tune my intenary with your knowledge and expertise.
Thank you very much and your help is greatly appreciated

Grace

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - August 25, 2018

    Hi Grace and thank you for visiting!
    First off, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend driving from Springdale to Bryce, then driving from Bryce to Page in one day. You’re looking at ~2 hours to go from Springdale to Bryce, then another 2.5-3 hours to travel from Bryce to Page.

    That’s ~5.5 hours driving in one day’s time. Another consideration is daylength, which, in November is rapidly shortening. Sunrise occurs at about 7:00 AM, and sunset is at about 5:15 PM. You must time any driving that you do in this part of the US so that you’re off the road by sunset. The reason for this is two-fold: one, the deliberate lack of artificial lighting – Bryce Canyon is quite proud of its “dark sky” park status; two, nocturnal wildlife such as deer and elk like to graze near local roadways at night and trust us, you don’t want to have a nighttime encounter with one!
    Instead, we’d recommend taking one day off your Grand Canyon South Rim stay (more on that in a minute), and using it to stay overnight in Bryce Canyon or one of the the surrounding communities. That will make for a much more enjoyable visit, and one that allows for relaxation and exploration, which is what your vacation is all about anyway!
    The next morning, head to Page, AZ, maybe take an Antelope Canyon tour upon your arrival (booked in advance, of course). If a photography tour is specifically what you’re wanting, these are only offered in Upper Antelope Canyon now. The Lower Antelope Canyon outfitters decided to discontinue them this year. However, there are other slot canyons you might consider touring for photography purposes simply because they purposely keep their group sizes smaller. These “alternate” slot canyons include, but aren’t limited to: Antelope Canyon X, Rattlesnake Canyon, Wind Pebble Canyon, Cathedral Canyon and Waterholes Canyon.
    On the Lake Powell and Rainbow Bridge Boat tour, unfortunately, you may be arriving too late in the season to take part in that. They “officially” stop running for the season on October 31st, however, they may operate on an “on demand” basis with a minimum of 15 paying passengers and favorable weather. I would advise calling the concessionaire directly when you arrive in the area at 928-645-1111 about the possibility of this. The helicopter flights may also be on seasonal hiatus, but you can visit the Page Municipal Airport to see if one can be scheduled on a walk-up basis.
    If you’re still wanting to do a water-based activity, you might consider doing the Glen Canyon Half-Day Float Trip instead. The concessioner that recently took over operation of this trip plans to run the tour through November. It does not take place on Lake Powell, but travels 15 miles on the Colorado River from the base of the Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry.
    Regarding Page, AZ lodging, there are many options to choose from in a variety of price points and amenity classes. The main thing is to book something in advance of your arrival.
    On the drive from Page, AZ to Grand Canyon South Rim, there are many stops you can make that will turn what’s normally a 2.5 hour trip (with wheels turning, no stops), into a leisurely 4-hour scenic drive. Sights that will no doubt pique your curiosity include, but aren’t limited to: The “Cut” overlook, the Gap Trading Post, Painted Desert-like rock formations, Chief Yellowhorse’s Curio Stand, the Cameron Trading Post — and that’s before you even hit the Grand Canyon! Once you enter the park at Desert View Point, you’ll have over half a dozen named viewpoints, all with differing features and perspectives of the canyon, beckoning to be photographed. Since a good chunk of your Grand Canyon sightseeing will occur on this drive, that’s why you can get away with just staying one night there and still having a satisfying visit. If possible try to get lodging inside the park, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s already booked up. Your next best bet would be Tusayan/GC Village South, just outside the park. Grand Canyon Hotels
    So, your revised itinerary would look something like this:
    11/1 – head to Bryce Canyon, overnight in Bryce Canyon
    11/2 – head to Page, AZ, take Antelope Canyon Tour, overnight in Page, AZ
    11/3 – 2nd day in Page, AZ, float trip or boat tour, overnight in Page, AZ
    11/4 – head to Grand Canyon South Rim, overnight at South Rim
    11/5 – spend 2nd day at South Rim or head back to Las Vegas
    Whatever you decide to do, be sure to book ALL hotels and guided tours in advance of your arrival. Another suggestion: if the helicopter tours aren’t running in Page, they will be at Grand Canyon South Rim (they operate year-round, weather permitting). You might consider taking a Grand Canyon helicopter tour instead.
    Good luck and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
      Grace - August 26, 2018

      Hi Alley

      Thank you so much for all th detail recommendations. I have changed my plan as per you suggested.
      11/1: stay in Bryce Canyon county. The lodge in the park sold out. I booked Best Western in the county instead.
      11/2: do you have tel# to book the photography tour in advance? Do you think if I shall still visit either upper or lower Antelope Canyon besides the “alternate slot canyons”?
      11/3: after glen-canyon-float-trip, I should have enough time to visit Horseshoe Bend, right?
      Now I’m trying my luck to book the rest of the hotels.

      Thank you so much for your help.
      Grace

      Reply
        Alley Keosheyan - August 27, 2018

        Hi Grace,
        Good call on staying overnight in Bryce. You won’t regret it, even though you’re outside the park.
        If you’re referring to the “alternate” slot canyon tour companies, their telephone #’s are as follows:
        Taadidiin Tours – Canyon X & Cardiac Canyon – (928) 660-8890
        Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tours – Horseshoe Bend/Secret Canyon – (435) 275-4594
        Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours – Mountain Sheep, Rattlesnake, Owl & Upper Antelope – (928)380-1874
        Chief Tsosie’s Slot Canyon Tours – Cathedral & Upper Antelope – 928-645-5594
        Waterhole Canyon Experience LLC – Waterholes Canyon – (928) 660-2031
        Ligai Si’Anii Tours – Wind Pebble, Ram’s Head, Ligai Si’Anii Canyons – (928) 640-2594
        If you do decide to tour one of the “alternate” slot canyons, there is no need to tour Upper and/or Lower as well in order to have a satisfying visit to Page. Use the extra time to explore other sights, visit one of the visitors centers and/or museums, or do one of many easy but scenic day hikes in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and around the Lake Powell Resort complex.
        And yes, after the Glen Canyon Float Trip, you should have ample time to visit Horseshoe Bend. 🙂
        Thanks again and have a wonderful trip!
        Alley

        Reply
          Grace - August 29, 2018

          Hi Alley

          Thank you so much for all the detail info. You are the best!
          Luckily I booked hotel in the Grand Canyon South Rim.
          My last question: is there any monthly pass I can buy for entering all the parks ?

          Thank you again for your help. Appreciate it.

          Grace

          Reply
          Alley Keosheyan - August 29, 2018

          Hi again, Grace,
          Awesome on getting a hotel at the South Rim! You’ll be glad you did that, so you can see sunset and/or sunrise from the rim. Yes, there is a pass for all the parks, called the “America The Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass.” For just $80, this card gets you into all the National Parks, Monuments and Federal Fee Areas in the US for 1 year’s time. It does not work in Native American Tribal Parks, of which Antelope Canyon is one, but it will still pay for itself on the trip you’re taking. Just pick it up at the first National Park Entrance Station you hit on your itinerary.
          Alley 🙂

          Reply
      Steve - September 15, 2018

      Hi Alley,
      Your wealth of information and eagerness to share is truly a gift.

      I hope to share our experience when my wife and I return from our weeklong trip to Arizona in mid-October.

      Your thoughts on this itinerary would be truly appreciated!

      Day 1
      – Fly into Phoenix
      – Drive to Flagstaff
      – Museum of Northern Arizona
      – Easy hike
      – Sunset somewhere
      – Lowell Observatory

      Day 2
      – Drive to Chinle
      – Drive along Canyon de Chelly’s North and South rims
      – Hike White House Ruins trail

      Day 3
      – Drive to Monument Valley
      – Horseback riding tour
      – Drive to Page
      – Check into Lake Powell Resort
      – Sunset at Horseshoe Bend

      Day 4
      – Lower Antelope Canyon tour
      – Relax at resort
      – Sunset boat tour to Rainbow Bridge

      Day 5
      – Drive to Grand Canyon
      – Enter East entrance
      – Drive and stop along the rim at points
      – Check into El Tovar
      – Hike Hermit Road to Hermits Rest

      Day 6
      – Catch sunrise
      – Helicopter tour
      – Hike / Shuttle Rim Trail to Talk Point
      – Hike back and catch sunset
      – Shuttle back to Village

      Day 7
      – Drive to Sedona via Oak Creek Canyon
      – Hike Bell Rock & Courthouse Butte
      – Check into Casa Sedona Inn
      – Relax
      – Sunset at Crescent Moon Rec. Area or Airport Mesa

