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Ultimate one day itinerary in Page, AZ. Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend

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One day is not enough time to see everything in Page, AZ. But if you have to do it to stay on schedule, or you booked all your stay before visiting this website, this is the way to get the most out of your time (minimizing driving, and hitting optimal times for tours.) Here is the best one day itinerary in Page, AZ.

  • Sunrise:  Drive to Page, AZ/Antelope Canyon from where you are. Assuming you are in Zion, Grand Canyon, Sedona, or Monument Valley, this will take you between 2-4 hours.
  • 1030: tour of Antelope Canyon – Book a tour with Lower or Upper Antelope Canyon. Both Lower Antelope Canyon companies are suitable, or drive directly to Upper Canyon. 
  • 1 pm: Drive to Antelope Point Marina and have lunch at Ja’di’To’oh, the restaurant on the docks of the marina. Despite the funny name, its mostly burgers, pizza, salads, and sandwiches (at marina prices.)
  • 2 pm: Book a tour of Lake Powell with Antelope Point marina. This tour will take you up Antelope Canyon on the lake. There are other tours of the lake, but this is the fastest and has the least travel time on the water to get to a canyon.
  • Sunset: Overnight in Page, AZ. Check out TripAdvisor for recommendations

476 Comments

  1. Deneen says:

    Hello Alley,
    Thank you for such great information. I’m planning to run the Lake Powell Half Marathon this weekend and want to add a bit of sightseeing to my agenda. Flying into Vegas on Friday, 10/11, arrival 9:00 AM. Driving to Page, AZ. What sights should I consider on the drive? Also, trying to fit in Lower Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Rainbow Bridge. I will only have Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon/evening. Driving back to Vegas early Sunday. Is it possible to a see all and any suggestions on order and/or tour options would be appreciated. Thank you! —Deneen

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Deneen and good luck in the race this weekend!
      Coming from Las Vegas to Page, AZ, you could do one of two things to make the most of the drive:
      1. detour through Zion National Park, or

      2. detour on US89A by the Vermilion Cliffs/Marble Canyon area

      Either one will tack another 90 minutes-2 hours onto your drive time, but if you don’t expect to return to the area anytime soon, you should definitely take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the sights. Just be sure you’re at your final destination for the day before sunset. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to local roads that have very little ambient lighting, and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other wildlife that could pose a safety hazard. Sunset this weekend will occur 6:00 PM Arizona time.
      With the time you have, you should be able to see Antelope Canyon and visit Horseshoe Bend without a problem, provided there are seats available on Antelope Canyon tours. Horseshoe Bend can be visited at your leisure, parking permitting, anytime between the hours of sunrise and sunset. A guided tour is required to visit Antelope Canyon and the majority of local slot canyons. At this late date, don’t be surprised if Antelope Canyon tours are sold out, in which case, you might look to one of many alternate slot canyons in Page, AZ, that are just as beautiful, but a lot less crowded.
      Unfortunately, Rainbow Bridge is where we run into a problem. It’s not possible to drive there as it’s 50+ miles uplake from Page, AZ, and there are no roads that go into that area. Hiking there is a multi-day commitment that requires a permit from the Navajo Tribe, something you don’t have time to arrange. The other option would be to take a boat tour, but that takes the better part of a day, which again, you don’t appear to have at your disposal. The only option you appear to have available would be to fly over it. Fixed-wing airplanes depart from the Page Municipal Airport daily, contingent on good weather and mornings are the best time to fly for optimal light and less wind. Rainbow Bridge Air Tour
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  2. Stephanie says:

    Hello,
    We will be visiting from Australia and spending 5 days driving between Phoenix and Salt Lake City, late Dec, early Jan.
    Hoping to show our kids (6 & 8) Horseshoe bend and Antelope Canyon on the way but absolutely lost as to where we should aim to stay to do this!
    Any help much appreciated 🙂

    Steph

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Stephanie!
      For visiting Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, the town you want to stay in is Page, Arizona. It is situated just minutes from both attractions, and has a fine selection of traditional hotels and vacation rentals.
      Hopefully, you’re planning on taking advantage of the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon as well!

      One thing to be careful about at the time of year you’re visiting, however, is that it’s winter. Snow is a very real possibility in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, so hopefully your schedule has some “wiggle room” in case you find yourself delayed or detoured by inclement weather.
      Remember also that the time of year you’re traveling is the Christmas/New Year’s holidays, so it will be busy. Be sure to book all lodging and Antelope Canyon tours ASAP.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  3. Kat says:

    Hi Alley,

    We’ll be visiting Las Vegas and Arizona this month, october 21-25. Is it possible to visit grand canyon south rim, antelope, and horseshoe bend in one day? FYI, we’ll be driving from Vegas. Thanks for your help.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Kat,
      The short answer to your question (“Is it possible to visit grand canyon south rim, antelope, and horseshoe bend in one day?”) – no.
      The long answer to your question is it takes approximately 5 hours to drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim. It then takes ~3 hours to drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, where it will take at least 4 hours to tour Antelope Canyon and visit Horseshoe Bend. You’d then be facing a 5-6 hour drive from Page, AZ, back to Las Vegas. So that’s 13-14 hours of driving (factoring in restroom breaks, photo ops, meals, etc.), and 4-5 hours of touring, when you only have 11 hours of daylight to work with.

      Sorry, but the math just doesn’t add up. You need to set aside at least 2 days to pull all that off; better yet 3 days/2 nights if you don’t want to feel as though you’re racing against the clock the whole time.
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  4. Tiffany says:

    Hi Alley,

    First off, this is a great site. The Q&As and advice on here is very helpful for trip planning.

    My itinerary below is part of a larger 19 night/20 day road trip that ends in California. My husband and I are traveling with our 2 youngest (they will be 3 and 15) and my mother. We’re leaving the last of May (28 or 29) 2021.

    3 nights Las Vegas
    Day 1, late arrival, night 1
    2 days/2 nights, open

    3 nights Zion National Park
    Day 1, after Hoover Dam Tour arrive at park, night 1
    Day 2, park tour via vehicle, night 2
    Day 3, hike the Narrow to Wall Street, night 3

    1 night Lake Powell
    Day 1, lake tour, night 1

    2 nights South Rim Grand Canyon
    Day 1, see Horseshoe Bend and tour Upper Antelope Canyon arrive at Grand Canyon, night 1
    Day 2, tour Grand Canyon (non-hiking), night 2

    1 night Phoenix
    Day 1, see Sedona in route to Phoenix, night 1

    Drive to California

    Point: We want to avoid night driving and minimize outdoor activities during the peak heat of the day.

    1. How is my itinerary? Is it too much fluff time? Am I overlooking any major must sees or stops?
    2. Is it possible for us to be more efficient so that we can bank more time for California without rushing?
    3. Our main reason for adding the Sedona /Phoenix portion is to avoid the longer drive through the desert. I’ve read that South Rim Grand Canyon to Los Angeles is a hard drive full of nothing. Is this true? My fear is that the long haul drive during the day will be too much for a 3 year old.
    4. If we keep the Phoenix portion, we’re considering running the itinerary in reverse. Start in Phoenix, leaving Las Vegas going to California. Having the longer rest stop in Vegas may be better than having the 1 day in Phoenix. Will doing the itinerary in reverse have a big impact in terms of temperatures and crowds? Will there be a big difference in water levels in the Narrows? Me, my husband, and teen will be making the hike.
    5. Lastly, since the Grand Canyon is now a Dark Skies Park, any suggestions on activities or locations?

    Thanks,
    Tiffany

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hey Tiffany!
      Your itinerary looks pretty fun, and I don’t think it has too much “fluff” time at all — we’d rather see folks take their Southwest vacations at a nice, relaxed pace instead of a daily race against the clock in an attempt to cram as many destinations as possible into their trip. It’s also great that you’re planning things well in advance.
      Still, your plan warrants a couple of minor observations and reality checks.
      On Day 1 of the Zion leg of your trip, going to Hoover Dam beforehand will add another 90 minutes onto a long-ish drive since it’s in the “wrong direction.”

      I’d recommend doing Hoover Dam on one of your “open” days in Las Vegas, or, on the way back to Las Vegas if you opt to return there instead of Phoenix at the end of your trip. Instead, take the easy detour to the stunning Valley of Fire State Park on the way to Zion. Get an early start out of Las Vegas if you want to take us up on that as VOF does get hot during the day.

      When you say “tour the park by vehicle” on day 2, keep in mind that you’ll only be allowed to drive into Zion Canyon in your own vehicle if you are staying at the Zion Lodge. Since you are planning so far ahead, you should be able to manage that, but keep in mind that the Zion Lodge books up one year in advance. Be ready to reserve a room first thing in the morning on May 1st, 2020! If you end up staying anywhere else, such as Springdale, UT, or Kanab, UT, you’ll need to utilize the free park shuttle to access Zion Canyon.
      If you want to include Sedona in your itinerary, that’s great, it’s a gorgeous area, but honestly, doing it as a “drive-by” between Grand Canyon South Rim and Phoenix won’t do it justice. You need at least 2-3 days to at least “scratch the surface.” You might want to trim a day off Las Vegas, and even 1 day off Grand Canyon South Rim in order to accommodate that. Crazy as that may sound, you can scoot by with 1 night at Grand Canyon South Rim because a good chunk of your sightseeing will take place on the drive from (or to) Page, AZ.
      If you opt to skip Phoenix and do a Las Vegas to Las Vegas loop instead, you might add Bryce Canyon to your itinerary. One day in this area is sufficient since it’s a small park, square mileage-wise. For more information on a “classic” American Southwest trip itinerary using Las Vegas as a staging city, check out our “Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary in Northern AZ & Southern UT
      You are correct in that the drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Los Angeles is a “whole lot of nothing” that might be a little much for a 3-year-old to handle. If you do decide to flip-flop the itinerary, it will be “six of one/half a dozen of another” in terms of temperatures, crowds, water levels in the Narrows, etc. Bear in mind that you’re traveling during the Memorial Day holiday, so it will be busy everywhere.
      Regarding Grand Canyon’s newly acquired status as a Dark Sky Park, star-gazing and astronomy programs may indeed be occurring, but it’s too soon to call this far out. Maybe check the Grand Canyon National Park events calendar a little closer to your trip date to see what’s going on. Check the other parks as well as they all take steps to preserve the natural quality of the night sky, even if they’re not yet “officially” recognized as Dark Sky Parks.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  5. Mandy Quek says:

    Hi Alley! My husband and I are visiting Vegas for the first time from Asia. And we are planning to self drive from our place at the Vegas Strip, to the Horseshoe bend and the Lower Antelope Canyon (for a guided 1/5-2h tour). We are pretty confused with coming up with a good plan for sufficient time to be set aside for both places, taking into consideration the 4.5h drive back to the Strip in the evening before skies turn dark.
    Could you please advise us on a good day’s tour itinerary? Looking to cover Horseshoe Bend and the Lower Antelope Canyon mainly.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Mandy!
      Since Antelope Canyon is the only component of your day that requires a tour booking, you can essentially build the rest of your day around it. Horseshoe Bend can be visited at your leisure, in your own vehicle – parking permitting, of course. Allow approximately 90 minutes to visit Horseshoe Bend, which includes time to walk the .6 miles from the parking lot to the overlook, take photos and admire the view, then walk back to the parking lot.
      One piece of information I wish I had was the time of year you’re visiting. That will have a direct effect on the “urgency” of getting back to the Strip before dark. If your trip is toward the end of this month, sunrise occurs at ~6:45 AM, and sunset takes place at around 5:30 PM. That’s not even 12 hours of daylight to work with, and an Antelope Canyon tour is going to take up 2-2.5 hours of your already limited time in Page, AZ. Another consideration is that there is a construction project occurring on a stretch of I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge, which could tack another 30-60 minutes onto the drive between Las Vegas and Page, going in either direction. If your visit is taking place sometime next year, in the spring or summer, you have more daylight hours to work with, but still, if you’re not locked into your Las Vegas hotel reservations that night, I would strongly consider staying overnight in Page, AZ, for optimal safety and comfort.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Gitesh Chopra says:

        Hi Alley!

        Wonderful and helpful article. Went through the comments and they were super helpful.
        We are planning to go to Las Vegas from San Jose on friday, 8th November and come back on Tuesday, 12th November 2019.
        We are planning to enjoy in Vegas for the weekend and leave early morning from Vegas on Monday 11th around 5 am to go to Page and directly reach the antelope Canyon tour. May be book a tour between 1 and 3 pm. After that we plan to rest and stay in page overnight.
        12th morning we can see Horse Shoe Bend and Lake Powell and return to Vegas to catch a flight in the evening at 9:30 pm. Does this sound like a feasible plan, given the construction on the route, less lighting on the track and less than 12 hours of daylight in November?
        Or should we change our plan? What would be your thoughts to optionally plan our tour in the current scenario and enjoy these beauties of nature?
        Do you also suggest accommodating Grand Canyon in our trip or is this optimal already?

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Gitesh!
          Hope you don’t mind that I’m working your inquiry “backwards.” To answer your question about accommodating Grand Canyon, I’d ask you this: have you already been to the Grand Canyon? If not, as much as I hate to say it, I’d recommend prioritizing it over Antelope Canyon. The Grand Canyon is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so it’s one of those places everyone should see before they leave this world!
          Unfortunately, with your limited timeframe, there’s no way to comfortably and safely add the Grand Canyon to your itinerary. It takes approximately 5 hours to drive from Las Vegas to Page, AZ. It would then take another 3 hours minimum to drive from Page to Grand Canyon South Rim, then another 5 hours to drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Las Vegas. So, that’s 8 hours of driving in one day at a time of year when daylength is very short: sunrise in Arizona occurs at around 7:00 AM and sunset in Las Vegas takes place at approximately 4:30 PM.
          Sorry to be the bearer of potentially bad news.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  6. Jess says:

    Hi!

    We are planning to visit December 5-10 for our babymoon and are flying into Phoenix. We were thinking of spending 1 night in Page, 1 night in Grand Canyon and the remaining nights in Sedona. Here are the things we want to see:
    -Antelope Canyon
    -Horseshoe Bend
    -Grand Canyon

    We were planning on driving straight to Page from Phoenix Airport but I’m not sure if this is the best way logistically. Can you please advise? 🙂

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Jess and congratulations on your impending bundle of joy!
      Honestly, the order in which you plan your trip will come down to two key components: Antelope Canyon tour availability and availability of Grand Canyon lodging.
      I can certainly understand the appeal of getting the longer drive out of the way first, so if you can find lodging in Page, AZ, and slots on Antelope Canyon tours for that first leg of your trip, then rooms at a Grand Canyon hotel on that second night, you should be golden! However, be prepared to reverse the order in which you visit these two attractions should hotel or tour availability dictate doing so. If you were to have to visit the Grand Canyon first, then Page, then Sedona, it won’t make much of a difference in the drive times, since Phoenix to Page or Grand Canyon South Rim is ~4.5-5 hour drive in either case. If you were to have to do a Phoenix-Grand Canyon-Page-Sedona loop, you would end up doing some backtracking, but it won’t be significant enough to negatively impact your experience, IMO.
      An important consideration at the time of year you’re visiting is to ensure that you’re doing all your driving during daylight hours. Days in December are short — sunrise occurs ~7:20 AM, sunset at around 5:15 PM — and local roads are minimally lit, which is a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night skies. Another potential hazard is the tendency of deer, elk, and other wildlife to graze or migrate at night, which ratchets up your risk of a collision in an area that’s pitch black, where cell service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  7. Nag says:

    Hi Alley,

    Need your help in planning 1 week trip starting 24th Nov to 30 Nov this year.
    Out trip starts from 24th at Phoenix and ends on 30th or 1st Dec in Las vegas all bye drive.
    Places of interest:
    Page (Antelope canyon, Horse Shoe Bend, Lake Powell)
    Monument Valley
    Grand Canyon
    Las Vegas(2 nights min)
    Death Valley

    Could you please suggest how should we plan our trip.
    Please note that we are group of 10 people and will be taking airbnb homes wherever we stay overnight.

    Also, please let us know if we can include other place like Wave,Zion,Bryce.. etc

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Nag,
      First thing’s first: The Wave is not going to happen. This is a specially managed area in the Paria Canyon/Vermilion Cliffs National Monument that is restricted to 20 hikers per day. Permits are issued via online lottery 4 months in advance, with whatever is left going out to people who apply for a walk-in lottery in Kanab, UT, the day prior to when they wish to hike. With a group your size, the probability of getting in via either means is slim to none. But, there might still be a way you can see it. More on that in a minute.
      Another thing to keep in mind is that you’re traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., so don’t be surprised to find lodging (even Air BnB’s), tours, etc., to be booked up already. Be flexible with your plans, and be ready to accept the fact that you might have to drop a few items off your “wish list,” and one you’ll most likely have to sacrifice is Monument Valley. That area doesn’t have much lodging to work with in the first place, and what with it being so popular, hotels and vacation homes are often booked up a year in advance. However, there might still be a way for you to see that, too. More on that in a minute…
      So, with the timeframe available to you, you could do something like this:
      November 24th – land in Phoenix, overnight in Phoenix
      November 25th – drive to Grand Canyon South Rim (~5-6 hour drive, factoring in stops), overnight at Grand Canyon Village, Tusayan, Williams, or Flagstaff. Grand Canyon lodging options
      November 26th – drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ (~3.5-4 hour drive, with stops including the Cameron Trading Post for breakfast/brunch), overnight in Page, AZ vacation home , visit Horseshoe Bend, tour Antelope Canyon
      November 27th – drive from Page, AZ, to Zion National Park (~3 hour drive), overnight in Springdale, UT
      November 28th – drive from Springdale, UT to Las Vegas, NV, w/detour through Valley of Fire State Park if desired (~5 hour drive), overnight in Las Vegas
      November 29th – day trip to Death Valley National Monument (~2.5 hour drive each way), overnight in Vegas
      November 30th – 3rd day/night in Las Vegas or fly home
      A couple of things to bear in mind as you make your plans: you’re traveling during the early part of winter, so, best case scenario, you’ll encounter days that are sunny and brisk; worst case, you could run into a snowstorm. It’s too soon to call at this point, of course, but start monitoring local weather about 2 weeks before you get set to travel, and plan on at least packing a jacket, gloves, etc. for each member of your party. Another factor potentially working “against” you at the time of year you’re traveling is daylength: it’s short, and you want to make sure you do any and all driving during daylight hours here. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged due to lack of ambient lighting on area roads, and the tendency of deer, elk, and other wildlife to congregate around them at night, ratcheting up the possibility of you having an accident. That’s something you DON’T want to have happen in an area that’s pitch black, where cell phone service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. The week you’re traveling, sunrise in Arizona occurs at around 7:15 AM, and sunset takes place at approximately 5:15 PM. Move that up an hour for Las Vegas, since Nevada is in a different time zone.
      Oh, RE: The Wave and Monument Valley – if you’re not able to get to either of these places in person, a way you might still be able to work them into your itinerary is to fly over them. Airplanes and helicopters can be chartered out of the Page Municipal Airport by advance arrangement. Yes, it will be pricey, but you’ll get to see some amazing scenery you couldn’t get to by car or by foot! For more information, visit this article on our companion site, http://www.TheWaveAZ.com: So You Didn’t Get A Wave Permit – Now What?
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      • Nag says:

        Thanks for the detailed itinerary Alley!!

        We will try to follow the trip as suggested. We are ok to skip Wave but we will see if we can include Monument Valley.
        Thanks again for the detailed explanation.

    • peg says:

      I would like to plan a trip to include rim to rim south to north, antelope canyon and harsh bend. Looking for tips on time of year and logistics.

      • Alley Keosheyan says:

        Hi Peg!
        Since Grand Canyon North Rim is only open between May 15th and October 15th, that will be the linchpin around which the rest of your trip planning revolves. In light of its abbreviated season, and the fact that there isn’t much lodging in that area to work with, you shouldn’t be surprised if all hotel rooms in that area are booked for the 2020 season already. Grand Canyon North Rim lodging Should you find that to be the case, there are alternatives, such as visiting the park as a day trip from places like Kanab, UT, or Page, AZ, or taking a scenic flight over it from the South Rim.
        If you are able to pick and choose what time of year to visit, late September and early October is my personal favorite, a sentiment which is echoed by many longtime locals. Autumn offers the benefits of cooler temperatures, thinning crowds, and in some areas, beautiful autumn foliage to compliment your photos!
        Las Vegas would be the best place to stage your trip from, as it is conveniently located to Grand Canyon North and South Rim, as well as Page, AZ (for Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend), and other beautiful parks such as Bryce Canyon and Zion.
        For suggestions on how to get the most out of a 1-week visit to the Grand Circle, check out our “Ultimate 7-Day Itinerary in Northern Arizona & Southern Utah
        Please feel free to write in again if we can be of further guidance.
        Good luck and safe travels!
        Alley 🙂

    • Jennifer Denslow says:

      Hey! We are trying to fit these in while staying in Kannab Oct 14-18th. Trying to figure out the best way to plan our trip.

      We land in Vegas at 7:30am on Monday, and fly out at 6pm on Friday.

      Of course Zion and Bryce are places of interest, but want to fit these in as well. Don’t want to waste Monday and Friday, as there is still a lot of time to fit something in those days. Please help! 😊

      • Alley Keosheyan says:

        Hi Jennifer!
        You’ve picked a wonderful time to visit Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, and Kanab, UT, is a good “base camp” from which to explore the many attractions of the Grand Circle.
        The main priority on your sightseeing days is going to be making sure you get any and all driving done during daylight hours. Roads in this part of the U.S. are very dimly lit, a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night skies. Plus deer, elk, and other wildlife tend to be nocturnal, and Kanab, UT, is located on a migratory route which is very heavily trafficked at the time of year you’re visiting. Another consideration is that there will be a time difference between Nevada and Utah, and Utah and Arizona: Nevada is on Pacific Daylight Time, Arizona is on Mountain STANDARD Time, and Utah is on Mountain DAYLIGHT Time. You will “lose” an hour traveling between Las Vegas and Kanab, “gain” an hour traveling from Kanab to Page, AZ, to tour Antelope Canyon, then “lose” it again traveling back to Kanab. The week you guys are here, sunrise in Kanab occurs at ~7:30 AM and sunset takes place at around 6:45 PM. Move that up an hour for Page, AZ.
        In order to make the most of your time, I’d recommend visiting Zion on the way from Las Vegas to Kanab since your flight arrives early. It’s a relatively easy detour that wouldn’t add a lot of miles to your drive anyway. Stop in Springdale, UT, and utilize the Zion Canyon Shuttle System to get around the park. If desired, take a couple of easy but scenic hikes before making the remainder of the drive to Kanab, which is about 1 hour.
        On October 15th, make a day trip to Grand Canyon North Rim. By coincidence, that is the seasonal “closing day” of the visitor services facilities. The drive from Kanab, UT, to Grand Canyon Lodge takes approximately 1.5 hours each way. Plan on stopping at the Jacob Lake Inn to pick up a bag (or two!) of delicious home-made cookies from their world-famous bakery! Again, be sure to time your return trip so that you’re not doing any of it in the dark. Trust me, I’ve seen my life flash before my eyes making nighttime runs from the North Rim back to Page with all the deer out there.
        For your other full days, plan to visit Bryce Canyon (also a 1.5 hour one way drive from Kanab), and Page, AZ (~1 hour from Kanab and one hour “behind”), to tour Antelope Canyon and visit Horseshoe Bend. A guided tour is required to visit Antelope Canyon, so be sure to make your reservations ASAP!

        On your sightseeing day in Page, AZ, you might make a nice little “loop” out of the drive by going the direct route from Kanab, UT through Big Water in the morning, then returning to Kanab via Marble Canyon and Lees Ferry. At Lees Ferry, you can actually park your car just yards from the banks of the Colorado River and dip your feet in the very cold water. Also plan on having dinner at the Cliff Dweller’s Restaurant — it’s one of Northern Arizona’s best kept culinary secrets! The route will take you back through Jacob Lake in case you run out of cookies 😉

        On your return day, get an early start out of Kanab, UT, and make a couple of short detours through Snow Canyon State Park near St. George, UT, and/or the Valley of Fire State Park just outside of Las Vegas. These are both stunning areas that won’t take you too far off I-15.

        Speaking of I-15, there is a construction project taking place in a section of the Virgin River Gorge that could tack some time onto your drive out of and back to Las Vegas. For real-time updates, or to post some of your own, you might join the Facebook group “Pain In The Gorge.”
        Good luck and safe travels,
        Alley 🙂

  8. Regina says:

    Hi.! We are going to Arizona in November. We arrive from monday de 25th and depart sat 30th. I need help in making our trip more efficient. We will stay in SEDONA. So, maybe monday do sedona and one of pink jeep tours. Any recomendation? We have 3 children from 6 to 10. Very active. Then on Tuesday we want to go to PAIGE and do Antelope,(buy tickets with kens..) lake power and HSHoe. Should we do this on our own or do you recommend by tour? In lake powel i read that the boat tours or rafting is nice….
    I think we should sleep in Page… Then Wednesday, take advantage that day to got o Monument valley….which is closer, take the tour and then come back to sedona…. Does that make sense? This would take up most of the day? Is there more to see or to around that area?
    Then we still have thursday and friday…. what would you recommend? Verde canyon railroad, chapel of the holly cross, maybe a helicopter tour?
    If we wish to go to grand canyon should we sleep again in Paige? what else do you recommend?
    Thanks!!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Regina,
      Using Sedona as a “base camp” from which to explore the various attractions in Northern Arizona is less than ideal, especially at the time of year you’re traveling. Driving distances are long, anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours one way. In November, you’re bound to encounter cold weather, up to and including snow, and days that are very short: sunrise occurs at ~7:15 AM, sunset takes place shortly after 5:00 PM. You want to avoid nighttime driving at all costs in this part of the U.S. due to roads that are very dimly lit (a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night skies), and the possible presence of deer, elk, free range cattle, and other wildlife. A nighttime collision with one can be a very nerve-wracking experience, especially in an area you’re unfamiliar with, where it’s pitch black, cell phone service is spotty (if you can get service at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      Therefore, it’s best to overnight in the areas you wish to visit. In Sedona, the Pink Jeep “Broken Arrow” Tour is considered a definite must, and for good reason, it’s a lot of fun, and the scenery is beautiful.
      On Tuesday, when you go to Page, AZ (no “i” ;), remember it’s about a 3-hour drive from Sedona, but don’t be surprised if it takes longer. The drive is very scenic, and you will be stopping along the way to take pictures! The Cameron Trading Post is a good place to stop for brunch/lunch. Parking permitting, you can stop at Horseshoe Bend on the way into town (a tour is not required), or just after sunrise on the way out of town the following morning. BTW, the rafting and other water-based tours are on seasonal hiatus at that time of year. Some may operate with a certain number of passengers, but you would need another night in Page, AZ, to accommodate such a tour as they usually take up the better part of a day.
      As for making a side trip to Monument Valley on the way back to Sedona, I wouldn’t recommend that. It takes 2 hours to drive from Page, AZ, to Monument Valley. It then takes at least 3.5 hours to drive from Monument Valley to Sedona. At a time of year when you only have 10 hours of daylight to work with, that’s cutting things a bit too close to dark for my taste. If you really want to see Monument Valley, which I don’t blame you for in the least, doing it as a day trip from Page, AZ, would give you more time to enjoy a tour and get back to your hotel by nightfall. Another way to go about it would be to fly over it. Fixed wing airplanes depart from the Page Municipal Airport daily, and overflights of Monument Valley usually run about 90 minutes. They also swing over Rainbow Bridge, which is a definite bonus! For more information on Monument Valley air tours, visit Westwind Air Service. Mornings are the best time to fly for optimal light and lack of wind.
      RE: visiting the Grand Canyon, here again, go there and spend the night. It’s a 2.5-3 hour drive one way from Page or Sedona to the park, and you really should experience a sunset or sunrise on the canyon rim! If Grand Canyon park hotels are sold out, look to Tusayan, AZ, the gateway community 7 miles outside the park gate.
      On your wrap-up days in Sedona, the area has plenty to offer for families like yourselves! The Verde Canyon Railroad would certainly be a good choice, as would a helicopter tour or a visit to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. For more suggestions, visit http://www.Sedona.net Family Vacation
      One last thing: the time of year you’re visiting is the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. There will be lots of families out touring and taking advantage of a long weekend. If you don’t have lodging or tours reserved, strongly recommend you get on that ASAP.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Regina Cofino says:

        Thanyou so very much!! We are traveling from Guatemala to do an Ironman competition that weekend so we are very excited! Thanks for all you tips.
        One last question.
        Do you recommend sleeping in Monument Valley, and then the next day drive to Grand Canyon? Or is it better to spend the day, drive back to Page or Sedona and the next day head to Grand Canyon?
        Thank you!

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi again, Regina!
          If at all possible, try to spend the night at Monument Valley, or somewhere nearby. The challenge at this point will be finding availability at local lodging. There aren’t many hotels to work with in the first place, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if everything is booked. The View is generally (and rightfully) regarded as the best hotel in the area, seconded by Goulding’s. If nothing is available at either property, your next best option would be to stay in Kayenta, AZ, or Tuba City, AZ.
          Have a great trip, and good luck in the Ironman competition!
          Alley 🙂

  9. Nathan says:

    Hello,

    Searching for some advice.
    My wife and I are planning a trip to Vegas and Arizona from oct. 26th to nov 2nd
    Current itinerary:

    Day 1: drive to page, az
    Day 2-3: explore page, az
    Day 4: grand canyon south rim
    Day 5: Hoover dam and on to Vegas
    Day 6-7: Vegas
    Day 8: fly home

    Would you change anything about this??? Is this the most optimal path? Any suggestions with this path?

    Tysm!!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Nathan!
      Your itinerary looks pretty fun, and very logically planned. Hopefully you’ve made advance reservations for all lodging and Antelope Canyon tours.
      If there’s anything I’d change, however, it would be to try and accommodate Zion National Park in there somehow. You’re practically going to be passing right by it on the way from Las Vegas to Page, AZ, anyway, and it’s a stunning area with lots of hiking and exploration available to people of all ages and physical fitness levels! Due to the park’s size, it’s best to plan for at least 2 days in the area, and the gateway community of Springdale, UT, has many good choices of chain and independent hotels to stay at. In order to manage it, I’d recommend dropping a day in Page, AZ, and one in Las Vegas, NV. If this is not possible for whatever reason, keep your current plan as is, but definitely plan on a future trip to Utah when you can tour Zion, Bryce, and the rest of Utah’s “Mighty 5!”
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  10. JESSIE says:

    Hi!
    Thank you soooooo much for all your comments and helping everyone plan their perfect vacation!
    I will only be in Pheonix from October 7-10… Realistically I think I can only make the trip to go to one place. Would you recommend the grand canyon or horseshoe bend? If you could only view one. Thank you!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hey Jessie!
      If you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon before, I would definitely recommend prioritizing it first. I would also recommend setting aside at least one night to stay in a hotel there, since the drive from Phoenix is long, 5 hours each way. For information on Grand Canyon hotels, visit GrandCanyon.com, GrandCanyonLodges.com, or VisitGrandCanyon.com
      If you can possibly set aside another day/night, you could include the trip to Page, AZ, which is ~a 3.5-4 hour drive (factoring in the many stops you’ll invariably make) from Grand Canyon South Rim. While in the area, be sure to make plans to tour Antelope Canyon as well. The drive back to Phoenix from Page, AZ, is also ~5 hours.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      • Cassandra says:

        Hi Alley,
        How do you recommend doing the Grand Canyon? What exactly do you recommend? We will have one day there in mid November. Please let me know! Thanks 🙂

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Cassandra, and thank you for visiting!
          The best way to go about visiting the Grand Canyon for optimal freedom and flexibility is to self-drive, and stay overnight at a Grand Canyon hotel.
          Depending on where you’re driving from, a good way to make the most of your time is by entering Grand Canyon National Park from its Eastern border at Desert View Point. Between there and Grand Canyon Village, you’ll find over half a dozen named Grand Canyon viewpoints, all with different features and perspectives on the canyon. Upon arriving at the Grand Canyon Village Historic District, park your vehicle, and utilize the Grand Canyon Village Loop Shuttle (if necessary) to access the easy, paved Rim Trail that passes by the cool vintage hotels, restaurants, and gift shops. Time and/or inclination permitting, you might also take the Hermit’s Rest Shuttle and explore the viewpoints West of Grand Canyon Village. The shuttle is hop-on/hop-off, so you can do a mix of riding and walking. Be sure to carry some water with you, even if you take it easy on the walking, as the Grand Canyon is technically considered “high desert,” and as such, is a very dry environment.
          Upon leaving the park via the South entrance, you might stick around for awhile longer and catch the exciting IMAX presentation, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets” at the National Geographic Visitors Center in Tusayan, or take a scenic airplane or helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon!
          If you decide against staying overnight at the Grand Canyon and have to drive back to another city, be sure to time your drive so that you’re not doing any of it in the dark. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit (Grand Canyon is now a “Dark Sky” park), and the possibility of colliding with a deer, elk, free range cow, or other large animal ratchets up exponentially after sundown. Trust me, this is not something you want to have to deal with in an area that’s pitch black, where cell service is spotty (if you can get any service at all), and a tow truck will be a long time coming, not to mention very expensive. In mid-November, sunrise occurs at around 7:00 AM, and sunset takes place just before 5:30 PM.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  11. CoreyB says:

    I will be in AZ for a few days the first weekend in Nov. we arrive in Phoenix late evening on 10/31 and depart at 430 pm on Monday 4. We are planning to stay in Phoenix and get up early on Friday. We have 3 full days. We definitely want to explore Sedona but also want to visit Page specifically to see Horseshoe bend and Antelope Canyon. We love to hike. Any suggestions on where to spend the majority of our time or a possible itinerary to make the best use of our time? We want to plan an itinerary before we book lodging. We had considered popping in to GC, but realize that may be unrealistic this time around, based on time. Thanks in advance.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Corey,
      Actually, your itinerary should revolve, and evolve around availability of Antelope Canyon tours and lodging, not the other way around.
      With 3 full days to work with, I’d recommend spending 2 days in Sedona and 1 day in Page, AZ. Check availability of Antelope Canyon tours first, then Page, AZ, hotels and Sedona, AZ, hotels.
      Most visitors prefer to get the longer drives of their trip out of the way first. If you feel the same way, try to hit Page, AZ, first since it’s ~a 5-hour drive from Phoenix. Sedona would then be a 3-hour drive from Page, AZ, then it would be a 2-hour drive back to Phoenix from Sedona. However, if availability of Antelope Canyon tours or hotels in Page or Sedona dictate doing it the other way around, c’est la vie.
      If you’re prepared to save the Grand Canyon for another visit, you might consider flying into/out of Las Vegas and doing the “classic” loop that includes Grand Canyon South Rim, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Bryce and Zion. Ultimate 7-Day Itinerary in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah
      Hope that helps — good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      • Sarah Elizabeth says:

        Hi Miah, you have great info! Like others, I’m planning a trip mid-Nov but have different facts: I’m going to Vegas for a meeting, but will have from arrival Sat night until Mon AM meeting to travel (ie, basically Sunday). From your prior comments, i’m thinking some possibilities are: fly in, drive to Page (& stay there), then tour Upper Antelope and hike Horseshoe Bend, then back to Vegas OR rent car, drive to Zion & stay & hike there, then back to Vegas Sun night. I’ll need to cover the Saturday night stay (where ever it is) & all Sunday expenses & I’m on a tight budget. BUT, YOLO & you know the area, so I’d like to do what you recommend, with you knowing my facts. Thanks!

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Sarah,
          I hate to be the bearer of potentially bad news, but if I interpret your remarks correctly, you only have one full day (Sunday) to work with. If that’s the case, then you don’t have sufficient time to do an overnight trip of any sort. You specify that you’re arriving “at night” on Saturday, in which case, rental car outlets will be closed and won’t open until Sunday, probably 8:00 AM at the earliest. Besides, nighttime driving is something that is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to lack of ambient lighting on roads outside the Las Vegas “light dome,” and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other wildlife that can pose a collision hazard.
          For your safety, the most you’ll be able to manage is a day trip, and even then, you have another factor working against you: daylength. In mid-November, it’s short, with sunrise occurring at around 6:15 AM, and sunset taking place at approximately 4:30 PM (no, that’s not a typo). That gives you roughly 10 hours of daylight to work with, and with the drive to Page, AZ, taking 5 hours each way, and the fact that you’ll “lose” an hour traveling from Nevada to Arizona or Utah, that simply won’t work. You might be able to manage a day trip to Zion, which is about a ~3.5-4 hour drive (one way) from Las Vegas, but even then, you wouldn’t really be able to spend any quality time there before having to head back to Vegas. Indeed, a stay of 3-4 days minimum is recommended to do Zion justice!
          With your limited timeframe, I’d recommend sticking closer to Las Vegas, perhaps driving to Grand Canyon West (~a 2.5 hour one way drive) and visiting the Grand Canyon Skywalk or taking a helicopter flight and boat ride on the Colorado River. Another option would be Death Valley, which is approximately a 2-hour drive (one way) from Las Vegas, and in November, offers much more bearable temperatures than during the blistering summer months.
          If this trip is going to be a once in a lifetime (or once in a blue moon) type of experience, and visiting Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend is indeed a high priority, we totally get that, and would recommend that you travel with a licensed tour company. Small group van tours are offered by MaxTours, or you might make the most of the daylight available by taking advantage of fixed-wing airplane transport from Las Vegas. Scenic/Grand Canyon Airlines Antelope Canyon Expedition
          Hope that helps, and that you get a chance to return to the American Southwest when you have more time to spare!
          Alley 🙂

  12. miah says:

    Hi Alley, this is really informative! I’ve a couple of questions if you could advice.
    Planning for a trip towards the end of November, a 7 days trip to cover the following area:
    – Zion, Bryce, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe bend, Grand Canyon

    1. Is it feasible to cover within 7 days? Any proposals on the route
    2. Antelope Canyon – based on your sharing above it seems like we would require a tour and after the tour can I cover Horseshoe bend in the same day?
    3. Are there accommodations around these areas?

    Appreciate it!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Miah,
      Yes, 7 days is the perfect timeframe in which to cover all the attractions on your “wish list!” As for the route you take, it will most likely come down to a couple of key factors: availability of Grand Canyon hotels, and availability of Antelope Canyon tours. Start by checking those two elements, and let the rest of your trip planning revolve, and evolve around them.
      That said, a “classic” 7-day vacation itinerary, using Las Vegas as a staging city, goes something like this:
      Day 1 – Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim, stop at Hoover Dam if desired, drive time ~5 hours, overnight at Grand Canyon Village or Tusayan.
      Day 2 – Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, ~3.5-4 hour drive factoring in stops at Grand Canyon viewpoints, and points of interest in the Navajo reservation. Stop at Cameron Trading Post for lunch, overnight in Page, AZ.
      Day 3 – Tour Antelope Canyon, visit Horseshoe Bend (which can be done at your leisure in your own vehicle between the hours of sunrise and sunset), 2nd night in Page, AZ.
      Day 4 – Drive from Page, AZ, to Bryce Canyon; this is a 2.5 hour drive going direct, but like the drive between Grand Canyon and Page, can easily be stretched to a 3.5-4 hour drive if you take advantage of photo ops, such as the Big Water Visitors Center, Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Trails hike, Moqui Cave, just to name a few. Overnight in Bryce Canyon area.
      Day 5 – Drive from Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park (~2 hour drive), overnight in Springdale, UT.
      Day 6 – Explore Zion National Park area using the Zion Canyon shuttle system, lots of hiking available inside the park in varying degrees of difficulty 10 Great Hikes in Zion
      Day 7 – 3rd night in Zion, or drive back to Las Vegas (~3.5-4 hour drive)
      You might also consider flip-flopping the above-referenced itinerary if lodging availability (or lack thereof) is more conducive to doing so.
      Traveling in November, bear in mind that you probably will come across weather conditions ranging from sunny and brisk in some areas, to the possibility of snow, particularly in Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon, which are 7,000′ and 8,000′ above sea level, respectively. Be sure to pack a jacket, gloves, etc. just in case.
      Also, be sure that any and all driving you do is during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to roads being very dimly lit (a deliberate move in most cases to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky). Remember that daylength will be short at the time of year you’re visiting: sunrise occurs at approximately 7:15 AM, sunset is shortly after 5:00 PM.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  13. sara danforth says:

    Hello, We are staying in Sedona for a few days in October. We’ve done Sedona and the South rim, but are taking our parents to see it again. We are planning to drive up to Antelope Canyon one day to see that and perhaps Horseshoe and Lake Powell. A friend just suggested doing Monument as well. Can we get Antelope and Monument done in one day from Sedona if we are good starting and ending the day early. This group moves pretty fast through parks. Appreciate the help!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Sara!
      In October, I wouldn’t recommend a. doing Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend as a day trip or b. trying to squeeze Monument Valley into the mix, either. The main reasons for this is are, primarily, the drive time from/to Sedona, and a rapidly shortening daylength.
      It takes approximately 3 hours bare minimum to drive from Sedona to Page, AZ. That’s wheels turning, no stops, which rarely happens because the drive is very scenic and you will be stopping to take pictures. It would also be a shame not to take advantage of the opportunity to visit Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monuments just North of Flagstaff. The two areas are connected by a convenient loop drive. The Cameron Trading Post makes for a perfect breakfast/brunch stop, and then there are more photo ops before you even get to Page.
      Touring Antelope Canyon will take a minimum of 3 hours, factoring in advance check-in time, and other logistics. You then would need another 60-90 minutes to visit Horseshoe Bend under ideal conditions, namely, whether or not you can find a parking space on your first try. You would then be looking at a 2-hour drive to Monument Valley, and then a 3.5 hour drive back to Sedona. If all that weren’t enough to contend with, you’d then be racing against the clock to try and make it back to Sedona before sunset: nighttime driving is something best avoided in this part of the U.S. due to roads that are very dimly lit (a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky) and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other large wildlife that pose a collision hazard. Those last few miles of the Oak Creek Canyon drive between Flagstaff and Sedona are very twisty and windy. I have personally driven it at night myself and would never do it again! In early October, sunrise occurs at around 6:30 AM and sunset takes place at roughly 6:00 PM. That gives you less than 12 hours of daylight in a situation where you have to do over 8 hours of driving. Sorry, but the math just doesn’t add up.
      A better plan — and hopefully you’re not locked into your hotel reservations in Sedona — would be to set aside one night to stay in Page so you can take the drive up at a nice leisurely pace, tour Antelope Canyon that afternoon, hit Horseshoe Bend at sunrise the following morning, and have enough daylight to visit Monument Valley and make it back to Sedona before it gets too dark.
      If you are indeed committed to staying in Sedona the entire time you’re here, you might consider chartering an airplane and flying up to Page, AZ, to tour Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, and maybe swing by Monument Valley on your way there or back. For more information on available air touring options, visit Sedona Air Tours or Westwind Air Service
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  14. Shea Dar says:

    Hi,

    I’m glad I came across this site and is hoping that someone can help me and my friends in planning our very short AZ trip. We would be going there from SoCal on Sept. 25 (night)- Sept. 27. Since we only have a very short time for the trip, we decided to only see three destinations such as the Antelope Canyon (lower rim), Horseshoe Bend and Grand Canyon. We already booked a hotel which is close to the Antelope canyon so it will save us time to get there, but we haven’t booked any package tour yet. I hear the Ken’s tour is the one where you go book for the Antelope Canyon tour, and that it only takes an hour to finish the trip and so we would maybe prefer that. For our second stop we’d like to see the Horseshoe bend since people say it will take just about 19 mins drive from the Antelope Canyon. Can we just go there without a tour package or do like a walk-in thing, hike and just take pictures during sunset? Lastly, we plan to see the Grand Canyon on our way back to Cali ( 27th ) probably the afternoon because our hotel check-out is at 3pm ( or maybe we can do an early check-out) . Do we need to get a tour package for that as well?