      Day 8
      – Pink Jeep Tour
      – Drive to Phoenix for late flight home

      Reply
        Alley Keosheyan - September 17, 2018

        Hi Steve and thanks for your compliments!
        Your itinerary looks pretty fun, but just a tad “overplanned.”
        One observation I can make right off the bat is that you’re shorting Sedona the time it deserves. This is one area of the Southwest US that warrants at least 2 days, 3 is even better, to do it justice. You might consider dropping your 2nd night at the Grand Canyon, crazy as that sounds, and re-allocate it to Sedona. You’ll already have done a good chunk of your Grand Canyon sightseeing on the drive in from Page since the route takes you past over half a dozen viewpoints of the Grand Canyon, all with differing features and perspectives. Catch a Grand Canyon helicopter flight first thing in the morning, then you can head straight South to Sedona.
        That’s awesome that you scored a room at El Tovar! Still, on the day you plan to drive from Page, AZ to Grand Canyon Village, IMO you’re being a little too ambitious as to what you want to accomplish. The Hermit’s Rest/West Rim Drive Road is 8 miles long, one way, from Grand Canyon Village. It’s doubtful you’re going to hike that whole thing after a 3.5-4 hour drive! Yes, I know Google maps gives the drive time from Page to GC as 2.5 hours, but that’s wheels up, no stopping. That rarely happens because you’re going to find a lot of sights that pique your curiosity and warrant a photo stop. With an early start out of Page, AZ — oh, and hit Horseshoe Bend at sunrise, sunset gets super-crowded — you can reasonably expect to arrive at Grand Canyon Village around noon-ish. Since you won’t be able to check into your hotel until 4:00 PM, you can use that time to ride the Hermit’s Rest shuttle to various viewpoints, hopping on and hopping off as you desire. You could still make it all the way out to Hermit’s Rest, but with a combination of riding and walking.
        On Day 3, when you propose to drive from Chinle to Monument Valley to Page, AZ, bear in mind, you’re looking at about 4 hours of driving all totaled, but one factor that will work in your favor is time zone difference: the Navajo Reservation DOES observe Daylight Savings Time, whereas Page, AZ DOES NOT. That includes all Antelope Canyon Tour operators. They go by Page, AZ time. So — you will LOSE an hour as you drive from Flagstaff, AZ to Chinle, AZ, then GAIN it back as you drive from Monument Valley to Page. On the drive from Monument Valley to Page, you might pop into the Navajo Code Talkers Museum inside the Kayenta Burger King. Since Antelope Canyon is going to be right on your way, you might consider doing this activity “en route” from Monument Valley to Lake Powell Resort for optimal convenience.
        On Day 2 (drive from Flagstaff to Chinle) here again, you might not be able to get everything in that you plan, but that’s OK. Canyon de Chelly is a beautiful park and whatever you’re able to accomplish, it’s all good. If possible, switch up your driving route a bit so you can visit the “Standin’ On The Corner In Winslow, Arizona” park. It won’t add much time to your drive, which will run ~3.5-4 hours.
        On Day 4, you mention a “sunset boat tour to Rainbow Bridge.” Sorry, but there’s no such thing. Rainbow Bridge Boat Tours run ~7 hours in length due to the distance you have to travel, and the amount of walking you have to do to get to the Bridge from the dock. At present, with the lake level quite low, that’s about 3 miles round-trip. At the time of year you’re visiting, the only departure available is at 7:30 AM. If you do your Antelope Canyon tour on the drive in from Monument Valley on Day 3, you could still accommodate this activity, and enjoy some quality downtime at Lake Powell Resort, which is highly recommended!
        Sorry I’ve been all over the place with commentary on your proposed itinerary. I hope it all makes sense!
        Day 1 – Fly into Phoenix, drive to Flagstaff. Time permitting, visit Museum of Northern Arizona, Lowell Observatory, perhaps Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monument, overnight in Flagstaff
        Day 2 – Drive to Chinle, AZ and visit Canyon de Chelly, overnight in Chinle, AZ
        Day 3 – Drive from Chinle, AZ to Monument Valley, UT, tour Monument Valley, drive to Page, AZ in afternoon, tour Antelope Canyon, check in at Lake Powell Resort
        Day 4 – Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour, downtime at Lake Powell Resort
        Day 5 – Visit Horseshoe Bend for sunrise, drive to Grand Canyon Village, ride Hermit’s Rest shuttle in afternoon, check in at El Tovar
        Day 6 – Take AM Grand Canyon helicopter tour, drive to Sedona, AZ, and explore area until sunset, overnight in Sedona
        Day 7 – More touring in Sedona, e.g., Pink Jeep Tour or a wine tour. For suggestions on other activities and attractions, go to http://www.VisitSedona.com. Spend 2nd night in Sedona
        Day 8 – Check out of hotel, visit Tlaquepaque, drive back to Phoenix, visit the Phoenix Airport Museum Gallery (time permitting), fly home

        Whatever you do, be sure to be prepared for a variety of weather conditions from comfortably balmy to near-freezing temperatures and pack accordingly.
        Good luck and safe travels!
        Alley 🙂

        Reply
lk - August 22, 2018

hi. I love reading about all your advise for visiting the area! We are planning a trip for next April and trying to finalize some plans.
While we’re in Page the plan is to stay for two nights at the Lake Powell Resort. On day one we will book Lower Antelope Canyon. Which tour group do you recommend? Are there any differences between Kens or Dixie? Day two we will do the 1/2 day float trip and maybe watch sunset somewhere (recommendations needed) Third day maybe see the dam or horseshoe bend (afraid of heights so worried about this stop) before heading to Sedona
would love your advise on must do things with 2 adults 3 children ages 7, 12, 14)
also dining options
itineraries as follows:
Las Vegas(Venetian)- 1 night
Grand Canyon western ranch-1 night
El tovar-2 nights
Lake Powell Resort-2 nights
Sedona (Renting house)- 4 nights
Phoenix (Arizona grand hotel)- 1 night fly out
thanks!!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - August 22, 2018

    Hi Lisa, and thank you for your inquiry.
    Props to you for planning your travels well in advance. We wish everybody did it like you! Congrats on scoring a couple of nights at El Tovar, I used to work there, I love that hotel. Hopefully you guys got a suite, or two adjacent rooms in the deluxe category, the “standard” rooms are tiny and bound to be really cramped for a family of 5.
    Regarding the tour company for Lower Antelope Canyon, it really doesn’t matter which one you use. For one, the proprietors are related, and secondly, the tours they offer are going to be virtually identical, right down to the footsteps, and the penny. Just find a departure time that works for you and book it. Mid-day is generally regarded as “prime time,” for which you’ll pay “prime price.” There’s really no such thing as a bad time to go.
    As for Horseshoe Bend, there is a small fenced viewing platform that has been recently constructed, if that makes you feel safer, but the “money shot,” i.e., the straight-on view of the ‘Bend, remains unfenced, and rightfully so. If you opt to explore this area of Horseshoe Bend, just make sure your kids know the potential dangers, namely the 700’ drop to the river, and that they give it its due respect.
    For ideas on other activities your kids might enjoy in the Page, AZ area, check out the National Park Service’s recommendations for day hikes in the area. One they don’t include is the “New” Wave, which is located across the Glen Canyon Dam Bridge near the turn-off to the Lake Powell Resort complex. Since you’re staying there, it would be an easy stop to make on the way to or from your hotel for the day.
    On the drive from Grand Canyon Ranch to El Tovar, you might make the slight detour to Seligman, AZ, which was one of the towns that “Radiator Springs” in the movie “Cars” was loosely based on (the other one was Galena, Kansas). Maybe stop at Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In for lunch and a good laugh.
    As for Sedona, there’s no shortage of things to do there! Go to http://www.VisitSedona.com for suggestions.
    Last but not least — keep in mind that April is in that “transitional” zone between winter and spring. In all likelihood, the weather will be nice, mostly sunny and brisk. But, a late-season storm could still move through. While Page, Sedona and Las Vegas would probably just get rained on, the Grand Canyon could see snow. I know, I lived there for 7 years. Be sure to pack a couple of items of warmer clothing just to be on the safe side.
    Hope that helps!
    Good luck and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
      lk - August 22, 2018

      Thank you very much for your reply. I will definitely check out the New Wave and now possibly Horseshoe bend now that I know there is a fence. I did not know that. I will also check out your suggestion in Seliman. I was able to reserve a deluxe room at El Tovar. that is when my whole trip planning began. very excited! One last question for you. Do you recommend Lake Powell Resort? I’ve read some not so great reviews, but I really love that fact that on the water. The other option I was looking into is the Hyatt place Lake Powell.

      Reply
        Alley Keosheyan - August 22, 2018

        Hi again, Lisa 🙂
        So, you’ve discovered that Lake Powell Resort’s drawing cards come down to 3 words: location, location, location. And yes, it’s the only place in Page, AZ that’s right on the water, which is great. Another plus is that it has a variety of on-site restaurants, stores and tours that you can get without leaving the complex. The drawback(s)? It puts you anywhere from 20-30 minutes each way from the town of Page, and Horseshoe Bend, and Antelope Canyon, and the check-in point for the float trip, and anything else you might like to visit there.
        As for the reviews, I think people go into National Park hotels with unrealistic expectations. The El Tovar at the Grand Canyon is no exception. Ultra-luxurious park hotels are few and far between, no matter what the advertising claims. Lake Powell Resort will probably be no different. On the other hand, staying at the Hyatt property would put you closer to all the activities you’ve got on your to-do list, howeverrrr… it’s a brand new hotel, so I have no idea what it’s like. The reviews tend to be pretty good, though.
        Good luck, I know it’s a hard choice.
        Alley 🙂

        Reply
          Lisa - August 31, 2018

          Thanks again for your response! I have one last question. I’ve seen your recommendations for stops on way from page too Sedona. I’m definitely interested in stopping at sunset crater. Just trying to decide if we’d rather see this or skip it and go straight to Sedona and start enjoying this area earlier. We’ll be in Sedona for 4 nights but there just seems to be so much to do in area. Is sunset crater worth the detour and time or do you think Sedona is worth just getting too. Thanks 😀

          Reply
          Alley Keosheyan - September 1, 2018

          Hi again, Lisa!
          Sunset Crater is interesting, to be sure, and a worthwhile stop on your way from Page to Sedona. What makes it even more worthwhile, however, is a second National Monument just adjacent to it: Wupatki. Wupatki is one of many typical examples of Ancestral Puebloan settlements in Arizona, that also boasts some unique features, such as a ball court and free-standing multi-story dwellings. You can walk to most of the ruins fairly easily, plus Wupatki is connected to Sunset Crater NM via a convenient loop drive.
          Seeing as though you have 4 nights planned for Sedona, I’d definitely make a point of stopping there since it’s right on your way.
          Best wishes for happy travels,
          Alley 🙂

          Reply
Faye - August 21, 2018

Hi Alley,

Thank you so much for the insight you have in this post. You mention that the itinerary you listed is for peak tourist season, and I’d love some advice parsing out the bits good for a mid-November 2018 trip. I’m travelling with my adult family, 5 people total, and everyone is fairly active and unbothered by the cold–though my parents might opt out of the super long hikes.

I currently have two nights reserved for Page, AZ (with priorities on Horseshoe Bend, Lower Antelope Canyon, and Rainbow Bridge) but I’m wondering if there is enough to do at that time of year – specifically, can I do a rafting trip and see Antelope Canyon in 2 days, 1 night? If so, I would hope to book another night in Zion. I’m doing a similar trip as Gina, except in reverse (based on when I could get lodging in GCNP). My current itinerary is below.

Warm wishes, and thank you!
Faye

November 10 – arrive in Las Vegas in AM, drive to Zion National Park (2 nights, Desert Pearl Inn)

November 11 – Zion National Park

November 12 – Drive to Bryce Canyon (1 night, still need lodging)

November 13 – Drive to Page, AZ (2 nights, still need lodging)

November 14 – Activities near Page, AZ

November 15 – Drive to Grand Canyon (2 nights, Thunderbird Lodge)

Novmeber 16 – Grand Canyon

November 17 – Drive back to Las Vegas, redeye flight out

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - August 21, 2018

    Hi Faye and thank you for visiting.
    Your itinerary looks pretty fun. You just have to keep in mind that mid-November is in that transitional phase between fall and winter, so you could encounter days that are sunny but brisk, or you could have an early-season rain or snowstorm blow through. Snow is more of a concern in the higher-elevation parks like Grand Canyon South Rim and Bryce; Zion and Page are more likely to just get rained on. Obviously, it’s too soon to tell, but you should still have an enjoyable visit regardless.
    The Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour “officially” wraps up for the season on October 31st, but may run on an “on-demand” basis with a minimum of 15 passengers booked. If this is something you’re truly interested in, I would recommend calling the boat tour company upon your arrival in the area. Their # is 928-645-1111. If the boat tour doesn’t run, you might be able to substitute a fixed-wing airplane flight over Rainbow Bridge. Flights typically take less than half an hour, if you can believe that. These also run on a “weather permitting” and “aircraft available” basis.
    Since the concessionaire for the Glen Canyon Float Trip changed back to ARAMARK, they decided to offer the trip into December, so if you’re wanting to do a water-based activity, and the Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour isn’t possible, choosing this tour will by no means leave you feeling short-changed. It’s a very popular trip, and rightfully so, because it goes through some beautiful scenery and the guides are some of the most knowledgeable people in the area. I know a lot of them personally 😉
    Push comes to shove, you might reduce your Grand Canyon stay to 1 night and add that 3rd night onto Zion by shifting your itinerary around a bit. The reason I say that is because a good chunk of your Grand Canyon sightseeing will occur on the drive in from Page since the route takes you along the East Rim/Desert View Drive of the park, where there are over half a dozen named viewpoints, all with differing features and perspectives on the canyon.
    Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
    Alley 🙂
    P.S. Be sure to pick up the America The Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass. For just $80, this card grants you access to all the National Parks, Monuments and Federal Fee Areas in the US for 1 year’s time. The only places it doesn’t work are Native American Tribal Parks (of which Antelope Canyon is one), and State Parks. You can pick it up at the first National Park you visit. If anyone in your party is over the age of 62 and a U.S. citizen, they would qualify for a Lifetime Senior Pass.

    Reply
      Faye Bi - August 21, 2018

      Thank you, Alley – this is SO helpful! It sounds like we have plenty to do in Page, and maybe that will give us some wiggle room in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. I did center the trip around the Grand Canyon since that was the anchor park (parents specifically requested it), but I’ll definitely keep that in mind for an extra Zion night!

      Reply
        Alley Keosheyan - August 22, 2018

        Faye,
        You’re welcome! Start monitoring the weather about 2 weeks before you get ready to travel, that should give you the best idea of what to expect. Be prepared to pack a few extra pieces of warmer clothing and a pair of gloves, just in case.
        Alley 🙂

        Reply
Dan P - August 19, 2018

Hi! Starting my planning for a trip next August. When would be the best time of day to visit Lower Antelope Canyon, as far as light on the walls go? Any time to absolutely avoid?

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - August 20, 2018

    Hi Dan and thank you for visiting our site.
    Kudos on planning your trip well ahead of time! One advantage to your advance planning is that you can probably still get on a prime-time Antelope Canyon tour, which would be mid-day. That’s when the sun is directly overhead and the canyon is best illuminated. Lower Canyon doesn’t experience as many “light beams” as Upper, but they do get a few during the peak touring hours. Unfortunately, that’s also the time when you’ll experience the highest visitation and congestion. If that doesn’t appeal to you, you may want to tour Antelope Canyon during the so-called “off-peak” times, e.g., earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. Fortunately, there’s really no such thing as a bad time to go.
    Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
      Dan P - August 28, 2018

      Hello again, Alley! Okay, I’ve looked at the Ken’s Tours website and you are right, people are starting to book up times already for next August. I was looking Aug. 13 and the 10:30 is already sold out! I’ll be driving up from GCNP that day, so I doubt I could make an early morning visit. The next day I’ll be doing the float trip in the morning, so no chance then, either. After reading some reviews, I see it can get super hot mid-day, so I may not be that interested in prime time after all. Plus I see that they might cancel tours if it gets to 105 degrees in the canyon. So I was thinking of catching the last tour of he day, at 5pm. Do you think it’s likely to be cool enough by that time of day? Also, since it’s the last tour of the day, do you think there might be less of a rush to move us out of the canyon, since there’s no one coming in after us?

      Reply
        Alley Keosheyan - August 28, 2018

        Hey again, Dan!
        Wow, that’s amazing that the 10:30 AM tour is already sold out. In August, 5:00 PM still tends to be quite hot here in the desert, and afternoon tours got cancelled quite often this summer. If doing an earlier departure isn’t a possibility, you might thing about doing something rather novel: a nighttime tour of Upper Antelope Canyon. These depart 2 hours after sunset, and the canyon’s interior is lit with LED lights, but from what I’ve heard, the temperatures are comfortable, and the group sizes are small. You can just a basic sightseeing tour, or a photographer’s tour (the latter being more expensive).
        If that does not appeal, I’d recommend checking back periodically with Ken’s or Dixie Ellis’ tours for cancellations on a Lower canyon tour. This far out, they’re bound to happen.
        Best of luck to you!
        Alley 🙂

        Reply
Maisha - August 15, 2018

Hi!

My husband and I are flying out to Phoenix on Sept 2 and doing a road trip through the Grand Canyon. It felt like a daunting task to plan this trip out, but I think we have narrowed down where we want to go for the days we will be there. Your blog along with reddit helped us plan it out to the best of our abilities. However, based on this itinerary, we are not sure what activities to book. Our budget will allow us to do 2 max 3 activities. Could you help us decide?

Here is a short summary of our stay:

Sept 2: Fly in to Phoenix in the morning. Pick up our rental and drive to Sedona. Spend the night in Sedona.

Sept 3: Leave Early Morning from Sedona before sunrise, and drive to the South Rim. All day in the South Rim and spend the night in Grand Canyon Village.

Sept 4: Leave again before sunrise and Option A: Drive to Monument Valley, do the loop and see the Forest Gump Point and drive back to Page Spend the rest of the evening and night in Page. Option B: Drive along the East Rim to Page and see horseshoe Bend and maybe do an afternoon Antelope Canyon tour. We will spend the night in Page.

Sept 5: Do either a Kayak tour or boat cruise (Not sure which one yet) and do whatever we couldn’t do the previous day in Page. (I need help planning out these two days). Again spend the night in Page.

Sept 6: Leave early morning and drive to Bryce Canyon. Spend all day and night there.

Sept 7 & 8: Spend both these days hiking and sightseeing in Zion National Park.

Sept 9: Leave Zion and drive back to Sedona and spend the rest of the day there. Stay the night in Sedona.

Sept 10: Will spend all day in Sedona again, but drive to Phoenix in the overnight and spend the night.

Sept 11: Fly out to Toronto.

Now, based on the accommodations we booked, this is our itinerary. I need help planning out the 4th and 5th. So far this is what we have spent on. All prices in CAD:

Accommodation: $1000
Plane tickets: $700
Car Rental: $425
Park Pass: $104
Gas: ~$200
Food:
Activities:
Gratuities:
Total so far: $2429

We want to stay within $3500 but can stretch to $4000 if we absolutely have to. So based on these estimates, what activities can we do? I definitely want to do Antelope Canyon (~200 CAD) and a water activity in Lake Powell (Boat tour: $320, Kayak: $260 My husband and I have actually never did Kayaking before but we Canoe a lot). With our tight budget, what will you suggest?

Also do you think going to Monument Valley the morning of the 4th will be a good ide? I know it will be a lot of driving that day. Also we booked a sedan so no 4X4. Please help!!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - August 16, 2018

    Dear Maisha,
    Hello and thank you for visiting our site.
    Honestly, I think you might be challenged to remain within that budget exactly. One reason for this is that it’s peak season. You won’t find discounts of any kind, anywhere. I’ve seen hotel rates at Motel 6 type properties in Page, AZ, as high as $250 a night. Plus every vacation always incurs unexpected expenses, such as that one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry you can’t resist, or gas prices that ratchet up out of the blue. If money truly is an issue, you might consider pushing your vacation to off-season, namely, between December and March. Although temperatures are cooler, and water-based activities are on seasonal hiatus, you can find good deals on hotels, and the land-based tours (Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend) are still in full operational mode.
    Regarding going to Monument Valley from Grand Canyon en route to Page, it can be done, but as you’ve deduced, it’s going to make for a long drive.

    Although Google maps puts the drive time at 3 hours, that’s wheels turning, no stops. That rarely happens because there are lots of photo ops along the way. The route to Monument Valley takes you along the Desert View/East Rim Drive of the Grand Canyon, where there are over half-a-dozen named viewpoints, all with different features and differing perspectives on the canyon. Upon exiting the park and entering Navajo Indian Land, there are more sights that will pique your curiosity, such as the Little Colorado River Overlook, Chief Yellowhorses’ Souvenir Stand, the Cameron Trading Post, Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks, the Navajo Code Talkers’ Museum… just to name a few. So don’t be surprised if the drive ends up taking more along the lines of 4.5-5 hours. Then, you’re looking at a 2-2.5 hour drive to Page. As I said, it’s doable, but not ideal. Plus, you want to be sure that you do all of your driving during daylight hours. Artificial/supplemental lighting is kept to a bare minimum in this part of the country, so once the sun goes down, it gets really dark. In September, sunrise occurs at about 6:00 AM, sunset at about 6:45 PM. Keep in mind that Page, AZ is on Mountain STANDARD Time, but Monument Valley is on Mountain DAYLIGHT Time; you will “lose” an hour traveling from Grand Canyon to Monument Valley, then “gain” it back traveling from MV to Page, so if you opt to take part in a guided tour, you’ll have to factor this in.
    If the prospect of doing all that driving doesn’t appeal, you might consider doing a fixed-wing airplane flight over Monument Valley from the Page Municipal Airport. These are offered by Westwind Air Service (you have to scroll a ways down the linked page to get to that exact tour). They typically go out first thing in the morning for better light and less wind.
    As for kayak tours, no previous kayaking experience is required to take part in these. If you have canoeing experience, you’ll be more than a step ahead of anyone else in your group!
    Good luck and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂
    P.S. Be sure to pick up an “America The Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass.” For $80, this card grants you access to all National Parks, Monuments and Federal Fee Areas in the US for 1 year’s time. The only areas it won’t work are Native American Tribal Parks (like Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley) and State Parks (many of Sedona’s more popular attractions are state parks). It will still pay for itself on the trip you’re planning to take as Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon and Lake Powell are all Federal Fee Areas. Just pick up the pass at the first National Park you hit on your trip.

    Reply
Gina Bostic - August 11, 2018

Hi Alley!

I am so excited to have found your website. We are planning our travels to AZ and UT for next summer (early June) and have started to build a framework, but wanted to get your insights. I know in order to stay inside the parks early reservations are key. I was able to secure reservations in all three parks! I did have a few questions though… here is our itinerary so far.

Day 1: Arrive in Vegas

Day 2: Leave for the Grand Canyon (reservations at Thunderbird Lodge)

Day 3: Grand Canyon

Day 4: Leave for Page/Lake Powell (what hotel do you recommend?)

Day 5: Page/Lake Powell

Day 6: Leave for Zion (reservations at Zion Lodge)

Day 7: Zion

Day 8: Leave for Bryce (reservations Bryce Cannon Lodge)

Day 9: Head back to Vegas

Questions:
I had read that one night was plenty for Bryce, but now read in your blog that one night might be more than enough for the Grand Canyon? We just didn’t want to feel rushed, but should we add that day somewhere else?

Is the Mule Ride at the GC a must? What are other musts there?

I read about your musts for the Page/Lake Powell area! That is so incredibly helpful. Does it matter where you stay? On the lake? We are more interested in the canyons around there, versus lake amenities… should we stay in Page then? Without having been there, it is just so hard to know!

Any other feedback on our itinerary?