    Do you advise us to see the Horseshoe bend first before Antelope Canyon or what will be the best itinerary for those three destinations? Is there a tour package that we can avail for those three destinations so our short trip will be smooth and more organized? Right now I feel like we are so lost and hoping and would greatly appreciate if you guys can help us out in this. Thanks in advance.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Shea,
      Honestly, you’re on the verge of overthinking this. Page, AZ, is a very small town, therefore, you don’t need to overthink the sequence in which you visit the various attractions. They’re all close enough to one another, as you’ve already discovered, so that it won’t take you long to get from Antelope Canyon to Horseshoe Bend. However, it is advisable to visit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise so you can enjoy cooler temperatures and fewer people at the overlook. Sunrise occurs at ~6:15 AM at the time of year you’re visiting. It is not necessary to go with a tour, you can simply go there in your own vehicle, park in the lot, pay the $10/vehicle entrance fee and spend as much (or as little) time as you wish. Average time for most visitors to hike out to the rim, take pictures, and hike back is anywhere from 60-90 minutes.
      You will probably need to check in 30-45 minutes prior to your Antelope Canyon tour, so time your activities accordingly. By the way, Ken’s is not the only tour operator that manages Lower Antelope Canyon. Dixie Ellis also runs tours to this area, which are virtually identical right down to the footstep, and the the dollar. Book with whoever has availability at a time that fits your schedule, if you haven’t done so already. Lower Antelope Canyon tours may only be an hour long “on paper,” but with advance check in time and the inevitable “bottlenecking” that occurs during the day, you should allow about 3 hours to experience this attraction.
      Another thing I feel the need to point out is where you say that your hotel check-out is at 3:00 PM — I highly doubt that. I was in the hotel industry for 20 years, and check-in time is typically anywhere from 3:00-4:00 PM, check-out time is usually at 11:00 AM or 12:00 Noon. Of course, this can vary from place to place, but I’d recommend double-checking your information so you’re not going off an assumption that’s potentially way off-base.
      Regarding the Grand Canyon, you don’t need to purchase a tour package for that. That’s a very easy park to self-tour. You simply pay the $35/vehicle entrance fee, then drive toward Grand Canyon Village via the East Rim/Desert View Drive. On this leg of the trip, you have the option of stopping off at over half a dozen named viewpoints of the Grand Canyon, so don’t be surprised if you find the drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim taking as long as 4 hours, vs. the 2.5 hour figure given on Google Maps. In light of that, instead of visiting the Grand Canyon as a “drive by” on your way back to California, I recommend spending the night somewhere nearby, perhaps Williams, AZ (60 miles South of Grand Canyon Village) or Kingman, AZ (~2.5 hours Southwest of GC Village). You want to avoid nighttime driving in sparsely populated areas out here because many roads are very dimly lit (a deliberate move to preserve the natural quality of the night sky), plus deer, elk, free range cattle, and other wildlife can pose a safety hazard for drivers unfamiliar with the area.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  15. Delia Leon says:

    Hi,

    I am putting together a last minute road trip to the area and would love your input. I have checked availabilities and it looks like I will be able to make it happen if I book quickly but I am very confused as to what to do and when. We are traveling Sept 21-29 and will be arriving and departing from Vegas Airport.
    Wish List:
    Valley of Fire
    Zion
    Bryce
    Antelope Canyon/Lake Powell Boat Tour
    Horseshoe Bend

    We are not avid hikers and are not very fit, but have always been curious about the area. That being said, what is worthwhile for us and the best use of our time? Also, it would be great if we could build in some SPA time into the schedule, maybe in Zion area (any suggestion of a SPA resort would be great). If we wanted to do anything else besides visiting canyons, is there anything in the area that we should not miss, exchange for something on wish list or add? For example, is a night at St. George worth it?

    Any input is very much welcomed. I have read a lot of your responses and you are great so thanks in advance!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Delia,
      Apologies for the delay in response to your itinerary. What with it being Labor Day weekend, I, like many Americans, was on vacation!
      The good news is you don’t have to be an avid hiker or super-fit to enjoy this area. There is plenty to see and do that doesn’t require a lot of exertion on your part.
      One thing that’s jumping out at me right away is the conspicuous absence of the Grand Canyon from your itinerary. If you’ve never been there, you really should set aside at least one day to visit Grand Canyon South Rim since you’ll be in the neighborhood anyway!
      Secondly, if some spa time is a definite must for you, I’d assume that you’d want to put that at the end of your trip, correct? If so, where and when you get it will depend largely on how you schedule your vacation, which will revolve and evolve around availability of lodging. If Zion ends up being the last stop on your tour, then St. George, Utah would definitely be a good place to end your vacation on a chill note. If you have to reverse the itinerary, namely, visiting Zion first and Grand Canyon last, then Sedona, AZ, would be the place to go for some well deserved R&R.
      In light of that, and assuming that September 21st and 29th will be travel days between your home and Las Vegas, here’s what I would suggest:
      September 22nd: Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim with optional stop at Hoover Dam. Approximate drive time, ~5 hours, overnight at Grand Canyon
      September 23rd: Drive from GC South Rim to Page, AZ. Approximate drive time: ~3.5-4 hours factoring in stops at Grand Canyon viewpoints along the way, meal at Cameron Trading Post, visiting Horseshoe Bend on the way into town (parking permitting), overnight in Page, AZ
      September 24th: Tour Antelope Canyon with Lake Powell Boat Tour in AM, drive to Bryce that afternoon, overnight in Bryce
      September 25th: visit Sunrise Point, maybe take partial hike on the Queen’s Garden trail, drive to Zion that afternoon (~2 hours), overnight Springdale, UT.
      September 26th: using the Zion Canyon shuttle, explore the park. There are many easy, scenic hikes available to you. Take as many — or as few — as you wish!
      September 27th: Drive to St. George, UT (~1 hour from Springdale), enjoy spa services at one of several resorts in the area (sorry, haven’t been to any myself, so can’t vouch for any one in particular!) St. George, UT, Spa Resorts
      September 28th: Drive back to Las Vegas with detour to Valley of Fire State Park (~3.5-4 hour drive due to construction on section of I-15 through Virgin River Gorge), overnight in Las Vegas
      September 29th: fly home

      The key components to check first are availability at Grand Canyon hotels and availability of Antelope Canyon tours.
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  16. Robyn says:

    Hi This is the most informative website I have come across. We have never toured a National Park and are not hard core hikers but would enjoy some easy to moderate hiking. We will be in Vegas for work in mid October and wanted take a few days to visit Zion, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon and possibly Lake Powell. How would you recommend we do our itinerary and where would you recommend we stay? Would you recommend stopping at Valley of Fire on the way back to Vegas? I appreciate any insight you could give us. Thank you

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Robyn, and thank you for your compliments!
      October is a great time to visit the Grand Circle. The order in which you visit the various sites on your list honestly will come down to a couple of key elements: availability of Antelope Canyon tours, and lodging at the Grand Canyon. I do notice the latter is conspicuously absent from your itinerary, and it should definitely be included if you’re coming as far as Las Vegas!
      For an example of a “classic” Grand Circle tour itinerary, check out our Ultimate 7-Day Itinerary in Northern Arizona & Southern Utah. You’ll notice it has you traveling from Las Vegas-Grand Canyon-Monument Valley-Page-Bryce-Zion. Depending on availability of lodging and/or tours, you could also reverse that itinerary as follows: Zion-Bryce-Page-Monument Valley-Grand Canyon.

      If you have to “trim” a destination or two due to time constraints, Monument Valley should be the first to get dropped. Not that it isn’t beautiful, but lodging is very hard to find in that area, and I wouldn’t be surprised if everything has been sold out for several months already.
      At Grand Canyon, stay inside the park if possible; if not, then Tusayan, just outside the park by 7 miles, is your next best option. For Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell, the town of Page, AZ, is most convenient. Bryce and Zion each have only one lodge within the National Park boundary, which tend to sell out months in advance, so here again, you’ll need to look at “gateway” communities – cities and towns located just outside the park border. For Bryce Canyon, Bryce Canyon City, Hatch, or Kanab, UT, are good choices, and relatively convenient. For Zion, the town of Springdale, UT, is the best choice because that’s where you have to go to get on the park shuttle, which is mandatory to use. If Springdale, UT, is sold out, Kanab, UT, is centrally located to both Bryce and Zion.
      As for visiting the Valley of Fire, I absolutely recommend it! It’s a stunning area, and depending on your itinerary, you could visit it easily on the way back to Las Vegas from Zion, or on the way to Zion from Las Vegas if you have to “flip-flop” the itinerary recommended above.

      • Reya says:

        Hi Alley,

        Thank you so much for giving such detailed information about the GC Trips. Really appreciate it.

        My friends and I are planning to come down to Las Vegas on 1st Nov , stay there for two nights and head to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe bend on 3rd Nov.Planning to do both upper and lower part of the Antelope Canyon and head to horseshoe bend around 3ish pm the same day and then come back to South rim and rest one night there. We have booked our stay in South Rim in a lodge inside the park for 3rd Nov.

        On 4th We are planning to trek on the South rim and head back to Vegas. We have to reach Vegas by 04:30 pm on 4th Nov as we have a bus from there to Los Angeles at 05:45 pm.

        What do u suggest? Is this doable and What do I need to keep in mid before I begin my trip.
        Would appreciate any insights and suggestions

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Reya,
          Sorry, but this plan is not realistic.
          A couple things to keep in mind: there is a construction project taking place on a 3-mile stretch of I-15 in the Virgin River Gorge. This will tack another 30-60 minutes onto an already long drive from Las Vegas to Page. Normal drive time is about 5 hours, but with construction delays, you could be looking at 5.5-6 hours. Touring both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons will take 5 hours minimum, factoring in check-in, transportation time between tour outfitters, etc. For Horseshoe Bend, 60-90 minutes is suggested. You would then be facing a 3-3.5 hour drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim? No thanks.

          Another thing working against you at the time of year you’re visiting is daylength: it’s very short. Sunrise occurs at around 7:00 AM, sunset at around 5:15, and you need to ensure that you have completed all your driving for the day by sunset. Nighttime driving is not safe in this part of the country due to roads that are very dimly lit, and the possible presence of deer, elk, free range cattle, and other wildlife after dusk. Trust me, you don’t want to risk a nighttime collision with a large animal in an area that’s pitch black, where cell phone service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and a tow truck will be a long time coming, not to mention very expensive.
          What I would suggest is freeing up another night so you can stay overnight in Page for your Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend touring day. Then, proceed to the Grand Canyon. If this is not possible, as much as I’d hate to suggest it, I’d say drop Page, AZ, from your itinerary this time around. If you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, you should prioritize it over Antelope Canyon, and plan a return visit to the area when you can spend more time.
          Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

      • Lang Tran says:

        Hi Alley,
        I’m so happy to find this website and enjoy reading your posts which are really helpful. Thank you for your time helping the community!
        Could I ask for your opinion on our plan to visit Arizona early next year?
        1. Does the weather still okay for visiting Antelope Canyon and Grand Canyon South Rim in beginning of January ?

        2. In case it’s a yes, do you think the below itinerary is doable?
        Day 1: Drive from Las Vegas early in the morning to Page – visit Antelope Canyon (Lower then Upper) – visit Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell – drive to Grand Canyon Village – stay for the night.
        Day 2: Spend most of the day in South Rim – start driving from South Rim back to Las Vegas around 4pm.
        Or should we stay a night in Page before driving to South Rim and make it a 3-day trip rather than 2-day?

        3. I understand that in order to visit Antelope Canyon and South Rim, we need to buy tour. Is that the same case when we visit Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell?
        And should we book all tours in advance and then on the day, just drive to the place to meet the tour-guide? Is that how it works?

        Thank you so much, Alley!

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Lang,
          Apologies for the delay in response to your inquiry. Seeing as though it was Labor Day weekend, I, like many, was traveling!
          First off, you need to set aside 3 days to do this trip properly. What you propose on Day 1 – driving from Las Vegas to Page, visiting Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, then driving to Grand Canyon South Rim – is not realistic at all. First of all, it takes approximately 5 hours to drive from Las Vegas to Page, AZ, under ideal conditions. However, there is a construction project taking place on a 3-mile stretch of I-15 in the Virgin River Gorge. This can potentially tack another 30-60 minutes onto an already long drive. Touring Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend will take 5 hours minimum, factoring in check-in time for an Antelope Canyon tour, drive time between locations, finding a parking space at Horseshoe Bend, etc. You would then be facing a 3-3.5 hour drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim? No thanks.
          Another thing working against you at the time of year you’re visiting is daylength: at the time of year you’re visiting, it’s very short. Sunrise occurs at around 7:30 AM, sunset at around 5:30 PM, and you need to ensure that you have completed all your driving for the day by sunset. Nighttime driving is not safe in this part of the country due to roads that are very dimly lit, and the possible presence of deer, elk, free range cattle, and other wildlife after dusk. Trust me, you don’t want to risk a nighttime collision with a large animal in an area that’s pitch black, where cell phone service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and a tow truck will be a long time coming, not to mention very expensive.
          So, again, 3 days is a better timeframe so you can achieve all your trip goals in safety. A better plan would be:
          Day 1 – drive from Las Vegas to Page, AZ, with possible detour to Valley of Fire State Park, tour Antelope Canyon, overnight in Page
          Day 2 – visit Horseshoe Bend on the way out of town, drive to Grand Canyon South Rim with stop at Cameron Trading Post for breakfast/brunch, overnight at Grand Canyon
          Day 3 – drive back to Las Vegas
          If desired and/or necessary, the above itinerary can be reversed just as easily.
          RE: whether January is a good time to visit, it is, as long as you remain aware that it’s winter, and with that, comes the possibility of snow. However, cooler temperatures are typically accompanied by fewer people, which is a definite plus. It will still be busy, so tours and lodging should definitely be booked in advance. Speaking of which, a guided tour is required to visit Antelope Canyon, but not required for Horseshoe Bend. The latter can be visited at your leisure in your own vehicle, anytime between sunrise and sunset.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

          • Lang Tran says:

            Hi Alley,
            Wish we had a chance to meet and thank you in person! This is the warmest help we’ve ever received from a forum. Rich information, clear ways to explain, and your care make us feel so welcomed, way before being in Arizona! Thank you so much, Alley!

          • Alley Keosheyan says:

            Dear Lang,
            You are welcome! We hope you have a safe and memorable vacation.
            Take care,
            Alley 🙂

      • Robyn says:

        Thank you Alley for your thorough response. I’ve ironed out some details of my trip to narrow down some of your advise. I don ‘t think I have time to do the GC. I will arrive in Vegas Thursday 10/17 @ 12:30a and only have about 4-5 days to explore a small amount of the area. I thought I would plan it like this;
        10/17 Thursday–head towards Lake Powell. Hotel at Lake Powell? or stay in Page? Go see sunset at horseshoe bend, enjoy lake Powell
        10/18 Friday-Horseshow bend and Slot Canyon Tour (3.5) late morning (? head back to Zion) or do you suggest another must see
        10/19 Saturday–get up early Head to Zion (Springdale) stop at Coral Pink Sand Dunes on the way. Mt caramel scenic highway. If we find parking hike Canyon Overlook Trail (Weeping Rock, Big Bend). Check into hotel in Springdale
        10/20 Sunday–Zion–Hike the Narrows
        10/21 Monday–Head back towards Vegas stop at Valley of Fire on the way
        10/22 Tuesday relax in Vegas for a day
        10/23 Wednesday Catch flight home to Boston

        Does that at all seem reasonable for the limited time that I have? Do you ever suggest the GC in 5 days? I would appreciate any input on logistics or must see activities from you. Thank you

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi again, Robyn!
          Your itinerary looks pretty fun. If you’re OK with saving the Grand Canyon for another trip, you might fly into Phoenix so you can spend a few days in Sedona, AZ, as well. If you were going to try to squeeze it in this time around, you’d obviously have to drop a day somewhere in order to make that happen, and the most obvious candidate for that would be your “chill day” in Las Vegas. If you were to take us up on that suggestion, it would then make more sense to hit Zion first, then Page/Lake Powell, Grand Canyon South Rim, then Las Vegas.
          Hopefully your flight will arrive in Vegas on time and you won’t encounter much delay in collecting your rental car, because you’re cutting it fine to make it to Page, AZ, by sundown, which occurs at ~5:45 AM. Even if all goes off without a hitch, you’ll be hard-pressed to make it to Horseshoe Bend by sunset. I’d recommend just concentrating on getting to Page, AZ, checking into your hotel, and getting settled in. Plan on visiting Horseshoe Bend at sunrise the next morning. IMO sunrise is a better time to visit Horseshoe Bend anyway because you have fewer people to contend with then. Sunset is always super-crowded.
          As for whether you stay at Lake Powell Resort or Page, AZ, Lake Powell Resort has an unbeatable location, right next to Lake Powell (although a room with a view is never guaranteed). It’s also a very self-contained complex, with pretty much everything you need — restaurants, convenience stores, boat tours/rentals, etc. — within walking distance of the lodge. The biggest disadvantage to staying at Lake Powell Resort is, ironically, location — when/if you need to go into town, you’re looking at a 20-30 minute drive each way, then having to wait in potentially long lines at the entrance gate to the National Recreation Area coming back.
          On 10/19, when you indicate you might want to hike the Weeping Rock Trail, that trail has been closed for a few weeks due to a large rockfall that occurred recently. Whether the trail will be reopened by the time you visit remains to be seen, but there are lots of other hikes you can do in Zion should it still be closed at the time of your visit.
          Hope that helps. Take care and have a great trip!
          Alley 🙂

      • Robyn says:

        Hi Alley,
        Thank your the response. I had left GC out because of our time constraints. I have a few more questions I’m hoping you don’t mind clarifying. I have worked more of the little details of time that we will have in the area. I arrive in Vegas 10/17 @ 12:30a. My husband is working. I will have 4-4.5 days to spend traveling the area
        10/17 leave Vegas by 1p (earlier if he gets out of work) head towards Page Az. get there before sundown. Maybe see the sunset over Horseshoe bend
        10/18 Visit Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend mid morning via horseshoebend slot canyon tour. ? head to Zion and stop at pink sand on the way or stay another night in Page
        10/19 Explore Zion
        10/20 Explore Zion
        10/21 start heading back to Vegas and stop at Valley of Fire
        10/22 Husband wants to spend 1 day in Vegas
        10/23 Fly out
        So my questions are–Do you think we should attempt the GC with the limited time we have? Should we stay in Springdale the whole time and just drive to Page for the day. I have a hotel in Springdale already for 4 days. Should we explore Lake Powell or is there some other site that you think would fit into this itinerary better. I want to get the Antelope Canyon tour booked ASAP. I appreciate your insight. I had written a few days back but I am thinking it did not get to you. So I apologize if this is a duplicate.

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Robyn,
          Sorry if I missed your earlier query, I don’t think it posted, as I’ve checked and re-checked comments from the past few weeks. Your itinerary looks pretty fun, even if you don’t include the Grand Canyon. As to whether you should re-arrange your schedule in order to do so, if you are relatively certain you can make a trip back to visit GC in the future, I’d leave your itinerary as is. RE: overnighting in Page, AZ, vs. visiting as a day trip from Springdale, UT, I’d recommend getting hotel reservations in Page, AZ, for two reasons: 1. the drive from Springdale, UT, to Page, AZ, is over 2 hours one way, and 2. days are getting short at the time of year you’re visiting (sunrise in Springdale occurs at around 7:45 AM, and sunset takes place around 7:00 PM), and you definitely don’t want to risk doing any of the return drive at night. The stretch of road around Kanab, UT, especially, is a popular migratory route for deer and elk, and in the fall, they’re moving en masse to warmer pastures.
          If you wish to do a little exploration of Lake Powell, the easiest way to do it would be to bundle your Antelope Canyon land tour with a boat tour of Antelope Canyon’s waterside from Lake Powell Marina. If that doesn’t appeal, Lake Powell Resort does offer some boat tours that run 2-3 hours in length. My personal favorite is the Canyon Princess Dinner Cruise.
          Hope that helps! Again, sorry we didn’t get the earlier post.
          Alley 🙂

  17. Kayla Carr says:

    Hello!
    This has been the most amazing website to come across and I have been reading through comments and getting great ideas but am hoping for some tips comments etc. on our itinerary. We will be travelling from November 16th-24th

    Day1- leaving Phoenix and travelling to Sedona
    Day 2- Sedona (any recommendations for the best way to spend a day here?)
    Day 3- leave Sedona to North Rim
    Day 4- north rim to horseshoe bend for sunrise, Canyon tour, lake Powell??
    Day 5 – page area to Zion
    Day 6- Zion (drive to Bryce at the end of the day to get a full day in at Bryce)
    Day 7- Bryce national park
    Day 8- scenic drive to las Vegas (fly out at 1pm)

    1) Possibly any recommendations on camping, including wether staying in official campsites or free camping sites I have come across are a good idea?
    2) if our route will be using our time most efficiently?
    3) best canyon and itinerary for page to see the canyons, lake Powell and horseshoe bend.. we were thinking sunrise at horseshoe bend, canyon tour and then lake Powell near the end of the day.
    4) we put our name in for the draw for the “wave” but we’re not chosen is this something we can still do?
    5) monument valley- should we be including this in our itinerary somewhere?

    Thank you! We look forward to any suggestions!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Kayla,
      Thank you for visiting. We really appreciate your comments, which is why it pains me so to tell you that I can’t endorse your trip plans.
      First off, the time of year you’re visiting is too cold for tent camping. Snow is a very real possibility in areas like the Grand Canyon and Bryce, which are 7,000′ and 8,000′ above sea level respectively. Even if it’s not snowing, best case scenario, it’s going to be cold. So unless you have sleeping bags that are rated to withstand VERY cold temperatures, you need to either stay in an RV in developed campgrounds with electrical hook-ups, or spring for a hotel room.
      Another thing: your visit is timed for after visitor facilities at the North Rim close for the season. Although the campground may remain open, depending on weather, you would still be pretty much “on your own” for ensuring that you have enough food and water for your stay, and being prepared for adverse weather conditions that could necessitate a sudden road closure. That would put you in a real pickle. A better plan would be to go the South Rim, where visitor services are open year-round.
      Visiting Sedona is wonderful, but I guarantee you that you will be left wanting. One day isn’t nearly enough time to do that area justice. People report spending 4-5 days there and still feeling as though they only “scratched the surface.” I can pretty much assure you that you’ll be planning a return trip once you get a look at the place! As for the best ways to spend a full day there, the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour is regarded as a definite must, as is a visit to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Tlaquepaque, Bell Rock, and Airport Mesa, just to name a few. There’s no shortage of beauty and fun to be had in Sedona!
      In light of those concerns, here’s what I would suggest:
      Day 1 – Leave Phoenix for Sedona (~2 hour drive), maybe stop by Montezuma Castle on the way, overnight in Sedona
      Day 2 – Full day in Sedona, see above link for suggested activities, overnight in Sedona
      Day 3 – Depart Sedona for Grand Canyon South Rim (~3 hour drive), park vehicle inside the park or Tusayan, use free shuttles to explore Grand Canyon Village, overlooks on Hermit’s Rest Road, overnight in Grand Canyon
      Day 4 – Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, ~3.5-4 hour drive factoring in stops, breakfast/brunch at Cameron Trading Post, overnight in Page
      Day 5 – Sunrise visit to Horseshoe Bend, tour Antelope Canyon, possible boat tour on Lake Powell (water-based activities are usually on seasonal hiatus at that time of year, but may operate with a sufficient number of passengers booked), start drive to Bryce (~3 hours) no later than 2:00 PM so you make sure to get there by sunset (nighttime driving is strongly discouraged, especially during the fall and winter months when deer and elk are migrating), overnight in Bryce Canyon area
      Day 6 – Explore Bryce Canyon, drive to Springdale, UT (~2 hours) for overnight
      Day 7 – Explore Zion National Park using free shuttle system from Springdale, overnight in Springdale
      Day 8 – Drive back to Las Vegas, with possible detour to Valley of Fire State Park (~5-6 hour drive depending on progress of construction on I-15 through Virgin River Gorge and stops)

      In answer to your other queries I may not have addressed thus far, if you were not chosen for The Wave lottery online, you might try for the walk-in lottery in Kanab, UT, the day prior to when you wish to hike. For more information on that process, visit our companion site, TheWaveAZ.com, and read the section on “Applying In Person” on Self-Guided Permits Since it is statistically unlikely that you’d be chosen via the walk-in lottery, that’s why I suggested the detour through the Valley of Fire on your way back to Las Vegas. It’s a stunning area, with a few features that bear a resemblance to The Wave, but it does not require a permit to access.
      Regarding Monument Valley, IMO, you don’t have enough time to include it without sacrificing one of your other destinations. One way you might still be able to work it in, however, is to fly over it out of Page, AZ. Fixed wing airplanes take 90 minutes to fly over not only Monument Valley, but a big chunk of Lake Powell, including Rainbow Bridge. Here again, the time of year may reduce the number of departures, so a passenger minimum may apply, but it would certainly be worth checking out if you really want to see Monument Valley but can’t manage to drive there. For more information, visit Westwind Air Service Page AZ
      Hope this helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      • Kayla Carr says:

        Thank you so much for your response. I do have a couple questions still:

        1) would you eliminate one of the other stops to spend more time in Sedona?
        2) I am having a hard time deciding which slot canyon to visit. Is it worth going to more than one canyon? We were thinking of doing the lower canyon but have read up on secret canyon and canyon x

        Thank you so much for your time and comments!!

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi again, Kayla!
          Whether you drop a destination to allow for more time in Sedona would depend on you and whether you see yourself being able to make it back to the area in the near future. If this particular trip is going to be “it” for awhile, I’d say go ahead and keep your itinerary as is, but think about planning a return visit when you can give the area the time it deserves, preferably a little earlier in the year, such as late September/early October.
          If you were to tour another slot canyon in addition to Lower Antelope or Antelope X (do one or the other, not both), I would suggest Cathedral Slot Canyon. It’s different enough from the latter two so that you won’t feel as though you’ve experienced redundant scenery.
          Have a wonderful trip!
          Alley 🙂

  18. Kevin Babineaux says:

    My wife and I will be visiting Arizona in October we will be visiting Albuquerque then on to Sedona and the Grand Canyon our last stretch will be through Paige. We have a tour through antelope Canyon and a float trip planned I would also like to drive Drive around and sightsee the lake . Then it will be heading back to Louisiana my plan was driving through Monument Valley then spending a night in touring the next day in canyon to Chely . I was wondering if you would recommend mesa Verde over Canyon de Chelly. Also if you can recommend A stop or two along the lake from Paige and a place to eat

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Kevin,
      First off, it’s not possible to “drive around” Lake Powell in its entirety, but there are places where you can access it and get a good view. The best views can be had from the scenic Lakeshore Drive, a short detour off US89 that ends at the Lake Powell Resort complex. There are several places to eat there, but my personal favorite is the Rainbow Room. It has a beautiful view of the lake, and the food’s quite good, too. If you prefer something a little more casual, you might drive as far as Lone Rock Beach and take a picnic lunch or grab a sandwich off a food truck that’s usually parked there, called Rig2Flip. Another place where there’s vehicular access to Lake Powell is Antelope Point Marina, which is actually on your way from Page, AZ, to Monument Valley. They have a sit-down and fast food restaurant, as well as a convenience store. Whichever you decide to visit, remember that both establishments are located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, so a $30/vehicle entrance fee is required to access. It’s good for one week’s time, so hang onto the receipt.
      As for whether you tour Canyon de Chelly or Mesa Verde, both parks are beautiful, and different; it’s the classic “apples to oranges” comparison, so if possible, visit both! But if saving time is a priority, Canyon de Chelly would be the shortest “detour” off the route between Page, AZ, and Louisiana.

      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  19. Alexis says:

    Hi Alley,

    Thanks in advance for any insight!! I am planning a trip with my boyfriend for late October. We are staying in Flagstaff because of hotel points/free stay.

    Day 1:
    6:30 AM-9:00AM flight from New York to Phoenix
    Drive to Flagstaff
    Spend Day in Flagstaff
    Sleep in Flagstaff

    Day 2:
    Drive to Grand Canyon South Rim
    What is the best way to see the sites? Bike? Drive? Hike?
    Drive back to Flagstaff
    Sleep in Flagstaff

    Day 3:
    Drive to Page
    9:45AM Antelope Canyon Tour
    We would like to see Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell – what is the best routing for this or option? How much time do we need at each place?
    Sleep in Flagstaff

    Day 4:
    Day in Flagstaff
    Sleep in Flagstaff

    Day 5:
    Drive to Sedona
    Devils Bridge Hike
    Spend day in Sedona
    Drive back to Flagstaff
    Sleep in Flagstaff

    Day 6
    Drive to Phoenix
    Flight home

    Appreciate any suggestions or alterations. Thank you!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Alexis,
      Using Flagstaff as a “base camp” from which to explore the various attractions is usually something we advise as a “last resort” measure when you can’t find lodging in the immediate vicinity, but then again, if your hotel points allow you to lodge for free, then Flagstaff it is!
      On your Grand Canyon sightseeing day, take the drive to the Grand Canyon at a leisurely pace to make the most of your visit. Get as early a start as possible (sunrise occurs at ~6:45 AM) and drive from Flagstaff, AZ, to Cameron, AZ on US89. On the way, if you want, take the scenic loop drive through Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monument just North of Flag (that’s what we call it around here). That’s a fascinating area featuring a dormant volcano and a rather expansive and very well-preserved Ancestral Puebloan complex. That can potentially add another 90 minutes to 2 hours onto your trip, but you’d likely find it time well spent! Continuing North, maybe stop for breakfast or brunch at the Cameron Trading Post; if not a meal, then at least a bathroom break/leg stretch, etc. Turn West on AZ64 and enter the park via the East gate at Desert View Point, stopping at as many of the scenic overlooks along this section of the park as you wish (there are over half-a-dozen of them, not counting the Tusayan Ruins & Museum). Upon arriving at Grand Canyon Village, park your vehicle, then use the free shuttles to explore the Village Historic District, and the overlooks on the West Rim/Hermit’s Rest Drive. Begin the drive back to Flag at 4:00 PM at the latest so you are back in town by sunset, which is at 5:30 PM. If you leave a bit earlier, you might catch the IMAX movie, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets” in Tusayan just outside the South gate of the park, where you’d exit.

      On Day 3, when you go to Page, AZ, to tour Antelope Canyon, the drive will realistically take about 2.5 hours, wheels turning, no stops. Take the route specified on the map below so you don’t get held up in traffic at Horseshoe Bend.

      If you also wish to visit Lake Powell, you could take a boat tour of the waterside of Antelope Canyon, which is ~1 hour long. Plan on hitting Horseshoe Bend on your way out of town; allot ~90 minutes to make the hike out and back and spend some time at the overlook, then plan to start the trip back to Flagstaff at 3:00 PM at the latest so you’re not driving in the dark. As you’ve probably deduced, driving after nightfall in this part of the U.S. is strongly discouraged! Artificial lighting is kept to a bare minimum on these roads, which is a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky. Another consideration is wildlife; deer, elk, free range cattle, and even wild horses tend to be nocturnal, which ratchets up your risk of a collision in areas where cell service may be spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      In Flagstaff, attractions you might enjoy include but aren’t limited to the Arboretum, the Lowell Observatory, Museum of Northern Arizona, the Riordan Mansion, Walnut Canyon National Monument, and the chairlift ride at Snow Bowl. Things To Do in Flagstaff, Arizona
      Here’s where the word of warning comes in: you’re going to find that one day is nowhere near enough to enjoy what Sedona has to offer. I can pretty much guarantee that one look at the beauty of the area, and you’re to be planning a return trip! When you do, plan to spend at least 3 days to do it justice.
      At the time of year you’re visiting, the weather is usually wonderful, but on the cool side, so plan on bringing a jacket and gloves. Flagstaff, especially, can get cold at night.
      Depending on how early your flight is on day 6, you might consider driving to Phoenix after your sightseeing in Sedona just so you don’t get unexpectedly held up in rush hour traffic and risk missing your flight. The drive from Sedona to Phoenix is ~2.5 hours.
      Hope that helps — good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  20. Andy Southworth says:

    Alley,

    Your insight and detailed responses are wonderful, and very helpful!

    My family (wife and three boys, ages 9, 9, and 7) are taking our first trip out west in October. We fly into Vegas early on Monday, October 21st. We will rent a car and head to Zion that first day. We are only planning on being there one day – any suggestions on what we should do and/or where we should stay?

    We will get up early the next morning and drive to Bryce Canyon. We have a hotel reserved that evening (Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn), but we have not planned any activities. Any thoughts?

    Our plan is to get up on Wednesday morning and head to Antelope Canyon. I would like to try to get on a tour that morning about 10:30 if possible. Do you recommend Upper or Lower, or does it not really matter? After the land tour, I would like to do a boat tour that afternoon. Do you think we should try to do Horseshoe Bend that evening (after the boat tour) or early the next morning?

    From Antelope, we were planning on working our way back to Vegas, maybe stopping at the North Rim on the way there. Detouring to the North Rim does add an extra 2 1/2 – 3 hours on the drive to Vegas. Is it worth it, or is there something else you would recommend? If we do stop at the North Rim, it sounds like the Bright Angel Point Trail would be a good one for the kids.

    As I mentioned above, it is our first trip out west, so we have no experience. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on how we might be able to improve our trip they would be much appreciated!

    Sincerely,
    Andy Southworth

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hey Andy,
      You’ve chosen a wonderful time to visit the American Southwest! October is typically marked by cooler temperatures and thinner crowds. It will still be busy, though, so all lodging and guided tours (especially Antelope Canyon) should be reserved ASAP.
      For Zion, the best place to stay is Springdale, UT. This small town located on the Western border of the park is the hub for the Zion Park Shuttle System, and has a large variety of hotels and restaurants to choose from. If for some reason you can’t find accommodations in Springdale, UT, then Kanab, UT, is your next best option for lodging, but you’d end up having to go to Springdale, UT, anyway to get on the shuttle (it’s mandatory for those who do not have reservations at the Zion Park Lodge). Note that wherever you decide to stay, the drive will take longer than expected due to a long-term construction project taking place on I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge. Navigating that typically tacks another 30-60 minutes onto your trip. As for what to do in Zion, there’s no shortage of hikes in various lengths and degrees of difficulty. The Narrows and Angel’s Landing tend to be regarded as the “holy grails” of hikes in this area, but they take the better part of a day, are strenuous (in the case of Angel’s Landing), and/or require a permit in some instances (The Narrows). Other beautiful walks include, but are certainly not limited to, the Riverside Walk, Weeping Rock, Emerald Pools, and the Canyon Overlook Trail. 10 Great Hikes in Zion
      In Bryce, here again, lots of great hiking to do! The Rim Trail is a natural since you can do as little or as much of it as you want. Mossy Cave is cool, and less than a mile round-trip. There’s all kinds of possibilities for family-friendly hiking in Bryce. Other Bryce Canyon activities worth considering are horseback riding, ATV tours, mountain biking, and air tours. The staff at Ruby’s Inn can give you guidance on and make arrangements for the full array of guided tours, or you can book in advance if you prefer. Since Bryce Canyon is ~8,000′ above sea level, jackets will probably be required, so be sure to pack some.
      For Antelope Canyon, if you can handle the physicality of Lower, I’d recommend that branch of the canyon. Your boys would probably find the stairs, ladders, and simple bouldering a lot of fun. Before you commit, you might watch this Full Video Walk-Through of Lower Antelope Canyon Note that the people in this video are wearing backpacks, which is no longer allowed. If you do decide on Lower Antelope, you can “bundle” that with a boat tour for optimal convenience.
      As for when to hit Horseshoe Bend, honestly, it depends on the parking situation. If you can find an open and legal parking spot that afternoon, go for it; otherwise, plan on hitting it just after sunrise the following morning.
      When you indicate that you’d like to make a side trip to Grand Canyon North Rim en route from Page to Las Vegas, here’s where your plan requires a reality check. It takes ~5 hours to drive from Page to Las Vegas under ideal circumstances. Remember that construction zone you had to deal with on the drive to Zion? You’ll have to go through it again on the trip back to Las Vegas, so there’s another 30-60 minutes added on to the drive right there. While the detour to the North Rim is given as 2.5-3 hours on paper, that rarely happens as the drive is very scenic, and you’ll no doubt be stopping to take pictures. Another consideration is that visitor facilities on the North Rim are only open between May 15th and October 15th. This means that even if the road into the park is open, there will be no place to grab a snack, restrooms that are normally open to the public will be closed, and depending on the whims of Mother Nature, an unexpected snowstorm could crop up. The biggest obstacle you’ll be running up against at the time of year you’re visiting, however, is daylength: it’s rapidly shortening. Sunrise occurs at ~ 7:00 AM and sunset takes place at around 5:30 PM. Driving in the dark should be avoided if at all possible due to lack of ambient lighting on local roads, and the large number of wildlife in the area, such as deer, elk, free range cattle, and even wild horses. Believe me, you don’t want to have a vehicular encounter with one in an area where cell service is spotty to non-existent, and a tow truck will be a long time coming, not to mention very expensive. Long story short: save the visit to the Grand Canyon for another trip, and plan on going to the South Rim. The South Rim is open year-round and offers more to see and do for families like yourselves. Instead, make a detour through the Valley of Fire State Park on your way back to Las Vegas. This is a stunning area with cool rock formations, similar to the Wave in Arizona, but doesn’t require a permit to visit.
      Hope that helps — good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  21. Julie says:

    Hi! First of all, I am impressed and thankful for how responsive you are to all of us with our repetitive questions! 🙂 Can you give me some feedback on a proposed schedule? We are visiting in mid-September and at this point plan to make Flagstaff our “base” for this leg of our road trip. The reason for Flagstaff is because lodging options are SO expensive/limited in the surrounding areas and Flagstaff is basically the only spot that has a hotel option in which we can cash in rewards-member points (aka, sleep for free!). With that said, here is what we are planning on at this point:

    Day 1: Drive from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon and spend the day exploring. We will return to Flagstaff for the night.
    Day 2: Drive from Flagstaff to Page for a 10 AM tour of Secret Canyon/Horseshoe Bend. (At the end of the tour we will begin to head towards Colorado to keep our road trip moving right along!)

    My main question is: Is the drive from Flagstaff to Page by 10 AM feasible? Google maps says it is about 2 hours, but I’ve read things that say not to trust this time frame. We obviously expect to leave Flagstaff bright and early, but I’d hate to leave thinking we have plenty of time and then end up being late/missing our tour because of unexpected travel time. We also understand that it means we will enjoy the scenery from the car, and not stopping for lots of photo ops. We are OK with that!

    Other question: Is driving after dark in these areas a bad idea? What is cell reception like around all these canyons? Our vehicle is reliable, but I’m the worrier in the group. 😛

    Thank you!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hey Julie,
      Using Flagstaff as a “base camp” from which to explore the various attractions is usually something we advise as a “last resort” measure when you can’t find lodging in the immediate vicinity, but then again, if your hotel points allow you to lodge for free, then Flagstaff it is!
      The drive from Flagstaff to Page, AZ, is actually more along the lines of 2.5 hours, and that’s wheels turning, no stops. To be on the safe side, I’d recommend grabbing a quick breakfast at your hotel (if they have it), or maybe some bagels and fruit you can munch on in the car, and hitting the road no later than 7:00 AM. Sunrise occurs at ~6:00 AM at that time of year, so you should have plenty of light by then. Be sure to take the route specified on this map so you don’t get held up by traffic at Horseshoe Bend, but do plan on visiting the overlook after your Antelope Canyon tour.

      Since you’ll be going direct to Page, AZ, by necessity on the day of your Antelope Canyon tour, I recommend taking your drive to the Grand Canyon at a more leisurely pace the day before to make the most of your visit. Again, get a fairly early start on the day and drive from Flagstaff, AZ, to Cameron, AZ on US89. On the way, if you want, take the scenic loop drive through Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monument just North of Flag (that’s what we call it around here). That’s a fascinating area featuring a dormant volcano and a rather expansive and very well-preserved Ancestral Puebloan complex. Continuing North, maybe stop for breakfast or brunch at the Cameron Trading Post; if not a meal, then at least a bathroom break/leg stretch, etc. Turn West on AZ64 and enter the park via the East gate at Desert View Point, stopping at as many of the scenic overlooks along this section of the park as you wish (there are over half-a-dozen of them, not counting the Tusayan Ruins & Museum). Upon arriving at Grand Canyon Village, park your vehicle, then use the free shuttles to explore the Village Historic District, and the overlooks on the West Rim/Hermit’s Rest Drive. Begin the drive back to Flag at 5:00 PM at the latest so you are back in town by sunset, which is at 6:30 PM. If you leave a bit earlier, you might catch the IMAX movie, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets” in Tusayan just outside the South gate of the park, where you’d exit.

      Which brings me to the answer to your next question: YES, driving after dark in this part of the U.S. is strongly discouraged! Artificial lighting is kept to a bare minimum on these roads, which is a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky. Another consideration is wildlife; deer, elk, free range cattle, and even wild horses tend to be nocturnal, which ratchets up your risk of a collision in areas where cell service may be spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      • Julie says:

        Wonderful feedback! Thank you SO much! Can I just bring you along for every vacation I plan from now on?!? lol

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hey Julie,
          Glad our guidance helped. Have a great trip and if you have time, let us know how things went!
          Take care and have a wonderful summer and holiday season,
          Alley 🙂

  22. Ana says:

    Hi,
    First of all your post and comments are really useful and I am glad I found this site on google before booking my flight and the hotels.
    I am planning to go to Las Vegas from 23 November to 28 or 29 November then head to LA and San Francisco. I will spend 3 days in Las Vegas (I think it’s enough?). Then I will rent a car and I was wondering if I can visit on one day – 27 Nov – the Grand Canyon and maybe take the famous Route 66 on my way back to Las Vegas, another day – 28 Nov – Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend – then go back to Las Vegas too. And the 3rd day, 29 Nov, on my way to LA I was thinking if I can stop to Death Valley and Sequoia National Park and find o hotel nearby for the night (if you can recommend a city in the area) and head to LA the next day.

    Is the end of November a good time of the year to visit this area?

    Thank you!
    Ana

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hey Ana, and thank you for your praises!
      Instead of visiting the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon as day trips from Las Vegas, I’d recommend doing a loop itinerary and overnighting at the parks on your list. Two reasons why: the Grand Canyon and Page, AZ (Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon) are both a 5-hour drive — one way — from Las Vegas. Under ideal circumstances (i.e., when the weather is warmer and the days are longer), you’d still be racing against the clock to get back to Las Vegas by nightfall, but in late November, you’re dealing with rapidly shortening days (sunrise in Las Vegas is at 6:30 AM, sunset at 4:30 PM). Driving at night is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to roads that are very dimly lit, and the possibility of colliding with a deer, elk, or other large animal. Compound this with very cold weather (possibly snowing), spotty (or non-existent) cell phone service, and help that will be a long time coming (not to mention very expensive), and it’s a risk you really shouldn’t take.
      A better plan would be:
      November 27: Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim, with stop at Hoover Dam, via Old Route 66 (~6 hour drive), overnight at Grand Canyon South Rim
      November 28: Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ (~3.5-4 hours factoring in stops), visit Horseshoe Bend, tour Antelope Canyon that afternoon. Overnight in Page, AZ.
      November 29: Drive from Page, AZ, to Death Valley (~7 hour drive), overnight in Pahrump, NV
      November 30: Drive to LA
      Unless you can free up another day or two, I’d say drop Sequoia from the plan this time around, for one, the distance makes it unrealistic to hit as a day visit, and snow may block access to the park at the time of year you’re visiting.