I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate your insights. With these kind of trips, you want to soak up all that the area has to offer, without missing any must sees. 🙂

Have a great weekend!
Gina

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - August 11, 2018

    Hey Gina and thank you for visiting!
    Wow, you get the “blue ribbon” for an excellent itinerary, and for planning your trip well in advance. You’ve scored all the best hotel locations and have allowed enough time to really enjoy your trip. We wish all visitors were more like you!
    On to your specific questions:
    If you have two days to spend at the Grand Canyon, and have already booked lodging, go ahead and keep it as it is. The “one day is enough” recommendation is more like a “push comes to shove” for the many visitors who are pressed for time, yet want to see as much as they can. You are apparently not one of them. The only advice I’d give is to concentrate your South Rim sightseeing on the Grand Canyon Historic Village area and the Hermit’s Rest/West Rim Drive. You can utilize the free shuttles to see all of these areas. Save the viewpoints on the East Rim/Desert View Drive for the drive to Page, AZ, since you have to go that way anyway. Plan to stop at the Cameron Trading Post for “brunch” — the Navajo Tacos are awesome!
    Regarding the mule ride, IMO, if you’re not doing the 2-day/1-night trip to Phantom Ranch, I wouldn’t bother with the Canyon Vista ride. It simply takes you through the forest up to a single viewpoint, which you can access via the free shuttle. The Phantom Ranch trips are already booked up for next year, and getting a cancellation via the in-person waiting list will throw a wrench into your whole trip plan. Instead of messing with all that, maybe take a short hike down the Bright Angel Trail. You don’t have to go too far, or spend too much time, to get a feel for how different it is below the rim. Just get an early start so you avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day. Another activity you might consider is a sightseeing flight by airplane or helicopter. These allow you to see inaccessible areas of the canyon, and get a sense of how big it really is. We’re partial to the Imperial Tour on the Eco-Star EC130. Mornings are the best time to fly for better light and less wind. You might also pop down to Tusayan to see the IMAX presentation, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.”
    Concerning lodging in Page, AZ, staying on the lake is great, but the one disadvantage is it situates you ~20 minutes from town, meaning you have to get in the car and deal with local traffic to tour Antelope Canyon, eat at local restaurants, etc. If you’re OK with that, go ahead and book at the Lake Powell Resort. If you prefer to be “where the action is,” then book lodging in Page. The town offers everything from Motel 6 to Marriott and everything in between in terms of prices and amenities.
    Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
    Alley 🙂
    P.S. Be sure to pick up an “America The Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass.” For $80, this card grants you access to all the National Parks and Monuments in the US for 1 year’s time. The only areas it won’t work are Native American Tribal Parks (like Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon) and State Parks (like Kodachrome Basin or the Coral Pink Sand Dunes [near Kanab]), but it will still pay for itself on the trip you’re planning to take.

    Reply
      Gina Bostic - August 15, 2018

      Wow, Alley! That additional insight is priceless. I truly can’t thank you enough for taking the time to respond back.

      I am sure I will think of other questions along the way, but the only other question I have right now is timing re: booking tours. How far in advance should we do that?

      Thank you! 🙂

      Reply
        Alley Keosheyan - August 16, 2018

        Hey Gina,
        Glad it helped. As far as booking tours, they’ll probably open up 2019 inventory in December of this year, or January of ’19 at the latest.
        Alley 🙂

        Reply
Bobbi-Sue Harrington - June 4, 2018

Hi Alley
I do a ton of research for my roadtrips and your blog is amazing. Tell me what you think of this and please give some suggestions on tweaking or adding. We don’t want to shop, would like to avoid hikes over 1.5 hours and would take the road less travelled to see more scenary even if it took longer and wasn’t well known 🙂
We are coming Oct 10-17th
We have the NP annual pass, We are renting a vehicle(type tbd by roads we will travel)

Staying in Phoenix Night 1
Day 2 Drive to Sedona stopping at Montezuma castle on the way
Night 2 Stay in Sedona
Day 3 Drive to Grand canyon south Rim and then to page, with hopes to see horseshoe bend on the way up( what is the hike time to see the overlook?) ,maybe new wave??
Night 3 Staying in Page,
Day 4 Lower Antelope early morning, drive to zion, (SOO torn on what route to take!)?? Help
Night 4 Stay in St.George
Day 5 Drive to Vegas(I have no stopping points this day…. Help again!)
Night 5 Staying in Vegas
Day 6 TBD…..
Night 6 TBD……
Day 7 Drive back to Phoenix
Night 7 Staying by the airport
Thank you So much for any help!!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - June 4, 2018

    Hi Bobbi Sue and thank you for your compliments!
    I’m going to “reverse-engineer” your itinerary, in other words, go “backwards” from the end of your trip.
    Since you are flying into and out of Phoenix, and plan on swinging by Las Vegas before flying home, I would use your two “TBD” days for Sedona. The place needs at least 2 nights to do it justice, 3 is even better. Since it is only a 2-hour-and-change drive from Sedona to Phoenix, instead of staying by the airport on your last night, I would simply drive all the way from Sedona to Phoenix that day… unless you have a really early flight out, in which case, staying by the airport would be more convenient.
    Day 5 – instead of staying in St. George, which IMO has become just another congested, crowded city, I would recommend staying in Springdale, UT, on the Western border of Zion National Park. Much prettier, more peaceful, and places you in a more conducive location to enjoy Zion. If you can free up another night, do so — Zion has a lot to see and do.
    Day 4 – on what route to take to Zion from Page, going via Big Water and Kanab, UT is shorter, about 1 3/4 hours, but for scenery, I’d recommend taking the “long way” around, via Lees Ferry — you can actually drive up to the Colorado River and wade in it — Marble Canyon, Jacob Lake (stop at the Jacob Lake Inn for lunch and get some cookies to go!) and Mt. Carmel Junction. This will add another hour onto your drive time, but the scenery and photo ops IMO make it well worth the drive.
    Day 2 – instead of driving to Sedona, because you’ve moved it to the end of your trip, drive all the way to Grand Canyon South Rim and overnight there. It’s about a 4.5 hour drive, but well worth being able to be on the rim for sunrise and/or sunset. The drive to Page, AZ would then be ~2.5-3.5 hours depending on the number of stops you make. Grand Canyon South Rim Lodging
    So — here’s what your modified trip plan looks like:
    Day 1 – fly into PHX, overnight
    Day 2 – drive to GC South Rim, overnight
    Day 3 – drive to Page, AZ, hit Horseshoe Bend on way into town (allow 60-90 minutes), visit The New Wave time permitting, overnight in Page
    Day 4 – Tour Lower Antelope in the AM, head toward Zion National Park via Lees Ferry, Marble Canyon, Jacob Lake, overnight in Springdale, UT
    Day 5 – Drive to Vegas (possible stops: Virgin River Gorge, Mesquite, NV, Valley of Fire State Park), overnight in Vegas
    Day 6 – Drive to Sedona (~4.5 hours), with stop at Hoover Dam if desired, overnight in Sedona
    Day 7 – Tour Sedona (Chapel of the Holy Cross, Oak Creek Canyon, Tlaquepaque), overnight in Sedona again, or drive back to Phoenix that afternoon if next morning flight is early

    Hope that helps! Oh, re: the vehicle you rent, you can’t take any of them off-road per your rental contract, but there is still some hilly terrain to navigate, so I’d recommend getting something with some “heft” to it, like a small SUV.
    Wishing you safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
      Lucy Hammond - July 6, 2018

      We have reservations (driving from Vegas Red Rocks Resort) for three nights at Grand Canyon South Rim (first time in Southwest), three at Sedona, one at Bryce, and then back to Vegas for an 11:30 pm flight home. We are traveling this August and want to add on Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, and Horsehoe Bend, and maybe even a boat tour of Lake Powell/Glen Canyon. Is that possible? We are trying to do this in the way it will be least impactful on our other reservations. Would it be best to cut our Grand Canyon stay to two nights and then drive to Monument Valley, stay over night in the Page , do Antelope Canyon , Horseshoe Bend, maybe a boat tour the next day before driving to Sedona for our next leg? Is there a different order that would better fit in AC, HB, and the boat tour? Where would you suggest we stay in the Page area ( I like to run in the morning and just read about the trail around Lake Powell which I’d love to do part of in the am….not a deal breaker tho, just a pleasant bonus). We would really appreciate any advice. Thank you!
      ,

      Reply
        Alley Keosheyan - July 6, 2018

        Dear Lucy,
        The majority of Grand Canyon visitors find that one night is sufficient for a fulfilling visit, especially if they’re going on to Page, Monument Valley, or other Eastbound locations afterward. The reason for this is that you’ll do a large percentage of your Grand Canyon sightseeing on the drive out of the park. Your route will naturally take you along the East Rim/Desert View Drive of the Grand Canyon, where there are over half a dozen different viewpoints you can stop at if you wish. Upon exiting the park, you’ll be on Navajo Indian Land, which also has a lot to offer in terms of scenery and history. Popular stops in this area include, but aren’t limited to, the Little Colorado River Overlook, Chief Yellowhorse’s curio stand(s), the Cameron Trading Post (a good place to stop for brunch), and Painted Desert formations. If you do decide to go to Monument Valley, you might also stop at the Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks.
        What I suggest you do is leave Grand Canyon South Rim, drive to Monument Valley, spend the night there – IF you can find availability at either the View Lodge, Goulding’s Lodge, or in the town of Kayenta, AZ. The next morning, get up early, drive to Page, take a tour of Antelope Canyon on your way into town (be sure you have advance reservations), then check into your hotel. The next morning, hit Horseshoe Bend, then take either a Lake Powell Boat Tour, or the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip, then head down to Sedona. The drive takes approximately 3 hours, be sure you time it so you arrive in Sedona before sunset.
        Now, if you’re unable to get hotel reservations in Monument Valley – which is a very real possibility by this point – what you can do is spend 2 nights in Page, and on one of your mornings there, take a flight over Monument Valley. These are offered by Westwind Air Service from the Page Municipal Airport. Overflights generally last about 90 minutes.
        As for where to stay in Page, AZ, it’s a fairly small town, so just about anything you get within the city limits will be within fairly easy access to the Rim Trail. Ideally, you should stay somewhere “on the mesa.” Hotels in this area include, but aren’t limited to, 2 Best Western properties, a Quality Inn, a Rodeway Inn property, an EconoLodge and a Holiday Inn Express.
        Another way to go about this, which will involve taking Monument Valley off the table, but enable you to experience Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon and the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip, is to retain your reservations at Grand Canyon South Rim and on one of your full days there, do the Scenic Canyon River Adventure Tour. This is a really awesome 12-hour package tour that starts with a sunrise flight over the Eastern portion of Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and Horseshoe Bend, segues into a 4×4 tour of Upper Antelope Canyon, then you do the 1/2-Day Float Trip, then you ride a motorcoach back to the South Rim.
        A couple of things to remember: Utah and Monument Valley are on Daylight SAVING Time, whereas Grand Canyon South Rim are on Mountain STANDARD time. You will “lose” an hour going from Grand Canyon to Monument Valley, then “regain” it as you travel from Monument Valley to Page. Ditto as you travel from Arizona to Bryce Canyon.
        Another thing: your itinerary involves a bit of backtracking, but it probably can’t be helped. I don’t recall seeing when your trip was scheduled for, but as you’ve correctly deduced, making any drastic changes to your itinerary is going to be next to impossible at this point in time.
        Good luck and safe travels,
        Alley 🙂

        Reply
          Lucy Hammond - July 7, 2018

          Thanks for the information! I have been trying to switch reservations around, but am not having good luck. The combo air, Jeep, and boat tour sounds intriguing but may be cost prohibitive. Is it doable if the only option ends up being leaving Grand Canyon early in the morning, driving to Monument Valley and seeing it , then heading to Antelope Canyon for a late afternoon tour, and finally staying the night…..The next day doing 9 to 11:30 Lake Powell Canyon Adventure Boat Tour and a visit to Horsehoe Bend before departing for Sedona to arrive before sunset. Is Monument Valley with the extra time/ change of reservations to see and would you suggest a self tour driving the loop road or a Navajo back country tour? Would you suggest skipping the boat tour? I would love to do the Rainbow Bridge tour instead of the Canyon tour but then we would be driving to Sedona in the dark which I’ve been reading is not advisable. Thank you so much for your help.