      As for whether the end of November is a good time to visit, any time of year is a good time for a trip to Las Vegas, but you will have to deal with cold weather and the possibility of snow. Start monitoring the weather about 2 weeks before you get set to travel to get a better sense of how to pack.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    • Jasmine says:

      Hey I’m doing a day trip from Las Vegas to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe bend next Thursday. Connect with me on ig @awholenewworldwithjazzy

  23. Liya Cheraux says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Loved reading your post, and truly amazed how much time you spent helping us. Thank you!

    My question for you is different from what I’ve read here. My husband and I are touring through south Utah and Page in total 7 days. We will be trying to hike the Narrows in Zion, should we still book the Antelope Canyon tour? Since Page is our last stop (mainly for Horseshoe bend and Grand Canyon), I wonder if we would have seen enough canyons after all these days, and would find Antelope Canyon tour unnecessary. I’d love to hear your advice. Thank you.

    Here is our 7-day itinerary (work in progress). We’ve booked all the accommodations so can’t change much.

    9/14 : Drive from home to Zion
    9/15 Day1: Zion (Zion night 1)
    9/16 Day2: Zion (Zion night 3)
    9/17 Day3: Bryce (Fruita Campsite night 1)
    9/18 Day4:Capitol Reef (Fruita Campsite night 2)
    9/19 Day5: Arches/Canyonlands/Dead Horse Point SP (Moab Yurt night)
    9/20 Day6: Arches/Canyonlands/Dead Horse Point SP (Page night)
    9/21 Day7: Horseshoe Bend, Grand Canyon (Vegas night)
    9/22 : Drive from Vegas to home

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Liya,
      Thank you for your compliments! Ryan is out of the office, but I’m happy to help you.
      This is an excellent question – it’s natural to wonder if you’d get “canyon’ed out” by the time you reached Page, AZ! I believe the answer is “no.” All the canyon landscapes you will experience on your tour (which definitely looks fun!) are different and beautiful in their own way, so, seeing Antelope Canyon IMO would make for a nice capper to your week’s exploration.
      There are a couple of areas where I’d recommend some small reality checks and possibly making some changes:
      On 09/20, where you say you’ll spend the night in Page, AZ, after exploring the Moab, UT, area, keep in mind that’s a long drive, ~5 hours. Plus, you’ll want to take advantage of the opportunity to go through Monument Valley, which will add more time to the trip. An important consideration at the time of year you’re visiting is daylength. It’s getting short, with sunrise in Moab, UT, occurring at ~7:00 AM and sunset in Page, AZ, at ~6:30 AM. Utah is also on a different time zone than Arizona, so UT is one hour “ahead.” No matter what you do, you need to time your trip so that you arrive in Page, AZ, well before sunset. Nighttime driving is best avoided in this part of the U.S. due to poor lighting on local roads and the tendency for deer, elk, free range cattle, and sometimes wild horses to pose a collision risk.
      On 09/21 where you say you’ll visit the attractions in Page, AZ, then to go on to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, that is not realistic. It takes approximately 3.5-4 hours to make the drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim. I know Google Maps gives the drive time as 2.5 hours, but that rarely happens, because the drive is very scenic, and you will be stopping to take pictures. There’s also the inevitable bathroom and meal stops to be made (the Cameron Trading Post is perfect for this!). It can take 2-3 hours alone stopping at all the Grand Canyon viewpoints between the park entrance at Desert View and Grand Canyon Village! It would then take ~4.5 hours minimum to make the drive back to Las Vegas. It would be better to overnight in the Grand Canyon area, then make the drive to Vegas the following morning when you’re rested.
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Liya Cheraux says:

        Thank you very much, Ally for your advice. I will book Antelope Canyon tour. Also, I will make sure we leave Moab early and Page early enough to avoid driving in dark. You’re right, safety is the most important! Truly appreciate your time and your help!

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          You are welcome Liya! Feel free to stop by again if you have further questions about your Arizona vacation planning 🙂

  24. nicole says:

    hello, we will be visiting the first week in October. I am interested in seeing as much as possible. Where is a good location to stay? Best place to book the tours? The reviews I’ve read for the tours online are hit and miss. some good, some bad. ideally we’d like to see anteloupe canyon, grand canyon and more! We will be in Las vegas for 2 days and have 2-3 days to see AC and the GC. Any suggestions on the best way to approach this?
    Nicole

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Nicole,
      October is a great time to be here!
      The best location to stay is as close as possible to the attractions you wish to see! For the Grand Canyon, that would be Grand Canyon Village, or Tusayan, aka GC Village South, 7 miles outside the park. For Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ, would be where you’d want to seek your lodging. As for how to plan your trip, honestly, it will depend on when you can find availability for Grand Canyon lodging and Antelope Canyon tours. Both Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ, are ~a 5-hour drive from Las Vegas, so the order in which you visit them is really a “six of one/half-a-dozen of another” proposition. As for the Antelope Canyon tour reviews, I wouldn’t put too much stock in them. Every single tour company, restaurant, hotel, or other type of retail store here has received good and bad reviews. Besides, Antelope Canyon is such a popular attraction that in the time it takes for you to hem and haw over which tour company is best, you may find all the seats booked. If you think we’re kidding, think again. “Help! Antelope Canyon Tours Are Sold Out” However, a viable method to avoid some of the pitfalls of Antelope Canyon tours — namely, how crowded they are — is to consider touring one of several alternate slot canyons in Page, AZ, that are just as beautiful, but a lot less crowded.
      So, all that said, a sample itinerary including Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ, is:
      Day 1: Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon, with optional stopover at Hoover Dam (~5-6 hour drive), overnight at Grand Canyon
      Day 2: Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, stopping at Grand Canyon viewpoints along the way, and points of interest in the Navajo Reservation (~3.5-4 hour drive), tour Antelope Canyon in the afternoon, overnight in Page, AZ
      Day 3: Visit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise, drive back to Las Vegas (~5 hours), optional “drive-through” of Zion National Park, which will add another 90 minutes-2 hours onto your drive time. Be aware of a construction project taking place on a stretch of I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge, which could tack another 30-60 minutes onto your trip.
      If lodging availability is more conducive to flip-flopping that itinerary, then by all means, do so. If you have another day to spend, I’d recommend spending it in Page, AZ, so you can take part in a water-based activity, such as the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip, Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour, or perhaps a kayak tour from Lone Rock.
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  25. MP says:

    Hi, Alley. First, let me say you are an amazing source of information, and I found myself nodding at all the advice you gave to people, especially about packing so much into their itineraries. I used to travel to and from Page a lot years ago, and have so many great memories. I’d like to return, but I was shocked at how difficult it is to get to PGA by air. I’m wondering if I’m looking at the wrong airport or what I’m doing wrong. Is it really that expensive to fly into Page now, and should I fly into Phoenix and drive up instead? Thank you for your help!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hey MP,
      Contour Airlines is now the Essential Air Service carrier between Page and Phoenix. They also offer service between Page and Las Vegas, as well as San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Oakland, CA, on a limited basis. Last I checked, their rates were pretty darn reasonable, starting at $49, varying all the way up to $129. PGA is the correct airport code for Page, AZ. From what I’m able to gather, Contour has yet to “ping” on the radar of search tools such as Google Flights and Scott’s Cheap Flights, so you’ll have to search for it separately. This may be because they have yet to arrange a downline agreement for baggage transfers, but I’m just guessing on that.
      For more information, visit http://www.ContourAirlines.com
      Hope that helps,
      Alley 🙂

      • MP says:

        That’s fantastic news, and thank you for replying so quickly. Delta ran the “puddle jumper” service back in the day. I’d get on the 9pm and be in Page by 10pm. I hadn’t done a search in a while, mainly due to the astronomical prices I would get, but I just went to kayak.com and it does now list Contour and Frontier for flights from Phoenix to Page. Last year I flew into Denver and almost drove down to Page on a whim (but restrained myself). 🙂 Now I know I have options. Thanks again, Alley!

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hey Mike,
          Boy, “back in the day” for you might have been “back in the day” for me, too! Are you talking about the early-mid ’90’s? If so, I worked for Scenic Airlines, which was a SkyWest subsidiary, which was a Delta subsidiary at that time. Who knows, our paths could have crossed. Anyway, glad you found Contour and that you might visit PGA again someday.
          Take care,
          Alley 🙂

  26. Jennifer Ann says:

    Hi!
    What do you think of this plan?
    Mid-October 2019
    Fly to Phoenix from east coast and arrive at 12:45 pm
    Stay in Phoenix and relax

    Day 2:
    Leave for Page by 6 am (we are early risers)
    And take lower antelope Canyon tour at 1 which leaves us time before for a brief lunch
    Go to horseshoe bend and also drive over state line in Utah as oldest daughter wants to visit all 50 states
    Sleep in Page

    Day 3:
    Leave at 6 am and drive to Grand Canyon (which side?) and spend time there until about 3 or 4 pm when we would journey back to Phoenix before dark

    Day 4
    Spend it in Phoenix

    Day 5
    Board airplane at 6 am and get home at 4 pm

    What do you think? Thanks in advance!!!!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      First off, October is a great time to be here, so I approve of that wholeheartedly! The rest of your trip plan? About 50-50.
      Your plan for your arrival day is good, especially if you’re coming from the East Coast, you’ll be pretty whooped by the time you get to Phoenix, so spending the night there is a good idea so you can relax, wind down, etc.
      Day 2 is OK as well, but you’ll need to make sure you get on the road by 6:00 AM, and plan on arriving in Page, AZ, no later than 12:00 Noon to get your bearings and check in for your Antelope Canyon tour. That means resisting most temptations to stop at various scenic overlooks and scenes that will invariably pique your curiosity. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, you should be able to make it without a problem, seeing as though the normal drive time — wheels up, no stops — is ~4.5 hours. That gives you a small cushion for bathroom breaks, snack stops, and the inevitable, “oh wow, look at that!” moment.
      Day 3 is where things go a bit wrong. Let me back up a bit first: save the visit to Horseshoe Bend for on your way to the Grand Canyon. Early morning is actually a better time to be there than late afternoon, when the parking area is usually full, and the outside air temperature is quite warm. Sunrise occurs at about 6:30 AM that time of year, so “wheels up” at 6:00 AM should time things quite well. Other advantages to a sunrise visit are fewer people to contend with and cooler temperatures! Back to what I was getting at: the drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim, on paper, is given as 2.5 hours. In reality, it ends up being more along the lines of 3.5-4 hours due to the fact that it’s a very scenic drive (a familiar refrain in these parts, for sure!) and you will find yourself stopping to take photos, especially along the section of the Desert View Drive between the East entrance of the park and Grand Canyon Village. The Cameron Trading Post, in the Navajo Reservation, is a good breakfast/brunch stop. Then let’s say you spend 3 hours or so exploring Grand Canyon Village, then you’re looking at a 4.5 hour drive back to Phoenix. That’s potentially 7-9 hours of driving in one day. Not my idea of a vacation. Plus you really should be somewhere on the canyon rim for sunset! Another concern is regarding nighttime driving; it’s something you want to avoid if at all possible due to lack of ambient lighting on local roads (a deliberate move in order to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky), and the possible presence of deer, elk, free range cattle, and even wild horses around them. A nighttime collision with a large animal in an area with spotty cell service, if you can get service at all, and where help will be a long time coming, and VERY expensive can ruin a vacation in a hot second. A better plan would be to spend the night at Grand Canyon South Rim on Day 3, then head down to Phoenix on Day 4 when you’re rested. If you take us up on that, you might return to Phoenix with a drive-by through Sedona, which will extend the trip, but the scenery is well worth the diversion! But then again, it might leave you wanting: Sedona is a place where you can spend 4-5 days and still feel as though you’d only scratched the surface, so, maybe a return trip to Arizona would be a better plan when you can do that area justice.
      Hope that helps, and sorry for the delay in replying.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      • Jennifer Ann says:

        Thank you so much for your guidance! I took your advice and made a reservation at the lodge at the Grand Canyon! One more question—should I book a later antelope canyon tour or stick with 1 pm? Thanks again!!

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hey again Jennifer!
          Good call, I think you’ll be glad you did that. As for your Antelope Canyon tour, 1:00 PM is a good time light-wise, etc. I forget when you are visiting (sorry, I give advice to a lot of people!), but if you’re coming during the summer or early fall months, you might be lucky enough to catch a light beam or two.
          Anyway, glad our advice helped and hope you have a wonderful time 🙂
          Alley

  27. Jessica says:

    Hello! Thank you for the time you put into making amazing experiences for others. I have 2 questions: Is it required to use a professional company for touring Antelope Canyon (either upper or lower) or can you simply do a self-guided tour and pay a smaller entrance fee? Secondly, are there any “must see” stops on the way fromm the south rim (Mather Campground) to Page, other than Horseshoe Bend? We were hoping to see Antelope Canyon but the tour rates are incredibly steep. Thank you for your time!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hey Jessica,
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but a guided tour is 100% required to visit Antelope Canyon. The days where you could “self-tour” have been over for going on 20 years. One way to save money on an Antelope Canyon tour, whether it’s Lower or Upper, is to tour at “off-peak” hours, namely, earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. The light is still good then, so you can still get beautiful pictures. Your guide will assist you in that. Another possibility would be to look into alternate slot canyons in the area that are just as beautiful, but less crowded. Some tours are less expensive than Antelope Canyon, others not so much. Still worth looking into, though. Antelope Canyon Alternative Tours
      As for any “must-see” stops on the route from the Grand Canyon to Page, there’s a TON of them! Google maps lists the drive time as ~2.5 hours, but it’s not unrealistic for that time to actually shake out at more like 3.5-4 hours. Possible points of interest you might stop at include but aren’t limited to:
      – Over half a dozen named viewpoints of the Grand Canyon between GC Village and Desert View Point
      – The Tusayan ruins and museum
      – The Little Colorado Overlook (on Navajo lands, after exiting the park)
      – Chief Yellowhorse’s souvenir stands
      – The Cameron Trading Post (good breakfast/brunch stop)
      – Chinle formation views
      – The Gap Trading Post
      – The “Cut” overlook
      Regarding Horseshoe Bend, you might have better luck hitting that just after sunrise the following morning as parking tends to be quite a bear in the hours between later afternoon and sunset.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  28. Jeff says:

    Hi Alley, first of all thank you for all the help you give to others on here. Secondly, I am planning a road trip (3 to 4 weeks) from Los Angeles and around Western US. Going through Vegas, Salt Lake City, Idaho, Mount Rushmore, Glacier National Park, then through Washington to Portland and back down from Northern Cali to LA. To begin our journey we plan on staying overnight in Vegas before making our way to see Zion, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, North Rim and possibly Marble Canyon and Bryce if needed.

    Plan is to go this September (about 6 weeks from now)

    My plan was to drive up to Zion during the day from Vegas and stay 2 nights around there (finding anything cheap hotel or motel wise on the fly). See Zion in the afternoon on first day, wake up early and hit up Zion the following day (my wife does not want to do any hikes so basically we will hit the shuttle for the day and taking in the views at the stops or flat land walking). Then the next day (Day #3) drive over to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend before staying the night in Page or closer to the North Rim. Day #4 check out the North Rim (and possibly Marble Canyon if it’s worth it on the way). Day #5 drive back into Utah on our way to Salt Lake City (maybe see Bryce at this time in between).

    I am a professional photographer and have traveled the world the past 12 years, and wish to get the best photos I can without any hiking (or minimal distance that I could do myself without my wife for a short time). Does the time frame sound decent for this part of the trip to start or better to add a day somewhere. And what places are best to stay at on the fly (as I prefer not to pre-book too much so I can stay at a place longer or shorter if needed).

    Thanks

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Jeff!
      First of all, at the time of year you’re visiting, you can’t do anything “on the fly.” September is peak travel season in this part of the U.S. and many hotels are likely to be already booked up. Hoping to book a hotel or motel room without reservations is a recipe for disaster, especially in an area where cities and towns are few and far between and you may have to drive hours to find a place to lay your head. Not my idea of a vacation. Book your accommodations NOW.
      Speaking of which, Grand Canyon North Rim, Marble Canyon, and that area doesn’t have much to work with in the way of lodging. Page, AZ, on the other hand has quite a few hotels and vacation rental homes to choose from. You may have an easier time of it visiting Grand Canyon North Rim as a day trip out of Page, AZ (~2.5 hours drive each way), or Kanab, Utah (~90 minutes each way).
      On Day #5 where you propose visiting Bryce Canyon on the way to Salt Lake City, I’d recommend re-thinking that. It’s about a 4-hour drive from Bryce to Salt Lake, and you want to avoid doing the first half of that drive in the dark. Even if you don’t do any hard-core hiking, sunset is a great time to be at Bryce Canyon. I’d hate to be racing against the clock to get to Salt Lake and miss that! Plan to stay overnight somewhere in the Bryce Canyon area, then getting an early start on the drive to SLC early the next morning.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Jeff says:

        Thank you for your quick reply. So I guess I will have to bite the bullet (At least on the first week of my roadtrip) and pre-book hotels. That means will need to make sure how long I plan to stay at each place and have time to get back and forth from the hotel to these destinations each day effectively.

        Other than that, Is Bryce Canyon or Marble Canyon redundant in any way since I will be doing the rest, or are each of those two can’t miss places? Just wondering if it’s something I can skip if need be.

        Thanks again 🙂

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Jeff,
          Bryce Canyon and Marble Canyon are two totally different areas, with nary a resemblance or redundancy! Bryce Canyon deserves at least a full day of your time to ride or drive the scenic loop drive to the different viewpoints and maybe do some hiking.
          Safe journeys,
          Alley 🙂

          • Jeff says:

            Thank you again. So here is my revised itinerary using Kanab Utah as my base for 5 nights (this allows me flexibility to travel around)

            Wed 9/4- Drive from LA to Kanab (7 hours)- stay the night

            Thur 9/5- 34 min drive to Springdale (take free shuttle for the day through Zion)- again we are not going to hike much. In the morning before we go I plan to try my hand at the lottery for Marble Canyon (As there will only be 10 tickets daily available).

            Fri 9/6- If I win the lottery the prev day then I will drive 1 hr 20 mins to Marble Canyon (myself- wife can’t do hike) and spend the day there. If I didn’t win the lottery the prev day then I will try the lottery again this morning for the following day and then travel 1 hr 40 mins to North rim of Grand Canyon with wife.

            Sat 9/6- If I win the lottery the prev day this time I will drive myself to do Marble Canyon but if I still didn’t get it then wife and I will either do a second day at Zion or travel to Bryce Canyon for the day.

            Sun 9/7- From Kanab travel 1 hr 11 mins to Page AZ for our pre-booked tour of Antelope Canyon then hit horseshoe bend mid-day before going back to hotel in Kanab.

            Mon 9/8- Leave hotel in Kanab and travel 4 hrs 50 mins to Salt Lake City.

            Let me know how this works and if I’m thinking right on everything 🙂 Thanks again

          • Alley Keosheyan says:

            Hi again, Jeff —
            That works, however, I think when you say “Marble Canyon,” you mean “The Wave,” correct?
            Alley 🙂

          • Jeff says:

            That’s right “The Wave” I thought it was part of Marble Canyon. Sorry for the double post (somehow got put on the other reply)

          • Alley Keosheyan says:

            Hey Jeff,
            No problem 😉
            Marble Canyon is actually part of the Colorado River, it’s the section below Glen Canyon. You can actually drive to the river at Marble Canyon and Lees Ferry if you want. The Wave is part of a Special Management Area known as “Coyote Buttes,” located in the Paria Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs National Monument.
            Best wishes for safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

  29. Alison Wineberg says:

    I wish I had found this page earlier! I would love feedback on an upcoming road trip with my family of 4. We are driving down through CO, camping along the way, with an overnight (possibly 2) in Page before continuing to the Grand Canyon for a day, then to Flagstaff and Sedona for several days before heading out of AZ through the eastern side of the state and into New Mexico. I am concerned about camping in Page in the August heat and am considering revising our plans. I would welcome any feedback or advice.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Alison and thank you for this excellent inquiry.
      I assume you are tent camping, thus the concern about heat. Your concerns are certainly justified in Page, AZ, in August. Page, AZ, is about 4,300′ above sea level, and has a desert-like climate. Daytime highs in August to run into the 90’s-100’s, with overnight lows only dipping down into the 70’s. Another concern is monsoonal weather, which can bring sudden thunderstorms in the afternoon, which are often accompanied by high winds. Not too comfortable for sleeping in a tent IMO, so I’d definitely recommend springing for a hotel room during your travels here. A solid roof over your head and air conditioning are things you’ll be glad to have! Page, AZ, hotels run the gamut from Motel 6 to Marriott and everything in between as far as price points and amenity classes go, so you’re bound to find something that suits your need and budget.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  30. Tiffany says:

    Hi, first and foremost, you are absolutely amazing for sharing your advice! In reading some of your post, I am worried that my itinerary might be a bit ambitious. It is just two adults… appreciate your time.

    1. Barstow to Zion to Kanab
    2. Kanab to N. Rim to Page
    3. Antelope Canyon Upper and Lower to Tuba City.
    4. Tuba City to Kingman
    5. Kingman to Sky Walk to Hover Dam to Vegas.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Tiffany,
      Your itinerary is certainly a busy one, and though feasible on paper, my immediate concern is regarding the lack of “downtime.” This is the sort of vacation people end up needing a vacation from! Zion, for example, is a huge park that really deserves at least 3 days time to explore and enjoy fully. Seeing it as a “drive by” from Barstow to Kanab will leave you wanting, that’s for sure.
      It also doesn’t make much sense to overnight in Tuba City en route to Kingman, AZ. It doesn’t make much of a dent in the drive. If that is your goal, your best bet is to drive to Flagstaff, AZ, where there are more hotels to choose from. Another thing to keep in mind, is Tuba City is a Navajo reservation town, and as such, is dry. Consuming, possessing, or transporting alcohol is a no-no, so if you want to have a drink with dinner, or just buy a six-pack to take back to your hotel, Flagstaff, AZ, would be the better choice, and would put you closer to Kingman. The drive from Page, AZ, to Flagstaff is ~2.5 hours.
      I’m getting a big ahead of myself, though: I’m not sure what time of year you are visiting, but if it’s during the summer or early fall, I would skip the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Though it is a neat view, Grand Canyon West is CRAZY hot during the spring, summer, and fall months. If you live in the Barstow, CA, area, you’re close enough to plan a future visit when temperatures are more comfortable, which is usually late October-early November.
      By skipping the Skywalk, you can give an extra day to Zion, or, simply hit the South Rim, overnight there, then just head back to Las Vegas afterward.
      So a revised itinerary would look something like this:
      1. Drive from Barstow to Kanab, UT via Zion, overnight in Kanab* or Springdale, UT (~7 hour drive, due to construction taking place on I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge)
      2. 2nd day in Zion; possible hikes are Emerald Pools, Weeping Rock Trail, Watchman Trail, Canyon Overlook Trail, 2nd night in Kanab or Springdale, UT* *since you are required to use the Zion Park Shuttle system, which operates out of Springdale, UT, you may use this town as your ‘base’ for this leg of your trip
      3. Drive from Kanab or Springdale to Grand Canyon North Rim (2-2.5 hours depending on lodging location the night before, then Page, AZ (2.5 hours from GC North Rim) for overnight
      4. Tour Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, then drive to Grand Canyon South Rim (3.5 hours from Page, AZ, factoring in stops), overnight at Grand Canyon
      5. Drive back to Las Vegas (~5 hours)

      Whatever you decide to do, be sure that you always keep an eye on the time. You should strive to get any and all driving completed by sunset. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to the the lack of artificial lighting on area roads (a deliberate strategy to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky), plus the tendency for deer, elk, free range cattle, and other wildlife to be nocturnal. Trust us, you don’t want to risk a collision with a large animal in an area where cell phone service is spotty at best, non-existent at worst, and a tow truck will be a long time coming, not to mention expensive. For sunrise and sunset times in the various cities you visit, consult http://www.sunrise-sunset.org
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  31. Cathy says:

    HI,
    I am hoping for some thoughts or insight on our itinerary trip coming up the week of August 5 and only have 6 days total. We are a family of 6 including 4 kids, 18, 15, and twin 8 year old girls, traveling from Florida to Arizona to visit my mother in law who lives in Cave Creek (40 minutes north of Phoenix) and plan to travel to the Grand Canyon and Page. We are limited on time and only have 4 days of traveling. Here is our tentative itinerary:

    Tuesday AM: leave Cave Creek and drive to our Airbnb in Page. We planned to pretty much drive through and arrive mid afternoon to the Airbnb and settle in. We plan to go to Horseshoe Bend in the afternoon.
    Wednesday: We have a Lower Antelope Canyon tour booked at 9:30AM. Then, we are debating on going to the Northern Rim afterwards and coming back to Page before dark. The Northern Rim was never part of the original plan but we’ve recently decided to try to make it happen.
    Thursday: We are renting a boat on Lake Powell for the day. Morning until afternoon. Maybe go to the Glen Canyon Dam later on in the afternoon if we aren’t to worn out by then.
    Friday AM: We are checking out of the Airbnb and eventually ending up in Cave Creek. We’ll be going to the Southern Rim and going in through the east entrance, stopping at different points along the way. From the Southern Rim, head to Slide Rock State Park and spend a little time there, then head to Cave Creek.

    My question is, is this doable? Am I missing anything that should be done on our tight time frame?

    Thanks! Looking forward to this exciting trip!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Cathy,
      Unfortunately, I can’t endorse this plan. You’re trying to cram too much sightseeing in too short a time frame.
      First order of business: drop the trip to the North Rim. It’s 2.5 hours, each way, from Page, AZ, to the North Rim, and after a 9:30 AM Antelope Canyon tour, you simply won’t have enough time to do it justice. Another consideration is daylength. Sunrise occurs at ~6:00 AM, sunset at about 7:30 PM at the time of year you’re visiting. Nighttime driving is something you want to avoid if at all possible, due to the lack of artificial lighting on local roads, and the possibility you might hit a deer, elk, free range cow, or even a wild horse. In a remote area like this, help will be hard to find due to spotty cell service, a long time coming since tow trucks will ultimately have to be sent out from Page, AZ, or Kanab, UT, which means that a tow back to civilization will come with a very high price tag. Although the North Rim is beautiful, I recommend saving it for another trip when you can give it the time it deserves, preferably by staying a night or two. Grand Canyon North Rim lodging tends to book up a year or more in advance, so planning ahead is crucial!
      Since the Horseshoe Bend parking lot is extremely busy in the afternoon, I recommend visiting it right after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and fewer people, then proceed to your Antelope Canyon tour. A tour of the Glen Canyon dam would be a good way to round out the day.
      On Thursday, instead of doing a boat rental, you might consider taking the Glen Canyon Float Trip instead. That’s a wonderful family activity, and someone else will be doing the work of driving the boat! As the name suggests, the trip doesn’t go through any rapids, but you get a lot of beautiful scenery, compelling history, and an opportunity to swim in the Colorado River. The AM trip (6:00 AM check-in/7:00 AM departure) is best at the time of year you’re visiting for cooler temperatures in the inner canyon.
      On your final travel day, here again, you’re trying to squeeze too much into that day. Instead of going all the way in to Grand Canyon Village, which will be ~a 3.5-4 hour drive from Page, factoring in stops, I’d recommend doing a “pop-in” to Desert View Point. That will be a 2-hour drive from Page, AZ, then you’re looking at another 2-hour drive to Slide Rock State Park, then yet another 2-hour drive to Cave Creek.

      I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds like too. much. driving. If I were you, I’d make a choice: Grand Canyon South Rim or Sedona, and if you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, that’s the place you should prioritize, and save Sedona for another trip. It’s a beautiful area that truly deserves 3-4 days, bare minimum, to fully enjoy.
      Or, here’s another idea: forget about driving to the Grand Canyon altogether and take a fixed-wing airplane flight over it from the Page, AZ, Municipal Airport! Grand Canyon flight tours do not land on either side of the Grand Canyon, and yes, this type of activity does cost some serious money, but in just 90 minutes time, you’ll get a good view of both the North and South Rims, and a lot of other beautiful scenery. For more information, visit Westwind Air Service: Flights from Page/Lake Powell
      Anyway, I hope that helps. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  32. Meghan says:

    Hi there!
    Question for you — any ideas for towns we should look to stay in for Grand Canyon South Rim? Hotels are very expensive due to 100th year celebration. We are going in August, this August 2019.

    Thanks!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Meghan,
      Sorry I’m so late in responding to your inquiry. I myself was on vacation!
      If Grand Canyon South Rim lodging is too pricey, you might check availability and pricing in Williams, AZ, 60 miles South of the Grand Canyon. If that area is sold out, Flagstaff, AZ, would be your next best alternative.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  33. Morgan says:

    Hi Alley,

    Could you take a look at my itinerary and give me your thoughts? It’s slightly zig zaggy but that’s due to where I could find lodging as I booked a little late in the game. Thanks!

    8/29 – Fly to Las Vegas (arrive around 11:30PM). Stay @ LV Airport Hotel.
    8/30 – Leave @ 7AM, Drive to Bryce Canyon (Possible Short Stop at Valley of the Fire SP), Arrive @ Bryce Canyon around 2:30PM, Spend afternoon driving to viewpoints in Bryce. Stay near Bryce.
    8/31 – Watch Sunrise @ Bryce, leave @ 8AM to drive to Grand Canyon N Rim, Arrive @ N Rim around 11AM Spend Day @ N Rim, Stay @ N Rim lodge.
    9/1 – Leave @ 7:30AM to drive to Zion, Arrive @ Zion around 12:30, Spend afternoon/evening @ Zion. Stay @ Zion lodge.
    9/2 – Spend day @ Zion, Stay @ Springdale, AZ.
    9/3 – Leave Springdale @ 7am to Drive to Page. Arrive around 9:30am. Antelope Canyon Tour in the morning, Half Day Glen Canyon Float Tour in the afternoon. Stay @ Page, AZ.
    9/4 – Horseshoe Bend for Sunrise, Leave @ 9am for Monument Valley, arrive around 1pm, Drive/Tour monument Valley park, Stay @ The View Hotel.
    9/5 – Watch Sunrise, leave around 8AM for Grand Canyon S Rim, Arrive around 11:30AM. Spend afternoon @ S Rim, Stay @ Maswik Lodge.
    9/6 – Watch Sunrise, Early Morning Hike to Ooh Ahh Point, Leave @ 11:30am to drive back to Las Vegas. Make stop to tour Hoover Dam. Spend evening/night in Vegas. Stay on the Strip.
    9/7 – Spend the day in Vegas, Fly out at 9:30pm.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Morgan,
      Your itinerary looks pretty fun and I have no problem whatsoever putting my “stamp of approval” on it. That’s so cool that you scored lodging at the North Rim and The View! So, yes, your tour does involve a bit of backtracking, which you seem prepared to accept, but really, it’s minimal when you view your trip in more of a “big picture” context.

      Between now and your vacation, if you have the time and/or inclination, you might check for cancellations in Zion, Bryce, and the North Rim, so you could reorder your stops and to hit them in that order, then keep the rest of your trip plans “as is.”

      But even doing that will result in a small degree of “zig zagging.” Here again, if you don’t have the stomach or patience for all that, I wouldn’t worry about it in the least. If you’ve never been to this part of the U.S. before, it will all seem new to you, even areas you might have passed through before, if that makes sense.
      A few things to keep in mind:
      1. there is construction going on on a stretch of I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge; that will potentially tack another 30-60 minutes on your drive time between Las Vegas and Bryce. Get an early start anyway if you want to hit the Valley of Fire. It’s an amazing area, but still hot at that time of year.
      2. you’re going to passing through different time zones on your tour.
      – Nevada is on PACIFIC Daylight Time, and Utah is on MOUNTAIN Daylight Time. You will “lose” an hour passing from Las Vegas to Bryce.
      – The Grand Canyon and Page, Arizona are on Mountain STANDARD Time, and the Navajo Reservation is on Mountain DAYLIGHT Time, therefore, you will “gain” an hour traveling from Bryce to
      the North Rim, “lose” it again going from the North Rim to Zion, “regain” it passing from Zion to Page, “lose” it once more as you travel to Monument Valley, then “gain it back”
      going from Monument Valley to Grand Canyon South Rim. BTW, Antelope Canyon tour operators run on Page, AZ, time for guests’ convenience.
      3. Don’t to any driving in the dark. Nighttime driving can be dangerous in this part of the U.S. due to lack of ambient lighting on local roads (a deliberate move to preserve the
      natural quality of the night sky), as well as the possible presence of deer, elk, free range cattle, and even wild horses. Know when sunrise and sunset occur in each place you visit.
      I really hope you’re not tearing your hair out by this point LOL — the biggest takeaway from all that is that if you’re passing from one time zone to another for any scheduled activities, such as a guided tour, you need to be prepared to time your drive accordingly.
      RE: Monument Valley, if you have a rental car, you might want to pass on doing the 17-mile scenic drive in it. Technically, off-road driving is forbidden by most rental car outlets, and that road is unpaved. You’d be on the hook for any damage you might sustain by taking it on. You might want to look into a guided tour for Monument Valley as well. On the drive to Grand Canyon South Rim, plan to stop for brunch/lunch at the Cameron Trading Post. The Navajo Tacos are legendary!
      RE: hiking to Ooh-Aah Point, the parking lot for the South Kaibab Trailhead at Yaki Point is closed to private vehicles, so you’ll need to take the “Hiker’s Express” shuttle from Bright Angel Lodge. Bright Angel Lodge is only 1/4 mile from Maswik, so it’s easy enough to just leave your car where it’s at and walk there.
      On the drive back to Vegas, you might swing through Seligman, AZ, if you’ve seen the “Cars” movies and are into Route 66 kitsch. Grab lunch and a few laughs at Delgadillo’s Sno Cap Drive-In, it’s a hoot! Burgers are pretty good, too.
      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 U.S. for 1 year’s time. The only areas it won’t work are Horseshoe Bend (city park), Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley (Native American tribal parks), but it will still pay for itself on the trip you’re planning to take. Just pick it up at the first National Park Fee Station you hit, which in your case, is probably going to be Bryce.
      Let us know how things go! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Sharon says:

        Hi Alley,

        Such awesome information! Can you please give your opinion on our trip? It’s a once in a life time trip. We will be spending 1 week in Arizona in April 2020. I’m thinking of flying into Flagstaff and using that as a base to do the following day trips: Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Petrified Forest, Painted Desert and hopefully Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sunset Crater Volcano, and Wupatki National Monument – from what I’m reading, I think we could combine a couple of them into one day. I would love to end the trip by taking the Grand Canyon Railroad to the Grand Canyon, spending the night and heading straight to the airport. Could you please give me your thoughts, ideas and suggestions? Have I chosen the best highlights? Am I being too ambitious? Thank you so much for your time!

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Sharon!
          Using Flagstaff, AZ, as a base from which to explore the attractions in Northern Arizona is OK in some instances, not so much in others, especially at the time of year you’re visiting.
          The key thing to keep in mind in April is that, for one, Arizona doesn’t observe Daylight Saving Time. Daylength in April is still relatively short, with sunrise occurring at ~6:00 AM, and sunset taking place around 7:00 PM. Nighttime driving is something to be avoided in this part of the U.S. due to the deliberate lack of artificial lighting on local roads, and the possible presence of deer, elk, free range cattle, and even wild horses after dusk. Trust me, you don’t want to risk a collision with a large animal in an area where cell service is spotty (if you can get it at all) and help will be a long time coming, and very expensive.
          Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater, and Wupatki are doable as a day trip from Flagstaff. Ditto for the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest (different day of course). On that day, plan to pop into Meteor Crater and nearby Meteor City, and be sure to take a picture of yourself “Standin’ On the Corner in Winslow Arizona!” If possible, have lunch at the Turquoise Room at the beautiful La Posada Hotel in Winslow. You’ll love it!
          For Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, plan to overnight in Page, AZ, to visit those. It takes a bare minimum of 2.5 hours to drive from Flagstaff, AZ, to Page, AZ, but that’s “wheels turning, no stops.” That rarely happens since the drive is very scenic, and you definitely have to stop by the Cameron Trading Post for some Navajo tacos! After touring Antelope Canyon and visiting Horseshoe Bend, you’ll find other attractions in the area might pique your interest. It would be a shame to have to pass them by because you’re pressed for time to get back to Flagstaff. Another thing, too, is that Horseshoe Bend has quickly become a “best at sunrise” type attraction because the mid-day hours get so crazy.
          I do notice that Sedona is absent from your itinerary. It’s amazing, and at only ~1 hour each way from Flag (that’s what we call it around here), it definitely deserves to be added to the “wish list!”
          RE: the Grand Canyon Railway, I’m not trying to dissuade you from that necessarily, but a couple of things to keep in mind: the train is pulled by antique diesel engines, so it doesn’t break any speed records by a long shot! It takes ~2.5 hours to make a trip that would only take you one hour to make by car. Secondly, you won’t see the Grand Canyon from the train, you don’t actually see it until you get to the park and get off the train, and after that, you only have ~3.5 hours to sightsee, then you’re facing another 2.5 hour ride back to Williams. The main take-away is that the Grand Canyon Railway is not a scenic tour, it’s more of an “Old West/historic” type of experience. Staying overnight in the park would definitely be preferable over taking the train as a day trip, and Xanterra (concessionaire) does have overnight hotel packages that include a night in the park, but they typically include a night in Williams as well, which you may not necessarily need or want. Anyway, be sure to know all the facts, and what your options are, before putting down your credit card. Grand Canyon Railway Official Site
          Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  34. Stacey B says:

    Hello!
    My family of 4 is planning a small road trip from Phoenix and ending in Las Vegas in April 2020. We will be there over the easter holiday I would like to start booking so I would like to get your take on our plans thus far. I have already gotten so much info from this page!
    Day 1. Early morning flight from PA to Phoenix, rent car, lunch, after hotel check-in visit Desert Botanical Gardens.
    My hubby is a car guy. Do you know of any museums or activities in the area of Phoenix or Scottsdale for next morning?
    Day 2. Possible museum or other activity after hotel check-out. Make the drive to Sedona in the afternoon allowing plenty of time for stopping to take photos/sightseeing. Check in to Air BnB around 4pm. Visit Airport Mesa overlook close to sunset time.
    Day 3. Crescent Moon area. Possibly Bell Rock Pathway. Open to other suggestions for things to do with a 12 and 9 yr old(not too strenuous of a hike)
    Day 4. Head out early to Grand Canyon South Rim. Explore visitors center and overlooks. I am wondering if we should stay overnight here to thoroughly enjoy the Grand Canyon or will we be able to enjoy it just as well with only a little bit of time there and proceed to Page? At this point I am planning to stay overnight.
    Day 5. Leave in the am for Page allowing time for stops/lookouts on the way. Check into Air BnB or hotel and relax for the evening.
    Day 6. Canyon X tour, Glen Canyon Dam & Wiheap overlook.
    Day 7. Two possibilities for this day. Lake Powell tour(recommendations?) or make the drive to Monument Valley and back depending if we are tired of driving! Any other suggestions for things to do in Page?
    Day 8. Leave early for Las Vegas – pass through Valley of Fire
    Day 9. Late evening flight from Vegas

    Looking forward to your suggestions! Thanks!