          Reply
          Alley Keosheyan - July 7, 2018

          Hi again, Lucy.
          Not surprised you’re having trouble changing reservations. It’s hard to do in peak tourist season once they’re in place.
          Unfortunately, you’ve discovered one of the “pitfalls” – if you can call it that – of trip planning in this part of the US: there’s so much to see, and most of us only have a limited timeframe in which to see it. Still, I recommend trying to resist the temptation of cramming too much into your itinerary. You’ll go home feeling as though you spent most of your time driving by the scenery instead of enjoying it. You might indeed want to skip Monument Valley this time around and save it for another trip — IF there’s a chance that there’ll be another trip.
          That said, if you’re bound and determined to go from GC to Monument Valley to Page in one day, it can be done. Taking a rental car on the unpaved scenic loop road in Monument Valley is not the greatest idea, so a Navajo-guided tour would be preferable. With the time difference between Monument Valley and Page, you’ll have to time things quite precisely. Remember: MV is on Daylight SAVING Time and Page (including Antelope Canyon Tour operators) is on STANDARD Time. You “lose” an hour going from GC to MV, then “gain” it back going from MV to Antelope Canyon.
          You’ve correctly deduced that driving in the dark is not advisable around here due to the lack of artificial/supplemental lighting on local roadways and the possible presence of wildlife, such as deer, elk, etc. The road to Sedona is especially hairy, I know, I drove it in the dark once and will never do it again. If doing the Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour would put you at risk of doing this, I’d skip it. However, there is another way you could still see Rainbow Bridge in far less time than a boat tour would take, and that would be to fly over it. Lake Powell/Rainbow Bridge tours by fixed-wing airplane take about 30 minutes and depart first thing in the morning from the Page Municipal Airport.
          Good luck, I know it’s a hard choice.
          Alley 🙂

          Reply
          Lucy - July 20, 2018

          Hello,

          Thank you so much for all your suggestions; they have been so helpful! One more question…..I am struggling with the difference between the half day Canyon Adventures Tour on Lake Powell and the Wilderness River Adventures half day float trip. Which would you suggest and what are the differences? Thank you so much!

          Reply
          Alley Keosheyan - July 21, 2018

          Hi again, Lucy!
          The Canyon Adventures Boat Tour and the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip is kind of an “apples to oranges” comparison. They travel through separate areas: the boat tour takes place on Lake Powell, and the float trip through the last remaining intact section of Glen Canyon, from the base of the Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry. The Glen Canyon Float Trip is ~5 hours long, the boat tour is ~ 3 hours.
          If I were to recommend one over the other, it would be the Glen Canyon Float Trip. It’s one of the most popular family rafting trips in the area, and for good reason: the scenery is beautiful, it’s a very relaxing trip, and very educational, too. The river guides are some of the most well-informed and entertaining people you’re bound to come across in your travels.
          Good luck, I know it’s a difficult choice!
          Alley 🙂

          Reply
Judy - June 1, 2018

Hello Alley, so glad that I come across your web page here. And hope you can give me some suggestions.

We are planning a few days trip (5-6 days) from Las Vegas in July. Target must go are the Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and the Horseshoe Band.

Since it is high season in July, we have to secure hotels and antelope tours first. We have already booked hotels at Bryce for July 6, two nights, and then at Page for July 8, two nights. Booked Lower Antelope Tour on July 9 morning, and Upper Antelope Tour in the afternoon.

We will arrive Las Vegas and stay nearby on July 5, and target to leave Page and stay near Las Vegas on July 10, going back to SF the following day.

Where should we chip in the Horseshoe Band visit?
Any other ‘must see’ that are on our way that we can include?
Is our route sensible and feasible?
What are the things that we should pay attention to?

Would very much appreciate your suggestions and comments. =)
Judy

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - June 4, 2018

    Hi Judy and thank you for your compliments!
    Your itinerary looks pretty solid. I’d make a few adjustments as follows:
    1. Most visitors find 1 night sufficient for enjoying Bryce Canyon. In terms of square mileage, it is the smallest of Utah’s National Parks, which is why it can be experienced fully in relatively short order.
    2. Touring both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon is not necessary to have a fulfilling visit to Page, AZ. If you’re physically up for doing Lower Antelope Canyon, I’d stick with it, then plan some other activities for the time you would have given to Upper Antelope Canyon. Horseshoe Bend Overlook would be an obvious choice since it’s only about a 10 minute drive from Lower Antelope.
    3. 2 places conspicuously absent from your itinerary: the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. Grand Canyon — North or South Rim — is ~2.5-3 hours from Page, AZ, or 4.5 hours from Las Vegas. Zion National Park is about a 90 minute drive from Page, or a 3-hour drive from Las Vegas. If you’ve already been to the Grand Canyon, you could take those last couple of days and give them to Zion. The most practical lodging at this point will probably be Springdale, UT, which would put you again about a 3 hour drive from Vegas toward the end of your trip.
    Hope that helps. Best wishes for safe travels!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
      Judy - June 7, 2018

      Thanks so much Alley for your advise.

      For Zion, heard that you need to hike some difficult trails to get to the beauty of it, and I must tell you that we have some seniors, but still ‘strong’ in our group, so, we, kind of, cannot make it a prime site to visit. However, we have planned our drive from Las Vegas, to go through Zion in Hwy 9, will we be able to glimpse some of the beauty of Zion?

      As for the Antelope, which one do you think we should go for, the Upper or Lower? then we can give the half day to the Horseshoe Bend.

      As from the return drive from Page to Las Vegas, do you think it is possible for us to take the Hwy 98a, through Vermillion Cliff, Jacob Lake, then to St George and Vegas? is it a paved highway?

      Once again, we are more into driving than hiking, =)
      And thanks again for your advises.

      Judy

      Reply
Christine - June 1, 2018

Hi,
Currently planning a trip to Grand Canyon and area in August. You mentioned the 4.5 hr Float Tour which we’re planning to do. Is it really not advisable to do the one that starts at 1pm at this time of year (Aug 27 – 28). I did want to do the morning tour but to fit in other things to do, the afternoon one might fit better. How hot does it get? Heat stroke level? Hot enough it lessens the enjoyment?

We’ll be driving from Bryce Canyon National Park on the morning of the 27th and leaving the area afternoon of the 28th, hoping to reach Wupatki National Monument around 4pm.
So I thought to do the Float Tour when we get to Page and see Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon the next day.
A lot of the tours are fully booked at this time already. And the only time for Upper Antelope we can do is either 3 pm on the 27th or 8:45 am on the 28th. Neither of which are when you can see the popular beams of light. There are more options for the Lower Antelope Canyon but I gather from what I’ve read, are more chaotic and longer wait times.
So I thought we could do the Upper Antelope at 8:45 to 10:15 am and then the Lower at either 11:30 or 11:45. Check out Glen Canyon Dam Overlook either before 8 or after the Lower canyon tour.

I guess this long tale leads to these questions, is this plan realistic and doable?
And is it worth it to see both upper and lower canyons, esp if it’s not during the time when the beams are seen? And how much time between the two tours should I allow? With this plan it’s 45-60 mins although I gather they are abt 5 min drive apart from Upper canyon tour site to the Lower.

Thank you for any info, tips or guidance you can give.
Christine

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - June 4, 2018

    Hi Christine, and apologies for the delay in response to your inquiry. As you can hopefully see, this is a popular site with lots of people asking questions!
    If the PM departure of the Glen Canyon Float Trip is all that will work for you, then by all means, don’t hesitate to sign up for it. It will be hot on the river — 100+ degrees Fahrenheit typically — but one advantage to the time of year you’re visiting is that it’s monsoon season, and late afternoon cloud cover and/or thunderstorms can cool things down nicely. If you happen to hit a day that’s 100% sunny with no chance of moisture, there are steps you can take to increase your comfort level:
    – Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
    – Drink water at regular intervals (it is provided on the raft)
    – Stay wet: bring a towel or a bandanna or scarf that you can dunk in the cold river water and lay across your legs or shoulder — it acts as an evaporative cooler of sorts
    – Dip your feet in the river — the water’s cold, but it feels nice
    As for touring both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, it it not necessary to have a fulfilling visit to Page. If you’re physically up for doing Lower, I’d recommend doing it, but if Upper is more conducive to your schedule, then, here again, grab those spots. As for wait times, both branches of the canyon have them nowadays, but plans are being made that I can’t go into detail on, but will hopefully alleviate some of the congestion.
    Long story short, your plan is doable, but one highlight that is conspicuously absent is the Horseshoe Bend Overlook. It’s a definite “must” on any visit to Page, and is easily visited on your way out of town as you head toward Flagstaff. You might even visit it at sunrise before it gets totally cray-cray.
    Hope that helps! Again, sorry for delay in response.
    Best of luck for safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Zaldy - May 28, 2018

July 2018 Trip : 1st timer planning to visit with a 14 & 8 y/o . Arriving Vegas July 5 from Connecticut and driving to Gilbert, AZ to visit a relative. Planning a July 6-8 antelope & horse shoe tour (maybe Sedona ) using your recommendation then stay in Las Vegas 7/8 – 7/12..

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - May 29, 2018

    Dear Zaldy,
    Greetings and thank you for your inquiry.
    To visit Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon and Sedona, you’ll ideally need more than 2 days. Many people correctly assert that 3 days is the minimum amount of time you should spend in Sedona in order to do the area justice, there is that much to see and do there. VisitSedona
    You would then want to plan for at least 2 days in Page to take part in the 3 “must do” activities there, which are:
    The Glen Canyon Half-Day Float Trip
    Antelope Canyon Tour (or alternate slot canyon)
    Horseshoe Bend Overlook
    On the way from Page to Las Vegas, you should plan on visiting Zion National Park — it’s right on your way — and staying a day or two there.
    Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Alijay - May 22, 2018

I am so glad I found this site. I am planning my Utah Arizona border trip this Sept.
The plan is to fly to Vegas on a Thursday and head east and make a round trip. I am hoping to hit Zion, Horseshoe Bend, Lower (or Upper?) Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley and one day passing through the Grand Canyon. Is it possible to cover all of these sites (and perhaps Lake Powell) in about 6 (or 7) days?
Also, would driving to Grand Canyon first be better or Zion? Would love to “hike” a little.
If you also have lodging recommendations for one that are reasonable (or if either Airbnb or camper car be an option?) – that would be helpful.
I am hoping it won’t be over ambitious for a road trip.
Finally – for car rentals, would a regular sedan be doable or would you recommend a van or SUV?
I appreciate your suggestions in advance. 🙂

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - May 23, 2018

    Dear Alijay,
    If it’s OK, I’m going to address your specific inquiries in reverse order.
    RE: rental cars – pick whatever suits your family, needs and budgets best. If you have a large traveling party, a van or SUV might be more comfortable for you, but if you do get an SUV, that doesn’t give you carte blanche to take it off-road. Doing so would void your insurance policy and leave you liable for any damage you might sustain.
    For lodging, honestly, it matters not what I “recommend” at this point. All that matters is what’s available. That will also be the determining factor as to whether you visit Grand Canyon or Zion first. Check Grand Canyon, and let the rest of your trip revolve and evolve around when you can find availability there. Grand Canyon hotels Air B & B type properties will be few and far between in and near the National Parks, but you can find a good selection of VRBO properties in Page, AZ. Most of them will require a 2-night stay minimum.
    As for the Lower vs. Upper Antelope Canyon question, if you’re physically OK with doing Lower, that’s the one I’d go with. It is not necessary to tour both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon to have a fulfilling visit to Page. With your extra time, I’d recommend the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip. This is a family-friendly raft trip that does not feature any rapids, but offers plenty of beautiful scenery.
    Flying into and out of Vegas, you can easily do:
    1 night at Grand Canyon South Rim
    1 night at Monument Valley
    2 nights in Page
    1 night in Bryce Canyon
    2 nights in Zion
    Good luck and safe travels!
    Alley 🙂
    P.S. Be aware that the Navajo Reservation and Monument Valley DO observe Daylight Savings Time while the rest of Arizona DOES NOT. You will “lose” an hour driving to Monument Valley from Grand Canyon South Rim or Page, but “regain” it passing from Navajo Land to non-Navajo land.

    Reply
Catina - May 18, 2018

Hey Alley, I am so glad that I found your website and suggestions!
We live in Phoenix, AZ and my niece will be visiting us from NC in July.
We are looking to plan a 3/4 day trip to Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend(and any other suggestions you can give).

We will be traveling by RV.
Question, from Phoenix should we start our trip with the Grand Canyon or Page?

Also, I am open to visiting Slot Canyon vs Antelope Canyon since it will be during July and I know that Antelope can get very crowded. I was looking at using Horseshoe Bend/Slot Canyon Tours??

I would appreciate any suggestions!
Thank you so much for your help!!
Catina

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - May 23, 2018

    Hi Catina,
    The drive from Phoenix to Page takes approximately 4.5 hours; the same for the drive from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. Which one you should hit first will probably depend on where you can find availability for an RV park site. July is HOT, so you’ll most likely want one with hook-ups so you can run an air conditioner.
    At Grand Canyon, your choices are Mather Campground, which doesn’t have hook-ups, or Trailer Village, which does have hook-ups. In Page, the Page/Lake Powell Campground is conveniently located to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend and does have hook-ups. Wahweap Campground also has hook-ups, but is located within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which puts you a bit further away from the main attractions of Page, but situates you well to go for a swim at Lake Powell or take a boat rental or tour. Lone Rock Beach is also a fun place to camp, but no hook-ups. Camping and RV options near Page, AZ
    If you are considering other slot canyons besides Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon is certainly a viable choice and isn’t too hard physically. Other ‘contenders’ are Antelope Canyon X, Cathedral Canyon, Owl Canyon, and Wind Pebble Canyon, just to name a few. Antelope Canyon Alternative Tours
    Good luck and safe travels!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Lorraine - April 22, 2018

Hi Alley! Your website is extremely helpful! We live just west of Phoenix, and we have seen the south rim a bit. We have a couple visiting from NYC at the beginning of May and will be taking my 9 year old daughter. Unfprtunately, we only have 2 full weekdays, but I was hoping to take them to the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, maybe the New Wave. I am thinking about camping overnight, but might be easier to stay at a hotel. Anyway, my thoughts were: Thursday am: drive to south rim, then drive to Page, stay overnight, and Friday, do Antelope Canyon tour and Horseshoe Canyon, drive back. We have to be back by Saturday 9 am. Do you think this is feasible with our 9 year old? As i believe you mentioned, we have to hike 12 miles at Horseshoe Canyon. We could alternatively do some of the activities backwards. We will have a regular sedan.
Thank you for all your thoughtful responses on this page. It has been useful! Any tweaking or recs or thoughts on New Wave would be great!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - April 22, 2018

    Hi Lorraine and thank you for your compliments!
    Unfortunately, your timeframe is too limited IMO to accommodate both destinations. You’re talking about way long drives by trying to cram both Page and the Grand Canyon into your trip.
    The drive from Phoenix to the South Rim takes approximately 4.5 hours; you’re then facing about a 3-4 hour drive to Page. I know Google maps gives the figure as 2.5 hours, but that’s driving direct, which rarely happens on that route. There are a lot of scenic overlooks, points of interest, etc. that will no doubt pique your curiosity. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up driving in the dark through some of the most remote country in the U.S., which is rarely conducive to an enjoyable vacation. The drive back from Page to Phoenix is another 4.5 hours.
    Honestly, if your guests from NYC have never been to the Grand Canyon, I’d suggest dropping Page and concentrating on the Grand Canyon. After all, it is a “must-see destination” and if they aren’t able to return to the area in the foreseeable future, they’d most likely regret not spending enough time there to do it justice. If they have been there, and are satisfied with what they’ve seen/done, then drop GC and concentrate on Page. Whether you do Grand Canyon or Page, you’d still be looking at ~4.5 hours driving time each way, but that would at least give you some quality time at your destination.
    One thing: the hike to Horseshoe Bend is NOT 12 miles! It’s ~1.2 miles round-trip. I think a period must have been accidentally omitted 😉 You can hit Horseshoe Bend on the drive to Page just South of town, as it’s right on your way. The “New” Wave is a short distance outside of town. To get to it, you would cross the Glen Canyon Dam Bridge, then the road veers sharply to the right. Almost immediately, you’ll see an unmarked road that crosses US89. Turn left, then almost immediately, turn right, park your vehicle wherever you feel safest doing so, then you could spend 1 hour or so exploring around.

    One “caveat:” if you encounter any signage stating “no admittance” or forbidding you from going any further, please obey it. The road is unmaintained and can wash out if rain or snow has recently occurred. Also, the “New” Wave should be a “time permitting” thing and not a “must-do.” Prioritize Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, then if you have time, pop over to the New Wave. If you’re running late, skip it.
    Better yet – modify your schedule so you can free up an extra night so you can visit both the Grand Canyon and Page without trying your road tolerance and/or that of your daughter.
    Good luck and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Maria Turner - April 17, 2018

I would like more information on the two day trip.
Thanks!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - April 17, 2018

    Hi Maria,
    Tell us specifically what information you need and we would be happy to advise you!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Debra cysiewski - April 15, 2018

Hello Ally!
I’m doing some research on this area and wondering if you can answer a few questions.
I see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon closes mid October. At the end of November, would we be able to do any touring in the area of Antelope Canyon? If not is there anything else of interest in the area that time of year?
Thank you!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - April 16, 2018

    Hello Debra and thank you for visiting.
    Antelope Canyon is located near the town of Page, Arizona, which is a totally separate area from Grand Canyon North Rim and open year-round. The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is also open all year, and for a first-time visitor, that’s the side of the Grand Canyon we recommend seeing.
    As for other sites you might consider including in your vacation, depending on how much time you have, you could also tour Monument Valley, Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park.
    Hope that helps. Best regards and safe travels!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Jillian - April 11, 2018

Hello, I have found your site very helpful so I thought maybe you would have some suggestions for my trip. My friend and myself will be drive up to Lake Powell on 4/27 from Southern California and will stay there until 4/29. I have already booked a room at the Lake Powell Resorts, we wanted to check out the Lower Antelope Canyon and the Horseshoe Bend, yet I’m not sure how much time we will actually have.

Thank you

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - April 12, 2018

    Hi Jillian and thank you for visiting our site!
    With 2 days to work with, you should have no problem visiting both Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
    Assuming that “Southern California” means LA, the most direct route would have you go North of the Grand Canyon to get to Page, but you also have the option of going the Southern route on I-40, through Joshua Tree, via Kingman and Williams AZ (old Route 66), then North from Flagstaff. This will allow you to hit Horseshoe Bend on your way into Page, AZ. However, this has you bypassing the Grand Canyon, which you may not want to do.
    Lower Antelope Canyon can be visited whenever there is availability for tours and/or when it best fits your schedule. Keep in mind that mid-day is generally regarded as the best time to visit, but those time slots are probably booked up already. Simply take the time slot that has availability and appeals to you most — there is no such thing as a “bad” time to visit. Another consideration is that Lake Powell Resort is located about 30 minutes away from the Antelope Canyon Tribal Park Entrance, and the tour outfitter will probably require that you check in about 30 minute prior to your actual tour departure, so be sure you factor the drive time into your scheduling.
    Hope that answers your questions sufficiently! If not, don’t hesitate to contact us again 🙂
    Alley
    P.S. For more valuable tips and information, visit our sister site, HorseshoeBend.com

    Reply
      Jillian - April 18, 2018

      Thank you so much Alley,

      We have actually decided to drive to Las Vegas on Thursday night, so we don’t have to make the whole drive in one day. With that said we will get to Page early on Friday, I already have the hotel and tour for the Lower Canyon booked, what else would you recommend to do? We have already been to the Grand Canyon so we do not need to go there.

      Jillian

      Reply
Deepak - March 31, 2018

Hi,

We are planning a 5 day trip flying to las vegas with 4yr & 11 yr boys in April, definitely want to go to antelope & grand canyon, would really appreciate any suggestion so as to best utilize the time & enjoy the drive.

Thanks much.