    Stacey

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Stacey!
      Good on you for planning your Northern Arizona vacation well in advance. Your itinerary looks pretty fun and well-organized.
      One thing that jumps right out at me, however, is a destination you have left off the itinerary: Zion National Park. This is a huge park, with lots of family-friendly activities to offer. It’s also right on your way from Page, AZ, to Las Vegas, NV, so, not a huge detour, by any means. The only caveat, though, is that you really need 2-3 days, bare minimum, to do it justice. You’ve already allotted 2 days to Sedona, which is the right move, so if you can’t add another 2-3 days onto your trip, you could do one of 3 things:
      1. Visit Zion as a “drive-by” between Page, AZ, and Las Vegas, NV, at the end of your trip, which would add another 90 minutes to 2 hours onto your trip

      2. Drop that 2nd night in Page and give it to Zion and/or
      3. Drop that 1st night in Las Vegas and give it to Zion
      If you are able to tinker with your itinerary so you can give Zion at least an overnight, Springdale, UT, is the best place to stay for choices of hotels, access to the park shuttle (which is required if you’re not staying in the park), and ease of access to I-15.
      Other thoughts:
      In Phoenix, there are two car museums you might consider visiting on that second day: the Martin Auto Museum and the Penske Racing Museum
      For Sedona, a good family-friendly activity, and #1 on on the list of “must-do’s” is the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour. For suggestions on other activities you might enjoy with the kids, visit “Trips With Tykes: Things To Do In Sedona With Kids
      On Day 4, I concur that spending that night at the Grand Canyon is the better option. It takes ~3 hours to drive from Sedona to GC South Rim, then it would take you another 3.5-4.5 hours to drive from GC to Page, AZ, factoring in potential stops. That doesn’t give you much time for sightseeing. Book a hotel at the Grand Canyon that night, then make the drive the following morning when you’re fresh.
      Get an early start on the drive to Page, AZ, and plan on having breakfast/brunch at the Cameron Trading Post. Tour Antelope Canyon and Glen Canyon Dam that afternoon, then hit Horseshoe Bend right after sunrise the following morning (about 6:00 AM).
      As for whether you make a day trip to Monument Valley, here again, you’d have to get an early start on the drive. It’s 2 hours minimum each way, and you want to make sure you are back to Page, AZ, by sunset, which occurs at ~7:00 PM local time. Remember that Page, AZ, will be on Mountain STANDARD Time, whereas Monument Valley will be on Mountain Daylight Time, therefore, you’ll “lose an hour” traveling from Page to MV, then “gain it back” upon returning to Page. Something to keep in mind if you want to do any kind of scheduled activity in Monument Valley. If all that driving and calculating doesn’t appeal to you, there might still be a way for you to see Monument Valley: fly over it. Fixed wing airplanes depart from the Page Municipal Airport daily, and take 90 minutes to fly over Monument Valley, Lake Powell, and Rainbow Bridge.
      If that doesn’t appeal, and you prefer to keep that second night in Page, AZ, instead of going to Zion, an activity we heartily recommend is the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip. This is a wonderful family activity, which, as the name suggests, does not go through any rapids, but offers up plenty of beautiful scenery and compelling history!
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  35. Branan Family says:

    I’ve been reading many posts but am getting a bit overwhelmed…..Our trip was very last minute as we had to change vacation destinations but we are excited to see this part of the country! We are planning this trip for next week and just wanted to go over our itinerary with you to see if we should make any adjustments? We live in Oklahoma & and have 4 kids ages 6-16 yrs old. Our plans are to make the full drive straight through to Sadona. We plan on getting up the following day and enjoying Sadona for the day. We were told to go to Slide Rock National Park. Is there anything else we should do in Sadona? The following day we plan on driving to the Grand Canyon from Sadona. Our plans were to find a white water/or rafting trip to see the views but are having difficulty finding any with a 6 yr old. So may just have to do the south rim hiking trails. We did not plan on going into Page but I saw there was a family float trip that may be a good option for the 6 of us. Then the next day plans drive into Phoenix & stay for the day. Then the following day drive into Peoria for some relaxation for the week. We have a horse trail expedition planned there but anything else we should do on our family vacation that we r missing?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi folks,
      First off, it won’t be possible for you guys to do white water rafting this time around. Children have to be at least 8 to participate in Grand Canyon white water rafting trips, so… good reason to plan for another visit! The Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip in Page, AZ, is a wonderful, family-friendly trip that accommodates children as young as 4 years old. In Page, AZ, be sure to make time to tour Antelope Canyon and visit Horseshoe Bend. If you do these activities in addition to the Glen Canyon Float Trip, you should plan for at least 2 days in Page.
      Slide Rock State Park is a definite must if you’re visiting Sedona. Other kid-friendly activities in the vicinity of Sedona are Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde. You might also check out the trolley cars that go through the Village of Oak Creek and West Sedona. It’s hop-on/hop-off, so you can do some walking around town if you want.
      At Grand Canyon South Rim, you might check out the IMAX movie presentation, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets,” or perhaps take a helicopter flight over the North Rim. The latter two activities are based in Tusayan, AZ, 7 miles outside the park gates. Once inside Grand Canyon Village, the easy, paved rim trail is a good hike to take. If you wish to venture into the inner canyon, the Bright Angel Trail is most easily accessible from Grand Canyon Village. Remember that 1 hour down the trail = 2 hours back up, so don’t go down further than you’re prepared to hike out! Water and snacks should be carried if you plan on spending any more than 1 hour’s time or going further than 1 mile. Grand Canyon hiking
      As for things to do in the Phoenix area, there’s no shortage of water parks, museums, zoos, cultural centers and other activities to keep you busy! Consult VisitPhoenix.com: Family-Friendly Activities in Phoenix for ideas on how and where to spend your time.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Heather Harris says:

        Alley, any chance you can share an opinion on my proposed itinerary. We are coming either in mid-February or Early-April.
        Day 1, ATL to Las Vegas, 50min drive to Hoover Dam, continue 3hr to stay the night in Flagstaff
        Day 2, drive the loop from Flagstaff to Grand Canyon (Bright Angel Trail) back to Flagstaff
        Check out scenic loop drive Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monuments
        Lunch at Cameron Trading Post
        Stop at Yaki Point, Grandview Point, Moran Point, not Lipan Point, Navajo Point!, Desert View (at sunset)
        Day 3, drive 1hr Flagstaff to Sedona
        Oak Creek Canyon (take a dip if warm), Slide Rock State Park (rock sliding if warm)
        Day 4, Explore Sedona
        ATV ride, Cathedral Rock, Palatki Ruins, Hike to Devil’s Bridge
        Day 5, drive to Page (upper Antelope Canyon – flat, but need reservation with native tour guide 10:30am – 90 min; Horseshoe Bend – 60 min self-guided .75 mile hike; Glen Canyon 1/2 day Float Trip; Lake Powell boat tour from Antelope Point Marina)
        Day 6, from Page to Bryce Canyon (3hr)
        Day 7, drive to Zion (2hr)
        Day 8, Zion to Las Vegas, fly home

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hey Heather,
          Unfortunately, I can’t endorse your itinerary as it stands, especially the first half where you’re using Flagstaff as a “base” from which to explore the Grand Canyon and Sedona. My objections would be even more vehement if you end up traveling in February. Your days are going to be very short at that time of year, with sunrise occurring at about 7:15 AM and sunset at around 6:00 PM. Any and all driving in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah must be done during daylight hours. This is due to the lack of artificial lighting on local roads, a deliberate move to preserve the natural quality of the night sky. Another consideration is that deer, elk, even free range cattle and wild horses tend to be nocturnal, ratcheting up your chances for an accident. Believe me, you don’t want to have a nighttime encounter with any kind of large wildlife in an area where cell phone service is spotty and a tow truck will be a long time coming, and very expensive.
          All that taken into consideration, here’s what I would suggest:
          Day 1: ATL to Las Vegas, overnight in Las Vegas
          Day 2: Drive from Las Vegas to Sedona (~4.5 hours) with stop at Hoover Dam, overnight in Sedona
          Day 3: Explore Sedona: it will probably be too cold for any swimming, but you can still do some hiking in Oak Creek Canyon if you want. Other activities worth considering are the hike to Bell Rock, exploring the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Tlaquepaque, Palatki Ruins, Cathedral Rock, and/or the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour. 2nd night in Sedona.
          Day 4: Drive from Sedona to Grand Canyon South Rim (~3 hours), take shuttles to overlooks on the Hermit’s Rest/West Rim Road, overnight at Grand Canyon.
          Day 5: Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, stop at Grandview Point, Moran Point, not Lipan Point, Navajo Point!, Desert View Point, possibly the Little Colorado River Overlook, Chief Yellowhorse’s Souvenir Stands, lunch at the Cameron Trading Post. Yaki Point is not on this list because it is closed to private vehicles, but all other viewpoints are open to them. Total drive time factoring stops can be anywhere from 4.5-5 hours. Tour Antelope Canyon that afternoon, vernight in Page, AZ. If you end up traveling in February, the Glen Canyon Float Trip will not be offered and Lake Powell Boat Tours may also be on hiatus depending on the weather.
          Day 6: Drive from Page to Bryce (~3 hour drive), overnight in Bryce
          Day 7: Drive from Bryce to Zion (~2 hours), overnight in Springdale, UT
          Day 8: Drive from Zion to Las Vegas (~4.5 hours, factoring in a long-term construction project on I-15 that could still be ongoing), fly home
          You’ve probably noticed I’ve left out the Wupatki/Sunset Crater loop. If you were to take us up on the suggestion to visit Palatki ruins, or perhaps visit Montezuma’s Castle during your time in Sedona, you’ll get your Indian ruins fix that way, then see examples of volcanic cinder cones and similar formations on the drive between Sedona and the Grand Canyon.
          Anyway, hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

          • Heather Harris says:

            Thanks! I’ll take a look at this. We won’t need a night in Vegas, so we’ll go straight to Hoover Dam & Sedona. It looks like we will do the first week of April instead. My dad wants to stay at El Tovar on the south rim. Should we add an overnight with day of exploration on north rim instead of Bryce and Zion? Basically should we invest more time in the Grand Canyon or just do a couple of days and make sure to hit Bryce and Zion? I appreciate the feedback. FYI, we are a group of five adults, and three kids ages five, nine, 12.

          • Alley Keosheyan says:

            Hi again, Heather!
            If you were to move your trip to April instead of when you originally planned, that will give you a chance of better weather, but the North Rim would remain out of the equation since that area of the Grand Canyon is only open between May 15th and October 15th. However, you might still be able to “have your cake and eat it too” as it were by staying at the South Rim and taking an airplane tour or helicopter flight over the North Rim. The aircraft would not land at the North Rim (no place to land), but would allow you to get a sense of how different it is from the South Rim. In light of that, keep Bryce and Zion in your itinerary, just be sure to give at least 2-3 days to Zion. Believe me, you’ll need it!
            The El Tovar hotel is beautiful, but in high demand. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s sold out already. Another consideration, too, is the size of your party. Arizona state fire codes prohibit more than 5 people staying in a single hotel room, so you’ll probably need to book 2-3 rooms, which, again, will be hard to find at El Tovar. Make the goal to stay inside the park, or at least in Tusayan (7 miles outside) and maybe plan for a meal at El Tovar. Grand Canyon hotels
            Feel free to contact us again if we can be of further assistance with your travel plans!
            Best regards,
            Alley 🙂

  36. Sireesha Munagala says:

    Hi Ryan/Alley,

    We are a family of six with the youngest one of 6yr old. We are planning to cover antelope canyon and horsebend in one day trip on July 4th. Can you please help us plan our itinerary to make the trip a memorable experience?

  37. Belinda Harris says:

    Hi – We are visiting Page from overseas on a guided bus tour and will be staying the night in Page, Arizona. What would be the best way for us to get from downtown Page to Horseshoe Bend. I’m having trouble finding any shuttles that go out there.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Belinda,
      If you are on a guided bus tour, I’d be very surprised to hear that it doesn’t visit Horseshoe Bend. Horseshoe Bend is regarded as a “must-do” attraction in Page, AZ, and the majority of escorted tours include a stop there. Before you jump through any hoops, I’d recommend contacting your tour company and verifying whether or not Horseshoe Bend is included on their itinerary. If it is not, unfortunately, you will be somewhat limited as to how you can get there. Taxis, Uber, and Lyft are reported as being somewhat unreliable in this area. I recommend contacting Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tours as they offer a shuttle service from downtown Page, AZ. Explain your situation, and hopefully you can come up with some sort of agreement with them. Their contact information is as follows:
      Phone: (435) 275-4594
      e-mail: info@horseshoebendtours.com
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  38. John says:

    We’re a family with a teenager and an opportunity to head out that way just came up for July 3rd through the 13th. We’re thinking of setting up our “home base” as Lake Powell Resort and doing a few day trips from there. The problem is we’re just not sure which of the places on our list should take priority over others. We’d rather save something that takes a long while for another trip rather than burn up a complete day on “a long drive and a rush-through” or risk being there at the wrong time of day. Would you help us please?
    We’re driving from St. Louis to near Colorado Springs, CO on July 3rd. We’ll spend the night there, then see Pike’s Peak and the Garden of the Gods on the 4th.
    On the 5th we’ll leave the Colorado Springs area and drive to Page, AZ
    Our plan is to stop at the Four Corners Monument on our way to the Lake Powell Resort.
    Our goal is to see what’s nearby Page without stressing over all the cool places out there. It’s supposed to be a vacation, not a bucketlist. However, we don’t want to miss what was right in front of us. Our thought is to stay at Lake Powell Resort for 6 nights and drive homeward on the 11th, 12th and 13th. We’ve got a 21 hour drive back and we need to be back on the 13th. We’ll take your thoughts because some of the feedback says we should have planned this long ago instead of last minute, but it looks too neat to pass up.
    Here are the things/places we’d like to experience (in our order), but if you’ve got better ideas, please suggest them. Four or five of them could be a full vacation. And let us know what reservations/passes/tickets we will need as well.
    Antelope Canyon
    Lake Powell Resort- perhaps we could rent wave runners, play at a beach, go on a boat tour, etc. (Is there anything in particular we should see/taste/experience while staying there?)
    Horseshoe Bend
    Bryce Canyon
    Havasupai Falls
    Marble Canyon
    Grand Canyon (not sure exactly which part- North/South Rim)
    Petrified Forest
    Goblin Valley (might have to save for another trip)
    We really appreciate your help.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi John,
      You have correctly deduced that you might have a hard time pulling all this off due to the short notice, but you’ll still have a wonderful time.
      I do encourage you to be flexible in case things don’t shake out as you planned, and be prepared to hit some of the other attractions on a separate trip, such as Goblin Valley. It’s a neat spot, but for one, it’s CRAZY-hot at the time of year you’re visiting, plus it’s a little far-flung from all the other places you’ve got on your wish list. Another thing that’s not gonna happen: Havasupai. Again, beautiful place, but trips there need to be planned a year or more in advance. Reservations are hard to get for both the lodge and the campgound. For more information on planning a trip there in the future, visit http://www.HavasupaiReservations.com
      The drive from Colorado Springs, CO to Page, AZ, takes ~10 hours. It should be broken up into 2 days so you can take your time visiting Mesa Verde, 4 Corners, and Monument Valley. Drive from CO Springs to Mesa Verde that first day (~6.5-7 hours), overnight in Durango or Cortez, then go the rest of the way to Page, AZ, via Monument Valley.
      Once you get settled into Page, AZ, making day trips to some of the other attractions is doable at the time of year you’re visiting due to the long daylength. Still, it’s imperative to keep an eye the time and make sure you do any and all driving during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is not a good idea in this part of the country due to the fact that local roadways are very dark, and the possibility of colliding with a deer, elk, free range cow, or wild horse ratchets up after sunset. Another thing to keep in mind is that Arizona is on Mountain Standard Time, but Utah, Colorado, and the Navajo Indian Reservation are on Mountain DAYLIGHT Time. This means you’ll “gain” an hour traveling from Colorado to Page, AZ, then “lose” it again traveling from Page, AZ, to Bryce and Zion, then “regain” it upon returning to Arizona.
      One-way drive times from Page, AZ, to the parks you’re wanting to visit are as follows:
      Page to Zion: ~2 hours, get an early start, take the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos hike on the way
      Page to Bryce: ~3 hours, you could also do the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstools hike on this trip if you prefer
      Page to Grand Canyon: ~2.5 hours to either the North Rim or the South Rim, recommend prioritizing the South Rim over the North Rim because there’s more in the way of visitor services there, plus a larger area of the Grand Canyon that is driveable. If desired, you could take a helicopter flight from the South Rim over the North Rim. It wouldn’t land at the North Rim, but still give you enough time over it to leave you with a sense of how different it is from the South Rim.
      For Marble Canyon, instead of driving there, I’d recommend taking the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip. As the name suggests, it doesn’t go through any rapids, but has a lot of beautiful scenery (including Marble Canyon) and compelling history.
      On one of your days at the Lake Powell Resort, definitely plan on renting a small boat or some jet-skis to explore on the water, or you might consider “bundling” an Antelope Canyon tour with a waterside boat tour of the canyon from Antelope Point Marina. Hit Horseshoe Bend on one of your full days in Page, AZ, just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and fewer people.
      Hit Petrified Forest & Painted Desert on your way back to St. Louis. Get an early start on this day to avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day. Between there and Oklahoma City, you have the opportunity to explore a bit of Historic Route 66 if you’re into that.

      Hope that helps. Oh, one more thing: plan to purchase an America The Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass. For $80, this card grants you access to all the National Parks and Monuments in the U.S. for 1 year’s time. The only areas it won’t work are Native American Tribal Parks (Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon fall under this category) and State Parks, but it will still pay for itself on the trip you’re planning to take. Just request it at the first National Park you visit.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  39. Henry says:

    Hello, I’d love your tips on an itinerary.

    I’m flying into Phoenix late night and have 4 total days.

    my thoughts,….

    day 1 early morning drive to Antelope canyon or canyon x and horseshoe if there is time to do both …. then stay at a hotel in page. ( hyatt )
    day 2 drive to sedona and do a jeep tour. sleep 1 night in enchantment resort.
    day 3 and 4 phoenix with friends

    Look forward to your thoughts. thank you!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Henry and thank you for visiting our site!
      First off, I notice that the Grand Canyon is conspicuously absent from your itinerary. If you haven’t been there, I’d recommend prioritizing that over pretty much anything else. If you’ve already been to the Grand Canyon, or plan on saving it for another trip, then your trip plan looks pretty fun. I’d still suggest a couple of small modifications for maximum enjoyment of your time here.
      On Day 1, plan on taking longer to do that drive than the timeframe given on Google Maps. It’s a very scenic drive, and you will be stopping to take pictures often. Sunset Point, a rest area just North of Phoenix on I-17, is worth a stop. Just North of Flagstaff, you might take the scenic loop drive through Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monuments. The Cameron Trading Post makes a good place to stop for lunch.
      Where you propose to tour Antelope Canyon or Canyon X, you need to make a choice, and a reservation, if you haven’t done so already. Tours to the Antelope Canyons book up weeks, sometimes months in advance. FYI, the option is now available to “bundle” walking tours of Antelope Canyon with boat tours on Lake Powell. Check them out if the prospect of getting some time on the water interests you!
      Day 2 – hit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise. Assuming you’re visiting in the summer or fall, this will enable you to take advantage of cooler temperatures and fewer people. Mid-afternoon to sunset is crazy-busy, and there’s a good possibility of not finding a place to park during that timeframe.
      Also, 1 night really isn’t enough for Sedona. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you not to go there, I’m just “warning” you that once you get a look at it, you’ll realize that you could spend 4-5 days there and still feel as though you’d only scratched the surface. I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be planning a return trip to Sedona when you can give it the time it deserves! Here again, book that jeep tour in advance if you haven’t done so already.
      Have fun, and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  40. barbara steele says:

    can you please help me sort our itenerary? I am feeling over whlemed.
    day 1 friday – arrive in phoenix at 8 am. driving straight to sedona. full day of sight seeing
    day 2 saturday- atv ride at 8 am sedona. then arriving at the grand canyon that evening
    day 3 sunday – sight seeeing the grand canyon. taking bike ride there. leaving that night to go to page.
    day 4 monday – definately doing a flat boat ride and possibly antelope canyon and horseshoe bend.
    day 5 tuesday – uncertain may do antelope canyon then looking for suggestion that night arrive at bryce canyon
    day 6 -wednesday seeing what to in bryce when we get there
    day 7 thursday- mule ride in bryce leave for vegas
    day 8 friday – in vegas
    day 9 satruday – headed home
    open for any suggestions on any day

  41. barbara steele says:

    can you please help me sort our itenerary? I am feeling over whlemed.
    day 1 friday – arrive in phoenix at 8 am. driving straight to sedona. full day of sight seeing
    day 2 saturday- atv ride at 8 am sedona. then arriving at the grand canyon that evening
    day 3 sunday – sight seeeing the grand canyon. taking bike ride there. leaving that night to go to page.
    day 4 monday – definately doing a flat boat ride and possibly antelope canyon and horseshoe bend.
    day 5 tuesday – uncertain may do antelope canyon then looking for suggestion that night arrive at bryce canyon
    day 6 -wednesday bryce canyon mule ride. head to las vegas early evening
    day 7 thursday- in vegas
    day 8 friday – headed home
    open for any suggestions on any day

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Barbara,
      Your itinerary looks pretty well planned, except where you indicate you’d “arrive that evening.” You want to avoid any nighttime driving in this part of the U.S. due to the lack of supplemental lighting on local roads, and the possibility of having an encounter with deer, elk, free range cattle, and even wild horses in areas with spotty cell phone service.
      I don’t recall seeing when you were planning to travel, but check sites like http://www.sunrise-sunset.org/pageaz and remember that any drive time estimates given on Google Maps should be padded by 20-30%. All roads around here are very scenic and should definitely be traveled during the daylight hours to take advantage of the many photo opportunities you’ll encounter. For example, the drive from Sedona to the Grand Canyon is given as 2.5 hours, but usually ends up being more along the lines of 3-3.5; the trip to Page, AZ, from Grand Canyon South Rim is given as 2.5 hours as well, but 3.5-4 hours is a more realistic figure factoring in stops along the canyon rim, the Cameron Trading Post, Chinle formation views, etc. Likewise for Page, AZ, to Bryce Canyon, you can get there in 2.5 hours, but that’s wheels turning, no stops. That rarely happens.
      On your day in Page, AZ, plan on visiting Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise. Definitely make advance reservations for Antelope Canyon tours and the Glen Canyon Float Trip. If you’re visiting during the summer, you’ll want to take the early morning departure of the float trip to avoid the afternoon heat.
      One place that is conspicuously absent from your itinerary is Zion National Park. If possible, you might drop that day in Las Vegas and allot it to Zion (lodging in Springdale, UT) instead. Zion is right on your way from Bryce to Las Vegas anyway, and it’s beautiful. One potential glitch, though, depending on when you were planning to travel, is that a lot of the park trails are closed right now due to recent heavy rains that have resulted in washouts, rock falls and other hazards. Also, if you’re visiting later this summer, there’s a stretch of I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge that will be under construction. That could add some time to your drive to Las Vegas. Whether you visit Zion or not, you’ll have to pass through it.
      Hope that helps. Please feel free to hit us up again if we can offer further guidance.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  42. Vats says:

    Hello Alley,

    At the outset I would like to thank you for helping us (tourist) from all over the world. Your Blog is really cool & will bookmark it for my use.

    We (family of 3 with a toddler) would be visiting from Boston Mid of August & this would be our first trip to the Wild Wild West so to speak :-).

    Our Planned Itinerary is as follows. Flight tickets are booked from BOS. Arriving in PHOENIX but our return departure is from LAS VEGAS.

    With a toddler we won’t be able to drive more than 4h-5h each day & we would prefer to avoid driving in the night all together.

    Day – 1: BOS to PHOENIX. Stay in Flagstaff, AZ
    Day – 2: Grand Canyon NP – Stay in Williams, AZ
    Day – 3: Grand Canyon NP for half a day – Stay in Page, AZ
    Day – 4: Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell & Glen Canyon NP – Stay in Kanab, UT
    Day – 5: Zion NP – Stay in Hurricane, UT
    Day – 6: Zion NP – Stay in Hurricane, UT
    Day – 7: Las Vegas
    Day – 8: Las Vegas
    Day – 9: Early Morning departure from LV to BOS.

    Can you please provide your views/feedback on our Itinerary & below couple of questions.

    1) Is 1 1/2 days at Grand Canyon & 2 Days at Zion sufficient if we are planning mild hikes only.
    2) Among Glen Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon & Lake Powell – Due to shortage of time we are leaving out Bryce Canyon – Your inputs on this please?

    Any other suggestion is welcome to make our tour a memorable one 🙂

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Vats, and thank you for your compliments 🙂
      First off, there’s a wonderful place you haven’t factored into your itinerary that really deserves some of your time: Sedona. It’s ~a 2-2.5 hour drive from Phoenix, has stunning scenery and lots of family-friendly activities. I’d recommend staying there instead of Flagstaff, AZ, and dropping a day in Las Vegas to accommodate it.
      Second, staying either inside Grand Canyon National Park or Tusayan just outside the park is preferable to staying in Williams. That way, you’ll be better positioned to enjoy sunset and/or sunrise at the Grand Canyon and not have to face an hour drive back to your lodging location. As you’ve deduced, driving at night is not a great idea in this part of the U.S.
      As for whether you can squeeze Bryce in, here’s what I’d recommend:
      Day 1: BOS to PHX, drive to Sedona (~2-2.5 hours from Phoenix), overnight in Sedona.
      Day 2: 2nd day/night in Sedona
      Day 3: Drive from Sedona to Grand Canyon South Rim (~3 hours), overnight at Grand Canyon
      Day 4: Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ (~3.5-4 hours factoring in stops), tour Upper Antelope Canyon (best for kids) and possibly a short boat tour on Lake Powell, overnight in Page, AZ.
      Day 5: Visit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise, drive to Bryce Canyon, overnight in Bryce or nearby
      Day 6: Drive from Bryce to Zion (~2 hours), overnight in Hurricane, UT
      Day 7: 2nd day/night in Zion
      Day 8: 1/2 day in Zion, then drive to Las Vegas, overnight in Las Vegas
      Day 9: Fly home
      Whatever you decide to do, book all your lodging and Antelope Canyon tours ASAP. Also, plan on purchasing an America The Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass at the first National Park you visit to save money on entrance fees. It won’t work at Antelope Canyon or Horseshoe Bend, but it will pay for itself on this trip, plus you can use it at other National Parks and Monuments for one year’s time.

      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Vats says:

        Thank you Alley for patiently replying in detail to all of the comments you receive.

        We will take your suggestion to include Sedona in our trip :-).

  43. Tina says:

    Hi!
    Great website and information, wish I would have come across this earlier in my planning but I’ll be sure to bookmark it for future adventures.

    However, for now maybe you can give me some advice on what I’m hoping can be an easy change to our trip. We have a trip planned for the last week in June for 4 adults and a 9 month old. We’ll be driving from a home base in St. George, Utah and for the most part we plan on just doing our own things and not tours since we are not positive how the little one will do and we want the flexibility for him. We also have a condo in Williams, Arizona booked for the week.

    The initial plan was to go to the Grand Canyon one day, Sedona for a day, explore around Williams and maybe find a good ghost town or two. Everyone thought that one day at the Grand Canyon would be enough for us especially since 2 of the adults have issues with heights (lol). Then…we all started to talk about what we were wanting to see most and I realized that in order for all of us to see what we wanted to we will need to go to all of the entrances and this is where is gets a little crazy.

    I think it will be quite easy to go to the west entrance on our way to Williams, then go to the south entrance another day. Just based on the driving times it seems quite possible to go from Williams to the east part, (Horseshoe Bend) but I don’t think we should do the north rim in the same day. I think we may be better off exploring some of the sights in/around Page and then head to St. George as it’s probably going to be difficult to find lodging in Page at this point. We could then go to the North rim the next day. What would your thoughts be?

    Thanks

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Tina and thank you for visiting our site.
      You are correct in that the 9-month-old, and his tolerance (or lack thereof) for long drives and busy days will determine the pace of the trip for the rest of your party. The only area where you absolutely must have a tour is Antelope Canyon. With a baby in tow, we recommend Upper Antelope Canyon. If you think he’d be OK with a short boat tour on Lake Powell, you might consider bundling your tour of Upper Antelope with a tour of Antelope Canyon’s waterside from Antelope Point Marina. For Horseshoe Bend, it is best to visit that area just after sunrise for cooler temperatures and easier parking. Since Page, AZ, is a 3-hour drive one way from Williams, and a 2.5-3 hour drive one way from St. George, I would actually recommend getting a hotel room in this area for maximum enjoyment and comfort for all of your family members. Most hotels in Page, AZ, may indeed be full in June, but there are vacation rental homes and other non-traditional lodging that you might consider. If you think the baby would be OK with a longer trip, you could drive along the Grand Canyon’s East Rim Drive en route from Williams to Page to take advantage of the opportunity to stop at the half-a-dozen+ named viewpoints, as well as points of interest in the Navajo Reservation.
      As for the rest of your trip, it is not necessary to visit all three Grand Canyon parks in order to have a fulfilling visit. Granted, they are all different from one another, but the South Rim is where you’ll find the best and most numerous visitor facilities. If I’m interpreting your post correctly, you’re planning to drive from St. George, UT to Williams, AZ, which is a 5.5 hour drive. A trip Grand Canyon West will add another 2.3 hours onto an already long trip, plus it’s going to be REALLY hot at the time of year you’re visiting. Not the kind of environment I’d want to subject an infant to. I would save that area for another trip at a cooler time of year, and when the little one is old enough to appreciate what is has to offer. Grand Canyon West tours At just 1 hour one way from Williams, the South Rim can easily be visited as a day trip, just make sure you keep an eye on the time. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to the lack of ambient lighting on local roads (a deliberate move to preserve the natural “dark sky” quality of the area), and the possibility of encountering deer, elk, free range cattle, and possibly even wild horses. Fortunately, you’ll be traveling at the time of year with the longest daylength; sunrise occurs at ~5:00 AM, sunset at around 8:00 PM (Arizona time, which is 1 hour behind Utah).
      If you take me up on the suggestion to stay in Page, AZ, between Williams, AZ, and St. George, UT, I’d recommend visiting the North Rim as a day trip during that transition. It takes ~2.5-3 hours to drive from Page, AZ, to the North Rim, then another 3 hours approximately to go from the North Rim to St. George. If the prospect of doing all that driving doesn’t appeal, yet some of your party still want to see the North Rim, you might consider taking a scenic flight from Grand Canyon South Rim. These do not land at the North Rim, but they fly over it for enough of a time to give you a sense of how different it is from the South Rim. Fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters depart Grand Canyon National Park Airport daily; mornings are the best times to fly for best light and lack of wind.

      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  44. Ianah says:

    Hi Alley and Ryan,

    We are planning to fly to Phoenix Arizona end of Nov. then drive to Sedona and stay 2 nights. Then we will visit the Grand Canyon South Rim on the 3rd day then proceed to Page Arizona for the night. Is this doable? In Page, we would like to see horseshoe bend, antelope canyon and lake Powell. Do you recommend staying in Page for a night or 2 nights? We will drive back to Phoenix after then spend a night there and fly back home. Do you have other attractions that we can stop by along the way?

    Thank you!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Ianah,
      Late November is a good time to visit Arizona, as long as you’re aware that the Northern part of the state experiences “true” winters, meaning that temperatures will be colder and snow always looms as a possibility. Start monitoring the weather about 2 weeks before you get set to travel; that will give the best guidelines on how to pack for maximum comfort.
      Visiting the Grand Canyon as a “drive by” between Page and Sedona is not the best way to go. It takes ~2.5 hours to drive from Sedona to the Grand Canyon, then another 3 hours minimum to drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page. In November, you’re also up against a short daylength (sunrise at 7:15 AM, sunset at 5:00 PM), and you want to avoid driving at night if at all possible. Local highways are very dark, and deer, elk, free range cattle, and sometimes even wild horses pose a collision risk. It would be best to overnight at the Grand Canyon, then drive to Page, AZ, the next morning. At the time of year you’re visiting, one night should be sufficient in Page, AZ, to tour Antelope Canyon, visit Horseshoe Bend, and perhaps take a short boat tour on Lake Powell. If an Antelope Canyon walking and waterside tour interest you, consider booking these activities as a “bundle” for optimal convenience.
      The drive from Page, AZ, to Phoenix takes approximately 5 hours. As for places you can stop along the way, there are lots of options, including, but not limited to, Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monument, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sunset Point, and Black Canyon City.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Jenny Stevens-Hofer says:

        Hi Lanah, you are so helpful I thought I may as well ask for your help. We are a group from Australia our itinary is as follows:- 22/9/19 Las Vegas to Hatch via Zion National Park. Stay in Hatch for 22nd,23rd,and 24th. We would like to see Monument Valley and Bryce National Park. On the 25th drive to Antelope Canyon and would like to also see Lake Powell then on the 26th drive to Grand Canyon South Rim then we head off to Wiliams. What do you think?? We have 13 people in 2 mini buses. Also is it better to apply for a Federal lands access pass? Kind regards Jenny

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Jenny, and sorry for the delay in response to your inquiry.
          If you wish to visit Monument Valley as a day trip during your vacation, Hatch, UT, is not the best place to do this from. It’s a minimum of a 4.5-hour drive, each way, from Hatch to MV. You’re also working against a shortening daylength in late September, and nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to the fact that local roads are VERY dark, and animals such as deer, elk, free range cattle, and even wild horses congregate around them at night.
          For Monument Valley, you’d be better off dropping a day from your stay in Hatch and staying in Page, AZ instead. Monument Valley is much more feasible as a day trip from there, but is still a long-ish drive at 2 hours each way. Keep an eye on the time; on 9/22, sunrise occurs at 6:14 AM and sunset at around 6:20 PM. That’s Arizona time, which brings me to another important issue: the time difference. Arizona DOES NOT observe Daylight Savings Time, whereas Utah and Monument Valley DO. Therefore, Utah and Monument Valley will be one hour “ahead” of Page, AZ. You’ll “gain” an hour traveling from Utah to Arizona, “lose” it as you travel from Page, AZ, to Monument Valley, then “regain” it upon your return to Arizona. If you’re planning on doing any guided tours or other scheduled activity in Monument Valley, you’ll need to be aware of this, and what with a shorter drive from Page, AZ, it will make for a much more enjoyable day for you. Besides, from Hatch, UT, you’d have ended up passing through Page, AZ, anyway.

          Regarding the Federal Lands Access Pass, it would be worth it to purchase with all the National Parks and Monuments you plan on visiting. Be aware though that it will not work at State Parks, Native American Tribal Parks (which Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon are), or Municipal Parks such as Horseshoe Bend (which you should hit just after sunrise on your way to the Grand Canyon). You’ll probably have to purchase 1 for each mini-bus. If anyone in the party is over 62, they might consider purchasing a lifetime access pass, which is the same price as the Federal Lands Pass. Just purchase them at the first National Park you visit on your itinerary, which, in your case, is Zion.
          Also, get an early start on the drive to the Grand Canyon. I know that Google Maps gives the drive time as 2.5 hours, but in reality, it ends up being more along the lines of 3.5-4 hours because it’s a very scenic drive and you will be stopping to take pictures often!
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  45. Kellie McCartney says:

    Hi Alley,

    Your information is amazing and so detailed. I have been reading through your responses for hours and thought I would post my own as I feel a little overwhelmed and not sure the best way to structure our “once in a lifetime” trip. We are a party of four travelling to America in December/January for my husband’s 50th birthday and Zion NP and the Grand Canyon were top of our to do list – we were going to stay 2 nights in each. But clearly there is so much more to see and do!!!!!! Originally we were going to fly into Salt Lake City and travel by car to Zion/Grand Canyon/Las Vegas but I think I will change that to flying into Las Vegas and commencing and ending our road trip from there – which at a maximum is 8 days. Things I would love to see but happy with your recommendations –

    Bryce Canyon
    Zion National Park
    Escalente (never heard of before until reading your posts – so not a must do)
    The Wave (if permit is granted)
    Antelope Canyon
    Lake Powell
    Horseshoe Bend
    Grand Canyon – mule ride a possibility????
    Sedona (again not a must do – just sounds amazing in your posts)

    I don’t want to spend all our time driving I would prefer to do a few things well as I hope this one of many trips.

    Much thanks,

    Kellie

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Kellie,
      You’ve already made a good call by using Las Vegas as your staging city on both ends of your trip. With 8 days to work with, you should be able to accommodate all the items on your “wish list,” with one notable exception: mule rides at the Grand Canyon. The only worthwhile one IMO is the overnight ride to Phantom Ranch, and what with only 10 riders per day being allowed, spaces on those book up quickly. The rimside Canyon Vista ride is OK, but was a poor substitute for the Plateau Point ride, which also took you below the rim. Not to sound like I’m crying sour grapes, but wintertime isn’t the greatest time of year for taking a mule ride anyway. It’s cold at that time of year, and possibly snowing — not the sorts of conditions I’d fancy being on the back of a mule for up to 8 hours!
      So, here’s how I’d recommend structuring your trip:
      Day 1: Drive from Las Vegas to Sedona, ~5 hours, overnight in Sedona
      Day 2: Hiking, shopping, etc. in Sedona, spend 2nd night
      Day 3: Drive from Sedona to Grand Canyon South Rim, ~3 hour drive, overnight at Grand Canyon
      Day 4: Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, visit Horseshoe Bend, tour Antelope Canyon, overnight in Page, AZ.
      Day 5: Hike The Wave IF you manage to get a permit! For December, you must apply for an online permit in June; for January, July is the application period. How To Get A Wave Permit Overnight in Kanab, UT
      Day 6: Drive from Kanab to Bryce Canyon, drive time ~90 minutes, overnight in Bryce
      Day 7: Drive from Bryce to Zion, overnight in Springdale, UT
      Day 8: 2nd night in Zion
      Day 9: Drive from Springdale, UT, to Las Vegas, drive time ~4 hours.
      RE: Grand Staircase, you’ll be seeing some of this area on the drive between Page, AZ, and Bryce Canyon, UT. In the very likely event you are not selected for a Wave permit, consider touring some alternate areas in the vicinity which are just as beautiful, but don’t require a permit, such as White Pocket, Sidestep Canyon, Pinnacle Valley, Soap Creek, etc. Distance and degree of difficulties of hikes involved vary, and the roads leading to many of these area can be quite rough, so it is advisable to travel with a licensed guide service.
      The thing to check first would be Grand Canyon lodging availability. Next, check Antelope Canyon tour availability. Be prepared to flip-flop this itinerary if either of these crucial components dictate doing so.

      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  46. sharon says:

    Hi I came across your post, and I thought you are extremely helpful.
    May I ask for your suggestion:
    We are coming from Provo, Utah to drive down to Antelope. Wanted to stop at Monument valley or do overnite there, but it has been so hard to find a place to stay there. I found accommodation in Lake Powell instead. We will be in PAge, AZ area for 3 nites….the first nite was just to rest as we came from driving from Provo. For Second day, is it ok to drive to Monument Valley and back. Third day, we have a tour of Antelope at 10am, so wondering when should we do Horseshoe bend. I read that you re recommending after sunrise.

    Thank you for your help.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Sharon!
      Not surprised that Monument Valley lodging is already sold out. There’s not much to work with in that area in the first place, so with 3 nights in Page, AZ, you can make a day trip to Monument Valley with proper planning. It takes approximately 2 hours each way to drive from Page, AZ, to Monument Valley. One thing to keep in mind is that Monument Valley is on Daylight Savings Time, but Page, AZ, is not. Therefore, you’ll “lose” an hour traveling from Page, AZ, to Monument Valley, then “regain it” going back to Page. You’ll need to factor this in if you take part in any guided tours, plus keep an eye on the time towards the end of the day. You want to avoid any and all driving after nightfall in this part of the country due to local roadways being VERY dark, especially on the Navajo Reservation. Plus, you have the possibility of deer, elk, free range cattle, and even wild horses darting out in front of your vehicle. Believe me, a nighttime collision with a large animal is a real buzzkill!
      If the prospect of doing all that driving doesn’t appeal, you might consider flying over Monument Valley instead. Fixed wing airplane flights depart daily from the Page Municipal Airport and last ~90 minutes.
      Yes, I definitely recommend visiting Horseshoe Bend early in the morning so you have cooler temperatures and fewer people to contend with. After 9:00 AM, it gets pretty slammed out there.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  47. Laurence says:

    Hey Ryan, your advice here seems amazing so we thought we would get your opinion on our itinerary too! My girlfriend and I are coming from South Africa and our hiking section of the trip is as follows:

    18/06/2019 – Arrive in the AM from Austin to Las Vegas. Vegas tour and show in the evening.
    19/06/2019 – Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire. Drive to accommodation near Zion.
    20/06/2019 – Zion (the narrows). Drive to accommodation near Page.
    21/06/2019 – Upper Antelope Canyon (booked) and Lake Powell (not sure of how long this drive would be or if this is possible in one day?). Drive to accommodation near Grand Canyon.
    22/06/2019 – Grand Canyon. Drive to accommodation near Sedona.
    23/06/2019 – Sedona. Depart in the PM from Sedona to New York.

    We are not sure what to do in Sedona yet and sadly we have quite a tight timeline to work with. If you have any thoughts or recommendations please let me know.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Laurence,
      Your itinerary looks pretty fun, but I’d still recommend a couple of slight modifications.
      For one, you’re traveling in June, which is a CRAZY hot time in the Southwest. In light of that, I recommend skipping Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire, unless you can get a super-early start in the morning. Even if you were able to do that, you should probably choose one over the other, and IMO, that should be Red Rock Canyon. Not that Valley of Fire isn’t beautiful, it’s just very exposed. Red Rock has more opportunities for shade. For more information, visit http://www.RedRockCanyonLV.org
      On 06/20 where you indicate that you want to hike the Narrows then drive to Page, you might find that plan works better on paper than in reality. The Narrows, though not super-strenuous, will take a lot out of you, especially at that time of year. Even though the drive to Page, AZ, isn’t incredibly long (~2 hours), you might find yourself wanting to collapse as soon as you arrive at the hotel. It’s up to you, of course, but just fair warning 😉 As far as “driving to Lake Powell,” yes, it is possible to drive to either Antelope Point Marina or Lake Powell Resort. Both are within the Glen Canyon National Receation Area, which will require that you pay an entrance fee. In your case, I’d recommend purchasing an America The Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass. For $80, this card grants you access to all National Parks and Monuments in the U.S. for one year. It doesn’t work in areas such as State Parks (Valley of Fire is one, Sedona also has a lot of them), Native American Tribal Parks (such as Antelope Canyon), and City Parks, such as Horseshoe Bend. But it would still save you a little money.
      As for Sedona, there’s no shortage of cool stuff to see and do, and I can guarantee that you’ll wish you had more time there. 3-4 days is the minimum timeframe recommended for a Sedona vacation, and many people spend a week there and still report feeling as though they’ve only scratched the surface. One day is better than nothing, but be ready to wish you could have stayed longer!
      Hope that helps — good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  48. Morgan Truman says:

    Hi Ryan,

    I’m in the process of trying to plan a trip out to this area in September (i’m feeling like I’m a little late on getting things planned, hopefully will still be able to find lodging, planning to utilize mostly air bnb) but I am having trouble narrowing down the places I would like to visit vs the places I have time to visit and actually do them justice. We haven’t finalized our days yet but are expecting to have 9-10 days. If I provide the list of places I am wanting to visit, I am hoping maybe you could give me an idea of how much time I would want at each location, and as I know there are way too many to fit in, which ones you would recommend skipping. And maybe throw together a recommended itinerary… We enjoy hiking, but aren’t very experienced hikers and are a little out of shape so not looking for anything crazy strenuous. We are debating between flying into Las Vegas or Salt Lake City. Thanks so much for your help!!!
    Here is the list of places I was looking into, I have starred the ones that I have heard the best things about and that I felt were most important to see…
    Red Cliffs National Conservation Area
    Zion*
    Bryce Canyon*
    Capitol Reef
    Canyonlands
    Arches
    Mesa Verde
    Four Corners Monument
    Monument Valley
    Antelope Canyon
    Lake Powell/Horseshoe Bend
    Glen Canyon
    Grand Staircase
    Grand Canyon North Rim*
    Grand Canyon South*
    Hoover dam*
    Oh, I forgot one thing from the list… which i’ve heard is beautiful but insanely hard to get into. Havasu Falls.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Morgan,
      Your plan is very ambitious, and IMO, overly so. Hitting all the destinations on your wish list won’t be feasible, or practical, but you can still have a great time!
      Let’s get the first “can’t happen/won’t happen” item out of the way: Havasu Falls. If you don’t have either a camping permit there or a reservation at the lodge already, you simply won’t be going there. This area is in extremely high demand, and plans must be made at least 1 year in advance for a visit to this highly-coveted area. For more information, visit our companion site, http://www.Havasupai.AZ
      With 9-10 days to work with, you’ll have to do some further trimming down of your itinerary if you don’t want to be packing up and driving every. single. day. After all, this is supposed to be a vacation, not a death march! So, Mesa Verde and 4 Corners are most likely going to have to come off the list. Save Colorado for another trip when you can fly in and out of Denver and give the whole state the time it deserves.
      That said, I’d recommend using Las Vegas as your “staging city” for your trip. You’ll probably be able to find the most competitive airfares into that city. You might also look into flying into Las Vegas and out of Salt Lake, but verify rental car drop off fees before you commit to that. They’re often quite hefty for dropping a vehicle anywhere other than where you picked it up.
      A recommended itinerary would go something like this:
      Day 1: Fly into Las Vegas early, pick up rental car, head to Zion National Park, with a stop-off at the Red Cliffs Conservation Area (~4-5 hour drive). Overnight in Springdale, UT. Time/desire permitting, do some hiking in Zion that afternoon.
      Day 2: More sightseeing in Zion, maybe hike The Narrows, or Angel’s Landing, 2nd night in Springdale.
      Day 3: Get an early start, drive from Zion to Capitol Reef with a stop at Bryce Canyon. ~5-6 hour drive, overnight in Torrey, Fruita, or Hanksville, UT
      Day 4: Drive from Capitol Reef to Moab, UT ~3 hour drive, overnight in Moab, UT.
      Day 5: Explore Arches NP and surrounding area, 2nd night in Moab
      Day 6: Explore Canyonlands NP and surrounding area, 3rd night in Moab — for suggestions on other activities you might enjoy in this area, visit MoabAdventureCenter.com
      Day 7: Drive from Moab, UT, to Page, AZ, via Monument Valley, drive time ~5 hours total, overnight in Page, AZ.
      Day 8: Tour Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell, 2nd night in Page, AZ.
      Day 9: Get early start, hit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise, drive to Grand Canyon South Rim, drive time ~4 hours factoring in photo ops, bathroom breaks and other stops, overnight at Grand Canyon .
      Day 10: Take morning Grand Canyon helicopter or airplane flight over Grand Canyon North Rim, then drive back to Vegas (~5 hour drive), stop at Hoover Dam, fly home.
      Now, you may think that Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument has been conspicuously omitted from this itinerary, but it’s really not. Grand Staircase is a huge area, whose “front country” scenery can be enjoyed on different sections of the drive, for example, going from Bryce to Capitol Reef, simply follow UT12 through the towns of Escalante and Boulder. It’s a gorgeous drive, and doesn’t add much in the way of time to the trip.

      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Morgan Truman says:

        Hi Alley,

        Thanks so much for your suggestions! It looks like our trip has been limited to 9 full days (flying in to vegas at about 11pm on friday august 30 , then 9 full days, then flying out of vegas at 1:30pm on Mon Sept 9. Because we only have 9 full days it looks like we would have to cut something out of your suggested itinerary, possibly two things because I’d really like to visit the north rim of the grand canyon as it’s been highly recommended to me by a family member who has been there. Are Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands worth the extra driving? Might our time be better spent spending more time at Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Page and Monument Valley? Obviously I would love to visit all the places I had mentioned, especially because I am not sure I will ever make it to this area again, but I want to make sure we actually have time to enjoy the destinations we are driving to and not just spending all our time driving in the car. I’ve never been on a trip of this type before, never been out west and never been to a national park actually, so I’m very unsure of how much time we should have at each destination and such. If you wouldn’t mind maybe recommending what you would do in this situation and a modified 9 day itinerary? Thank you so much for all your help!!

        Morgan

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Morgan,
          Thank you for clarification of your travel plans. With 9 full days to work with, I think you can check off all the parks on your wish list, and enjoy some downtime. However, regarding the North Rim, it is pretty, but visitor services there are much fewer in number and smaller in scale. North Rim lodging in particular will be very hard to come by since there is only one hotel inside the park, and 2 within an hour’s drive of the park. By contrast, the South Rim has 6 hotels inside the park and 5 hotels only 7 miles outside the park. Another consideration: September is a popular season for rim to rim hiking, so the North Rim will be in even higher demand. The math there isn’t too difficult to do; you stand a much better chance of finding lodging at the South Rim than you do the North Rim. Therefore, I must stick by my recommendation to visit the South Rim, and take an airplane or helicopter flight over the North Rim so you can at least see it.
          So, a revised plan would go something like this:
          August 31st: Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim, ~5 hour drive, stop at Hoover Dam on the way if you wish, overnight at the Grand Canyon.
          September 1st: Take scenic flight over GC North Rim first thing in AM, then drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ. ~3.5-4 hour drive factoring in stops. Maybe break for brunch/lunch at the Cameron Trading Post, tour Antelope Canyon, overnight in Page, AZ.
          September 2nd: Visit Horseshoe Bend early, drive from Page, AZ, to Moab, UT via Monument Valley, overnight in Moab.
          September 3rd: Explore Arches NP, 2nd night in Moab. For suggestions of activities in Moab, visit http://www.MoabAdventureCenter.com
          September 4th: Explore Canyonlands NP, 3rd night in Moab.
          September 5th: Drive from Moab to Bryce Canyon via Capitol Reef, ~5 hour drive, overnight in Bryce.
          September 6th: Drive from Bryce to Zion, ~2 hour drive, overnight in Springdale, UT.
          September 7th: 2nd day in Zion, maybe hike part of The Narrows or Angel’s landing, overnight in Springdale.
          September 8th: **surprise!** here is how you might work a visit to the North Rim in if you can’t find lodging: do it as a day trip from Zion. It will be a long drive, ~2.5 hours each way, but with an early start, and keeping an eye on the time, it can be done. I know, because I’ve done it 😉 Just make sure that you are back to Springdale, UT, before dusk as you don’t want to do any driving at night in this part of the country. Sunrise occurs at about 7:00 AM, sunset at about 8:00 PM Zion time; remember that Grand Canyon North will be one hour “behind” Zion as they don’t observe Daylight Savings Time.
          September 9th: First thing in AM, drive back to Las Vegas, ~3.5-4 hours depending on traffic and a construction project along a short stretch of I-15

          Hope that helps — and feel free to contact us again if you need further guidance!
          Alley 🙂

          • Morgan Truman says:

            Alley,
            Thank you so much for getting back to me so quickly!! I’m happy to hear you don’t believe the itinerary has too much to see in too little time, i’m so excited to visit all of these places! I’ll be sure to write in if I need further guidance but this has been incredibly helpful!
            Morgan

          • Alley Keosheyan says:

            🙂

          • Christine says:

            Hi we just got here in Laughlin Nevada . And we want to drive from Nevada to Antelope Canyon to see Antelope Canyon and horseshoe bend .. can we do a walk in to book a tour? Any information.. thank you ..

          • Alley Keosheyan says:

            Hi Christine,
            You absolutely must have an advance reservation to tour Antelope Canyon. Driving all this way (~5 hours from Las Vegas to Page, AZ) and hoping to get on a tour on a walk-up basis is strongly discouraged. Please read “How To Book A Tour To Antelope Canyon,” and if you find Antelope Canyon tours sold out, read up on “Antelope Canyon Alternative Tours.”
            For more information on Horseshoe Bend, visit our companion site, http://www.HorseshoeBend.com
            Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

  49. Siva says:

    Hello Alley,

    You’ve been so helpful for everyone out there on their plans and stuff. I’d like to have someone help for us as well 🙂

    Our priorities: Grand Canyon, Monument Valley Park, Antelope Canyon and other sight seeings. Interested to do camping or few miles of hike on high recommendation 🙂

    Myself and my wife planned to do a 10 day trip covering Arizona, Las Vegas and California. So, we allocated 3 days to Arizona (Flexible for one more day). Our plan looks like this. Arriving PHX Airport by 430 PM and taking the rental car at 5/530 PM. Roaming Phoenix by car that evening before going to sleep (reservation made for the night).

    Day 1: Early morning drive (3 and half hours) to Grand Canyon (still haven’t decided which rim we need to go. Please suggest). Heard that regardless of which rim we go – it would take in between 4-6 hours. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Hoping that we end up around somewhere at 3 or 4 PM at Grand Canyon. Start the drive to Monument Valley Park which is 3 hours from GC and have a reservation made here to have the sunrise view (should make sure that we should be there before sunset as it’s a risky place to drive without proper lights).

    Day 2: Sunrise view at Monument Valley Park and complete the 2 hour 17 mile drive and head to page by lunch (somewhere in between 1 – 3 PM).
    My question: How long does it take to visit horseshoe bend, Antelope Canyon(not sure whether we need to go to upper or lower – please suggest) and lake powell. It’s hard to do I believe but we are ok to get insights of it. If recommended, we can stay the night.

    Day 3: If we are done with Page area by day late evening, we will stay the night in Page and drive to Flagstaff. Will cover some parts of Sedona (may be sight seeing) and visit Jerome and then to Vegas.

    Any suggestions or recommendations are highly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Siva

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Siva, and thank you for visiting.
      I hate to say it, but I can’t endorse your plan as it stands. You’re trying to cram too much sightseeing into too short a time. In this part of the U.S., it’s a wise idea to pad your drive times by about 20-30% because most drives are very scenic and you’ll undoubtedly be stopping to take photos often. You had indicated it might be possible for you to free up another day? If that’s still the case, I strongly recommend that you do so.
      On Day 1, for example, you indicate your understanding of the drive time from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon as 3.5 hours. It’s more along the lines of 4.5 hours to the South Rim (that’s the side of the Grand Canyon most recommended for first time visitors). Then, you’re facing more along the lines of a 3.5 hour drive to Monument Valley? Uh uh… too much driving. Instead, I recommend that you head straight from Phoenix to Monument Valley seeing as though you have a reservation there which will be very hard to change at this point. The drive will be anywhere from 5-6 hours.
      On Day 2, you’re looking at a 2-2.5 hour drive from Monument Valley to Page, AZ. As for which branch of Antelope Canyon to tour, that largely depends on how physically fit your party is (or isn’t). If everyone in the group is relatively healthy and doesn’t mind a 600m hike, plus managing a few ladders, staircases, and simple bouldering, you should be fine with Lower. If you are traveling with infants, toddlers, seniors, or anyone with limited mobility, Upper would probably be the better choice. If you wish to see Lake Powell, you might consider adding a 90-minute boat tour of Antelope Canyon’s waterside to an Antelope Canyon walking tour as a “bundle.” It’s a lot more convenient to make reservations that way vs. having to search through multiple tour companies’ websites, where you’d undoubtedly encounter sold out tours. Upper Antelope Canyon + Lake Powell Boat Tour Bundle Lower Antelope Canyon + Lake Powell Boat Tour Bundle Overnight in Page, AZ, that night.
      On Day 3, get an early start to Grand Canyon South Rim, hitting Horseshoe Bend en route, then overnight at the Grand Canyon. This drive will take anywhere from 3.5-4.5 hours factoring in restroom and meal breaks, and the numerous scenic viewpoints of the Grand Canyon you’ll be tempted to stop at. Grand Canyon hotels
      On Day 4 (if you can free it up), drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Sedona. It’s ~3-3.5 hour drive. Overnight in Sedona, then drive on to Las Vegas the following morning (~5 hour drive, with stop at Hoover Dam if you wish).
      If for some reason you can’t free up an extra day or two for Arizona, then I’d recommend skipping Sedona. Not that it isn’t beautiful — it is, amazingly so — but you really need 3-4 days to tour that area properly. Indeed, many people who spend a week there report feeling as though they could have spent more time. Plan a return visit to this area when you can give it the time it deserves.
      Hope that helps.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  50. Brandon says:

    Hi,

    I am looking to schedule a 5 day road trip from Phx and would like to visit Page, Bryce, and Zion. I will be traveling with my two teenage daughters and looking for help with an itinerary. Looks like there is so much to do and I am having a hard time narrowing the activities down. Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Brandon,
      One thing I notice right off the bat is that the Grand Canyon is conspicuously absent from your itinerary. If you’ve never been there before, you should be sure you work that into your itinerary! That said, availability of lodging at Grand Canyon South Rim, or lack thereof, will be a significant factor in determining how your itinerary shapes up.
      Using Phoenix as your staging city, and assuming you’d want to get the longer drive(s) out of the way first, a good itinerary including all the places on your wish list would look something like this:
      Day 1: Drive from Phoenix to Bryce, ~7 hour drive, overnight in Bryce or nearby
      Day 2: Drive from Bryce to Zion, ~2-2.5 hours’ drive, overnight in Kanab, UT
      Day 3: Drive from Zion (Kanab) to Page, AZ, ~2 hours drive, en route do Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Trail hike, overnight in Page, AZ
      Day 4: Visit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise, tour Antelope Canyon, drive to Grand Canyon South Rim (~3.5-4 hours factoring in stops), overnight at Grand Canyon
      Day 5: Drive back to Phoenix (~5 hours)

      If you find that Grand Canyon lodging is not available on the last stop of your tour, move it up to the first stop, then hit Zion, Bryce, and Page, in that order, then drive back to Phoenix. The drive from Page, AZ, to Phoenix is also ~5 hours, going direct.
      Whatever you decide, be sure to book all lodging and guided tours well in advance of your trip.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  51. Kathleen says:

    Hi Alley,
    I so appreciate reading through all your info! My husband and I are planning the trip of a lifetime by celebrating our 30th Anniversary exploring and hiking, possibly kayaking) Utah and N. Arizona for 16 days in late Sept/early Oct. I’m a photographer but he’s not.
    I’m interested in your general thoughts on our itinerary and any recommended hikes, etc. along the way with a focus on the last 4 days of the trip. All hotels are procured in the park or place mentioned up until we leave the GC. We are pretty independent, East Coast day hikers but are not familiar with Western back country safety beyond what I’ve been reading up on. Would consider hiring a guide for the first day in Zion to get “trained”. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
    Day 1 – fly in to LV early afternoon and drive to Zion. Stay at Zion Lodge
    Day 2 – Zion
    Day 3 – Zion
    Day 4 – Bryce. Stay at Bryce Best Western
    Day 5- Grand Escalante – Stay at Grand Escalante Yurts
    Day 6- Grand Escalante
    Day 7- Grand Escalante
    Day 8 – Capitol Reef – Stay at Capitol Reef Resorts
    Day 9 – Moab – Stay at Sorrel River
    Day 10 – Moab
    Day 11 – Moab
    Day 12 – Moab
    Day 13 – Monument Valley. Stay at the View (only availability)
    Day 14 – Grand Canyon. Stay at Maswick (only availability)
    Days 15 and 16 – thinking Page for Antelope Canyon X, Upper vs. Lower on Oct. 11/12, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell?
    Day 17 – what to do during drive Page to Phoenix to arrive at airport hotel by dark.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hey Kathleen, and congrats on your upcoming anniversary!
      Your itinerary looks pretty fun, and you’ve chosen the best time of year to be here. Plus, big time props to you for scheduling enough time to really enjoy places like Zion and Moab!
      Normally, we’d recommend hitting Page, AZ, between Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, but seeing as though you’ve already got your lodging booked at the Grand Canyon, you might as well keep it. Changing it at this point may be hard, if not impossible. You’ll love The View at Monument Valley, it might have been the only availability, but it’s generally regarded as the best hotel in Monument Valley, so again, hang onto it. You’ll be glad you did.
      If you guys are wanting to get some river rafting into your itinerary, I’d suggest doing that in Moab. They have everything from half-day to multi-day trips, and the option of adding various 4WD tours to your activities. For more information on what’s available, visit the Moab Adventure Center and look over what they have to offer.
      In Zion, the classic hikes are The Narrows and Angel’s Landing. The Narrows requires walking through water, so you’ll need to read up on that before you commit. Here, going with a guide might provide an extra degree of reassurance. Angel’s Landing is all on land, but involves some precarious climbs and dizzying heights that may give some members of your party pause. If that’s the case, not to worry, Zion has a ton of wonderful hiking opportunities, from super-easy to crazy-hard and a lot in between. It won’t be hard finding something fun to do! On the trip over from Las Vegas, keep in mind that there’s some construction going on on a stretch of I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge that you will have to pass through. It could add anywhere from 30-60 minutes onto your drive.
      In Page, you can achieve your objectives of touring the slot canyons, and getting out on Lake Powell by booking a combination package of Upper Antelope, Lower Antelope, and an Antelope Canyon boat tour. If you do that, you won’t necessarily need to tour Antelope Canyon X as that might seem a bit redundant at that point.
      For Horseshoe Bend, I’d recommend visiting it just after sunrise on your way down to Phoenix. The drive from Page, AZ, to Phoenix, AZ, typically takes ~5 hours. If you have the time/inclination to extend it, you might take the 2-hour loop drive through Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monuments just north of Flagstaff. Another option would be to take a detour through Sedona, AZ, which will add 1-2 hours onto your drive time. Unfortunately, seeing Sedona as a “drive-by” won’t be very satisfying at all. Generally, we recommend 3-5 days minimum there to do it justice. One look at it, and I pretty much guarantee you’ll be planning a return trip, which isn’t such a bad thing 😉
      Be sure to pick up an America The Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass for this trip. It won’t work in areas such as Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon, which are Indian Tribal Parks, or at Horseshoe Bend, which was recently designated a City Park for Page, AZ, but it will still pay for itself on this trip.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Kathleen says:

        Many thanks Alley. Getting close and very excited!

        We decided to stay and enjoy Monument Valley/The View a second night and save the Grand Canyon for another time. Any tips or thoughts on specific guides?

        Are also looking at only staying in Page for 1 night to do an Antelope Canyon tour and head to Marble Canyon to kayak from the dam back. Any tips on October time to set out?

        Any thoughts on Cliff Dweller vs. returning to Page?

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hey Kathleen,
          Good decision to stay a second night at The View! As for which guide service you use to tour the area, it depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for. You’ll find everything from walking tours and horseback rides to 4×4 tours. Whatever you do, be sure that the guide service you choose is a tribal-authorized company. Click here for a full list of licensed Monument Valley tour guides.
          As for the kayak tour through Horseshoe Bend, October is a great month to do these kinds of activities. Mornings will be on the cool side, but will warm up nicely as the day goes on. Mid-afternoons are “balmy,” but not as oppressively hot as during the summer so… long story short, do whatever time works for you. It’s hard to go wrong!
          Also, if you have the opportunity to stay over at Cliff Dweller’s, take it. It’s a cool little place, and their on-site restaurant is regarded as one of Northern Arizona’s best kept culinary secrets!
          Take care and have fun!
          Alley 🙂

  52. va4family says:

    Hi Ryan. Thank you for the wonderful website, pics, and tips for visiting Antelope Canyon and Page.

    Our family of 4 (2 adults, two teens (19 and 17) are headed to AZ in mid July.
    We land in PHX on a Thursday at 10:00 am and hope to be headed north by noon. We would like to see the following before having to return to PHX on Saturday night:

    Monument Valley (just the highlights)
    Page/Lake Powell
    Slot Canyons (preferably Antelope Canyon but upper vs. lower and what about canyon X?
    Boat ride to Rainbow Bridge
    Horseshoe Bend at sunrise

    Thinking of driving to Monument Valley from PHX and looking around for a few hours before heading to Page. Sunset in 8:40 pm in MV in mid July but understand we would need to hit the road by 7 pm to eliminate driving in the dark.

    Next morning we would hit Horseshoe Bend at sunrise, and then a mid morning slot canyon tour or an afternoon boat tour to Rainbow Bridge. We could substitute the Rainbow tour for a shorter Antelope Canyon boat tour or the sunset boat tour but hoping to see as much of the lake as possible.

    Saturday morning we would either do a slot canyon or boat tour (whichever we missed the day before) and head back to PHX in the afternoon.

    Most likely we will stay at Lake Powell Resort for Thurs and Fri night but could use guidance on how to squeeze all of this into our limited time.
    We’ve been to Grand Canyon and Bryce/Zion/Kanab areas in the past.
    Are we better off staying in MV the first night and heading to Page the next day? Which slot canyon is preferable (upper, lower, or canyon x) for experience and photo ops? Which boat tour has the most “wow” factor?
    Any chance we can squeeze in the float trip as well?

    Thanks for your help and looking forward to your suggestions.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi there,
      Sorry, but your plan is just a teeny bit unrealistic. You don’t have nearly enough time to do everything on your wish list. You’ll have to pare down your expectations or free up another day or two to fit everything in.
      To start with, it takes bare minimum of 5 hours to drive from Phoenix, AZ, to Monument Valley. It then takes 2 hours to drive from Monument Valley to Page. With a noon-time start out of Phoenix, doing that entire trip in one day just won’t work. You need to keep in mind that nighttime driving is a bad idea in this part of the country due to lack of artificial/supplemental lighting on area roads, and the possibility of having a collision with deer, elk, free range cattle, or even wild horses. Another consideration is that lodging is scarce in Monument Valley, and hotels in MV, Kayenta, or Tuba City are bound to be sold out at this point. As much as I hate to suggest it, Monument Valley should probably be taken off the table. But… there still might be a way to work it in. More on that in a minute.
      My advice is to go directly to Page, AZ. It’s also ~a 5-hour drive from Phoenix, AZ, to Page, AZ. That’s wheels turning, no stops. That rarely happens because the drive is very scenic and you will be stopping to take pictures more often than you’d think. You might be able to hit Horseshoe Bend on your way into town, parking permitting. If you can’t find parking that evening, plan to hit Horseshoe Bend the following morning. The main priority is to get to your destination well before sunset for the reasons stated above (extreme dark, animals). In mid-July, sunrise occurs at about 5:15 AM, sunset at about 7:45 PM.
      The following day, Friday, you’ll want to tour Antelope Canyon, then do either the Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour OR the Glen Canyon Float Trip. At the time of year you’re visiting, the Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour departs twice daily, at 7:30 AM, and 12:30 PM. Check-in is required 1 hour prior to departure at Lake Powell Resort, trip length is 7-8 hours. The Glen Canyon Half-Day Float Trip also departs twice daily, at 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM; check-in takes place one hour prior to departure in downtown Page, AZ, and trip length is 4.5 hours. As for which of these water-based activities has the most “wow” factor, they are about equal. Due to the water level of Lake Powell, the Rainbow Bridge boat tour is going to require a ~2-3 mile round-trip hike in order to see the bridge itself. The Glen Canyon Float Trip also has a hiking component (the petroglyph panel), but it’s significantly shorter. If the prospect of visiting Rainbow Bridge by boat is looking less appealing at this point, there might still be a way you can work it in… again, more on that in a minute 😉
      As for which branch of Antelope Canyon to tour, if you’re physically up for Lower Antelope or Antelope X, I would recommend one of those two. Group sizes in Antelope X are kept smaller, so you may find tickets to it a bit pricier, but most tourists agree that that was fair compromise for not being herded through the canyon like cattle. If you’d like to tour Lower Antelope Canyon, and are open to the notion of swapping out one of the longer boat tours for something shorter, consider “bundling” a Lower Antelope Canyon land-side and an Antelope Canyon waterside tour for optimal convenience.
      On Saturday morning, before heading back to Phoenix, AZ, here’s how you could work in the two activities I recommended as possible “sacrifices:” take a fixed wing airplane tour over Monument Valley and Rainbow Bridge! These 90-minute flights depart from the Page Municipal Airport daily. During the summer months, first thing in the morning is the best time to fly for optimal light and less wind. Flights are offered by Westwind Air Service and American Aviation.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    • Va4fam says:

      Alley,

      Thank you for the informative and kind response. We are chronic “overplanners” and sometimes it does lead to unrealistic scheduling.

      Would it make more sense if we go to MV the first evening and stay there (still rooms available) and then head to Page/Lake Powell the next day for an afternoon boat tour, spend the night at the resort, and do the Horseshoe bend and Lower Antelope Canyon activities on Saturday morning/midday. Seems like they are located on the way back to PHX so we could leave from there?

      Is the Rainbow Bridge boat tour too much for afternoon summer heat?
      Will we see a lot more of the lake and scenery than the smaller Antelope Canyon or dinner cruise boat tours or is there not much difference?

      Love the idea of the flight-seeing activity but my wife is an avid nervous flyer and does not like small planes at all.

      Thanks for your guidance, J & A

      • Alley Keosheyan says:

        Hey again J & A,
        We would much rather see folks overplan rather than underplan any day of the week!
        If you can still find rooms in Monument Valley, grab them. Then get an early start on the drive to Page, AZ, the following day. The drive from Monument Valley takes ~2 hours, remember that if you’re doing any scheduled activities that same afternoon that Monument Valley DOES observe Daylight Savings Time, whereas Page, AZ, DOES NOT. Therefore, Page, AZ, is 1 hour “behind” Monument Valley. You will “gain” an hour passing from MV to Page.
        RE: the Rainbow Bridge boat tour, IMO, the afternoon summer heat can be a bit much, especially in light of the 2-3 mile hike required to see the Bridge. But, you will see a lot more of Lake Powell than you would on a shorter boat tour, that much is certain, because you will travel 52 miles uplake and back. Lake Powell is HUGE and even the Rainbow Bridge tour will only give you a small taste of what’s out there!
        On your final day, try to plan your sightseeing so that you are done by ~2:00 PM. Whether you are at Grand Canyon South Rim or Page that day, it will take you ~5 hours to drive back to Phoenix or Las Vegas, and you should still try and get to your final destination before sunset. Seeing as though both Phoenix and Las Vegas are well-lit, you have a little wiggle room, but we still advise against burning too much daylight. Sunrise occurs at ~5:15 AM, and sunset takes place around 7:30 PM.
        Happy traveling,
        Alley 🙂

  53. Tyler says:

    Hi, my wife and I are going to be doing a 6 night trip to these areas. Would appreciate comment on our itinerary.

    Day 1

    12:20 Land Vegas, Rent car and head to Zion. Check in around 4 pm hotel

    Day 2

    Wake up early hike Zion
    4 pm Depart Zion to drive to Hotel near Page
    7 pm check in near page

    Day 3

    Horseshoe Bend slot canyon tour/Horse shoe bend

    Sunset near page, sleep Page second night

    Day 4

    Wake up early and drive to South Rim Grand Canyon.
    Hotel Grand Canyon

    Day 5
    Wake up early drive to Sedona
    Stay two nights sedona

    Day 6
    Sedona

    Day 7
    Depart Sedona 9:00 am drive to Vegas.

    Does this sound do able?
    Thanks!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hey Tyler,
      Your plan looks pretty fun, but I’d recommend a couple of small modification for maximum enjoyment.
      On day 2 where you want to do some hiking in Zion, then drive to Page, AZ, I’d advise simply staying a 2nd night in Zion. It takes ~2-2.5 hours to drive to Page, AZ, and there is a LOT of hiking that can be done in Zion! If you’re visiting during the warmer months of summer, the sun will zap the energy out of you pretty quick, and you’ll most likely be in no mood for a long-distance drive.
      On day 3, get an early start on the drive to Page. One thing that works in your favor during Daylight Savings Time period is that Page DOESN’T observe Daylight Savings Time, whereas Zion does, so you’ll “gain” an hour traveling from Utah to Arizona. For sunset, consider visiting the Wahweap Overlook just a short distance from Page, AZ.
      The rest of your plan sounds completely fine, hopefully you have all your hotels and tours booked. If you can possibly free up another day or two for Sedona, do so — you’ll find no shortage of things to see and do there!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  54. Neringa D. says:

    Hello!
    I love your website! We are planning our very unexpected trip to visit AZ, very first timers! And probably last one, as well, as trip to USA is not such an easy trip from EU. So we wanna soak it in.
    I see you being very helpful with people’s itinerary. Could you give a look to ours?

    Saturday, 30th.
    10-11 am Arriving Phoenix.

    Car rent and up to South rim. We have a night booked in there. What we going to do in there exactly, still unknown, as we do not know what time arriving.

    Lunch somewhere on the way.

    Aiming to have sunset at one of the viewing points and early dinner.

    Sunday,31st.
    Sunrise at the rim, one of the trails. Maybe 2….

    Lunch still in the village and head for Page through desert view drive,

    Stop Cameron for stretch, route 20 or 89?Then, is it better to go straight to Page and spend our evening there or there is something on the way to see?

    Night booked at Page. I don’t know if it is worth going all the way down to the lake Powel.

    Monday, 1st.
    9am lower antelope canyon (booked already).

    And start heading to Sedona for the night. I really wanted to experience some of the historical 66 route, but its a bit out of the way. SO maybe stop by

    Flagstaff for stretch. Was thinking: walnut canyon or route 66 and Williams or just go down to Sedona straight?

    See Sedona, maybe one of the hikes.

    Night at the little cabin rented just by the river stargazing.

    Tuesday,2 nd.
    To see more around Sedona (Red rock crossing, Bell rock…)
    I necessarily wanted to visit one of the vortex places, but of what I read just being in Sedona is an experience itself!

    Thought it might be worth jumping through Jerome on our way back to Phoenix. Any ideas what else worth seeing?

    Afternoon flight from Phoenix to San Francisco.

    Would be grateful for your opinion.
    Just the best vibes,
    Neringa D.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Neringa,
      Your itinerary looks very well-planned. With your already limited timeframe, there’s really not much you’ll be able to add. Plus you want to avoid the temptation to schedule every single minute of your day out here. You’ll want to leave room for the inevitable photo ops that will pique your curiosity, and trust me, there are tons of them out here!
      So, I take it your visit is occurring in March? March and November are the only months in 2019 where Saturday occurs on the 30th, and seeing as though you described your trip as an “unexpected” one, I’ll go off the assumption that March it is. Which leads me to another important point: March is in the transitional zone between winter and spring out here, so you’ll need to be prepared for anything weather-wise. The Grand Canyon has received a lot of snow of late, which is sticking to the upper parts of Bright Angel and Kaibab Trails, so hiking either one of them might not be practical this time around. If that’s the case, you might consider taking the free shuttle out to some of the overlooks on the Hermit’s Rest/West Rim Drive the morning of the 31st before you head to Page, AZ. BTW, the drive from Phoenix to Grand Canyon South Rim takes, on average, ~5 hours.
      The drive to Page, AZ, is listed on Google maps as taking 2.5 hours, but in reality, it can take 3.5-4 hours. It’s a very scenic drive, and you’ll find yourself stopping often! There are over half a dozen named viewpoints of the Grand Canyon to see between Grand Canyon and Desert View Point, where you’ll exit the park. From there to Page, there is even more to see, including, but not limited to the Little Colorado River Overlook, Chief Yellowhorse’s souvenir stands, the Cameron Trading Post, Chinle formation views, the “Cut” Overlook, and Horseshoe Bend. For this portion of the drive, best to take US89, and not N20/89T. The former is the more scenic drive; the latter was a temporary route established after a slide occurred on the main highway. It is now mostly used by locals to shave some time off the drive to/from Flagstaff and points South.
      On Monday the 1st when you make your way to Sedona, I’d definitely recommend making the stop at Walnut Canyon. It’s very illuminating and educational to see how the Native Americans lived and be able to explore remnants of their dwellings up close and personal. If you’re into Route 66, you might consider having lunch at the Galaxy Diner, a 50’s style restaurant that celebrates the heyday of the old highway.
      You’ve correctly deduced that Sedona is a destination until itself, and you’ll definitely wish you’d had more time there! But, a day is better than nothing. As for visiting Jerome on the way back to Phoenix, it’s a cool town, and won’t add a ton of time onto the drive back to Phoenix; it’ll extend it by another hour or so.
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    • Tonya says:

      Hello! We are flying into Flagstaff June 4th, and driving to Lake Powell (have hotel reservations). We will head to Mesa Verde on the morning of the 7th. The 5th and 6th are wide open—can you suggest tours? It will be myself and my 18year old daughter and her 17 year old friend. They love to hike and kayak. We want to see Lake Powell, Horseshoe, and Antelope Canyon. If we could include the Grand Canyon, that would be great as well!
      Many thanks in advance for your suggestions!
      Tonya

      • Alley Keosheyan says:

        Hey Tonya!
        With the two days you have to work with, I would recommend modifying your itinerary slightly in order to accommodate most of the items on your “wish list.”
        Instead of driving to Lake Powell that first day, I would suggest driving to Grand Canyon South Rim and staying overnight there. It’s ~90 minutes from Flagstaff to Grand Canyon South Rim. If possible, try to find something inside the park, or Tusayan/GC Village South if the park is booked up. Grand Canyon hotels .
        Then plan to head to Page, AZ, staying there on the 5th and 6th so you can tour Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and get in some kayaking on Lake Powell. The drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, is stated as taking 2.5 hours on Google Maps, but IRL, it ends up taking more along the lines of 3.5-4 hours because it’s a very scenic drive and you’ll find yourself stopping often to take pictures at the various Grand Canyon viewpoints on the East Rim/Desert View Drive, and on the section of the trip that occurs on the Navajo Reservation, such as the Little Colorado River Overlook, the Cameron Trading Post, Chinle formation views, and the Cut Overlook, just to name a few.

        The drive from Page, AZ, to Mesa Verde takes ~5 hours, but take the opportunity to swing through Monument Valley and maybe Goosenecks of the San Juan State Park on the way.
        Be sure to book all lodging and guided tours in advance. Good luck and safe travels!
        Alley 🙂

  55. Beth says:

    Hello,

    Thanks for all the great information! Our family (kids ages 3, 7, 10) will be flying into PHX April 16-20. We have three full days and are hoping to visit the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon/Horseshoe Bend and a couple of the National Monuments around the Flagstaff area (haven’t decided which yet). We were originally planning to stay in Flagstaff and use that as a base for day trips to the other locations; however I have read some reviews advising against this. Assuming we would likely not be able to get a reservation near GCNP this late in the game, would you recommend staying in Page one night on the way to or from the GC instead of commuting back and forth from Flagstaff each day? If we decided to loop around and stay overnight in Page, is there a preferred order to visit these sites to maximize time? We currently have an antelope canyon tour booked during the afternoon of the 18th.

    Thanks!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Beth, and thank you for visiting.
      I agree that using Flagstaff as a “base” from which to tour the major attractions in Northern Arizona is less than ideal, but as you say, this late in the game, you may not have any other choice. Still, cancellations do occur, so it doesn’t hurt to check availability. If at all possible, try to find a room inside the park. If nothing is available there, then Tusayan is your next best option, just 7 miles South of the park gates. Staying in the park, or as close to it as possible, will allow you to experience sunrise and/or sunset on the canyon rim, which shouldn’t be missed! If you have to stay in Flagstaff, you’re looking at a 90-minute drive each way to the Grand Canyon, then a 2.5 hour drive, again, each way, to Page, AZ. For Grand Canyon lodging, check GrandCanyon.com: South Rim Hotels
      For Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, you’ll want to stay in Page, AZ. For availability of lodging in that area go to VisitPageLakePowell.com: Where to Stay in Page, AZ
      As for how and when to visit GC and Page, there’s no preferred order. It honestly depends on availability of Grand Canyon lodging, and Antelope Canyon tours. Since you already have an Antelope Canyon tour reservation for 04/18, hanging onto it might be easier than changing it, so try to find Grand Canyon lodging for 04/17, then Page, AZ, for 04/18 and possibly 04/19.
      Good attractions to visit in/around Flagstaff include but aren’t limited to Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monuments, Walnut Canyon National Monument, the Arboretum, and Lowell Observatory.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  56. Kait says:

    Hey there,
    My boyfriend and I are planning to visit the Grand Canyon April 5-8. We are flying Into phx Friday night and will stay over in Phoenix Saturday planned to drive to the Grand Canyon and stay over in the south rim. Thought be fun to see inside the park. Sunday plan to do a tour of lower antelope canyon and hike horse bend. We are leaving Monday night from Phoenix. Do you recommend staying over in the south rim again or in page? What is good to see Monday before we head back to Phoenix for our flight. Or is there anything you recommend for Sunday?
    Thank you 🙂

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hello, Kait!
      Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Page, AZ, are a destination unto themselves, not really conducive to visiting as a “day trip” from Grand Canyon South Rim. Although Google maps lists the drive time from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page as 2.5 hours, in reality, it ends up taking more like 3.5-4 hours due to the very scenic nature of the drive and the frequency of photo ops. You will be much more comfortable if you were to stay overnight in Page, AZ.
      Hopefully you have lodging reservations at Grand Canyon South Rim. If not, you may find the only availability in Williams, AZ, or Flagstaff, AZ, 60-90 minutes from the park respectively. Prioritize booking a hotel at the South Rim, then Antelope Canyon tour reservations, then Page, AZ, hotel reservations. As for where you might visit prior to flying back to Phoenix, Sedona might be nice, time permitting. It takes ~3 hours to drive there from Grand Canyon South Rim, then another 2-2.5 hours to drive from Sedona to Phoenix. The only drawback to this, if you can call it that, is that you’ll wish you’d had more time in Sedona. I can almost guarantee that you’ll start planning a return visit long before you leave the city limits!
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  57. Brittany says:

    Hi!
    My husband and I are coming in October to run at Trail Fest. We are staying a few days after, to get extra sight seeing time. We fly into Las Vegas where we will drive to Kanab which is where we are staying for 4 night between runs.

    The first run is Bryce Canyon (Coyote Hollow Trailhead). After the run which we should be done by lunch time we have time to explore. What do you recommend for that area?

    The second run is Zion (Gooseberry Mesa). Again, we will be done by lunchtime and we are looking for other places to explore.

    The third and final run is Horseshoe Bend (starting at Navajo Hogan dropping down to Waterholes Canyon then back up to the rim running by Horseshoe Bend). We are going to be exhausted but we are planning on jumping into the car to go and take a tour of the Lower Antelope Canyon and then sunset at Lake Powell before heading back to Kanab. Is this too much to try to fit in?

    We will have another free day and night to do a little more exploring or easy site seeing before we head back for a night in Las Vegas. Do you have any recommendations on what to do that last day and night? I love Mesa Verde but i think it will just be too far to drive before trekking back to Las Vegas.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Brittany,
      All I can say is WOW! You’re bound to have a wonderful time, while getting in some good exercise.
      One thing to keep in mind is that you’re going to be running at high altitudes, 8,000′ ASL for Bryce, ~5,000′ for Zion, and ~4,500′ for Page. Depending on how accustomed you are to running at these kinds of altitudes — or not — you may find yourself wanting to rest up after your run rather than partake of other activities, and there’s nothing whatsoever wrong with that! Just something to keep in mind; play things by ear instead of committing to anything time sensitive on the afternoon following your run.
      That said, if you do have more energy to burn after your morning runs, a good activity in Bryce is the rim trail. It connects all the scenic overlooks from Fairyland Point to Bryce Point. Total distance is 5.5 miles, but you certainly don’t have to commit to the entire length of the trail, just walk as far as you want to go. If you finish your run prior to 1:00 PM, and don’t feel like walking or hiking, you might take the free guided tour to Rainbow Point. Bryce Canyon Park Shuttle Bryce Canyon Day Hikes
      In Zion, you might cool your feet by hiking a short ways up The Narrows. You would need to ride the free in-park shuttle to the Temple of Sinawava, and walk 1 mile to the end of Riverside Walk. If this does not appeal, you might take a trip to the nearby ghost town of Grafton, or watch whatever movie is being shown at the IMAX theatre in Springdale.
      After the portion of your run in Page, AZ, Lower Antelope Canyon would certainly be a worthwhile activity, but since you’ll have already gone through Waterholes Canyon (which is a slot canyon), you’d be OK skipping that as well. Instead of doing another walking/foot tour, maybe head on down to Antelope Point Marina for a boat tour or kayak tour of the water-side of Antelope Canyon. Or perhaps treat yourself to a nice dinner, and some beautiful views of Lake Powell, on the Canyon Princess Dinner Cruise.
      You are correct in that Mesa Verde is a bit too far afield to realistically fit in this time around. Best to save that one for another trip.
      With another free day before heading back to Las Vegas, you might swing over to the Grand Canyon for a night. Both the North Rim and South Rim are open at the time the Grand Circle Trail Fest is running. You’ll find that lodging is easier to come by at the South Rim than the North Rim, but do check both. The North Rim closes for the season on October 15th, so this would be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a side of the canyon that only a fraction of visitors get to see! South Rim Hotels North Rim Hotels
      Good luck, safe travels, and happy running!
      Alley 🙂

  58. Judy Chiu says:

    We are a party of 6 seniors from SF Bay Area and thinking of visiting Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell in late May to early June. We plan to spend about one week. Please give us the best route. We had been to GC, Zion and Bryce Canyon before but we don’t mind visiting them again if they happen to be along our route.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Judy,
      The first question that pops into mind is does your week include travel time to and from San Francisco? The most direct route, which goes through Bakersfield, Las Vegas, and the Arizona Strip, takes 12+ hours, each way. Going the “scenic” route stretches that to ~18 hours! You might want to break up the drive with a stop in Death Valley, or Las Vegas. Zion could also be included in the latter half of the trip, if you desire, or you might make a detour to Grand Canyon North Rim instead.

      Since you are looking at a 2-day drive, each way, from SF to Page, AZ, that essentially gives you 3 days to work with out here. In that timeframe, you can tour Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, then use another full day for a water-based activity such as the Glen Canyon Float Trip or the Lake Powell Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour.
      On that 3rd day, you could go and visit Monument Valley, which is ~a 2 hours drive, each way, from Page, AZ. Best plan would be to stay overnight, but it is doable as a day trip with an early start, and a solid plan to ensure that you leave the area by 3:00 PM to avoid driving in the dark.
      Best wishes and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Judy Chiu says:

        Hi Alley

        thanks for your prompt reply. Our 1-week trip does include flying from SF to Vegas, and from there driving to Page . Will there be any modifications to our route? How about including the Arches? We afford to extend 1 or 2 days.

        Thanks!

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi again, Judy, thank you for that clarification.
          In light of the fact that you do have a full week to work with, and that you can afford to add another couple of days onto your travel time, you could certainly include Arches in your itinerary.
          A typical vacation itinerary, using Las Vegas as a staging city, is as follows:
          Day 1 – Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim, overnight at the South Rim
          Day 2 – Drive from South Rim to Page, tour Antelope Canyon or Horseshoe Bend, overnight in Page
          Day 3 – Drive from Page to Moab, UT, via Monument Valley, overnight in Moab
          Day 4 – Explore Arches, spend 2nd night in Moab
          Day 5 – Explore Canyonlands, 3rd night in Moab
          Day 6 – Drive from Moab, UT to Capitol Reef National Park, overnight in Torrey, UT
          Day 7 – Drive from Torrey, UT to Zion National Park via Bryce Canyon, overnight in Springdale, UT
          Day 8 – Hiking in Zion, 2nd night in Springdale
          Day 9 – Drive back to Las Vegas
          Hope that helps and that you have a wonderful vacation!
          Alley 🙂

  59. Lisa says:

    HI Ryan,
    We have booked a trip end of April, and we have 5 and 1/2 days to explore. We land in Vegas – I was planning to do one day in vegas/surrounding area, one day in Zion/Grand Staircase Escalante, possibly one morning in Canyonlands then traveling to Sedona, then the morning in Sedona, then travelling to antelope canyon and Grand Canyon for sunset. From Canyonlands-Sedona-A.C-Grand Canyon we have about 2.5 days. Do you think this is possible? Thanks!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Lisa,
      Sorry, but you’re trying to cram too many destinations into too short a timeframe.
      Zion National Park deserves at least 2 days to do it justice, but you don’t have enough time for that. It’s also a long distance away from the main attractions of Grand Staircase/Escalante, so you definitely won’t be exploring them all in one day’s time. You will, however, get to see some of the “front country” on the drive from Zion to Page, AZ. More on that in a minute.
      Instead of going as far afield as Moab (Arches/Canyonlands), and since it also requires at least 3 days to enjoy fully, I’d recommend taking it off the table this time around. Instead, visit Page, Arizona and tour Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. Plan to at least stay 1 night in Page, AZ, then visit Grand Canyon South Rim, preferably staying overnight, then continue to Sedona before returning to Las Vegas.
      So a revised plan would look like this:
      Day 1 – Vegas
      Day 2 – Zion
      Day 3 – Page
      Day 4 – Grand Canyon
      Day 5 – Sedona
      Day 6 – return to Vegas
      Be sure that you reserve all lodging and guided tours in advance of your arrival.
      Best wishes and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  60. Jo says:

    My family will be visiting Zion for a few nights in April and then heading to the Grand Canyon. We’d like to tour the Lower Antelope Canyon on our way. Is it doable to make the Lower Canyon a stop on our route from Zion to the GC? We have reservations at the Kachina Lodge for the night so we can’t overnight in Page. It would be a stop, then perhaps lunch and then back on the road. Thanks for your help!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Jo,
      We don’t recommend attempting to tour Antelope Canyon as a “drive-by” from Zion. It takes ~2 hours to drive from Zion to Page, AZ, at least 2.5 hours to tour Antelope Canyon, then another 3-3.5 hours to drive from Page, AZ to Grand Canyon. I know the timeframe for the latter segment of the drive is given as 2.5 hours on Google maps, but that figure rarely materializes since the drive is very scenic and you’ll definitely find yourself stopping to take pictures a lot. Another thing to keep in mind is that days are still relatively short at that time of year, with sunrise in Zion occurring at ~7:35 AM, and sunset in Page at ~6:45 PM. Driving at night is strongly discouraged in this part of the country due to lack of ambient lighting on local roadways, and the possible presence of deer, elk, free range cattle, and other wildlife.
      I know you say that you can’t overnight in Page, AZ, but depending on how many days you have booked at Zion, you might consider dropping a night there so you can give Page, AZ, and its attractions the time they deserve.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  61. Andrew Lee says:

    My family is planning for a trip to Page, AZ, Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, AZ. Our actual trip is from 2/20 to 2/23. And, we are trying for a 1 day trip to Page, AZ.

    I know it’s going to be pretty cold there. Do you still recommend the boat? I think my kids will love it but I am thinking it will be way too cold.

    Also, any other recommendation on Flagstaff, Grand Canyon would be greatly appreciated it.

    thank you.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Andrew,
      You are correct in that Page, AZ, weather is still quite cold in February. What’s more, boat tours are on a limited schedule, and may be contingent on having a certain number of people booked in order to guarantee operation. Personally, I think it’s still a bit too cold for boating, but if you’re still interested, check the schedules for the two main boat tour operators in the Page, AZ, area, which are Lake Powell Resorts and Antelope Point Marina.
      Not sure in which order you’re planning to hit the attractions on your “wish list,” but you can do a good chunk of your Grand Canyon sightseeing on the drive to or from Page. The drive naturally takes you along the East Rim/Desert View Drive of the Grand Canyon, where there are over half a dozen named viewpoints between Desert View Point and Grand Canyon Village alone. Once you arrive at Grand Canyon Village, you can drive onto the West Rim/Hermit’s Rest Drive and do more sightseeing, time permitting. Just South of the park in the town of Tusayan, the Grand Canyon IMAX movie is a fun family activity.
      As for what you might do in Flagstaff, there’s no shortage of activities. With all the snow we’ve been getting, you might even hit the ski slopes at the Snow Bowl! For more suggestions, visit Flagstaff.com: Things To Do
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Andrew Lee says:

        I have another question. What’s the drive like from Flagstaff to Page?
        I was planning to come out to visit Page on Thursday and it looks like snow storm is coming to Flagstaff starting Thursday early morning.

        I know you can’t predict the weather and road condition but do you think this is something wise for me to do? I had reservation on Thursday @ 2 for Upper Antelopes Canyon and I was going to see Horseshoe Bend in the morning. Weather seems ok on Thursday in Page area. Is it still nice to visit even during little bit of snow/cloudy weather in Antelopes and Horseshoe?

        That plan is very much in limbo right now.