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - April 2, 2018

    Hi Deepak and thank you for visiting!
    With 5 days to work with, you can certainly see a lot in this area, starting with the Grand Canyon.
    On Day 1, drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, which is about a 4.5 hour drive. Plan on spending the night either in Grand Canyon Park Village or Tusayan/Grand Canyon Village South. How To Book A Grand Canyon Hotel
    Day 2, drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, which takes about 2.5 hours if you drive direct, but that’s unlikely to happen as there are many points of interest at which to stop along the way, including Grand Canyon Viewpoints along the Desert View/East Rim Drive, the Little Colorado River Overlook, the Cameron Trading Post, various kiosks where Navajo Tribe members sell jewelry and other wares, the “Cut” scenic overlook, just to name a few. Horseshoe Bend is located just a few miles South of Page, so you can easily hit it on your way into town. Spend the night in Page.
    Day 3, tour Antelope Canyon, and take the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip. For Antelope Canyon, you’ll need to determine whether to visit the Upper or Lower branch. In a nutshell, Upper is easy, manageable for just about everyone; Lower is more physical, requiring some stair climbing and boulder stepping. How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon . Spend the night in Page again.
    Day 4, drive from Page to Zion National Park, which takes about 2 hours. Maybe stop at the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool trail for a brief hike. After doing some sightseeing in Zion National Park, then drive to Springdale, Utah, a town on the Western border of the park, overnight there, then drive back to Las Vegas the next day. Springdale, Utah hotels The trip from Springdale, UT to Las Vegas, NV typically takes about 3 hours.
    Hope that helps – good luck and safe travels to your family!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
      Deepak - April 2, 2018

      Hi Alley,
      Thank you very much for taking the time and providing valuable suggestions, this is extremely helpful. We were also thinking to take the Hoover dam tour on the way to Grand canyon, do you think it would be possible?
      Our flight from Las vegas is on day 6 so, any suggestion as to visiting Bryce canyon before heading to vegas for an overnight stay? or anything else we should do?

      Thanks.

      Reply
        Alley Keosheyan - April 2, 2018

        Hi again, Deepak!
        Unfortunately, children under the age of 8 are not permitted on the tours that go down into the Power Plant, but you certainly might take the time to stop at the Visitor Center if you desire. Plan on spending at least an hour at the Dam.
        If you want to add Bryce Canyon onto your itinerary, I would advise going there from Page (which is about a 2.5 hour drive), staying overnight either in the park or one of the gateway communities (Bryce Canyon hotels), then heading to Zion, overnighting in Springdale, then heading to Las Vegas from there.

        Have fun!
        Alley 🙂

        Reply
Alley Keosheyan - March 29, 2018

Hi Lisa,
Glad those helped! Good call on making a reservation in Page, and on eating at In-N-Out Burger. They’re not available where I live either, and I miss them terribly LOL
RE: having dinner at El Tovar, guests of other hotels in the area can and should make reservations 30 days out. Call 928-638-2631 and ask to be transferred to x6432 when you’re ready. Dinner is the only meal they take reservations for, breakfast and lunch are first-come, first-served.
Have fun!
Alley 🙂

Reply
Lisa - March 25, 2018

We are planning a trip for the end of June – early July and just came across your website and am finding it so very helpful. This was last minute so I know things are booking up like crazy! I was wondering what you thought of our itinerary so far and if you have any suggestions. We have older children 19 and 16.

Day 1 – Arrive PHX airport from Detroit (approximately 4-hour flight) at 9:37 am.

We are not sure if it would be too much to drive to Tunaysan after we eat lunch and rent a car or if we should stay the night in Phoenix and start in the morning?

Day 2 – Arrive at Grand Canyon and check in hotel. The only thing planned so far is a sunset Jeep tour at 5:30 and will spend the night in Tuyasan.

Day 3 – We definitely want to head to Page and see Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend but don’t know if we should check out of the hotel in Tuyasan and get one in Page for the night and drive to Sedona the next day?

Day 4 – We have hotel reservations in Sedona available at 3:00 pm

Day 5 – Sedona

Day 6 – Sedona – checkout of hotel and head to PHX

Day 7 – Flight home from PHX at 12:00

I would really like to avoid checking in and out of hotels but if the travel is too much, I can do it!

Thanks in advance for any ideas or suggestions!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - March 27, 2018

    Hi Lisa, and thank you for visiting our site.
    We’re glad that you’re finding it helpful as you plan your trip!
    You definitely have a lot of questions, and areas where your itinerary can be “tweaked,” so, let’s get on with it 😉
    Since you have “oz” in your e-mail address, I’m assuming you’re flying in from Australia? If so, then I’m also assuming that you’ll go through customs in Detroit or beforehand. One thing that hasn’t been established however, is will you have some “downtime” before flying into Phoenix to adjust to the different time zone, etc. If the answer is “no,” then I’d suggest spending the night in Phoenix and decompressing a bit before taking on the 4.5 hour drive to the Grand Canyon.
    If you have had some time to get over your jetlag, etc., and if your flight from Detroit arrives either on time, or at least by early afternoon, then you might be able to swing the drive to Tusayan that night. The trip from Phoenix to Grand Canyon South Rim takes about 4.5 hours if you drive direct, but that rarely happens as the drive is very scenic and there will no doubt be sights that pique your interest and warrant a stop. If your day goes according to plan, you can certainly take the drive at a fairly leisurely pace since sunset occurs at about 7:45 PM local time. In-N-Out Burger just North of Phoenix makes for a good stop for lunch, or if you can hold off a bit longer, maybe have lunch in Flagstaff.
    After checking into your hotel in Tusayan, think about catching the IMAX movie, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.” The final showing of the film is at 7:30 PM, so if your day has gone according to schedule, you should be able to make that no problem. In Tusayan, there are other opportunities for shopping, etc.
    On your 2nd day, plan on getting up early, driving into the park and exploring Grand Canyon Village. Visit the Canyon View Information Plaza, maybe take a walk along the easy, paved Rim Trail, then hop on the Hermit’s Rest/West Rim Shuttle and going out to those viewpoints. Lunch at El Tovar might be a nice treat for your family, but try and arrive there before 11:30 AM as that’s when the Grand Canyon Railway train pulls in from Williams and from then on, rimside restaurants will be slammed. Head back to Tusayan, catch the Sunset Jeep Tour (which is a lot of fun), then head for bed.
    On Day 3, check out of the hotel in Tusayan and head for Page. Here again, the drive, if you go direct, takes about 2.5 hours, but you’ll likely end up taking more along the lines of 4-5 hours because there are many Grand Canyon viewpoints you can stop at on the trip. Maybe have a late breakfast/early lunch at the Cameron Trading Post at the junction of AZ64 and US89. Hit Horseshoe Bend on the way into town, then check into your hotel. Time permitting, and with an early start, you could do an Antelope Canyon tour that afternoon. Otherwise, plan on touring the following morning, then make the drive to Sedona. As you can see, we recommend that you overnight in Page, AZ instead of doing a day trip from the Grand Canyon due to the distance and points of interest on the way. Page, AZ Hotels The drive to Sedona from Page will then take approximately 3-3.5 hours.
    HOWEVER — if you want to avoid all that driving, there is a way you can accomplish what you want in Page, plus a bit of a “bonus:” keep your hotel in Tusayan and take the Scenic Canyon River Adventure tour. This is a dynamite full-day package tour that starts with a sunrise airplane flight over the Eastern portion of the Grand Canyon, including Horseshoe Bend, a tour of Antelope Canyon, and a half-day float trip on the Colorado River. If you do this, then you can just go directly to Sedona the following day, which is about a 2-hour drive.
    It’s good that you’ve planned 3 days in Sedona, there’s a ton to see and do there, and most visitors end up wishing they had a week — or planning a return trip 😉
    Hope that helps and that you and your family have a wonderful vacation!
    Alley

    Reply
      Lisa - March 28, 2018

      Alley,

      I can’t thank you enough for your suggestions for our trip! We are actually from Michigan so I don’t think we will be too jetlagged for the car trip from Phoenix to Tuyasan on Day 1. The plan to stop at In-N-Out Burger sounds good to me since it’s not available here! 🙂

      I’ve been reading a lot about eating at El Tovar, so I was pleased to see you mentioned it for Day 2. I will try and get reservations there when they are available.

      Day 3 sounds great and I’ve adjusted my hotel reservations to spend the night in Page! I will be making reservations for an Antelope Canyon tour right after I finish typing this!

      Thanks so much for taking time to read my questions and provide suggestions!

      Warm regards,

      Lisa

      Reply
Rick Bazemore - March 17, 2018

Hi Alley!

We are planning a trip to the Page area in October 2018 and need some specific help in planning where to fly in to.

We covered Vegas and Zion this past spring and don’t want to do that area again.

Spots we’d like to cover include Page, Grand Canyon North Rim, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley, Moab, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, etc.

Since my friend Lee McMichael, was tourism director for Page for a couple of years we’d like to spend at least 48 hours there.

What would you recommend as a fly in point and 8-day intinerary say like October 6-13?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - March 18, 2018

    Hi Rick,
    Thank you for your visit, October is a great time of year to travel in this area!
    For the itinerary you are proposing, Las Vegas or Salt Lake City would be the best airports to fly into. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that visitor facilities at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon close October 15th, and if you haven’t made lodging reservations there yet, you’re quite likely to find them sold out.
    Another thing: your itinerary is overly ambitious given an 8-day timeframe.
    A more realistic itinerary would be something like this:
    Day 1 – Arrive @ Las Vegas, drive to Grand Canyon North Rim (4.5 hours), overnight either at one of the North Rim Lodges or Kanab, Utah Grand Canyon North Rim Hotels
    Day 2 – Drive from Grand Canyon North Rim to Page (2.5 hours), visit Horseshoe Bend, tour Antelope Canyon, overnight.
    Day 3 – Take 90-minute airplane sightseeing tour over Monument Valley, and/or Lake Powell boat tour or Glen Canyon Float Trip, overnight in Page.
    Day 4 – Drive from Page to Bryce Canyon (approximately 3 hours), take day hike or tour in the area, overnight in Bryce Canyon area.
    Day 5 – Drive from Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef (2.5 hours), overnight in Capitol Reef area.
    Day 6/7 – Drive from Capitol Reef to Moab (2.5 hours), visit Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.
    Day 8 – Drive from Moab to Salt Lake City (3.5 hours), fly home.