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Andrew,
          The majority of the state of Arizona is under a winter weather advisory for the latter half of this week, so snow could indeed put a damper on your plans. Some of the tour outfitters are cancelling reservations to be on the safe side as well, so you might want to give your chosen company a call to make sure they’re not following suit. As for whether to make the trip, your best bet is to check road conditions on http://www.az511.com If it advises you to stay off the roads, heed their advice and maybe reschedule your tour (if possible). If it indicates that weather is just cloudy, but roads are passable, I’d say go ahead and make the trip (as long as your Antelope Canyon tour isn’t cancelled). It’s still a nice place to visit even when the weather is less than ideal.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  62. Molly V says:

    Hi!
    My husband and I are driving from Los Angeles to La Verkin, UT (just outside of Zion) for a reunion. The reunion seems to be falling apart so I am planning on changing this into an Antelope Canyon/Horseshoe visit instead. Other than Powell and Zion, what else do you recommend I make time for? Here is my rough itinerary:
    -Friday: Drive from LA to La Verkin. Sleep there
    -Sat: Attempt to get a Coyote Buttes North (The Wave) permit. Since we will probably strike out, what should our back up plan be? Flexible on where we sleep that night.
    -Sunday: Antelope Canyon (upper & lower) and Horseshoe Bend / Drive to Vegas to sleep
    -Monday: Drive from Vegas to LA
    Saturday was the day I set aside for reunion activities but now that I think I am skipping out, I was hoping to fill the day with some gorgeous hikes. I am just not sure what is near La Verkin (other than Zion) and not out of the way (considering we need to be in Page on Sunday). We are used to driving a lot – Do you recommend anything?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Molly and thank you for visiting our site. Sorry to hear that your reunion isn’t coming to fruition, but glad to see you’re trying to get something positive out of it.
      I don’t recall seeing when you were planning to travel, but if your trip is scheduled for late spring or summer, you might try your hand at applying for a Wave permit online. Lottery submissions are taken four months prior to the calendar month in which you wish to hike, so if you were wanting to hike sometime in June, February would be the month in which you’d want to apply. How To Get A Wave Permit
      In the likely event you do not succeed in getting a permit for The Wave, fortunately, there is a plethora of beautiful scenery in the immediate vicinity that doesn’t require a permit to explore, including but not limited to White Pocket, Soap Creek, Pinnacle Valley, Sidestep Canyon, and more. The thing that is required, or at least strongly recommended, is a vehicle with 4WD and a beefy enough suspension to handle the deep sand and other obstacles you’ll encounter in these areas. The safer bet is to go with a licensed tour guide out of Page, AZ, Kanab, UT, or Paria, UT. Which one you use will most likely come down to where you are staying. For a complete list of tour guide companies, visit our companion site, http://www.TheWaveAZ.com: Hire A Guide
      A couple of areas within easy access of La Verkin that were not mentioned above that you might consider are Snow Canyon State Park and Yant Flats, aka the “Candy Cliffs.” Yant Flat in particular boasts some rock formations that bear a strong resemblance to The Wave. It’s ~45 minutes from La Verkin.
      On Sunday, where you mention wanting to visit both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, that is not necessary in order have a fulfilling to Page, AZ. You’re looking at a 5-hour drive from there to Las Vegas, and you don’t want to be doing any of that drive in the dark. Plus there are lots of other attractions in Page, AZ, that warrant a visit, such as Horseshoe Bend, the Glen Canyon Dam, the “New” Wave, the John Wesley Powell Museum, and the scenic Lakeshore Drive Loop, just to name a few.
      If by chance you find yourself with an extra day to occupy, I’d recommend trying to work Bryce Canyon into your itinerary. It’s only a couple of hours from La Verkin, or 90 minutes from Kanab.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  63. paul chern says:

    Assuming that I can visit Antelope Canyon any time during the year, when is the best time to visit? Both time of year and time during the day.

    Assuming that I visit Antelope Canyon in January 2019, how cold can I expect the weather to be?
    Is it better to visit in terms of lighting within the canyon, in early or late January and what is the best time during the day to visit the canyon.
    Thanks for your help.

    Paul Chern

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Paul and thank you for your inquiry.
      You are correct in that Antelope Canyon tours are offered year-round. If you are able to pick and choose the best time of year to visit, that would be mid-October. Temperatures are just about perfect, and even though it’s still busy, it tends to be mostly adults out touring since kids are back in school.
      If January is the only time you have available, you can still have an enjoyable visit to Page, AZ! Temperatures will be on the cooler side, in the 30’s and 40’s during the day, at or below freezing at night. Snow is rare, but has been known to occur. If/when it does, it tends to melt off quickly. Optimal time of day for visiting Antelope Canyon is mid-day; best time to visit Horseshoe Bend in order to find a place to park and avoid peak crowds is just after sunrise.
      Good luck and safe travels, and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

  64. Julie says:

    Hello-Is it possible to do lower canyon with a two and five year old? I think the 5 year old would be fine with the ladder and thinking we could put the 2 year on our back? It just seems like it would be a headache to try to do upper with the carseat situation? Also recommendation for a short/safe hike with kids at the grand canyon? We’re doing these on separate days. Nothing more than 2-3 miles roundtrip. Any recommendations for best spot to view sunset/sunrise at the grand canyon? Thank you for your help! Some really great information on here.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Julie and thank you for your inquiry.
      Lower Antelope Canyon can be enjoyed, and has been enjoyed, by families like yourselves. Bringing Kids To Antelope Canyon However, keep in mind that backpack carriers may or may not be allowed by Lower Antelope Canyon tour outfitters (that situation, is, shall we say, ‘somewhat fluid’). If they do allow you to carry the littler one on your back, you’ll need to exercise caution so that he/she doesn’t bump their head on a rock overhang. If they don’t allow the backpack carrier, keep in mind that Lower Antelope Canyon is 600m long, and has several ladders and staircases that you’ll need to manage with that extra weight. Before committing, I recommend you watch this Full Walk-Through Video of Lower Antelope Canyon
      As for easy hikes to do at the Grand Canyon, the Rim Trail is scenic, mostly flat, and manageable for most. It is also paved, so you can take a stroller on it if desired. If you want to venture below the canyon rim a ways, the Bright Angel Trail would be the easiest way to go. Just remember 1 hour down = 2 hours out. Food and water must be carried if you wish to spend any more than 1 hour’s time hiking or go any further than 1 mile. It’s also a very rugged dirt path, so no strollers, plus you might want to bring some hiking poles.
      Good sunrise/sunset spots? That’s easy: anywhere on the canyon rim! For sunset, I’m fond of Grandview Point, which is ~5 miles East of Grand Canyon Village, but you’ll find it less crowded than Hopi Point and other popular overlooks. Yavapai Point and Mather Point are good for sunrise, and is fairly easy to reach on the Village Loop Shuttle, but you’ll find a lot of people at these overlooks.
      Good luck, safe travels, and have a Happy Holiday Season!
      Alley 🙂

  65. Emily says:

    Hey Ryan, thanks for the info. Would you know how much time I should allow for the lower antelope canyon tour? I’m reading they vary between 40 minutes to 1h15m in length, but does this include transportation time to and from Ken’s tour in Page?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Emily,
      Lower Antelope Canyon tours depart from the Tribal Park Entrance on US98. Time to safely allot for this activity, factoring in transportation time from and back to Page, AZ, is 90 minutes to 2 hours.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  66. Nathan says:

    Do you think the one day itinerary is a possibility as written with the starting point in Las Vagas and still fit in Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell and Horseshoe bend? Google maps has the drive time from Las Vegas listed as just over 4 hours but I was wondering if the real drive time taking into account a break would be different?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Nathan,
      Google Maps is something of a double-edged sword for those of us in the tourism industry, especially in this part of the U.S. Why? Because the figures given online rarely materialize “IRL.” The drive from Las Vegas to Page, realistically, takes ~5 hours, factoring in varying speed limits, road construction, etc. For first-time visitors, it usually ends up taking longer than that since the latter half of the trip is very scenic, and you’ll undoubtedly be stopping to take pictures. Popular photo ops along this route include, but aren’t limited to, the Virgin River Gorge, Quail Creek State Park, Pipe Springs National Monument, the town of Kanab, Utah, views of the Paria River Valley and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the Big Water Visitors Center and the “New” Wave.
      Another possible variation on the drive would be to make a detour through Zion National Park which, again, could lengthen your drive out to 6 hours or thereabouts. Whichever way you go, it’s definitely too nice a drive to rush!
      I don’t recall seeing when you were planning to visit, but if your trip is planned for sometime within the next few weeks, you’re also running up against shortening daylength. In November, sunrise occurs at about 7:00 AM, and sunset occurs at about 5:15 PM. If you’re visiting in spring, summer, or fall, you would have a couple more hours of daylight to work with, but you’d still be playing a game of “beat the clock” by trying to accomplish this itinerary as a day trip from Las Vegas. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to lack of ambient lighting on local roadways, plus the presence of deer, elk, coyotes, and other wildlife to raise the risk of an accident.
      In short, is this itinerary possible as a day trip from Las Vegas? Maybe, with some careful planning and the discipline to resist the temptation of the inevitable “wow, look at that!” moment. Is it practical or enjoyable? IMO, no. You’ll have a much better experience by staying overnight in Page, AZ.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  67. tatyana says:

    Hi Ryan,

    We are planning (2 people ) to be at Page AZ on November 24 2018 and would like to take a tour on November 25 (starting in the morning) include Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend from Page. Could you please let me know if you have a tour that day and how much is that tour.

    Thanks, Tatyana.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Tatyana,
      Unfortunately, there are no tours from Page, AZ that include both Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, but really, that’s not such a big deal.
      Before booking an Antelope Canyon tour, you need to decide whether you wish to tour Upper Antelope Canyon or Lower Antelope Canyon. In a nutshell, Upper is easy, 100 yards walk. Lower is longer (~600 yards), requires climbing a few ladders and navigating some boulders. Whichever you decide, advance reservations are required. How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon
      Horseshoe Bend can be toured at your leisure and/or convenience, using your own vehicle. If that does not appeal, or you encounter parking problems, you might consider a shuttle from Page, AZ offered by Horseshoe Bend Tours.
      Good luck and have fun,
      Alley 🙂

      • Debbie Ray says:

        We are taking a 8 day trip to Utah flying into Salt Lake City. We plan to spend 3 nights in Moah enjoying Arches/Canyonlands. Then two nights in Bryce seeing Capital Reef on the way to Bryce. Next we decided to drop down and see Horseshoe Bend , Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell. Here is where I need help?? Coming from Bryce should we try to see Horseshoe Bend first before Antelope Canyon. We have a tour starting at 3:30 of Upper Canyon. What about boat tour on Lake Powell? Enough time and how cold? We will spend one night in Page. (April 28). Need directions on how to see all three interest points the most efficient!!!How long is the drive from Bryce ? We will end our trip in Zion for two nights and drive back to SLC for late flight home. Do you think our plans seem doable for this beautiful area.?

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Debbie,
          Your trip looks well-planned, and not too rushed, which is a definite plus!
          The drive down from Bryce Canyon to Page, AZ, typically takes ~3 hours. If you get an early start out of Bryce, you might stop along the way to take the easy Paria Rimrocks/Toadstools Trail hike. I’d plan on hitting Horseshoe Bend at sunrise the next morning since the mid-day hours are just cray-cray out there. Early in the morning, you have fewer people to deal with. If you want to take part in a water-based activity, with your limited timeframe, I’d recommend a boat tour of the waterside of Antelope Canyon. These last about 90 minutes, and depart several times a day from Antelope Point Marina. To do anything longer, such as the Glen Canyon Float Trip or the Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour, you’d need another night in Page, AZ, since these last the better part of a day, but you really do need 2 days in Zion to do it justice.
          Hope that helps, I know it’s a hard choice what to keep in and what to leave out!
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  68. Becca says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Hope this thread is still valid. Any recommendations would be great thanks. We are flying into Vegas for a week mid April 2019. No accommodation booked just yet hoping to plan a route first. The places we would most like to see are Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe bend, Monument Valley and Sedona. And obviously Grand Canyon, probably South Rim. Would you have any recommendations on which way to do things? Was thinking of driving to AZ as soon as we land then having 4 days there and fininshing off with 3 days in Vegas. Also wondering wether to do Upper or Lower Antelope or both.

    Thank you

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Becca and thank you for visiting our site, and planning your vacation well in advance!
      Yes, this thread is still quite valid, and busy! Unfortunately, I’m going to have to start out with a bit of bad news: unless you can a. modify your trip plans for a 10-14 day holiday, or b. reduce your time in Las Vegas, I’d recommend dropping Sedona from your wish list. Why on Earth would I do that? Because Sedona, AZ is an amazing place with lots to see and do. You really need 3 days minimum in order to do it justice. Otherwise, you’ll be kicking yourself… or planning another vacation, one of the two LOL
      If you really want to finish your Arizona vacation with 3 days downtime in Las Vegas, you’ll also need to do further “trimming” of your itinerary.
      With 4 days to spend exploring Northern Arizona, you could manage:
      1 night – Grand Canyon South Rim
      1 night – Monument Valley
      1 night – Page, AZ (Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend)
      1 night – Zion National Park (lodging in Springdale, UT)
      Of course, that is only a suggested order in which to tour the main attractions in this area using Las Vegas as a staging city. You could also reverse the order quite easily if you find that Grand Canyon hotels are booked up for that first night. Grand Canyon lodging should be secured first, then Antelope Canyon tours, let the rest of your trip planning kind of ‘evolve’ around those two key elements.
      Depending on the time of year you’re planning to visit, and who you’re traveling with, you might skip Monument Valley and plan for 2 nights in Page, AZ so you can take part in the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip. This is a wonderful family activity that allows you to experience rafting on the Colorado River without going through any dangerous rapids. It is appropriate for kids as young as 4 years old.
      As for whether to tour both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, that is really not necessary in order to have a fulfilling visit to Page, AZ. Besides, as it stands, you really don’t have time. If you are physically up for touring Lower Antelope Canyon, stick with that. Whatever you decide, though be sure you book your Antelope Canyon tour well in advance of your arrival.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  69. Alex says:

    Hi Ryan!

    This page has been an excellent resource. I’m planning a trip to Page at the end of October. What’s the best place to be at sunset for an unforgettable view?

    Thanks,
    Alex

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Alex,
      Boy, this is a loaded question!
      There are plenty of great places from which to view sunset in Page, AZ. My personal favorite is the Wahweap Overlook on US89 just past the Glen Canyon Dam Bridge. Horseshoe Bend is also a popular spot for sunset, but in recent times, it’s become almost too popular, which has resulted in some serious parking issues. It’s better to hit this overlook for sunrise. Page’s Rim View Trail is also a good option, with an area known as “Potato Hill” being popular with both locals and visitors for sunset viewing. Note that the Rim View Trail offers views of Lake Powell, but no actual lake access.
      Now, if you don’t mind spending a little more time and a little more money for a knock-your-socks off view, you might consider doing a guided tour to Alstrom Point. While the tour won’t be there right at sunset, you’ll get there in time to enjoy the light and shadow play on the canyon walls as afternoon transitions to evening. For more information, visit our sister site, http://www.HorseshoeBend.com Alstrom Point Tours
      Wherever you go, be sure to bring a light jacket and a flashlight.
      Hope that helps!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  70. Denise says:

    Ryan- I am planning on taking my husband for a 2-3 day weekend road trip (we live in Scottsdale) to Antelope canyon ( cannot believe we have not been!) and i want to book him a photography tour. He does photography but I do not. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for something for me to do while he is on that tour? I believe it is about a 2 hour deal. Just thought you might have a cool idea of something I can do to pass the time but not something that he would miss out on 🙂 Keep in mind I have had 3 back surgeries so I, unfortunately, cannot do anything too physical.
    thanks.

    Denise

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Denise, and thank you for your inquiry.
      There are several things you might do nearby while your husband is on the photography tour. For example, you could head over to the Big Lake Trading Post and tour the Navajo Village Heritage Center right behind it. This is a small educational complex where people can learn about the traditional Navajo way of life, including a homesite tour, demonstrations of weaving and/or hoop dancing, and cultural presentations highlighting oral traditions, storytelling, history, etc. If you like Native crafts such as Navajo rugs, silver jewelry, Kachina dolls, and pottery, the Big Lake Trading Post has a nice selection of these.
      You could also drive the short distance from Antelope Canyon to the Antelope Point Marina complex. There, you could tour the visitor center or just hang out down by the water. There is a long downhill walk from the parking lot to the marina (and an equally long uphill walk back to the parking lot), but workers are usually buzzing around on golf carts. One of them could probably give you a lift down – for a little “financial consideration” (aka a tip LOL), of course.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  71. Alex says:

    Hi,

    My husband and I (in our 20s) will be traveling to Sedona in November. We will visit for 5 days (4 nights). We would like to visit the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon on the same day. Is this doable and or recommended? Any suggestions for what is possible in 5 days would be greatly appreciated. We are up for trying anything.

    Thank you for your help!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Alex and thank you for your inquiry.
      I would not advise trying to hit Antelope Canyon and Grand Canyon South Rim in one day, especially in November, since your days are getting shorter (sunrise is at 7:00 AM, sunset is at 5:15 PM). Driving distances are also an important consideration: it takes ~2.5 hours to drive from Sedona to Grand Canyon South Rim, 2.5 hours to drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, then 3 hours to drive from Page to Sedona. However, those figures are for direct drives, which means wheels turning, no stops. That’s unlikely to happen on either leg since the trip is very scenic and you’ll no doubt find yourself stopping to take pictures.
      Assuming that you’re locked into those 4 hotel nights in Sedona, I’d recommend touring these attractions on 2 separate days. On your Grand Canyon day, enter the park via the East gate, then exit via the South gate, or vice versa. The East Rim/Desert View Drive has over half a dozen named viewpoints of the Grand Canyon, all with different features and perspectives. The East Rim detour will add another 60-90 minutes onto your drive time from Sedona. Time your trip so that you are not doing any driving in the dark. Roads are very poorly lit out here, plus deer, elk and other wildlife tend to be nocturnal, which poses another hazard.

      The trip to Page, AZ takes ~3 hours, each way. Hit Horseshoe Bend on your way into town, then tour Antelope Canyon. Be sure to book your Antelope Canyon Tour in advance of your arrival.
      If you’re not already committed financially to the 4-night Sedona stay, I would recommend changing your arrangements so that you can overnight in Grand Canyon and Page. That would save you a lot of time behind the wheel, and free up more time for sightseeing and relaxing.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  72. Phuong says:

    Hi,
    My friend and I are flying into Phoenix for a conference and we only have a full day off on the arrival day end of Sept. we won’t get in until 10 or 1030, and picking up a rental car prolly take another hr or more. We really wanted to see Horseshoe Bend and Antelope. Do you think it is possible to do all that on the same day? I know we are really pushing it, but hoping with some great advice and itinerary from expertise like you would help us make it possible. Anything would help. Thank you in advance.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Phuong,
      As the old saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
      While one day is not ideal for visiting Page from Phoenix, it can be done with a willingness to get an early start, and spend a lot of time behind the wheel.
      It takes approximately 4.5 hours to drive from Phoenix to Page, but that figure is one for “wheels turning, no stops.” That rarely happens as the drive is very scenic and there will no doubt be sights that pique your curiosity and necessitate a photo stop. So, realistically, it can take you up to 6 hours. That’s why I strongly recommend setting out as early in the morning as you possibly can so you can maximize your time in Page. Sunrise in late September occurs at about 6:15 AM.
      The Horseshoe Bend Overlook is located just South of Page, AZ at mile marker 545. It is well-signed and easy to find, plus it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, therefore, you may visit it whenever you wish. Allow 60-90 minutes to visit and enjoy this landmark.
      Antelope Canyon is the part that’s going to require planning ahead. A guided tour is required to visit Antelope Canyon, and they are often booked up weeks, sometimes months in advance. Lower Antelope Canyon is the more physical of the two, involving some stair climbing and simple boulder navigation. Upper Antelope is much shorter, and easier. How To Book A Tour Of Antelope Canyon Touring Antelope Canyon will take anywhere from 2-3 hours depending on which branch of the canyon you choose to tour.
      Sunset in late September occurs at about 6:15 PM, and you’ll want to time your drive so that you’re not driving in the dark. Try to finish up your sightseeing in Page, AZ by 2:00 PM at the very latest.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  73. Denine says:

    Hello Ryan, this page was very helpful. My mother and I will be visiting Vegas first week in August. We arrive in Vegas on August 5th plan to drive to the South Rim early Tuesday morning and then drive t Page AZ. We plan to book a tour for Wednesday to see Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. After the tour drive to Sedona spend all day Thursday before driving back to Vegas on Friday for our late night flight back to Philly.

    What do you think?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Denine,
      What do I think? I think you’re trying to cram too many destinations into too short a short trip.
      The drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim takes approximately 4.5 hours. Then, the drive to Page will take another 3-3.5 hours. I know Google Maps gives the drive time as 2.5 hours, but that’s wheels turning, no stops. There are a lot of scenic overlooks and other points of interest that will no doubt pique your curiosity. It would be a shame to pass them by because you’re pressed for time. Normally, I would recommend overnighting at Grand Canyon South Rim, then driving to Page the following morning, but then again, you’d be doing another long drive the following day: 3-3.5 hours from GC to Page, then from Page to Sedona takes ~3 hours. The next day, you’re proposing to do yet another long drive – about 5 hours – back to Las Vegas.
      Another thing, too, Sedona is the kind of destination that really needs at least 3 days to do justice to, but 2 can suffice if you’re determined. Try to free up one more night to pull this all off. If you can’t, I recommend skipping Sedona this time around. Spend 1 night at the Grand Canyon, 1 night in Page, then take a leisurely drive back to Las Vegas via Lees Ferry, Marble Canyon, Jacob Lake and the Virgin River Gorge.
      No matter what you decide to do, be sure to book all hotels, Antelope Canyon tours and other scheduled activities in advance of your arrival.
      Best wishes for safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  74. ina says:

    Hey Ryan, i need some help planning my trip.
    I fly into Phoenix AZ AT 10AM on friday. I was planning on renting a car and driving 4 hrs up to Horseshoe bend and Antelope Canyon. I think i might arrive to either location around 3pm on Friday. Do you recommend me doing Horseshoe bend on Friday and then visit the antelope canyon the next day in the morning? Or i could still have time to visit both? How long does each one last? and do you recommend visiting the antelope canyon by boat or just regular?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Ina,
      If you mean that you’re planning on flying into Phoenix THIS Friday, then theoretically, you could do Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend IF your flight arrives on time, and your rental car pick-up goes smoothly. Unfortunately, in reality, those things rarely happen. Plus there’s the matter of traffic on I-17, which is always crazy. The main thing to consider, though, is that the drive from Phoenix to Page rarely takes the 4-4.5 hours you’ll see given as the timeframe on Google Maps. There are many scenic views, historic markers and photo opportunities that will no doubt pique your interest, not to mention the inevitable bathroom break. So don’t be surprised if you find that the trip ends up taking more like 6-6.5 hours.
      Visiting Horseshoe Bend on your way into Page is easy enough to do since it’s only 5 miles South of town. If you find the overlook too congested, or simply are too tired to deal with it on your arrival day, just check into your hotel, plan to make it an early morning the next day, and visit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise. Cooler temperatures and fewer people make a morning visit to this iconic overlook a much more pleasant experience. Then schedule your Antelope Canyon tour for whenever you can find availability. On that subject, we recommend prioritizing a landside (walking) tour of Antelope Canyon over a boat tour. The landside tours offer the “iconic” slot canyon scenery you’re probably expecting to see. The Antelope Canyon boat tours are cool, but should be considered kind of a “bonus” activity to help you appreciate the true complexity of the Antelope Canyon drainage as it relates to Lake Powell and the Colorado River as a whole. Advance reservations are a must for Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon.
      Hope that helps — enjoy your visit to Page, AZ!
      Alley 🙂
      P.S. For other valuable tips and travel planning information, visit our sister site, http://www.HorseshoeBend.com

  75. Bonnie says:

    Hi Ryan:
    Trying to use your 1-Day Itinerary for Page, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend. We would be driving from Williams that morning. Should we still follow that itinerary..this is very helpful. Any thoughts on whether to do Upper or Lower because of 1 day? Lunch still at that Marina?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Bonnie and thank you for visiting us!
      Not knowing where you’re headed after Page, AZ, I’m kind of “flying blind” as to recommending an itinerary, but, the main point is that you don’t have to follow it EXACTLY in order to make it work.
      For one, I’m assuming that you’ll have already been to the Grand Canyon. It takes approximately 3 hours to drive from Williams to Page, AZ via Flagstaff (the most direct route). Recommend a stop at the Cameron Trading Post at the junction of AZ64 and US89 for at least a leg stretch/bathroom break/a little souvenir shopping; if you’re hungry, it makes for a good stop for “brunch.” The Navajo tacos are amazing! TIP: unless you’re CRAZY hungry, get the “mini.” The so-called “regular” is HUGE.
      Since the Horseshoe Bend Overlook is just 5 miles South of Page, AZ, it is most convenient to hit it on your way into town, however, expect it to be crowded. Mid-day hours (between 10 AM and 3 PM) seem to be the worst as that’s when tour bus and day trip traffic is rolling in from outlying areas. In the summer months, it will also be really hot at that time of day since the overlook is almost completely exposed save for a couple of small shade pavilions. If you happen to be spending the night in Page, AZ, you might save that activity for first thing in the morning, as in, right after sunrise. That’s when crowds tend to be thinnest, and temperatures coolest.
      As for Upper vs. Lower Antelope Canyon, it takes a little bit longer to explore Lower, but not by so much as to warrant going to Upper in order to save time. If you’re physically up for doing Lower Antelope Canyon, I’d recommend sticking with it. Whatever you decide, be sure to make your Antelope Canyon tour reservations in advance. Then, if you’re inclined, go to Antelope Marina, if not for a meal, then to do a little exploring or maybe take a short boat tour into the waterside of Antelope Canyon. Just remember that Antelope Point Marina is located within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, so you’ll have to pay a $25/vehicle entrance fee. If you’d prefer not to spend that kind of $ for a short visit, other activities you might consider should you have more time include, but are not limited to, the Navajo Village Heritage Center (at the corner of US98 & Coppermine Road), the John Wesley Powell Memorial Museum, a short hike to the “New” Wave and Radio Tower Rock, or tour the Glen Canyon Dam.
      Hope that helps! For other great travel tips and information on local attractions, visit our sister sites http://www.HorseshoeBend.com and http://www.TheWaveAZ.com
      Hope that helps! Best wishes for safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Bonnie Jenkins says:

        Thanks for update. I should have included this: We are renting a house for 6 nights 20 miles from Flagstaff. We are young 60 year olds. We decided on lower Antelope Canyon. So, you mentioned a 1 hour boat ride and I was trying to find that to book that. recommended tour. In any event, it would be a 1 day up to Page, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and back to house,. Here is what we have planned so far:
        Day #1, Arrive Phoenix Airport, noon. take in:
        • Montezuma Castle first and then
        • Montezuma Well (take the ½ mile trail)
        • Tuzigoot National Monument
        • Head to Jerome to house
        Day #2 Sedona. Reservation: 11 a.m. 1.Palatki Heritage Site, Honanki, Catherdral Rock, Chapel of the Holy Cross, Bell Rock, Devil’s Bridge Trail, then head back to house. Any thoughts on Day #2.
        Day #3: Take train from Williams into Canyon, arrive 11:30 and plan itinerary for the 4 hrs. since train departs at 3:30. Would that be a good “Overlook day or a hike day?” Do we need another full day in Canyon for Day #4?. Day #5, Our next Day we were trying to decide between Walnu Canyon National Monument, Wupatki Monument and Sunset Crater or do a day trip to Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, Homolovi Runs and Meteor Crater? Then we were planning to spend Day 6 going your way to Horseshoe Bend, Lower Canyon, Page. I was trying to have you help us plan Day #6, knowing we don’t mind getting up early and hitting the road, no small children to worry with. Thanks for all your help,. Bonnie

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi again, Bonnie!
          Thanks for the clarification on your plans.
          Your itinerary looks pretty fun, the only part I’d rethink or just get totally clear on is Day #3 when you plan to take the Grand Canyon Railway. You should be aware that you won’t actually see the Grand Canyon from the train. You’ll see it when you get to the park and get off the train. Also, the train is pulled by a ’50’s era diesel engine, which won’t break any speed records getting there: the train takes ~2.5 hours to make a trip that would just take you one hour (Williams-GC) by car. The train will drop you off at Grand Canyon Village, which will give you easy access to the paved Rim Trail, and the old buildings in the Village Historic District. You only have about 3 hours and change to work with (they want you to be ready to board at 3:00 PM), so you don’t have much time to do any real hiking. Don’t get me wrong, the Grand Canyon Railway is fun, but it’s more of an “Old West Historic” experience than a scenic ride. In fact, my old boss says it’s a hoot to ride the Observation Dome up, then the Luxury Parlor Car on the way back. The main thing is to be sure you have all the facts at hand before you hand over your credit card.
          Long story short, if you want to do some inner canyon hiking, you’ll need to a. set aside another day to go the Grand Canyon, or b. ’86 the train and use that day for it.
          For Day #5 — and here’s where I’m presuming — I’d concentrate on the attractions nearer to Flagstaff, AZ instead of Petrified Forest, Meteor Crater, etc. During the summer, the latter parks are VERY hot since they’re almost completely exposed to the sun. Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater and Wupatki, by virtue of being up at 6,000′ above sea level, tend to be a bit cooler and offer more shade. If you’re traveling during the cooler parts of the year, then a trip to Petrified Forest, Painted Desert and Meteor Crater will be more comfortable.
          On Day 6, if you get an early enough start from your rental home, plan to hit Horseshoe Bend on your way into town. The hours between sunrise and 9:00 AM tend to be cooler and less crowded. Once the tour buses start rolling in between 10 AM and 4 PM, it’s crazy. Book your Lower Antelope Canyon tour wherever you can find availability during the day, then schedule the Antelope Canyon Boat Tour around that.
          One more thing, your plan for Day #2 might be a little too ambitious. Devil’s Bridge, for example is nearly 5 miles round-trip from what I understand, I haven’t been there personally, but for sound advice on how to plan a day in Sedona, go to http://www.VisitSedona.com
          Hope that helps. Have a great time!
          Alley 🙂

  76. april azarian says:

    What month is the best to visit Antelope Canyon?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi April!
      By and large, early- to mid-October is the favorite time of year for those of us who have spent any length of time in Northern Arizona, which includes me (20+ years) 🙂
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley Keosheyan

  77. Lydia says:

    Hi Ryan & Alley,

    I have relatives from Italy who will be in Canada in August and have expressed an interest in visiting Arizona. They want to visit Aug 6 – 11 and want to see Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon Skywalk / Grand Canyon area. I’m trying to determine the best itinerary for them as well as the best airport to fly into…Las Vegas or Phoenix. I’d love your help.

    Thanks a bunch.

    Lydia

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Lydia and thank you for your inquiry!
      The first thing I feel the need to point out is the difference between the Grand Canyon Skywalk/Grand Canyon West and Grand Canyon National Park. They are in fact two very distinct and separate areas, and not necessarily conducive to including in a single drive. Grand Canyon West, where the Skywalk is located, is a Native American Tribal Park about 2.5 hours drive (one-way) from Las Vegas. There are no hotels in the immediate vicinity of the Tribal Park save for a handful of cabins at Grand Canyon Ranch; your next best option would then be in Kingman, AZ, about 90 minutes away.
      Before you plan on visiting Grand Canyon West, however, you should first prioritize Grand Canyon South Rim, the National Park, which is where the best views of the Grand Canyon can be had. These are the “picture postcard” views you’re expecting to see. Grand Canyon South Rim is ~4.5 hours drive, one way, from Las Vegas. An overnight stay, two if you can manage it, is sufficient to enjoy the park to the fullest.
      From there, Monument Valley is approximately a 3-4 hour drive; Page/Lake Powell is about 2 hours from Monument Valley. From Page, the return trip to Las Vegas is ~4.5 hours, or you could also make a stop in Zion National Park for a night or two.
      As you have probably deduced, I’d recommend Las Vegas as your “staging city” to fly them into and out of.
      Hope that helps. Best wishes for safe travels to you all,
      Alley 🙂

  78. Telynn says:

    Hey Ryan,
    We are leaving Vegas very early on June 11 and driving to see the GC, then to Horseshoe Bend and ending the day with a tour into Lower Antelope Canyon. We plan to stay in Page overnight before continuing on to our next adventure Yellowstone). What would be the best part of the Grand Canyon for us to visit before coming to Page? It will be our first trip to the GC and Page area.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Telynn,
      For first-time visitors to the Grand Canyon, we recommend the South Rim since there are more visitor facilities and a larger area of the Grand Canyon that is easily accessible to vehicular traffic. It takes approximately 4.5 hours to drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim, then 3.5-4 hours to drive from the South Rim to Page (factoring in stops). Advance reservations for all lodging and Antelope Canyon Tours are a must.
      It then takes about 11 hours to drive to Yellowstone from Page, AZ, so you might want to break up the drive in Salt Lake City, UT or Idaho Falls, ID.
      Best wishes for safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  79. Craig Budde says:

    Hi Ryan and Alley –

    I’ve learned a lot by reading your suggestions! Would you be able to suggest an itinerary for 2 days (including all driving time round trip)? Three (3) people leaving early morning from North Phoenix – we are first timers and would like to tour Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and the Grand Canyon (in whatever order makes the most sense and staying at a cheap hotel one night maybe in Page). Also, any ideas on how to best experience the Grand Canyon, for example is there a partial hike in/out? Or a key spot part way in? Thanks!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Dear Craig,
      Frankly, you’re not allowing enough time to do this itinerary justice. It takes approximately 4.5 hours to drive from Phoenix to either Grand Canyon or Page. Then, it takes another 3.5-4 hours to drive from Page to the Grand Canyon or vice versa. I know that Google maps gives the drive time from GC to Page as 2.5 hours, but that rarely happens because there are so many viewpoints and other stops you’ll invariably end up making. You need to stay one night in Grand Canyon and 1 night in Page in order to experience enough “quality time” in both destinations, especially if you want to do any hiking in Grand Canyon. Otherwise, you’ll need to “sacrifice” one park as a “drive-by.”
      As for “cheap” hotels, you probably won’t find any at this time of year. Even Motel 6 is going for $150+ per night right now. Spring-summer-fall are considered “peak” season and hotel rates will rise accordingly. If you’re looking to save money on your lodging costs, you might consider traveling in the wintertime. Yes, it’s cold, but most area attractions are open, and hotel rates drop considerably.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Craig Budde says:

        Thanks Alley – we’ve settled on PHX direct to Antelope Canyon for a tour and then to Horseshoe Bend for late afternoon / sunset photos. Then a drive down to the GC for a one night stay with a hike next morning on South Kaibab Trail to Ooh Aah Point and Cedar Ridge, lunch at El Tovar and then drive back to PHX. A full 2 days for sure but we have limited time and are accustomed to the AZ driving. Thanks!

  80. Teresa says:

    Hi Ryan!
    So I’m planning on getting into Page in the afternoon on a Friday, and leaving Saturday late afternoon to head to Monument Valley. I already have both an upper and lower tour scheduled. Do you think also doing Canyon X will have us canyon-ed out? lol. Would it even be worth it to do all 3 or will upper and lower suffice. Also trying to decide if we have time to fit in horseshoe bend and a boat tour too. What do you think?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Teresa,
      You are correct in that adding Antelope Canyon X to your already “well-slotted” itinerary would end up being somewhat redundant for you. In fact, we’ll take it a step further and suggest you narrow it down to one slot canyon. If you’re physically up for doing X or Lower, choose one of those. That will free up more time for you to enjoy more of what Page, AZ has to offer, including Horseshoe Bend and perhaps a boat tour. Re: the latter, a boat tour or kayak tour of Antelope Canyon’s waterside will allow you to more fully appreciate Antelope Canyon’s length and complexity as it shows you where the creek empties into Lake Powell.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  81. Dianna says:

    Hello,
    Me and my husband are planning a trip to Antelope Canyon, Horse shoe bend and a lake around there . We have all day Friday and Saturday and we would leave on Sunday. I love the 1 day itinerary you’ve put up but I was wondering should we add more stops (lakes, food, hikes ext.) and spread out the 3 ( Antelope Canyon, Horse shoe bend, and the lake tour) over the course of Friday and Sat or should we keep it as one day and spend one of the other days full of other tours.

    My thoughts were that we would head out Friday morning do the one day intinerary you have posted then Sat we could do more exploring (any recommendations for Sat?) and Sunday morning we head back .

    Does this sound good? If so any recommendations for Sat and if not what would your ideal itinerary be?

    Thank you!

  82. Lena says:

    Hi, thank you for this great itinerary. Do you think there’s enough time to drive from the GC, see the sites in Page, then drive to Monument Valley all within the same day?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Lena,
      It depends on the time of year you’re visiting. In the late spring through fall months, for example, daylengths are longer, so theoretically, with an early start, you could drive from GC to Page, hit Horseshoe Bend, tour Antelope Canyon, then drive on to Monument Valley. In reality, however, we don’t recommend it.
      First off, the drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page is ~140 miles. Driving direct, you could make the trip in about 2.5 hours, but that rarely happens, because there’s so much to see on the way that you’ll invariably end up making more stops than you plan for. There are over half a dozen Grand Canyon viewpoints you can visit prior to exiting the park on its Eastern border. After that, there are points of interest on Navajo Indian Land that will no doubt pique your curiosity and warrant a photo stop. The Cameron Trading Post at the junction of AZ64 and US89 is a ‘don’t miss.’ As you head North on US89 toward Page, views of the Painted Desert and Echo Cliffs are worth your time, too. So, after all’s said and done (and photographed), don’t be surprised if you find it has taken you upwards of 4 hours to make a drive that normally would take only a couple of hours and change.
      Once in Page, you should then allow 60-90 minutes to visit Horseshoe Bend, then another 2 hours to tour Antelope Canyon, then you’re facing a 2 hour drive to Monument Valley.
      If you absolutely have no choice but to do it this way, you can pull it off, but if your vacation plans still have room for modification, we would strongly recommend overnighting in Page, AZ, then heading to Monument Valley the next morning.
      Hope that helps.
      Best wishes for safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      • Natalie says:

        Hi There,
        I wish to round up a various group of friends(10-12) to reconnect with personally, not through electronic devices. Most in their 40’s. I was hoping to plan a day trip for us, due to personal/work restraints.
        Do you have any recommendations for a group hike and/or picnic area that would help us reconnect and make the most of our limited time? Coming from Phoenix. Planning Miss June/August. I know it will be hot, but wanted advice.

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Natalie –
          Great question, and I have what will hopefully be a great answer: Shoshone Point at Grand Canyon South Rim. This is a Grand Canyon viewpoint that offers not only a beautiful view, but a private day-use picnic area and pavillion. IIRC, it’s also fairly well-shaded. You do have to reserve it with the National Park Service in advance of your arrival, and it may be booked already, so apologies if it is. There is a nominal fee required as well. Click here for more information on Shoshone Point If Shoshone Point doesn’t work out, you might consider one of a handful of private banquet rooms inside Grand Canyon Village
          Another idea: Shash Dine Eco Retreat in Page, AZ (near Lake Powell). If you truly want to unplug and get back to Nature, this unique place (billed as a “glamping bed and breakfast”) on Navajo Indian Land might suit you quite nicely. Shash Dine Eco Retreat
          I hope that helps. Please don’t hesitate to contact us again if we can throw more suggestions out there.
          Alley 🙂

  83. JD says:

    Hi there, hoping to get some advice on how to best schedule an itinerary from Sedona to the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon. I have a 5-day itinerary (end of May) and wondered about Days 2 and 3:

    Day 1: Fly into Phoenix and drive to Sedona. Afternoon and overnight here.
    Day 2: Drive to the Grand Canyon early morning and spend half a day. Drive to Page for the afternoon and try to see Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe bend. Stay overnight in Page.
    Day 3: Perhaps do a Lake Powell excursion or hike surrounding area in the morning if it isn’t too rushed. Drive back to Sedona mid-afternoon. Stay overnight in Sedona.
    Day 4: Sedona all day. Overnight here.
    Day 5: Drive back to Phoenix for my flight out.

    Alternatively, wondering if I should drive to Page from Sedona on Day 2 and try to get in Antelope canyon and Horseshoe bend. Then drive from Page to the Grand Canyon for sunset, overnight, and sunrise. Spend about half the day here before driving back to Sedona for the afternoon and the rest of the day.

    Would appreciate your thoughts.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi JD and thank you for your question.
      We never recommend trying to cram the drive from Sedona to Grand Canyon then Grand Canyon to Page in a single day. The trip from Sedona to GC takes ~2.5 hours; the drive to Page from GC theoretically takes 2.5 hours as well, but that figure rarely materializes since there is so much to see on the drive from GC to Page. A more realistic figure is ~4 hours.
      Instead of splitting up your visit to Sedona as you have proposed, I would recommend this:
      Day 1: fly into Phoenix (hopefully sometime in the morning?) and drive to Page, AZ, about a 4.5 hour drive. Overnight in Page
      Day 2: Tour Antelope Canyon first thing in the morning, then hit Horseshoe Bend on the way out of town as you make your way to Grand Canyon South Rim. Stay overnight at the Grand Canyon.
      Day 3: Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Sedona, maybe stopping in Flagstaff en route, overnight in Sedona.
      Day 4: Activities in Sedona, such as Pink Jeep Tours, Chapel of the Holy Cross, Airport Mesa, some hiking, stay in Sedona a 2nd night.
      Day 5: Drive from Sedona back to Phoenix (~2 hours drive) for your flight out.
      I think that would make for a much more relaxed and pleasant experience for you. Hope that helps. Be sure to make your hotel and tour reservations well in advance of your arrival.
      Alley 🙂

  84. Peter says:

    Hey Ryan
    My wife and I are planning a trip to Page. We can fly into either Las Vegas or Phoenix. We’re planning on staying for a week. Is there enough there to do for that length of time. We’re planning on going to Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend and doing some kayaking. We’ve already been to the Canyon, Bryce, Zion and Lake Powell. What else is there to do?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Peter and thank you for visiting our site!
      With one week to work with, you can certainly experience some other sites besides the ones you’ve already been to. Moab, Utah, for example, offers enough to do to warrant 3 days of your time. You might also consider spending some time in Sedona, AZ. If you like hiking, you may want to try for a walk-in permit to The Wave. Only 10 permits per day are given out in this manner the day prior to when you wish to hike, but you certainly seem to have the time to spare, and if you get lucky, you won’t regret it.
      Have fun and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  85. Toni says:

    Hi there,
    I live in Mesa and am planning a trip for may 4-8th to page. Unlike most people on here I would like to camp. I was wondering about a place to make base camp and then from there go to all the different places. There will be a group of us of about 8. Definitely want to do Horshoe Bend and a canyon tour. I have been reading on canyon X and secret canyon and then a few others that are three canyons on the same tour. Then the rest is up in the air. Possibley kayaking at Lake Powell. Can you please make suggestions on camping and then possible itenerary for our time frame and maybe some additional suggestions. We would like to see as much as possible in that time in that area and along the way but without being rushed.
    Thank you so much!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Toni and thanks for this excellent question!
      I’m assuming that by “camp,” you mean tent camp and not RV camping. Fortunately, there are several options for tent and RV camping in the Page/Lake Powell area. The Wahweap/Lake Powell Resort campground is the nicest, IMO, since it’s within walking distance of Lake Powell, has a nice view, and offers easy access to the dining outlets and other activities. Lone Rock Campground is also right on the lake, but restaurants and stores are further away. Page/Lake Powell Campground is located in Page itself; the views aren’t that great, but it’s just minutes away from Antelope Canyon, Antelope Point Marina and all the conveniences of the town.
      While you’re here, you should also plan on visiting Horseshoe Bend Overlook, the Glen Canyon Dam Visitors Center (maybe take a tour), then do a couple of day hikes in the area. Be sure to plan for some “unscheduled” time to just relax, unwind and discover.
      For more good information and tips, be sure to visit our sister site, http://www.HorseshoeBend.com
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  86. Erin W says:

    Hi Ryan!

    Couple questions. I will be departing las Vegas on 4/27 and have two nights stay in Page, AZ. Is there anything you can recommend we can see on our drive from Vegas to Page on 4/27? Is stopping at Zion or Bryce too ambitious?

    We plan to do an antelope canyon tour and leaning towards the lower canyon. What the best time to visit ? Any recommendations on a tour company?

    Lastly, are there any boat tours for Lake Powell?

    Thank you!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Erin and thank you for visiting our site!
      Normally, the drive from Las Vegas to Page takes ~4.5 hours. Detouring through Zion is feasible, but will add some time to your drive, especially in light of recent news about the park’s overcrowding problem. I wouldn’t recommend detouring all the way to Bryce, that will turn a 4.5 hour drive into an 8 hour one easily. Unless you can add another night to your vacation, or change your plans to spend one night at Zion and one in Page, I’d stick with your original plan.
      Regarding Lower Antelope Canyon, mid-day is generally regarded as the best time to visit, but those are also the first time slots to sell out. Take whatever time slot appeals to you and/or is available. There really is no such thing as a bad time to visit. How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon
      Lake Powell Boat Tours start running regularly on 4/15, so you should have your pick of the full range of offerings. Rainbow Bridge is a pretty much a full day undertaking; shorter tours, such as the Canyon Princess Dinner Cruise or the Canyon Adventure Tour are also fulfilling.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  87. Navish says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for the excellent 1 day itinerary suggestion.
    We were planning to do the South Kaibab Trail head upto Cedar Point in South GC and then drive up to Page. I reckon we would be there by 3 or maybe 4:30 and probably take the 3:30 or 5 oclock boat tour; then go to horseshoe bend for sunset perhaps?
    Would this be feasible? Also, is it rather recommended to do the boat tour in the morning or any time of the day is good? Our travel dates are 28th April – 29th April for the above.

    Thanks!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Navish, and thank you for visiting.
      You may want to rethink your plan a bit.
      Driving up to Page after doing the hike to Cedar Ridge may not be the best plan. The hike to Cedar Ridge takes anywhere from 3-4 hours round-trip, and keep in mind, the latter half of the hike, you’ll be going uphill on a very steep trail, not to mention managing the logistics of having to take the hiker’s shuttle to the trailhead and back to your vehicle. Then you’re proposing to make a 3+ hour drive, make the walk to Horseshoe Bend (which is nothing compared to the South Kaibab Trail, but still will take a couple hours of your time), then do a 2+ boat tour? Honestly, I don’t think this will happen.
      Depending on your fitness level, and how accustomed you are to uphill hiking, after you complete the trip to Cedar Ridge, you may not be in any mood to do anything other than go back to your hotel room and sleep. I’d recommend staying at the South Rim, then making the drive the Page, AZ the next morning. The drive to Page takes 2.5 hours going direct, but that rarely happens since there is a lot to see en route, including the Grand Canyon viewpoints along the East Rim/Desert View Drive, the Little Colorado River Overlook, the Cameron Trading Post, roadside kiosks where the Navajo Tribe sell their jewelry and other wares, just to name a few. Horseshoe Bend is then located just South of Page, so you can easily stop there on your way into town. Spend the night in Page, AZ, then do your boat tour the following day. Plan on touring Antelope Canyon as well.
      Hope that helps!
      Take care and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Pavani says:

        Hi Ryan, Thank you for your post!! I had a few questions. We have 1.5 days in Page. I would like to cover both the upper and lower canyon, the Horse-shoe bend as well as a tour of the lake/or some lake activities. How do you think I should go about scheduling my 1.5 days to accommodate all of these activities? Thanks for your help, much appreciated!!

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Pavani and thank you for visiting our site.
          Ryan is out of the office at the moment, but I am able to help you!
          How you schedule your time in Page, AZ kind of depends on where you’re coming from beforehand, and where you’re heading afterward. If you’re coming to Page, AZ from Grand Canyon South Rim, Flagstaff or points South, for example, you could hit Horseshoe Bend on the drive into town quite easily as the overlook is located just South of Page, AZ at Mile Marker 545 of US89. If you’re heading to Grand Canyon South Rim or points South after your visit to Page, you could likewise stop by Horseshoe Bend Overlook on your way out of town.
          The following day, you could then tour Antelope Canyon, but that might not wouldn’t leave you sufficient time for a boat tour. Honestly, it’s not necessary to tour both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon in order to have a fulfilling visit to the area. If you’re physically up for doing Lower Antelope Canyon, then stick with that, then that will free up time for a boat tour. How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon
          As for which Lake Powell Boat Tour you do, that depends on what you want to accomplish. For example, if you wish to see Rainbow Bridge, you’ll need the better part of a day since that tour can last anywhere from 6-7 hours depending on the water level of Lake Powell. The order in which you do your Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell Tours also depends on several factors, such as the time of year you’re visiting, tour availability and whether you can get hotel accommodations in Page, AZ for 2 nights. If you’ll only be staying in Page for one night, then a shorter boat tour will be necessary, such as the Canyon Princess Dinner Cruise, Canyon Adventure Cruise or Antelope Canyon Waterside Tour from Antelope Point Marina.
          Hope that helps and that you enjoy your visit!
          Alley 🙂

  88. Leo Zabala says:

    Hi Ryan,
    My wife and my two daughters are planning to take a long drive from San Diego California starting April 19, Thursday through April 22, Sunday. We hope to visit Lower Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend during the dates I mentioned with Sunday reserved for our travel back to San Diego. Can you advise us of a viable itinerary? Thanks
    Leo

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Leo and thank you for visiting. Ryan is out of the office at the moment, but having lived in the area for many years — and made the drive from San Diego many times! — I can help you.
      First of all, if you’ve never visited the Grand Canyon, I definitely recommend you do so. It takes approximately 8.5-9 hours to drive over from San Diego, so after that long 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
      On Friday the 20th, plan to get up early and spend that morning doing some sightseeing in the immediate vicinity of Grand Canyon Park Village, such as walking the easy, paved Rim Trail, and taking the shuttle out to some of the viewpoints on the Hermit’s Rest/West Rim Drive. Later that afternoon, start heading toward Page, AZ. The drive takes approximately 2.5 hours going direct, but that rarely happens, because there’s a lot to see along the way, including the Grand Canyon Viewpoints along the East Rim/Desert View Drive, the Little Colorado River Overlook, the Cameron Trading Post and kiosks where Navajo Tribe members sell jewelry and other wares. Since the Horseshoe Bend Overlook is located just South of Page, AZ on US89, you can easily hit it on your way into town. Realistically, you could spend 4 hours making the drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page. Just be sure you time it so that you’re arriving before sunset (7:00 PM). Driving in the dark is discouraged due to the lack of supplemental lighting on local roadways, and the chances of encountering deer, elk and other nocturnal wildlife.
      Saturday, April 21st, plan on touring Antelope Canyon, then maybe doing another activity such as the Glen Canyon Half-Day Float Trip or a Lake Powell Boat Tour.
      Sunday, April 22nd, make the drive back to San Diego, which takes 9+ hours. If you can add another day to your trip, you might break up the drive by overnighting in Las Vegas.
      Be sure you book your Page, AZ hotel reservations and Antelope Canyon Tour in advance.

      Hope that helps — enjoy your visit!
      Alley 🙂
      P.S. If after doing all that driving, you’d rather just stay out of your car for a couple days, you can do that AND still work Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and the Glen Canyon Float Trip into your itinerary. Spend 2 nights at Grand Canyon South Rim, and take the Scenic Canyon River Adventure Tour on your 2nd full day there.

  89. Stephen says:

    Hi Ryan and Alley,

    I will be flying into Phoenix, Arizona later this month, arriving at around 11:30am on a Friday. I’ve read lots of great stuff about Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Zion Park. Unfortunately I will be very short on time and need to end up in Las Vegas by Saturday night. I’m really looking for some help with putting together a little itinerary. Want to make sure that that the places I do visit are done at a good time of day, and that I don’t get stuck out on the roads after dusk. Thanks!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Stephen and thank you for your question.
      Before you commit to flying into Phoenix and out of Las Vegas, you might want to verify rental car drop-off fees. Due to the distance between cities and general remote nature of this part of the US, many rental car outlets charge pretty high fees for dropping a vehicle anywhere other than where you picked it up.
      Whether you decide to go ahead with this plan, or fly into and out of Phoenix, you’ll still be very limited on what you can accomplish in a reasonable amount of time.
      Not sure if you’re flying in from overseas and having to go through customs, but assuming you’re not, and that your flight lands on time, you should still plan to spend another 60-90 minutes at the airport to claim your bags and pick up your rental car. That would put you on the road at roughly 1:00 PM. Stop at In-N-Out Burger just North of Phoenix and grab some lunch, then continue toward Grand Canyon South Rim. The drive from Phoenix to GC takes about 4.5 hours going the most direct route, but factoring in stops for meals, restrooms, things that catch your eye, etc., you could easily extend that to 5.5 hours. That would put you at Grand Canyon South Rim at about 6:30 PM, which happens to be just before sunset. Recommend you make lodging reservations at Grand Canyon Park Village, or at least in Tusayan/GC Village South just outside the park. Grand Canyon hotels As it sounds like you’ve deduced, driving in the dark is not recommended in this part of the US due to lack/scarcity of supplemental lighting on local roads.
      The next day, drive back to Las Vegas, which is also about a 4.5 hour drive if you go direct. Before you hit the road in earnest, though, take a helicopter or airplane flight over the Grand Canyon. This will allow you to see areas of the canyon you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see by car, or by foot, even if you did have the time. Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour Morning flights are recommended for better light and less wind.
      After your flight, you can choose to take the drive to Las Vegas at a leisurely pace by stopping in Route 66 fixtures such as Williams, AZ or Seligman, AZ, or driving over Hoover Dam.
      Notice I’ve left out Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Zion. You simply don’t have time to fit all that into your trip. You’ll need to choose one destination and focus on it for the best quality experience, and if you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, that’s the one I recommend you focus on and save the other attractions for when you have the time to do them justice. Ultimate 1-Week Itinerary in Northern AZ/Southern UT
      Good luck, I know it’s a tough choice.
      Alley 🙂

  90. Marichu Lim says:

    Hello Ryan,

    We are planning to go to Vegas end of May and would like to do a day trip to Antelope Canyon. Pls. suggest an itinerary. I am with husband and 2 kids (ages 20 and 10). I know we won’t have much time so please only suggest the “must see” attractions.

    Thank you so much.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Marichu,
      To visit Antelope Canyon from Las Vegas, one can choose to self-drive, or take a guided tour.
      Since the drive from Las Vegas to Page, AZ is about 5 hours one-way, you won’t have much time for peripheral sightseeing, but the drive itself is very scenic and you’ll have no shortage of photo ops. If you get an early enough start, you can make a short detour through Zion National Park, which will add another 60-90 minutes onto an already long drive.

      Once in Page, you can tour Antelope Canyon or Horseshoe Bend first. The order in which you visit will depend on when you can get reservations for an Antelope Canyon Tour (they are a must).
      If you have more time to work with, you might consider visiting the Glen Canyon Dam and Carl Hayden Visitors Center, the John Wesley Powell Memorial Museum or the Big Water, Utah Visitors Center.
      If all that sounds like a bit of a pain, frankly, it is. So if you’d prefer to have someone else make the tour arrangements and coordinate logistics, you might consider a guided tour from Las Vegas to Antelope Canyon. Options include motorcoach or airplane/ground tour combination.
      Honestly, though, the best way to go about this is to stay overnight in Page, AZ. Due to the driving distance and other factors, an overnight stay will make for a much more comfortable experience for you and your family. Page, AZ hotels
      Hope that helps – good luck and travel safe!
      Alley 🙂

  91. Donna says:

    This was very helpful for a trip I’m planning this summer! I had a question about the marina. I’ve been reading that there is a $25 7-day parking pass that people had to pay for just spending lunch hour at the marina. Is this true?

    Thanks.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Dear Donna,
      Hello and thank you for your question.
      If you wish to enter either Antelope Point Marina or Lake Powell Resort and Marina, they are both located within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, so you would indeed be required to pay that $25 per vehicle entry fee, even if you were just having have lunch.
      If you were planning on visiting the recreation area anyway to do a boat tour or rental, you would have to pay that fee anyway. Another consideration: if you are visiting any other National Parks or Monuments on your vacation, such as Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion, etc., you might consider purchasing an America The Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass. For $80, this pass grants you access to ALL National Parks, Monuments and Federal Fee Areas for 1 year’s time. In the typical week’s vacation in Northern AZ and Southern UT, the pass pays for itself. It would also carry over to Glen Canyon, but NOT Native American Tribal Parks like Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley.
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂
      P.S. If you decide against having lunch at the marina, there is a good selection of restaurants within Page, AZ. No entry fee required there.

  92. Irina says:

    Dear Ryan,

    Could you give me a hint on how I can get from Page to the Monument Valley, considering that I don’t drive a car and can only go with a bus. I plan to make this route on May, 3rd this year. I have seen on the map that it’s just a 2 hour drive. Are there any regular or tourist buses / couches going there from Page? If not, can it be somehow possible to hitchhike on that route? And after visiting the Monument Valley I will have to make my way back to Kanab ( not Page) on the same day and get there by midnight latest. Kanab is within a 3 h10min drive away from the Monument Valley, so it all seems to be feasible regarding timing. The thing is that I plan to travel as a member of a small tourist group which is not going to the Monument Valley while for me this place is a must see, so I’ll have to get there on my own somehow.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance !

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Dear Irina,
      Hello and thank you for your question.
      Unfortunately, Page, AZ is located in one of the most remote areas of the US, and as such, there are no coaches that go to Monument Valley from Page. Even if there were, making your way to Kanab, UT would be another challenge. There is no bus or scheduled air service between the two towns and relying on services like Lyft or Uber is iffy at best. Regarding hitch-hiking ANYWHERE in this area, forget about it. It is illegal within National Parks, and downright dangerous everywhere else.
      The only other feasible option for including Monument Valley in your trip plans would be to take a tour flight out of the Page Municipal Airport (PGA). Flights typically run in the morning, so your tour group may be able to accommodate this somehow. If not, I recommend exploring other options for a guided tour that does go to Monument Valley. Trying to work it into a tour program that’s already tightly scheduled is going to be a losing battle.
      Sorry to be the bearer of semi-bad news,
      Alley 🙂

  93. Victor Albanese says:

    Hey Ryan,
    I’m planning a solo trip through AZ. Im starting Sedona- a few spots there , then the Grand Canyon, horseshoe bend, Antelope canyon, I wanna see Lake Powell if possible.. followed by the petrified forest. I guess I’d like to know if you think thats a good plan? Also do I need to purchase permits ahead of time? or do you think doing those tours are worth it? Any and all advise would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you in advance,
    Victor

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Victor,
      Ryan is away from the office at the moment, but I am happy to help you!
      Knowing when you were traveling would help me advise you a bit better with regard to Petrified Forest. In the summertime, that area is VERY hot and doesn’t offer a lot of shade, so if you’re traveling during the warmer months of the year, I’d recommend skipping it.
      Also, knowing where you’re flying into would put things in better perspective. Certain destinations are more conducive to using Phoenix as a staging city; others are in closer proximity to Las Vegas.
      As for the rest, I’d recommend:
      Sedona – 3 days
      Grand Canyon South Rim – 1-2 days
      Page/Lake Powell – 2 days
      If you do decide on going to Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, 1 day is sufficient for that area.
      Certain tours should be reserved in advance, such as Antelope Canyon. Hotels in these areas should also be booked ahead of time.
      Another thing to plan on purchasing: an America The Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass. For $80, this card grants you access to all National Parks and Monuments in the US for one year’s time. If you visit Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon/Lake Powell and Petrified Forest/Painted Desert on this trip, it will pay for itself. However, it does not carry over to Native American Tribal Parks such as Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley.
      Hope that helps. Please don’t hesitate to contact us again if you need further assistance.
      Safe travels to you and yours,
      Alley 🙂

      • Victor Albanese says:

        Hi Alley,
        Thank you for getting back to me. I’m flying into Flagstaff. I have 8 days in total. I’m was planning on staying 2 days at time in each location. I was planning on flying in getting my rental and start in Sedona. Hike for the day and then relax and do it again. then Travel to the Grand Canyon.. I guess my question- what is the smartest way to go about seeing horseshoe bend and antelope canyon- do I see lake Powell? and where would you suggest after that? I would have 2 more days.. and I would have to work my way back towards flagstaff. What do you suggest?
        Thank you for all your help,
        Victor

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Victor,
          Thank you for getting back to us.
          The logistics of your trip will most likely revolve and evolve around when you can get lodging at the Grand Canyon. If you haven’t booked a hotel there already, make that your first action item. Staying inside the park at Grand Canyon Park Village is most desirable, but if nothing is available there, Tusayan/GC Village South, 7 miles outside the park, is your next best option. Grand Canyon Hotels
          As for the “smartest way” to see Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend Overlook is open 24/7, so you can visit it whenever you wish. If you’re coming to Page from the Grand Canyon, you could easily hit it on your way into town. If you’re going the other direction, visit on your way out of town.
          For Antelope Canyon, you’ll need to decide whether you wish to tour Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon. Since you’re planning on doing some hiking in Sedona, I’ll assume that you’re fit enough to handle Lower Antelope Canyon. Quick comparison: Upper – 100 yards, flat, easy Lower – 600 yards long, requires some stair climbing and light bouldering Due to both branches of the Antelope Canyon being extremely popular, advance reservations are a must. There are two tour companies that operate in Lower Antelope Canyon: Ken’s Lower Antelope Canyon Tours and Dixie Ellis’ Antelope Lower Canyon Tours. Both companies’ programs are identical, down to the footsteps, and the dollar. Choose the one with availability at your desired time and book it.
          If you wish to see Lake Powell, you will need to drive into Glen Canyon National Recreation Area at Antelope Point Marina or Lake Powell Resort. In either case, you will have to pay a Federal Lands Access Fee. Or, if you take us up on the suggestion to buy the America The Beautiful Pass, it would be covered. Once inside the recreation area, you could simply walk around at your leisure, or perhaps take a boat tour (which should be booked in advance). Another option for seeing Lake Powell is to fly over it. Airplane and helicopter tours depart daily from the Page Municipal Airport, weather permitting.
          If you have two more days to work with, there are a ton of options for other places you could see, including, but not limited to:
          Zion National Park
          Bryce Canyon National Park
          Monument Valley Navajo Indian Tribal Park
          Canyon de Chelly National Monument
          Meteor Crater
          Hope that helps as well 🙂
          Alley

  94. kathy says:

    Hi Alley,
    Thank you for the quick response. Yes, I know staying in Flagstaff is not optimal but there are absolutely no accommodations to be found in the Grand Canyon, closest was Williams. I guess I need to think about adding another day and perhaps spend 1 night in Page.
    Thank you for the recommendations, it’s difficult trying to fit everything in a weeks time.
    Disregard my last entry, I didn’t think my first one went through….thank you again for your time Alley! 🙂

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Kathy,
      Apologies for the delay in response to your inquiry. Cancellations for lodging inside the park do occur, and many don’t make it back into online inventory. You might try phoning Xanterra South Rim (the main lodging concessionaire) and Delaware North (concessionaire for one of the in-park lodges) periodically to check and see if any rooms have freed up.
      Their phone #’s are:
      Xanterra Parks & Resorts: 888-297-2757
      Delaware North: 877-404-4611
      If you prefer to stick with your original plan of basing out of Flagstaff, you won’t have enough time on Day 2 to squeeze Wire Pass and Buckskin Gulch into your day. These are located a 45 minute drive one-way from Page, and with the days being short as it is, you could run out of sunlight at a rather inopportune time. If you have some extra time to work with that day, you might stop by The “New” Wave, a small, but interesting cluster of rock formations located a short distance Northwest of the Glen Canyon Dam Bridge.
      Have a great trip and let us know how things go!
      Alley 🙂

  95. kathy says:

    Hi guys,
    I’m wondering if you could verify the plans I’ve tentatively made for when my family will come to the area the first week of April.
    Day 1: Fly into Phoenix at 9 am. Make our way via car to flagstaff, stopping along the way to take in the sights.
    Day 2:Wake early and take in Horseshoe bend and make 11:30 tour of upper Antelope Canyon. Check out Glen Canyon Dam and perhaps wine pass to Buckskin hike. Head back to Flagstaff.
    Day 3: Early start to Grand Canyon south rim, explore and hike and take in all there, heading back to Sedona.
    Will 2 nights give us time to do all that or would you suggest anything different?
    Thank you!

  96. kathy says:

    Hi Ryan,
    My family of 4 (boys 17 and 14) will be flying into Phoenix April 1. I thought we’d drive to Flagstaff and stay 2 nights to explore the area.
    Monday, I thought we’d drive to Page and take in upper Antelope Canyon … reading that the midday tour is best for taking pictures , so working around that…..any suggestions at what else we should add for that day and then back to Flagstaff. Tuesday explore South rim and then head to Sedona for the night. Just trying to plan our 2 days and keep it exciting for the boys:)
    Thanks!
    Kathy

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Kathy,
      If you and your boys are relatively fit, you might consider touring Lower Antelope Canyon instead of Upper. Upper is a 100 yard, mostly flat walk whereas Lower requires some stair climbing and simple boulder scrambling. Here’s a video of a full-walk through that might help you decide. As for other activities you might do in the Page, AZ area, Horseshoe Bend is a definite must, which you can hit easily enough on your way into town from Flagstaff. You might also visit Glen Canyon Dam and time permitting, take one of the tours. Or perhaps the short, scenic Lakeshore Drive which offers outstanding views of Lake Powell. It is in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, however, requiring a $25 per vehicle entrance fee.
      Keep in mind that the driving distance/time from Flagstaff to Page is ~2.5 hours each way (not factoring in stops), and driving in the dark is strongly discouraged in this part of the country due to the lack of artificial lighting on local roadways, and the tendency of wildlife to congregate around them after dusk. Sunset occurs a bit after 6:00 PM during the month of April.
      Same deal for your South Rim day – it takes about 90 minutes to drive from Flagstaff to Grand Canyon South Rim, then ~2.5 hours to drive from the South Rim to Sedona. The section us US89A from Flagstaff to Sedona is really windy and is crazy-scary to drive at night.
      As you’ve probably gathered by this point, using Flagstaff, AZ as a “home base” is not really optimal. Staying there necessitates a long drive on either end of a full day of sightseeing, which has its own drawbacks. You might consider staying in Page, AZ for your day there, then at Grand Canyon South Rim for the day you choose to explore that area.
      Hope that helps and that you have a wonderful vacation, whatever you choose to do!
      Alley 🙂

  97. Rekha says:

    Hi Ryan,
    Thanks for the one day schedule to do at Page. I was wondering if at all adding Bryce and Zion to day 2 of this schedule is doable. We will be driving from Vegas on Day 1 and need to return to Vegas end of day 2. Thanks.
    Rekha

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Rekha,
      With one additional day to work with, you’ll need to choose one park. Attempting to drive to Bryce and Zion in one day would be too much, especially if you have to return to Vegas on Day 2.
      Since Zion National Park would make for a short detour on your way back to Vegas, it would make for the most logical add-on to your itinerary.

      One possible glitch is if you’re visiting during the spring, summer or early fall months is that you’ll need to take a shuttle into the park from the town of Springdale, UT, which will add more time onto an already long drive. Only those with lodging reservations are allowed to drive their own cars into the park during the peak visitation period.
      Hope that helps. Have a fun trip!
      Alley 🙂

  98. Pallavi says:

    Wonderful itinerary. We were looking for one like this.

    We are planning to make a visit in First week of March.What we had was antelope canyon and horseshoe bend for a days visit. We have booked 10:30 tour for lower as well as upper antelope canyon. We are still confused which one to visit ? Do you have any suggestions for this time of the year ?

    Also Lake Powell boat tour was not in our list. But it seems a good ride seeing your itinerary. Will we get enough light in horse shoe after the boat trip in March first week?

    We do not want to miss anything in your itinerary. Everything looks so good.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Pallavi,
      Glad you’ve found the information you were looking for on our site!
      First of all, it is not necessary to visit both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon in order to have a fulfilling visit to Page, AZ. Since both slot canyons are different segments of the same intermittent creek that drains into Lake Powell, the scenery will be very similar. Where they differ is terrain: Upper is an easy 100-yard, mostly flat walk, whereas Lower Antelope Canyon involves some stair climbing and easy bouldering. If you’re physically OK with doing Lower, I would stick with that and cancel the reservation for Upper Antelope Canyon. 10:30 AM is an excellent time to visit, by the way.
      Regarding Horseshoe Bend, the view from the rim is completely exposed, so lighting is not an issue… except maybe at night, LOL 😉 Opinions vary on the best time to visit Horseshoe Bend, but according to ours, there’s no such thing as a “bad” time.
      If the “boat ride” you refer to is the Glen Canyon Smooth Water Float Trip, here again, lighting won’t be an issue as the width of the canyon allows plenty of sunlight in.
      If you find yourself with more time to work with, you might consider visiting the John Wesley Powell Memorial Museum or the Glen Canyon Dam Carl Hayden Visitors Center.
      Hope that helps. Enjoy your visit!
      Alley 🙂

  99. Armando Silva Jr says:

    Hi Ryan,
    Thank you so much for all the information you have given us. We will be going to Sedona from 2/21-2/25/18 and want to go out to Page on that Thurs. We are staying in Kachina Village which says it’s about a 2 1/2 hour drive. We have one day to spend there and want to get as much as we can in, what do you recommend as far as time effective and being that it’s late Feb.? Thank you so much

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Armando,
      First off, going to Page as a “day trip” from Sedona is less than ideal due to the driving distance. Google Maps indicates the drive time from Sedona to Page as 2.5 hours, but in reality, it ends up being more like 3.5+ hours because there are many points of interest along the way that you’ll no doubt want to stop at. Staying overnight in Page is best, but I imagine you’re locked into those reservations at Kachina Village, so there’s probably no choice in the matter.
      Seeing as though daylength in February is relatively short (sun rises at 7 AM and sets at about 6 PM), and we strongly discourage driving in the dark, get as early a start as possible out of Sedona. Swing by Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monuments just North of Flagstaff if you wish (they’re connected by a loop drive), then stop for breakfast/brunch at the Cameron Trading Post at the junction of US89 and AZ64.
      Continuing North to Page, Horseshoe Bend is just South of town and a definite must-see, so make a stop there, allow for 1-2 hours to experience it.
      Afterward, take a tour of Antelope Canyon. Now, here’s where you need a little advance planning because Antelope Canyon is extremely popular and advance reservations for tours are a must. You’ll need to decide whether to tour Lower Antelope Canyon (more physical, requires some stair climbing and simple bouldering) or Upper Antelope (shorter, easier, the better choice if you’re traveling with elderly or mobility compromised individuals). Mid-day is generally regarded to be the best time to tour the canyon, but any time is good. If you’re unable to secure reservations at Antelope Canyon, or have no desire to contend with the crowds, you might consider an alternate slot canyon tour, which will mean a longer, more physical tour, and a bit pricier, but a more intimate and personal experience is what you get in exchange.
      In order to get back to Sedona by dusk, you should plan to leave Page no later than 3:30 PM. If you have more time to work with after your primary sightseeing objectives are completed, you might consider visiting the John Wesley Powell Museum or the Navajo Village Heritage Center. Another possibility would be a short trip on Lakeshore Drive to take in some views of Lake Powell. This area is within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, so an entrance fee of $25 per vehicle would be required.
      Hope that helps. Have a great trip!
      Alley 🙂

  100. Aemillia says:

    Hello,

    We will either flying to Las Vegas and drive to Page and Sedona or fly to Phoenix and drive there. Which is a shorter drive or what do you recommend?

    In Page and Sedona, what do you recommend to do? We will be there 5 days and traveling with two kids 5 and 10 years old.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Aemillia,
      If you’re definitely wishing to include Sedona in your trip plans, Phoenix would be the most logical airport to fly into. It’s 2-2.5 hours from PHX/Sky Harbor to Sedona, then another 3 hours to Page, then if you were to drive from Page back to PHX, the drive is approximately 4.5 hours.
      In Page, popular activities include: the Glen Canyon Smooth Water Rafting Trip, Antelope Canyon Tours, Horseshoe Bend Overlook, boat tours on Lake Powell and tours of the Glen Canyon Dam. Availability of activities does depend on season; during the cooler months of the year, most water-based activities are on seasonal hiatus, but you can still find plenty to occupy 2 days’ time.
      Popular activities in Sedona include jeep tours, a variety of hiking trails in varying degrees of difficulty, Chapel of the Holy Cross cultural site, Tlaquepaque shopping center and Slide Rock State Park. Here again, season of travel determines which activities are best for your family; Slide Rock State Park is essentially a swimming hole, which wouldn’t be much fun in February, but would be a welcome relief from the heat in June.
      Have fun and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  101. Melissa D says:

    Love all your suggestions and would love your perspective on ideally what would be good to do with a limited time frame. I am taking my college age brother on a trip for Spring break and due to my time constraints can’t be gone that long. So, we are flying into Phoenix early on Sunday, March 11th and Leave Wednesday the 14th. Currently, I absolutely want to do Sedona, Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend…outside of that, I would love your suggestions and I would love your opinions and thoughts on order and timing. Any food places to stop are good too! We are true foodies…Elote is already on the list in Sedona because it’s amazing.
    Thank you in advance!!!
    Mel

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Mel and thank you for visiting our site today.
      First thing: the Grand Canyon is conspicuously absent from your itinerary. Have you already been there? I’ll assume you have, and base my advice on Sedona and Page being the primary objectives of your March trip.
      So: since you’re flying in “early” on Sunday, I’d suggest making the drive to Page that day. It takes about 4.5 hours to make the trip if you drive direct, but that rarely happens as the route is very scenic and you’ll no doubt find places you want to stop. Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monuments, just North of Flagstaff are quite fascinating. An Ancestral Puebloan complex and a dormant volcano respectively are the predominant features at these monuments that are connected by a convenient loop drive.
      If you get underway early enough, you might consider stopping at the Cameron Trading Post at the Junction of AZ64 and US89 for lunch. The Navajo Tacos are amazing, but caution: unless you’re absolutely starving, get the mini. The regular is huge! Or get the regular and take a to-go box for a snack later LOL.
      On the way into Page, stop at Horseshoe Bend just South of town. For dinner, I’ve always been partial to Bonkers and Blue Buddha, but then again Page, Arizona restaurants offer quite a surprising variety to choose from. Tour Antelope Canyon the following morning (be sure to make reservations), then sometime early in the afternoon, head down for Sedona. It’s about a 3-hour drive if you don’t stop. If you didn’t get to tour Wupatki/Sunset Crater or do the Cameron Trading Post stop the day prior, you might do it then. Get settled in at your hotel in Sedona, do dinner at Elote, then the next day, consider doing a Pink Jeep Tour or walking tour around downtown Sedona.
      Get a good night’s sleep, then head down to Phoenix for your flight out. By saving Sedona for the back half of your trip, you’ll only have a 2-hour drive to the airport.
      Of course, this is contingent on lodging availability in both locations. Be sure you square that away first, then make reservations for your Antelope Canyon tour, as well as your table at Elote.
      Also, sunset occurs at about 6:30 PM that time of year. Be sure you avoid driving after dark since artificial/supplemental lighting is kept to a bare minimum in this part of the country. The road from Flagstaff to Sedona in particular is very windy, which is crazy-scary driving in the dark (trust me, I’ve done it!).
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      • Melissa says:

        Alley,
        Thank you so much for the quick response! So, I have been to the Grand Canyon, but my brother has not. With such a short period of time do you think there is a route from Phoenix to Page that would give a good opportunity for me to stop and see the Grand Canyon with my brother? I know there is no time to actually hike the Canyon, so it wasn’t on the list, but if you think that there is a driving route to take that has us give him a good “look” I would be absolutely game to making the trek that way. Or if you said on the way from Page to Sedona it would be good to “swing by” the Canyon. I don’t want to spend all the time in the car, but then again if we are just that close it’s dumb not to show him I would do it. I have done Sedona and Grand Canyon in the past and loved Sedona so much. Love the suggestions and the tips! THANK YOU again for taking the time to educate and give great guidance to all of us!!!
        Mel

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi again, Mel!
          You could swing by Grand Canyon en route to Page from Phoenix, or en route from Page to Sedona. Either way, it will make for a rather long drive.
          If you were to go from Phoenix to Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim, that’s ~ a 4.5 hour drive. Then from GC to Page is ~2.5-3 hours.
          To go from Page to GC Village/South Rim is again, 2.5-3 hours, then from there to Sedona would be about 2.5-3 hours.
          So, the latter route is slightly shorter. Either way you slice it, you’re looking at 6-7 hours driving at an absolute minimum in order to work the Grand Canyon into your trip plans yet spend some semblance of “quality time” there.
          A third option that would allow your brother to at least have a “peek” at the Grand Canyon and whittle your drive down to a *slightly* more reasonable timeframe would be to proceed from Phoenix, AZ straight to Cameron, then cut over to the Desert View Watchtower via AZ64 West. This is the Easternmost point of Grand Canyon National Park, and is a darn good view of the Grand Canyon to boot, but doesn’t have you going all the way in as far as Grand Canyon Village.

          It at least gives your brother “bragging rights” to having seen the Grand Canyon, and getting to Page by nightfall. Direct drive time is about 5.5 hours, but again, 6.5 hours or longer may be a more realistic figure as there’ll invariably be those “wow, check that out!” moments you will want to indulge.
          Hope that helps.
          Alley 🙂

          • Alley Keosheyan says:

            Or, you could simply plan 1 night in each place, which is less than ideal, but workable on your schedule. 😉

  102. Alli K. says:

    Hello!

    I am trying to plan a trip to go in the beginning of March, around the 5-9 (our spring break, so maybe it will be a little busier then?). How will the light and pictures be around that time? And it won’t be super busy right? I’m guessing not because it will probably still be a little chilly? What are your thoughts?

    Thank you!!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      OMG, I’m Alley K too! That’s awesome.
      In answer to your questions, early March is a fine time for taking pictures in Antelope Canyon, as well as at Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell. As to how busy it will be, that remains to be seen, but using 2017 as a gauge, it won’t be uncrowded by any means. The Page area doesn’t have much of an off-season anymore, so expect to share the area with other “spring breakers.” Regarding the weather, yes, it can still be quite chilly as March is in that transitional zone between winter and spring. Be prepared to dress warmly, and you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy your visit to the area.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley K 🙂

  103. Vishal says:

    Hi,

    Can you please advise us which tour time should we choose for Lower Antelope and Boat tour for Feb 25th?

    Tour for Lower Antelope Canyon Check in by 11 and Depart by 11:30 is sold out. Should we choose check in by 10:30 and Depart by 11:00 or Check in by 11:30 /depart at 12:00?

    We also wanted to cover Boat tour and horseshoe bend on same day.

    We will be staying in near by hotel.

    Thanks
    Vishal.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Vishal,
      Your plan is somewhat ambitious for one day, but doable with a little pre-planning.
      Since you are will be staying in Page, AZ (hopefully), I would recommend visiting Horseshoe Bend as soon after sunrise as possible, then head down to Lower Antelope Canyon for the tour that checks in at 10.30 AM and departs at 11:00 AM. Afterward, head down to Antelope Point Marina for the Antelope Canyon waterside boat tour that departs at 2:30 PM. Or, you could opt to have lunch beforehand and take the tour that departs at 3:45 PM. For more information, visit https://www.antelopepointlakepowell.com/recreation/tours-2/
      Be prepared to dress warmly, especially for morning activities. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  104. Oyin says:

    Hi!
    Thank you so much for this post.
    I’m looking for some recommendations.
    Will be coming to Arizona Dec 31 – Jan 4
    Planning Grand Canyon, Page and Sedona. Initially had a plan but switched itinerary around a bit as my travel partner has to be back at work on the 2nd (Leaving from Flagstaff at 2am!!)
    Flying into Phoenix, landing at 12
    Any tips on how I should work this? (With the idea that Sedona is closest to Flagstaff I think).
    Thinking Page, Sedona, Grand Canyon.

    Not sure what to do in Page on 31st as we will likely arrive around 5pm (renting car). Saw something about Glen Canyon overlook. Maybe Cameron Trading Post?
    1st – Antelope canyon and Horseshoe bend (anthing else to do?).
    Drive to Sedona (Anything to do since it is evening time).
    2nd – Pink Jeep Tour, Montezuma Castle and well (Anything else).
    Drive to Grand Canyon. See the sunset at the South Rim.
    3rd – Bright Angel Hike, maybe walk about town/Tusayan.
    4th – Head home.
    Any tips/itinerary ideas would be appreciated.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Dear Oyin,
      Hello and thank you for your inquiry. So let’s get right to it:
      1. If you do indeed stick to your plan of arriving in Page at around 5 PM, you might as well pack it in for the day, or maybe go get some dinner then proceed to your hotel. Sunset takes place at about 5:20 PM that time of year, so you won’t have much daylight to work with.
      2. If you opt to tour both Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend on the 1st, try to get your sightseeing done by about 2:00-2:30 PM so you don’t get caught driving after dark. Driving at night in this part of the US is strongly discouraged due to lack of supplemental lighting, and the tendency of deer, elk and other nocturnal wildlife to congregate near roadways at night.
      3. If you’re flying out of Phoenix at the end of your trip, I’d recommend flipping the order in which you visit Grand Canyon and Sedona. Visit Grand Canyon South Rim after Page, then go on to Sedona the next day. 4. Hiking on Bright Angel Trail may not be feasible at that time of year due to the possible presence of ice on the trail. If it is clear, go ahead and do it (remember that 1 hour down = 2 hours up). If the trail has already iced over, stick to rimside trails in Grand Canyon Village and maybe take a drive along the Hermit’s Rest/West Rim Drive.
      5. A Pink Jeep Tour and a visit to Montezuma’s Well will certainly occupy the better part of a day in Sedona. For more ideas on what to do in that area, go to http://www.visitsedona.com
      6. Make ALL lodging and guided tour reservations in advance! You are proposing to visit over the New Year’s Eve holiday, which is a busy time of year in Northern Arizona tourist destinations.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  105. Dooie Kim says:

    Is it worth going to both Lower and upper? or not worth visiting both?
    If one is good enough, what’s better?
    it will be for 3 adults, 2 in 30s, 1 in 60s.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Dear Dooie Kim,
      Hi and thank you for your inquiry today.
      Though both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon are beautiful, it’s not 100% necessary to see both in order to have a fulfilling visit to Page, AZ. Which branch of the canyon you should see boils down to your party’s physical fitness level: if everyone is OK doing a little stair climbing and scrambling around some small boulders, then you should be fine doing Lower Antelope Canyon. If one or more of your party members has mobility issues and might be hard-pressed to manage the stairs, then Upper would be the better choice as the trail is only 100 yards long and fairly flat.
      If you’re looking for other activities to fill your time in Page, consider Horseshoe Bend Overlook, a Glen Canyon Dam tour, visiting the John Wesley Powell Memorial Museum or the Navajo Village Heritage Center, or taking a short drive to the Lake Powell Resort Complex inside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
      Hope that helps. Safe travels to you all!
      Alley 🙂

  106. Georgia L. says:

    Hi Ryan & Alley,

    Thanks so much for this website post and answering all of the comments so thoroughly. It is so helpful!

    So we’re planning a trip to Northern AZ in a couple weeks and at the last minute discovered Antelope Canyon and decided to make a detour there. Couple of questions, I tried to look in the comments but nothing addresses at least my first question in particular. I saw something regarding older/not physically fit folks probably not being able to do the lower canyon, but I didn’t see anything with regards to the upper canyon. We are taking my parents (age 70) & my kids ages 9, 7 & 4. My mom & kids I am not worried about. My dad uses a walker and walks slowly and I just assumed he would not be able to do either canyon and we were gonna leave him at the hotel while the rest of us did the lower canyon tour, but upon reading about the walk to upper canyon being a flat walk, (it still seems like a long one though), would it still be advisable that he not try to do that (upper canyon) tour? And as another option, are you actually able to see into the slot canyons on a boat tour?

    Second question, does this itinerary sound doable? – Day 1 leaving Cottonwood, AZ, leisurely driving through Sedona and taking in the sites and getting to Horseshoe bend before Sunset, staying overnight in Page. Day 2 early morning antelope caynon tour (just one tour, but probably lower, depending on your answer to question above), lunch at cameron trading post, then through the grand canyon, mostly stops at different viewpoints but not too much hiking/walking around because of grandpa, drive to flagstaff with enough time to hit up the lowell observatory for a couple hours (we have free tix). they close at 10 pm, my kids are fine with staying up late.

    another question with regards to horseshoe bend. If we are there for the sunset, how is the lighting for the walk back to the car? Is it a dangerous walk at that point?

    Thank you so much for your help. I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Georgia and thank you for compliments on our site.
      I’m actually going to answer your inquiries in reverse order, if that’s OK.
      I’d recommend restructuring your trip if possible to allow for not only more time in Sedona, but Grand Canyon South Rim as well. Most people spend 3 days in Sedona, and end up wishing they had more time. Seeing it on a “drive-by” basis probably won’t satisfy, even with young children and older adults in tow.
      If it’s not possible to accommodate an overnight in Sedona, and you see it en route from Cottonwood, AZ to Page, keep in mind that the 3.5+ hour drive that Google maps shows for that drive is unlikely to materialize in reality. It’s bound to be more like 5-6 hours since you’ll invariably be stopping for photos, restroom breaks, etc.
      Horseshoe Bend is a stop you can make easily before you arrive in Page, as it’s right on your way, just South of town. By the way, if you have doubts about your Dad being able to do the walk in Antelope Canyon, he’s definitely going to have a problem at Horseshoe Bend. As to whether it’s “dangerous” after sunset, not really, but you might want to have flashlights handy if you’re visiting during a waning phase of the moon.
      Day 2, here again, you’re looking at a VERY long day, with most of it spent driving. It takes 2.5-3 hours to get from Page to Grand Canyon South Rim, driving directly (which, again, rarely happens); then 1.5 hours from GCSR to Flagstaff. Would it be possible to break things up by staying overnight at Grand Canyon South Rim so you can see sunset? At the very least, we’d hope you’re planning to stay overnight in Flagstaff with a late arrival at Lowell Observatory. Driving at night in this part of the country is not recommended due to the dearth of artificial lighting on the roads here.
      Now regarding Antelope Canyon, you rightfully assume that Lower is not going to be feasible for your Dad. Upper, though, might be doable. It’s only 100 yards in length and fairly flat the whole way. People using canes and walkers tour it all the time. If you’re still apprehensive, a boat tour might be a good compromise, but the slot canyon scenery would not be the same. Another thing to keep in mind is that boat tours typically go on seasonal hiatus in November, or at least require 10-15 people minimum to guarantee operation.
      I know that’s a lot to digest, but I hope it helps somewhat.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  107. Aniketh says:

    Hi! Thanks for this information.

    I’m planning to visit antelope canyon and grand canyon this december. My itinerary is as follows:

    I’m planning to start from Las Vegas on 21st December morning. I’m planning to stay in Page for 2 nights. I would want to cover upper antelope canyon tour, horseshoe bend on 21st.
    On 22nd I have planned a drive down to Grand Canyon South Rim do a small hike if possible and drive back to Page.
    I was thinking to avoid stay at Grand Canyon village because it is relatively colder than Page and I would definitely want to avoid the chill as much as possible. Or the weather doesn’t differ much between these two places ? In such case I can spend night at Grand Canyon so that I can view sunrise next day morning in Grand Canyon.
    I would want to return to Las vegas by 23rd evening and cover hoover dam on the way.