    This itinerary has you flying into Las Vegas and out of Salt Lake City for the sake of convenience, but price-wise, it may be somewhat inconvenient if rental car drop-off fees are too high, so definitely check into that before committing. If you do opt to fly into and out of SLC, note that the drive from SLC to Grand Canyon North Rim will be significantly longer, about 6.5 hours instead of 4.5.
    Note also that I’ve left Monument Valley off the itinerary since it is “tourable” from Page and would allow for more quality time around the Lake Powell area.
    Hope that helps. Take care and safe travels!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Michele - March 12, 2018

Thank you so much for your wonderful site. I have been reading all the articles as I am planning for our upcoming trip this June to the Southwest. I will be with my husband and 2 boys (age 9, 15). We have never been to the area and are taking 3 weeks in a campervan going to Zion, Bryce, Page, Monument Valley, 4 corners (boys insist), Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Death Valley,, Yosemite, and Alcatraz. We will end up in Page 6/9-10 Any general advice is most welcome, but my specific question has to do with the Page tours you recommend. I am thinking the ww.horseshoebendslotcanyonadventures.com you recommend for one day and then being on the water a second day. At first I was thinking Hidden Canyon Kayak Tours but then reading this post was wondering if we should do Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip. What is your advice with the kids? Also do you have any recommendations for campgrounds? Thanks in advance for your time and expertise!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - March 12, 2018

    Hi Michele and thank you for your compliments!
    First off, I’d recommend taking Petrified Forest and Death Valley off the list. In June, these areas are simply too hot to be enjoyed IMO. Take the time you might have spent there and allocate it to Sedona. Plenty to see and do, including Slide Rock State Park (natural waterslide), simple but scenic hiking and lots more.
    If you’re going to 4 Corners, be aware that you won’t spend much time there as there’s not much to it, but you’ll pass by Monument Valley, and we’d definitely recommend spending at least a day there.
    As for water-based activities in Page, the float trip is nice, and the kids are given an opportunity to swim (although the water is REALLY cold!). The kayak tour is more “hands-on” and your boys might find that more enjoyable than sitting on a raft for 3 hours.
    Camping is another thing you might want to rethink in Page. Nights don’t get that cool in June, and you might appreciate having some A/C. If your campervan is powered, you might want to stay at an RV park that has electrical hook-ups. In Page, those are the Wahweap/Stateline RV Park & Campground at Lake Powell Resort, which is in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (entrance fees required) and the Page/Lake Powell Campground in the town of Page itself. Page, Arizona RV & Camping Options
    Hope that helps. Best wishes for safe travels!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Alex - February 7, 2018

Hi Alley,

Your page has been extremely helpful in planning an upcoming vacation my friends and I want to take to the Grand Canyon/Antelope Canyon/Horseshoe Bend & possibly Zion. I was wondering if I could run my itinerary by you and get your opinions/suggestions. We are going to be travelling in the mid-end of May and have 4 full days.

Option 1:
Day 1: Drive from PHX airport to hike Grand Canyon
Day 2: Grand Canyon Sunrise, Drive to Page for Lower Antelope Canyon Tour, Kayak Lake Powell, Sunset Horseshoe Bend
Day 3: The Wave/Zion
Day 4: The Wave/Zion, Fly out of LAS
*With this option, we are not sure if we will be able to see the Wave but we have heard of the “New Wave”?

Option 2:
Day 1: Drive from PHX airport to hike Grand Canyon
Day 2: Grand Canyon Sunrise, Drive to Page, Kayak on Lake Powell
Day 3: Lower Antelope canyon tour, Sunset Horseshoe Bend
Day 4: Drive to Zion Utah, Fly out of LAS
*Can we do Zion in one day? We would try to take an overnight flight home in order to do so, but it seems like a lot of driving in one day?

Option 3:
Day 1: Drive from PHX airport to hike Grand Canyon
Day 2: Grand Canyon Sunrise, Breakfast in canyon, Drive to Page, Kayak on Lake Powell
Day 3: Antelope canyon tour, drive to Utah side of Lake Powell, Sunset Horseshoe Bend
Day 4: Sedona/Flagstaff, Fly out of PHX

Since we are so close to Utah we really want to see the state if at all possible!
Have heard great things about Zion. Any travel tips you have would be greatly appreciated!!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - February 8, 2018

    Hi Alex, and thanks for your compliments!
    Before you commit to a plan that involves you flying into one airport and out of another, I would strongly recommend checking out costs of rental car fees. Due to the relative remoteness of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, and major cities being somewhat few and far between, most rental car outlets charge rather hefty surcharges for dropping a vehicle anyplace other than where you picked it up.
    The “great things” you heard about Zion are absolutely true! What’s more, it’s a huge park that deserves 2 days or your time in order to do it justice. Keep in mind though that if you’re not staying inside the park, you will be required to catch a shuttle out of the town of Springdale, UT in order to explore it, which isn’t a detriment necessarily because we recommend staying in Springdale if Zion comes at the end of your trip since it puts you closer to Las Vegas (~3 hours).
    Regarding The Wave, chances are, you’re not going to get there. If you haven’t gone through the application process for an on-line permit, which took place in January, you’ll have to try for a walk-in permit the day prior to when you wish to hike. The walk-in permit process takes place in Kanab, UT, so you’d have to plan to be there first thing in the morning (8:00 AM local time IIRC), then when you fail to get a permit (which, statistically, is the most likely outcome), figure out other things to do that day. The “New” Wave would probably be a more realistic option. It’s a small but interesting cluster of rock formations, some of which bear a slight resemblance to The Wave but are more “monochromatic” in color. Here’s a map of how to get there from Page. Remember, though, that the road is unmaintained, and prone to washing out in storms, so be careful where you drive and if signs are posted stating “no admittance,” obey them.

    So, long story short, an itinerary we’d recommend is:
    Day 1: Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim, overnight at GC
    Day 2: Drive from GC to Page early, hit Horseshoe Bend on the way into town, take Antelope Canyon tour or Lake Powell Kayak tour, overnight in Page
    Day 3: Take Antelope Canyon or Lake Powell Kayak Tour, hit “New” Wave, drive to Zion, overnight Springdale, UT
    Day 4: More sightseeing in Zion if desired, fly out of Las Vegas
    Are you sure you can’t arrange for a Day 5 in there somewhere? LOL
    Take care and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Jessnom - January 24, 2018

Hi , I stumbled across your website today and found your post very helpful for planning our upcoming honeymoon visit to the US. I am planning to spend about 5-6 days in the Utah/Arizona. I wish to visit the lower antelope canyon, horseshoe bend, monument valley and zion national park. Also, I saw that there is a nice glamping in moab (under canvas moab) in the dessert area.

i have two options here :

option A – (do you think there will be too much of driving for option A?)
day 1 Vegas -Zion national park
day 2 under canvas moab (have to do more research for places to go in this area)
day 3 Monument valley (have to do more research for places to go in this area) – page
day 4 Lower Antelope canyon, horseshoe bend
day 5 back to Vegas

Option B-
day 1 Vegas -Zion national park, under canvas Zion
day 2 Zion national park – page
day 3 Lower Antelope canyon, horseshoe bend – Vegas

Could you please give me some advice on it?
Thank you very much !

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - January 25, 2018

    Dear Jessnom,
    Hello and congratulations on y our upcoming wedding!
    A couple of things that stick right out about your itinerary:
    1. The Grand Canyon is missing. Was that an unintentional oversight, or have you already been there?
    2. Trying to include Moab in this itinerary is probably a little too ambitious. It’s a 3+ hour drive from Las Vegas to Zion, and then a 5 hour drive from Zion to Moab. Another consideration? Zion warrants at least 2 days of your time, and Moab deserves at least 3 days. With 5-6 days total to work with, using Las Vegas as your starting point, I’d recommend trimming Moab off the list this time around and save it for another visit, and possibly Monument Valley, too.
    So, with 5-6 days to work with, here’s what I’d recommend:
    Day 1 – fly to Vegas, spend the night
    Day 2 & 3 – Zion National Park
    Day 4 – Page, AZ (Horseshoe Bend/Antelope Canyon)
    Day 5 – Grand Canyon South Rim
    Day 6 – Back to Las Vegas
    If you’ve already been to the Grand Canyon and have no inclination to go back, you could always take it off the itinerary, substitute Monument Valley, than save Zion for the end of your loop.
    Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Ashley Ocampo - January 14, 2018

Hi,

I’ll be in Tucson on 2/24 to speak on a panel and would like to see the canyon’s while in the state as I have never been and have always wanted to go! The plan would be to fly into Tucson and fly out of Phoenix as I believe that’s the best option, right?

But, and correct me if I’m wrong, this seems to be off season so a tour would not be available? If so, is there anything I can do at this time?

Appreciate any help!

Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - January 15, 2018

    Hi Ashley and thank you for visiting our site today!
    Actually, Tucson is only about a 90 minute drive from Phoenix. If you were planning to rent a car anyway, I would recommend just flying into and out of Phoenix.
    Speaking of Phoenix, winter and spring are actually peak season in that area. As for Northern Arizona, it’s a little slower, but not much. Most tours are operating, with the exception of water-based activities such as the Colorado River Float Trip and Lake Powell Boat Tours. It’s a little too cold for those.
    Hope that’s the information you were looking for!
    Have a wonderful trip and good luck with your speaking engagement.
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
Stephanie - October 5, 2017

Hi Alley, You are amazing and superb in providing information on Arizona. I’m planing on a trip to Antelope and after reading your blog i have figured out where and what i can do.

I’m plaining for 7 days trip in 28th Jan. Take a flight to Las Vegas and spend 2 night there then rent a car to Grand Canyon South rim for 2 nights then head to Page for 3 nights and head home from Page airport.

But i have problem finding car rental to drop off the car at Page airport.
Any suggestion on my trip or what other options do i have ?

Thank You
Stephanie

Reply
    Ryan - October 5, 2017

    Hi Stephanie,
    I’m gonna jump in on this question just because I happen to be staring at my e-mail when it came in 🙂 Maybe Alley will have something to add afterwards.

    There is only one national car rental company in Page, which is Avis. If you make your reservation through them, you should be fine. If you have trouble booking it online, you might want to give the local page office a call at (928) 645-2024.

    Happy travels!
    Ryan

    Reply
    Alley Keosheyan - October 5, 2017

    Hey Stephanie!
    Unlike Ryan, I rarely find myself up and about at 2:40 am, but I will chime in on your question 🙂
    As Ryan states, the only car rental outlet at the Page Municipal Airport (PGA) is Avis. So if you reserve through them, you should be able to pick your car up in Vegas and drop it off in Page. HOWEVER, be prepared to pay a bit extra for doing so.
    Due to the distance between major cities in the Southwest US, many rental car companies impose sometimes hefty surcharges for dropping a vehicle off anywhere other than it was picked up from. Even if you drop it off at the same company’s outlet in another city, the originating city where the car was picked up is eventually going to want it back, and for them, that costs money. So you may want to compare costs and see if you’d be better off simply dropping your rental car back off in Las Vegas and flying home from there.
    The drive from Page to Las Vegas takes approximately 4.5 hours one way, comparable to the drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim.
    Another thought: since you’re visiting during the off-season, some activities in the Page area are going to be on temporary hiatus, namely boat tours and airplane and helicopter tours. You might be hard-pressed to fill 3 days. Consider altering your plans so that you just spend 2 nights in Page, then go on to Zion National Park (about 90 minutes-2 hours away), explore around a bit, then spend your last night in Springdale, UT. That’ll put you only 2.5-3 hours from Las Vegas (sorry, a 2.5-3 hour drive is considered relatively short to us here, hence the “only” qualifier!) on your last travel day.
    Hope that helps too – and happy traveling!
    Alley 🙂

    Reply
      Stephanie - October 6, 2017

      Thank you so much for the suggestions. It is great and now i can cover Zion 🙂

      Reply
Page, AZ Attractions Make RadSeason's Southwest Top 7 - Horseshoe Bend, Arizona - July 31, 2017

[…] No surprise that two Page, AZ landmarks made this list. That’s why we always say you need at least 2 full days here in order to do this incredible area justice! The Ultimate 2-Day Itinerary in Page, Arizona […]

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Erin M - June 7, 2017

I stumbled across your website today and found many posts so very helpful for planning our upcoming visit to Page. Thanks for all the guidance!

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