    Is this itinerary good enough and doable ? Please suggest if I need to make any changes ? And also how is the visibility in December generally ? I’m visiting this part of US for first time and I surely want my first visit a life time memory and experience.

    Thanks in Advance 🙂

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Aniketh, and thank you for inquiring about your itinerary.
      So, the drive from Las Vegas to Page is approximately 4.5 hours. Another consideration is that Arizona will be on Mountain Standard Time whereas Nevada will be on Pacific Standard Time; therefore, Arizona is one hour “ahead” of Nevada, meaning you’ll “lose” an hour upon crossing the border. What with daylength being quite short in December, visiting both Upper Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend on your arrival day from Las Vegas might be something of a stretch. With an early enough start, you could manage an Upper Antelope Canyon tour on your first day out, the hit Horseshoe Bend on your way to Grand Canyon South Rim. It’s right on your way, so it’s logical and convenient.
      Regarding your plan to make Grand Canyon National Park a daytrip from Page, it’s doable, but not necessarily desirable. It takes 2.5-3 hours each way to drive from Page to Grand Canyon South Rim, and if you want to do any hiking, you wouldn’t want to be constrained by short daylength and have to hop back in your car just as you were starting to enjoy yourself. I’d recommend staying the night at Grand Canyon South Rim. Grand Canyon Hotels
      Granted Grand Canyon South Rim is going to be somewhat colder than Page, but the convenience of being there for sunrise and sunset, IMO, outweighs the discomfort of cooler temperatures.
      As for visibility, again, this is going to be wintertime, and you could encounter a day when the Grand Canyon is “socked in” by low cloud cover, but then again, you could luck out on a bluebird day that’s brisk and clear. I would start checking weather a couple of weeks before you get set to leave.
      Hope that helps. Thank you and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  108. Stacey says:

    Hi! Thanks for all this great information!

    My boyfriend and I are planning to travel to Page from Las Vegas around Nov 20. We are unclear if we should do the upper or the lower antelope canyons or both. We are both physically fit so the ladders don’t scare us. Can you do both in one day? What tour company do you recommend – is there one that does both canyons? At that time of the year (Nov) what time of day is best to visit the canyons?

    We are then going to drive to the Grand Canyon South – any recommendations on how long to visit there? We are not hardcore hikers but would love to see the views.

    Thank you!!!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Stacey and thank you for visiting our site.
      If you are both physically fit, you’ll like Lower Antelope Canyon. As for whether you can do both Upper and Lower sections of the canyon in one day, you can, but you may not find it to be the best use of your time. You’d probably find the scenery similar enough to be redundant, so you might consider doing a different kind of activity, such as a Lake Powell boat tour, hiking the Rim View Trail, or visiting the Glen Canyon Dam or John Wesley Powell Museum.
      There is no one company that tours both Lower and Upper Antelope, so you’d have to work with two different companies. Best time of day is generally regarded as mid-day when the sun illuminates the canyon brightest. In November, you won’t see the shafts of light shining all the way to the canyon floor, but the canyon will still be beautiful.
      As for how long to stay at Grand Canyon South Rim, most people find 1-2 nights sufficient. In your case, you’d probably be content with 1 night since you can do a good chunk of your sightseeing on the drive over from Page, AZ. It typically takes 2.5-3 hours to drive to the South Rim from Page, but most tend to take a little longer as there is a lot to see and you’ll find yourself stopping more often than you think.
      Whichever you choose to do, we strongly recommend making your hotel and tour reservations in advance, and be prepared to encounter cooler weather, including snow at the South Rim.
      Best wishes for safe traveling,
      Alley 🙂

  109. Ashley says:

    Ryan,
    My husband and I are taking a day trip to Page in 2 weeks. We plan to dive from Sedona that morning, with a 10:30 tour of Canyon x as the first stop.

    We will then drive to lower antelope, eat lunch at the marina and hopefully catch a tour of lower antelope prior to 1:30. (The visitor center told us they’re first come, first serve.)

    I’m wondering how far of a drive it is to Horseshoe Bend from Lower Antelope?

    Secondly, we want to make part of the drive to Scottsdale that night, but want to avoid too much diving in the dark. Is Flagstaff the best place for us to stay between Page and Scottsdale? Looking for a nice place.

    Thanks!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Ashley and thank you for visiting our site!
      First off, good call on booking Antelope Canyon X, it’s a beautiful canyon, and much less crowded than Upper Antelope.
      Regarding Lower Antelope Canyon, though, I’m afraid you have been given some incorrect information. Antelope Canyon’s popularity has skyrocketed this year. It is no longer a “first-come/first-serve” situation by a long shot. Advance reservations are not only possible to make, but strongly advised. There are two outfitters that manage this branch of Antelope Canyon: Dixie Ellis and Ken’s . No need to worry too much about who does the better tour, they will be identical in price and logistics. You also might want to aim for something slightly later, as you might be cutting it fine fitting in lunch at Antelope Point Marina between the two activities.
      As for the driving distance from Antelope Canyon to Horseshoe Bend, it’s 10-15 minutes tops. If you get an early start out of Sedona, you might even hit it on your way into town instead of after touring Lower Antelope.
      If you wanted to get a jump-start on the drive to Scottsdale that night, Flagstaff would indeed be a logical choice. That would put you about 2 hours from Scottsdale. Some of the better hotels in Flagstaff, AZ include, but are not limited to the Little America, Drury Inn & Suites, the Hilton/Doubletree, Hilton Garden and Embassy Suites. For more suggestions, you might check out TripAdvisor’s 65 Best Flagstaff, AZ Hotels.
      Hope that helps.
      Take care and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Ashley says:

        Thank you!

        So if we planned to stop at Horshoe Bend on the way into town, then drive to Lower Antelope first since it says you can wait HOURS past your tour time, could we still do lunch at the Marina? Is it closer to lower antelope or canyon x?

        Then thinking a late afternoon Canyon X tour. Should we be scared to drive to Flagstaff in the dark with the animals?

  110. El says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Thank you for the informative post.

    I am looking to travel to Grand Canyon NP in December 20/21/22/23. I will be staying over at Page on the night of 21 Dec, and looking to tour the Antelope Canyons and Horseshoe Bend on 22 Dec.

    May I ask you for advice on the following:

    1) Is there any one tour provider that handles both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons, or is it usual of other travellers to engage two separate tour providers for Upper and Lower sections?

    2) Any recommendation for the tour provider(s)?

    3) In terms of timing, I was told before that it will take the morning to tour Lower Antelope Canyon and the afternoon to tour Upper Antelope Canyon, leaving a bit of time to drive over to catch sunset at Horseshoe Bend. Is this a feasible plan?

    4) Finally on lake powell ride. Since it is winter, I suppose we can give this a miss, both from the perspective of weather and feasibility.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Dear El,
      Hello and thank you for your inquiry! We hope you find it helpful as you plan your Arizona vacation. Now, on to your specific questions:
      1) Is there any one tour provider that handles both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons, or is it usual of other travelers to engage two separate tour providers for Upper and Lower sections? There is currently no single tour operator that offers package tours of Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons. What we would suggest you do is tour the branches of Antelope Canyon with the tour companies who operate directly at the canyon’s entrance on Highway 98. For Upper Antelope Canyon, that would be Antelope Canyon Navajo Tours; for Lower, you can choose from Ken’s Lower Antelope Canyon Tours or Dixie Ellis Antelope Lower Canyon tours.
      2) In terms of timing, I was told before that it will take the morning to tour Lower Antelope Canyon and the afternoon to tour Upper Antelope Canyon, leaving a bit of time to drive over to catch sunset at Horseshoe Bend. Is this a feasible plan? Definitely! Keep in mind that you should allow approximately 2 hours for each branch of Antelope Canyon, then be at Horseshoe Bend approximately 30 minutes prior to sunset for the best photo opportunities. In late December, sunset occurs at about 5:15 PM in Northern Arizona.
      3) Finally on Lake Powell ride, since it is winter, I suppose we can give this a miss, both from the perspective of weather and feasibility. You’ll probably have to give it a miss anyway since boat tour operations are drastically curtailed in wintertime. A minimum of 10-15 passengers is usually required to guarantee operation of tours.
      Hope that helps and that you enjoy your trip! One more thing: Late December is off-season in the Lake Powell area, which has tons of advantages. The only inconvenience you’re likely to encounter is colder weather. Be sure you pack accordingly, and keep in mind that the tour operators reserve the right to cancel or reschedule tours in the event of inclement weather.
      Take care and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  111. Laura says:

    Hi Ryan,

    I want to get some good photos of Rainbow Bridge. I noticed a lot of tours leave around 7:30am and last around 6-8hrs. This is way too long and also this will be a non-ideal time to take photos. Do you know of any shorter tours that also leave later in the day?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Laura,
      There are no shorter boat tours to Rainbow Bridge. It is 52 miles Uplake from Lake Powell Resort, the sole concessionaire authorized to conduct boat tours to the Monument.
      As for availability of later departures, it depends on the time of year you’re traveling. For instance, if you’re visiting between May 15th and August 31st, there’s a later departure of the tour at 12:30 PM. It would also be a 6-8 day for you depending on the level of Lake Powell at the time. The lower the level of the lake, the longer the walk from the boat dock to the Bridge. If your visit falls outside the 05/15-08/31 timeframe, though, the early morning departure would be your only option for a boat tour.
      Another option would be to fly over Rainbow Bridge. Airplane tours and helicopter flights depart daily from the Page Municipal Airport, usually in the morning. Tours typically last only 30-45 minutes. One disadvantage to these is that they are not allowed to land at the bridge (no airstrip), plus they are required by law to fly at a certain altitude, which may not be ideal for photography purposes.
      Hope that at least helps. Enjoy your visit!
      Alley 🙂

  112. Zina Dolzikova says:

    Hi,

    Let me start off by saying that I think you are doing a great service for helping people who visit your area 🙂 Hoping that you will be able to help us out too.

    A quick overview of our plan so far: We are planning to visit the Grand Canyon, Page, Monument Valley, Sedona and, if possible, maybe stop by the Marble Canyon on the way to Page. We are hoping to see the sunset in Monument Valley. We are not experienced hikers but like to do so at a reasonable length and would also like to take a short boat tour in the Page area. We are driving from Hoover Dam on October 7th (Sedan car, if that helps) and are planning to leave just after 9 am. We booked 1 night in Williams (Grand Canyon is too expensive), 2 nights in Page, 1 night in Flagstaff, and 2 nights in Sedona.

    What specific sightseeing spots, that you can recommend, can we fit in these days?

    Do we need to book a tour to the Lower Antelope Canyon through the tour company in Page or drive directly to the canyon and get a ticket there?

    Does the Grand Canyon have a specific website for tourists?

    Thank you for your help,

    Zina

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Zina,
      Thank you for your compliments on our site! October is a great time to be here.
      A couple of things that stand out about your itinerary:
      1. You don’t have a night booked at Monument Valley. You really should stay overnight there for the best quality experience and in order to have time to do one of the tours there. Unfortunately, the best hotels there tend to book up months in advance, so you might be too late. You might have to cross it off your wish list, or resign yourself to taking a day tour there. Swinging through on your way from Page to Flagstaff would be doable, but would make for a long day: 2 hours from Page to Monument Valley, then 3 hours from Monument Valley to Flagstaff. Another option might be taking an air tour from Page, AZ. Fixed wing airplanes depart daily from the Page Municipal Airport (PGA). Contact Westwind Air Service if interested in this activity.
      2. If you’re going to Sedona anyway, it’s only 45 minutes-1 hour further from Flagstaff. You might as well just go all the way there and give Sedona 3 nights. Most people recommend spending at least that many nights there anyway.

      Regarding Antelope Canyon tours, yes, they absolutely must be booked in advance. This attraction has become extremely popular of late, so here again, don’t be surprised if tours are sold out. If you find that to be the case, there are other slot canyons in the area that are just as beautiful but nowhere near as crowded. Antelope Canyon Alternative Tours
      For boat tours in the Lake Powell area, visit Lake Powell Resort & Marina at http://www.lakepowell.com
      Lastly, yes, the Grand Canyon does have a website for tourists: http://www.GrandCanyon.com or the National Park Service website, http://www.nps.gov/grca
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  113. Rose Smith says:

    what would be the best and easiest hiking trail 4 my kids and me?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Rose, thanks for writing us.
      Wish we knew what time of year you were visiting, because that would help us advise you better. If your trip is occurring during the summer months, you might want to walk the paved trail that extends from the Lake Powell Resort to Stateline Launch Ramp. It’s relatively flat, has some shade, plus you and your kids would have opportunities to swim.
      Upper Antelope Canyon is also an easy walk, 100 yards in length, relatively flat and the interior of the canyon stays relatively cool year-round. The trail leading up to the canyon is sandy, so that part might be a bit of a challenge, but that’s about it. Antelope Canyon tours should be booked in advance.
      The Horseshoe Bend Overlook trail, which is less than 1.5 miles round-trip, is doable for most people in good health, but it does have some relatively steep uphill grades and some deep sand. Its most challenging aspect is exposure – there is no shade whatsoever on it, and during the summer months, it’s really hot out there. In fact, a gentleman recently died on the trail 🙁 Granted there were mitigating factors, namely age in his case, but it stands as a cautionary tale for the rest of us. Go early in the morning, take enough water for your entire party, and be sure to wear a hat, sunscreen and appropriate shoes for walking. In fact, that’s good advice wherever you choose to hike in Page, Arizona.
      Hope that helps – safe travels to you!
      Alley

  114. Ricardo says:

    Hi, thanks for all your ideas on trips to antelope canyon.

    Unfortunately due to time constraints, I arrive in LV on 13 july and am taking a flight out on 16 july. Is there anyway I can squeeze in a trip to Grand Canyon, antelope canyon and horseshoe bend? Will the drives be too long and tiring, or which should I take out.

    Thanks for the help!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Ricardo!
      Unfortunately, your time is very tight. Fortunately, there’s a way you might be able to work in everything you desire without too much driving.
      Book 2 nights at Grand Canyon South Rim, wherever you can find availability. Grand Canyon hotels in order of proximity to the park and desirability. Get an early start out of Las Vegas on July 14th. It’s about a 4.5 hour drive, so you’ll want to arrive at a decent hour so you can do as much sightseeing as possible in the Grand Canyon Village area.
      On July 15th, take the Canyon River Adventure Tour. This is an awesome 3-in-1 combo package that includes a plane flight from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, and flies over Horseshoe Bend; an Antelope Canyon 4×4 tour; and a half-day float trip on the Colorado River. It’s about a 12-hour day, but at least you don’t have to drive!
      If the tour doesn’t appeal, you can instead book one night at Grand Canyon South Rim and 1 night at Page (for Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend). It takes 2.5-3 hours to drive from the South Rim to Page, but in that time, you can do some quality sightseeing along the East Rim/Desert View Drive of the Grand Canyon since you pretty much have to pass that way anyway. It then takes 4.5-5 hours to drive from Page to Grand Canyon South Rim.
      It’s a lot of driving, but with determination and patience, it can be done. If you have to choose one over the other, obviously the Grand Canyon should win out, especially if you’re visiting from abroad and don’t think you’ll be able to get back to this area in the foreseeable future.

      Good luck and safe traveling!
      Alley 🙂

  115. Jan says:

    Hello!
    Please could you confirm my planned trip, is possible to do it in one day? We plan our trip on the end of june.. Our group has 3 children (10-13 Y). We will be in Page overnight. We want to visit Antelope Canyon in the morning (8:00?), which one is better for us, upper or lower? How much time does the visit take? Then we want to go to the Monument Valley. During the way to MV, where do you recommend to take lunch? And again how much time do we need for the visit of MV? After MV we want continue to Moab, where we want stay for two nights.
    Thanks a lot for your help!
    Jan

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Jan, thanks for stopping by.
      Your “planned” trip is possible, but advisable? Not so much…
      Let’s say you take an 8 AM Antelope Canyon tour. Your kids might find Lower to be the more desirable of the two since it involves some ladder climbing and boulder scrambling. Your tour will take approximately 2 hours, so you’d start driving to Monument Valley at 10 AM local time (Mountain Standard). The drive there will take another 2 hours, and since they DO observe Daylight Saving Time, you’ll “lose” an hour crossing over to the Navajo Indian Reservation, so, best case scenario, you’ll arrive at 1:00 PM. You can grab lunch at a number of restaurants in the area. I’m personally partial to the one at Goulding’s Trading Post. Assuming that ordering and eating lunch takes about 1 hour, it’s now 2:00 PM. Doing any kind of tour of Monument Valley would also take a bare minimum of two hours. It’s now 4:00 PM. Then you’re facing a 2.5 hour drive to Moab, UT, putting you there at 6:30 PM at the earliest. Again, these are “best case scenarios.” Accounting for restroom breaks and unexpected stops to photograph something that catches your eye (and there’s a lot here to catch your eye), it’s best to pad driving estimates by 25-30%. I’m getting tired just thinking about it!
      The fact that you have two days in Moab does help, but in my opinion, you’re trying to cram too much sightseeing into one day. Another factor to consider is that June is very hot in this part of the country, which will take its toll on your energy level. I don’t recall seeing where you’ll be in the days prior to visiting Page, but you might consider re-working your schedule so you can tour Antelope Canyon the day prior to driving to Moab.
      Another consideration? If you don’t already have reservations for an Antelope Canyon or Monument Valley tour, or for lodging in Moab, you might find things sold out already! If you find that to be the case with Antelope Canyon tours, consider touring one of the many alternate slot canyons in Page, AZ or traveling with Ligai Si’Anii Slot Canyon Tours out of LeChee, AZ .
      Good luck and best wishes for safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  116. Mike says:

    Hello,

    Spending a week in Kanab so we can stay in one spot and still see lots. Curious your thoughts on our itinerary and feel free to give feedback or suggestions.

    Spend 2 days in Zion- one day doing the Narrows and one day doing Angel’s Landing. (Have done them both and the reason we are going back)

    1 day driving up to Bryce and Hike the Navajo Loop and Queens Garden Trail. If time we might go to Calf Creek Falls Recreation Area.

    1 day of complete relaxation in Kanab

    Thinking of combining Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Navajo Bridge and North Rim all in one day. 6 hours of driving which makes for a long day but then frees up another day.

    My main question is do you think that the North Rim deserves its own day or does it make sense to combine them all because if we go to Navajo Bridge then to head back to Kanab we go through Jacob’s Lake which is about an hour from the North Rim? We did the south rim 2 years ago and my kids got bored after a few hours so not sure if the North rim is worth it’s own day or just make it a long day.

    Thank you!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Mike, thanks for stopping by!
      IMO the North Rim deserves a dedicated day. All that driving just to cram in a bunch of sightseeing doesn’t sound appealing in the least and your kids would probably agree with me.
      There are plenty of activities in the Page, AZ area that can help round out your Antelope Canyon/Horseshoe Bend day, such as a boat tour on Lake Powell, or perhaps a stand-up paddleboard tour. On your way back to Kanab (or on your way to Page from Kanab), definitely stop by the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstools Trail. Easy to find between mile markers 18 & 19 on US 89, it’s a fun little hike. Remember that Utah is on Mountain Daylight Time and Page is on Mountain Standard Time, so you’ll “gain” an hour as you go from Utah to Arizona, then “lose” it again going back.
      At the North Rim, you might check out some ranger led activities and if your kids are younger, let them earn a “Junior Ranger” badge. You might also look into some of the mule rides there, they’re typically easier to get on than at the South Rim. Kids have to be at least 7 for the 1-hour rimside ride, or 10 for the half-day ride into the canyon. Grand Canyon North Rim Mule Ride On the way there, definitely stop at the Jacob Lake Inn and pick up some of their home-made cookies. They’re awesome!
      Hope that helps and that you have a wonderful trip! Remember to make advance reservations for your Antelope Canyon tour.
      Alley

  117. Cindi says:

    Alley, any ideas on my above comment…where to add another day?
    Thanks!

  118. Cindi says:

    I understand how a long-winded question can get buried…no problem. I appreciate your help immensely! So if I am able to cut out a night a Bryce, where would be the best place to add on? I chose two nights for Bryce because I figured after flying to Vegas, getting luggage, getting rental car and then driving at least 4 hours to Bryce, we wouldn’t have any time to see or do much that day. I thought we’d spend the next day at Bryce and then start out fresh and early the next a.m. to Capitol Reef. What do you think? Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

  119. Cindi Holgash says:

    any answer on my itinerary posted before Sal’s?
    Thanks!

  120. sal says:

    Hello,

    I have found very useful information here. Thank you.

    I will be driving from Las Vegas to Page on Saturday. Planning to visit Lower Antelope Canyon then head to Horseshoe Bend. Is it possible/ advisable to both lower and upper canyons on the same day? I’ll be heading back to Las Vegas on Sunday with no rush. Is there anything else to see/visit near Page or on the way back to Las Vegas that doesn’t require advance preparations?

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Sal,
      Thanks for visiting, and for your compliments!
      This is a great question, and fortunately there is no shortage of free and/or cheap attractions to visit on the drive from Page to Las Vegas. If you go via the most direct route (map below), through Kanab, Colorado City and St. George, some popular places to visit include:
      The “New Wave:” just past the Glen Canyon Dam and opposite the Lake Powell Resort turn-off on US89 is an unmarked road to a small cluster of rock formations that bear an uncanny resemblance to “The Wave.” Unlike the “Old” Wave, the “New Wave” doesn’t require a permit, or charge admission. Because the road is not regularly maintained, it does wash out occasionally. If signage states “no admittance,” you’ll have to skip it.
      The Big Water Visitor Center: 15 miles Northwest of Page, AZ and just over the Utah border on US89, this unassuming facility offers up some impressive surprises, such as dinosaur bones excavated locally, a topographical relief map of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and paleontology and geology displays kids and adults will love.
      The Paria Rimrocks-Toadstools Trail: Between Page, AZ and Kanab, UT on US89 between mile markers 18 and 19 is a 1.5 mile round-trip trail leading to an unearthly rock garden where bizarre hoodoos, balanced rocks and other geological oddities grow. A moderate walk, don’t stop at what appears to be the end of the trail; the main hoodoo area is located up a short rock scramble.
      Kanab, Utah: a charming small town with a star-crossed path of a different sort, Kanab was once a popular site for Western movies and television shows. These days, tourism gets top billing on the economic marquee. A good stop for shopping or dining, the Rocking V Cafe and Houston’s Trail’s End Restaurant are popular among locals and visitors.

      Another possibility would be to make a slight detour via Marble Canyon and Lees Ferry (map below). On this route, good stop-off points include:
      The Cut Overlook: At this pull-out off US89 approximately 30 minutes South of Page, a panoramic view of a vast expanse of the Colorado Plateau is laid at your feet. You might also purchase some jewelry or other souvenirs from the Native American families that run outdoor curio stands in the area.
      Lees Ferry and Lonely Dell Ranch: For decades, this was the only place possible to cross the Colorado River. Named for its owner/operator, John Lee, who resided at a nearby farm. Legend has it that his wife took one look at the isolated outpost and exclaimed, “Oh, what a lonely dell!” Today, you can tour the ferry crossing site and the ranch, and wade in the Colorado River itself.
      Marble Canyon: Also an important river crossing site, here you’ll see two bridges side-by-side. The old Navajo Bridge, dating back to the 1920’s, and the new Navajo Bridge, completed in 1995. The old Navajo Bridge was refurbished as a pedestrian walkway, and you might see some California Condors sunning themselves on the rocks below! Stop in to the Visitor Center to learn more about the history of the bridge, and the challenges faced by the people who built it. Impossible-looking balanced rock formations are another scenic highlight of this area.
      Vermillion Cliffs: The Marble Canyon/Lees Ferry detour will take you past the far Southern border of this National Monument, famous for formations like The Wave, White Pocket Fold and the Buckskin Gulch.
      Jacob Lake Inn: nestled in the cool pines of the Kaibab National Forest 67 miles from Grand Canyon’s North Rim, this historic cabin hideaway makes a great stop for a bathroom break/leg stretch, or for a meal. If nothing else, grab a milkshake, or some of their legendary cookies, baked right on-site from time-honored recipes!

      As for whether you can tour both Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon in one day, it is totally possible. Whether it’s “advisable” depends largely on you. While some visitors feel that touring both branches of the canyon is worthwhile, others report after the fact thinking that their time might have been better spent doing other activities, such as seeing Antelope Canyon from the waterside on a Stand-Up Paddleboard or boat tour. Can You Tour Both Upper And Lower Antelope Canyon In 1 Day?
      Whichever way you go, advance reservations are a must!
      Hope that helps – have a wonderful trip!
      Alley

  121. Cindi Holgash says:

    I am still trying to streamline my itinerary…
    Please let me know if this works…
    Fly to Vegas (arrive 11 a.m.)
    Drive to Bryce –4 hours (stay 2 nights)
    Drive to Capitol Reef – 2 hours (stay one night)
    Drive to Moab – 2 1/2 hours (stay 2 nights) Arches,* Dead Horse State Park, Canyonlands
    *I realize there will be construction starting 7 p.m. on the road to Arches
    Drive to Monument Valley – 2 1/2 hours (stay one night) Sunset Navajo Spirit Tour
    Drive to Lake Powell — 2 hours (2 nights) Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell Boat tour, Horseshoe Bend
    Drive to Desert Pearl in Zion – 2 hours (2 nights)
    Zion to Las Vegas – 2 1/2 hours (2 nights in Vegas)

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Cindi,
      Hi and sorry I missed this, it kinda got lost in the mix.
      Long story short, yes, this is more workable than what you had previously proposed. I would strongly recommend padding your driving figures a bit, not because they’re not accurate, but invariably there are going to be stops for bathroom breaks and points of interest between places. As you can see from Sal’s itinerary, there are a lot of “little” things to see before the “big” attractions!
      Many visitors find one night to be sufficient at Bryce since it encompasses a relatively small area, so if you have trouble finding lodging for 2 nights, that can be a “saving grace.”
      I don’t recall when you were visiting, but if it’s during the summer or fall months, remember you’re going to have to factor in time changes. Las Vegas is on Pacific Daylight Time; Arizona is on Mountain STANDARD Time (we’re weird); Utah and the Navajo Indian Reservation are on Mountain Daylight Time. You’ll “lose” an hour going from Las Vegas to Bryce, be on the same time going from Capitol Reef to Moab and Monument Valley, then “gain” the hour back when you get to Page, AZ.
      Thanks and sorry again for the delay in reply,
      Alley

  122. Suzette says:

    Hi Alley! So glad to have found this site – your responses are a wealth of information!

    My friend and I have 2 days/1 night planned in the area and we want to visit GC South Rim and Antelope Canyon/Horseshoe Bend. We’re flying into Phoenix the first day, and probably staying in Page for the night. What do you suggest we visit/do to make the most of our trip??

    Your expertise and insights are welcomed! Thank you in advance!

    Suzette

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Suzette, and thanks for visiting our site today!
      2 days and 1 night really isn’t a lot of time to work with, but making the most of your trip won’t be hard in spite of that.
      The drive from Phoenix to Page, AZ takes approximately 4.5 hours if you drive direct. However, if you get an early enough start, you might swing through Sedona, or stop at Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monuments just North of Flagstaff. Further North is the historic Cameron Trading Post which is a good bathroom break/leg stretch stop, or if your tummy is growling by this point, maybe have lunch there. The Navajo Tacos are da bomb!
      Antelope Canyon is best seen during the mid-day hours, but these tours are usually sold out, so don’t fret if you have to go later in the day. Antelope Canyon is beautiful any time of day. Don’t forget to hit Horseshoe Bend Overlook on the way into town as well.
      The next morning, rise early and head for Grand Canyon South Rim. The drive takes 2.5 hours if done direct, but again, it rarely happens because of all the viewpoints you can stop at along the way. Don’t be surprised if it ends up running you 3.5-4 hours. Then, you’re looking at another 4 hours or so to drive back to Phoenix.
      Is there anyway you can modify your schedule so you can spend the night at the South Rim? That would make for a much more comfortable experience IMO.
      Good luck and happy travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Suzette says:

        Awesome, thanks so much, Alley!

        Suzette

      • Suzette says:

        Alley,

        Need your expert opinion again! We have a 3pm Lower Antelope tour scheduled the day we fly into Phoenix, then overnight in Page, then an 8am mule tour in GC the next morning. Is this the best use of our limited time, (I know you mentioned the overnight in South Rim)?? Maybe we need to flip our itinerary – GC first day, overnight there, then Page the next day? Any advice would be helpful! I’m feeling like our current setup is a little much driving and rushing around.

        Thank you in advance!
        Suzette

        • Alley Keosheyan says:

          Hi Suzette,
          Apologies for the delay in replying to your question. Memorial Day weekend – ’nuff said!
          Re: Your 8 AM mule ride at Grand Canyon – which one is it? If it’s the overnight trip to Phantom Ranch, hold onto that with everything you’ve got, it’s an amazing experience, and one that’s very hard to come by. If it’s the Canyon Vistas ride (which I’m relatively sure is what you have), to be honest, I’d say skip it. For one, you’d have to get up awfully early to make it to the South Rim to check in. It takes about 2.5 hours to drive from Page, AZ to Grand Canyon Village. Plus you’d miss the sightseeing opportunities on the East Rim/Desert View Drive. There are lots of beautiful viewpoints to stop at along that route. I’d hate to see you have to do a “drive-by” sighting because you were on a tight deadline for a ride that only goes through the forest up to a single viewpoint (which the Canyon Vista ride does).
          As for whether you need to flip your itinerary around, that’s a six-of-one/half-a-dozen-of-another proposition. It’s ~4.5 hours from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon, or Page. If I’d advise any kind of modification to your schedule, it would be to add another night in Page so you can have tour Antelope Canyon at a more desirable time slot (mid-day) and a little bit of “downtime” after all that driving. Of course, it’s all contingent on availability of lodging in Page and/or Grand Canyon, and Antelope Canyon tours as well.
          Hope that helped at least somewhat. If it’s any consolation, you wouldn’t be the first family to tour the area on such and ambitious schedule, and you certainly won’t be the last.
          Safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  123. Shab says:

    Hi, love your website and all the articles!

    I am planning a solo trip from Vancouver, BC to visit Antelope Canyon and Horse Bend from June 1-5. My plan is to rent a car from Vegas to Page although a bit nervous about the drive. Any recommendations for this first time solo traveler? Love to make the most of my time while there and hopefully get to do the things you suggested in Ultimate 2-day Itinerary.

    So lucky to have come upon this site. Thank you for all your guidance!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Shab,
      Thank you for visiting, and for your compliments!
      The drive from Las Vegas to Page is a fairly straightforward one, taking place on paved, well-traveled roads. Driving directly, the trip usually takes 4.5 hours or so, but people rarely drive straight through as there are many beautiful sites and points of interest along the way.
      In your case, you might consider driving through Zion National Park in Utah. It doesn’t add much to your drive in terms of mileage, but for scenic quality, it definitely beats the more direct route.

      The only thing I would caution you or any driver about is not to drive in this area at night. Supplemental/artificial lighting is kept to a bare minimum on local roadways, so once the sun sets, it gets really dark, plus deer, elk and other wildlife like to congregate near the roads at night, and trust me, you don’t want to get in an accident with one of them!
      Here’s a question for you: if you have 4 nights total, did you plan to spend them all in the Page area? You might consider splitting your time between Zion and Page.
      Hope that helps. Feel free to write again!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      • Shab says:

        Hi Alley,

        Thank you so much for writing back and all your advise. You made my day!

        To be honest, I do not have much of clue or itinerary planned. It’s my 45th birthday on June 2nd and have this strange calling that I need to be in Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. Other than that I don’t have to stay in Page. But not having been in these areas or ever travelled on my own, feeling pretty nervous and lost. I hope to arrive in Vegas late morning or early afternoon of June 1st so to get a head start. Would like to keep it simple and make most of my days.

        Would it be too much to ask if you have any suggestions or ideas for an itinerary?

        Thank you again for everything. You have no idea how much it means to me.

        Hoping not to chicken out,
        Shab

  124. Cindi says:

    Thanks so much, Alley. I appreciate your bringing the construction problem to my attention. I will certainly keep it in mind when planning. I checked into it after you wrote about it and people have commented that they made sure they visited first thing in the morning to avoid the most traffic.

    Yes, you are correct about the Grand Canyon-I have visited a few years ago, so I will concentrate on other national parks and sites besides the Grand Canyon and Sedona.

    Would it make any difference if I reversed your proposed itinerary? Start with Vegas, then Bryce, then Escalante, then Capitol Reef, etc. Any advantage one direction vs. the opposite?

    Thanks for all your help!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Cindi, thanks for writing back! As to the order in which you visit the parks, monuments, etc. on your itinerary, it doesn’t really make a huge difference. Availability of lodging in the different locations may be the primary determining factor for how you plan your trip. Since you’ll have done a lot of driving on this vacation, you may want to coordinate it so your last stop puts you closer to Las Vegas, in which case, that would be Bryce.
      🙂 Thanks again for stopping by!
      Alley
      P.S. Remember to pick up an “America The Beautiful Federal Lands Access Pass” at the first park on your itinerary. It will save you a ton of money on park entrance fees! https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm

  125. Cindi Holgash says:

    This is an amazing site! Thanks for all your wealth of information. I need help with my planning of our Utah trip. We plan on flying to Vegas –not sure whether to start at Zion/Bryce or go to Lake Powell first.
    Vegas to Lake Powell– one night in Lake Powell (boat tour)
    Lake Powell to Monument Valley –one night in Monument Valley. My dream is to do a sunset jeep tour if possible here.
    Antelope Canyon, Horshoe Bend
    Monument Valley to Canyonland to Moab
    One – Two nights in Moab (Arches, Canyonland, 7 Dead Horse State Park)
    Moab to Capitol Reef (Arches
    Capitol Reef to Escalante
    Escalante to Bryce/Zion (portion of The Narrows) other various sites there
    2-3 nights in Zion
    2 nights in Vegas
    I am in fair shape but I do have rheumatoid arthritis in my legs. I am 60 and my husband is 63. I would say hiking in the moderate range would be the best bet. Also when would be the best time to go to the Antelope Canyon? Which would be best for us to tackle?
    Thanks so much for your help!

    Does this sound like a plan? If you have a better itinerary, please give me your better ideas.

    forgot to mention that we are thinking of taking the trip mid-July or early August. Thanks!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Cindy, thank you for visiting our site, and your compliments!
      First of all, you might want to consider taking Moab off your itinerary. Not that it isn’t beautiful (it is), but there is a major road construction project going on in Arches this year that will significantly impact the quality of your visit. Here’s more information on the project ->: https://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/construction.htm
      Not knowing how long you actually have for your trip, I’ll venture to suggest an itinerary as follows:
      Las Vegas to Zion – 2 nights in Zion
      Zion to Page/Lake Powell – 2 nights in Page (boat tour, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend)
      Page to Monument Valley – 1 night in MV
      Monument Valley to Capitol Reef – 2 nights in Capitol Reef
      Capitol Reef to Escalante – 1 night in Escalante
      Escalante to Bryce – 1 night in Bryce
      Bryce to Las Vegas

      For suggestions of good hikes you and your husband can do, I recommend going to https://www.nps.gov and visiting the sites for the individual parks. For Antelope Canyon specifically, Upper would probably be your best bet as that branch of the canyon is flat, 100 yards long (or short, as it were) and manageable for 99% of people who visit. Lower requires some stair climbing and boulder scrambling. Whichever you choose, make sure you book your trip in advance of your arrival. This has become a very popular attraction. In your case, since you’re planning to go to Monument Valley, you can easily do your tour on the way from Page to MV by catching it at the Tribal Park Entrance on US98. Visit http://www.navajotours.com for more information.
      One last thing, keep in mind that it’s going to be hot at the time of your trip, and it’s monsoon season, which means afternoon thunderstorms occur almost daily. It’s nothing to fear, just something to be aware of.
      OK, one more last thing: I notice the Grand Canyon is absent from your trip plan. Have you already been there?
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley

  126. Scott says:

    Hi Ryan. We will be spending 3 days and two nights in early may in the Page area. Of coarse plan on visiting Antelope canyon and Lake powell. We would like to camp and have a four wheels drive vehicle. Can you recommend any 4×4 accessible remote beautiful places to set up camp?
    Thanks
    Scott

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Morning Scott,
      Thanks for visiting our site! There are a plethora of camping options – both developed and primitive – in the Page/Lake Powell area. The reason I mention both options is because you did not expressly state whether your 4WD vehicle was your personal vehicle or a rental. If you’re renting your vehicle, most rental car companies forbid off-road driving, even if the vehicle you rent is a 4×4 or SUV. If you venture off paved roadways and sustain any damage to the vehicle, you would void your rental insurance and be held liable for potentially costly repairs. In this case, you’d be better off sticking to managed campgrounds, such as the Wahweap Campground inside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, or the Lake Powell Campground in the town of Page, AZ.
      If the vehicle is yours, then you’re free to camp wherever you wish! Popular camping options for those with 4×4 vehicles includes, but is not limited to, Lone Rock Beach on the AZ/UT border near the town of Greenehaven, and Alstrom Point, which can be accessed via a dirt road from the town of Big Water, UT. For the latter, it is strongly advised to get a map of the local area or discuss your planned route with knowledgeable local residents, such as the employees of the John Wesley Powell Memorial Museum.
      Another option you might not have considered is to get off your wheels and get on the water. Rent a boat at Lake Powell Marina and Antelope Marina, find a nice cove or beach, pitch your tent and enjoy! However, for this option, you must provide or rent some type of portable sanitation device. Ditto for places such as Alstrom Point, which have no facilities. Be sure to pack out all trash, as well.
      For more information on camping in the Page area, visit our page “Camping and RV Options Near Antelope Canyon.”
      Have fun!
      Alley

  127. Audra Johnston says:

    Hey Ryan,

    Thanks for this one day intinerary! I am planning my first day (and first time) in Page with it! I’ve enjoyed your website about Antelope Canyon and all the post and comments so much. After two days in Page, I am heading to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. I hope you don’t mind me asking about the South Rim. Any suggestions? Must dos and don’t dos?

    Can’t wait to visit. Thanks for this website, it has been very helpful!

    From Texas,
    Audra J.

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Audra,
      As someone who lived and worked at the South Rim for 7 years, I don’t mind at all answering your question!
      First off, the most logical route from Page to Grand Canyon South Rim is to take US89 South, then get on AZ64 West. At the junction of these two highways is the Historic Cameron Trading Post. It makes for a good bathroom break/leg stretch at the very least, but if you have the time or inclination, maybe stay to do some souvenir shopping, or enjoy their restaurant’s signature dish, the Navajo Taco.
      Upon departing the Navajo reservation and entering the park, there are several Grand Canyon viewpoints you should stop at: the Desert View Watchtower, Lipan Point, Moran Point, and Zuni Point, just to name a few.
      When you get to Grand Canyon Village, the main commerce area at the South Rim, find a place to park, then take the free Village Loop Shuttle up to the stop across from the Grand Canyon Railway Depot, then climb the staircase to the rim. There, you can walk the easy, paved Rim Trail through the Historic District, featuring Verkamp’s, the Hopi House, El Tovar Hotel, Bright Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio, and Kolb Studio. Yavapai Geological Museum is a fascinating stop as well, also accessible by the Village Loop Shuttle, as is the Canyon View Information Plaza. Outside the park in Tusayan/GC Village South, the IMAX presentation “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets” is also fun.
      For more good suggestions on planning a Grand Canyon trip, visit http://www.grandcanyon.com or http://www.nps.gov/grca
      Happy traveling from Arizona,
      Alley

  128. ml says:

    by the way Alley,

    suggested hotels above will be very useful the next visit!
    thanks very much indeed!

  129. ml says:

    Thanks Alley:-)
    Appreciate the tips!
    so, our final trip will be:

    -staying at scottsdale overnight upon arrival
    -early morning heading and exploring Sedona for one day (rock slide -swimming/holy cross chapel
    -in the early evening, heading to flagstaff hotel (2nights)?
    -early morning next day heading to horseshoe bend and entelope
    -overnight stay again in flagstaff
    -early morning heading to grand canyon south rim and explore
    -leave grand canyon by 2pm ? and headback to scottsdale (4.5hrs drive)

    is grand canyon south rim explorable by 3hrs max??

    thanks Alley
    any inputs will be much appreciated.
    God speed!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi again!
      Staying in Flagstaff, it is possible to see quite a bit of Grand Canyon in 3 hours time, especially if you were to arrive and/or depart via the East Rim/Desert View Drive.
      Driving direct from Flagstaff (or “Flag” as we locals call it) to the Grand Canyon takes 1.5 hours; going and/or coming via the East Rim route adds another hour onto the trip. If you want, you can make a “loop” out of it like so ->:
      Be sure to stop at the Historic Cameron Trading Post for a bathroom break, leg stretch, maybe a little souvenir shopping or even a meal! http://www.camerontradingpost.com
      Good luck and God speed to you,
      Alley 🙂

  130. ml says:

    Hello Ryan,

    Thank you for your amazing replies and comments, these sure are a great help especially for first time travellers like ourselves.
    we are arriving in Phoenix and staying in scottsdale hotel. Our trip is for five days. travelling with kids (9 and 3 yrs old).
    Planned itineraries:
    day 1 – exploring/driving to sedona then back to scottsdale
    day 2 – driving to page for horseshoe bend and antelope canyon in one day (back to scottsdale end of day), although looking for a night to stay in page but hotels are either fully booked or pricey
    day3- grand canyon
    any suggestions will be much appreciated.
    Thanks!

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi ml, and thanks for visiting our site.
      Your plan looks pretty good, except for the two days exploring Grand Canyon and Page. The drive from Scottsdale to both of these locations is 4.5 hours minimum – one way. Doing day trips out of Scottsdale is going to mean a lot of time spent driving, which is likely to get old pretty quick.
      I know what you mean about Page hotels being a bit on the pricey side, but there are a few that tend to ‘fly under the radar’ due to their location off the main drag of the town, and the fact that they are independently owned properties who don’t take reservations via the usual channels. Lulu’s Sleep Ezze Motel, the Lake Powell Motel, the Red Rock Motel and Debbie’s Hide-A-Way (I’ve personally stayed at Debbie’s several times) are located in a residential area of Page and are actually converted apartments. So for the price of a traditional motel room – sometimes less – you get a bigger space with a separate living area, fully stocked kitchen, and more personal service. Do a Google search of the above-referenced properties and maybe do a price comparison.
      As for the Grand Canyon, you’ll find the same situation re: lodging prices holds true, but by going a bit ‘off-the-beaten-path,’ you can sometimes find a good deal. Click on this link and scroll down for hotels in Valle, AZ (25 miles South of the park) or Williams, AZ (1 hour South of the park) ->: https://grandcanyon.com/category/hotels/south-rim-hotels/ Otherwise, get an early start out of Scottsdale, AZ and likewise, start back to Scottsdale well before nightfall.
      Good luck and have a wonderful visit in Arizona!
      Alley

  131. Arby says:

    Hi Ryan or Alley,
    We are flying into Flagstaff and have 4 days and we want to see Grand Canyon,-1day, 1day- antelope canyon, horseshoe bend and 1day-Sedona.
    1. Please suggest the sequence?
    2. And also suggest the sequence for antelope canyon and horseshoe bend?
    3. Also suggest must places to see in Sedona? Thanks a lot

    • Alley Keosheyan says:

      Hi Arby,
      Alley here! So let’s get right down to it:
      Question #1: The sequence in which you visit the various attractions you have on your wish list will revolve around lodging at the Grand Canyon. Sort that out first, and the rest will easily fall into place. For example, if you’re able to secure a hotel at the Grand Canyon directly upon your arrival, you can then go to Page afterward, then hit Sedona last. If you’re not able to find anything suitable until toward the end of your 4 days, then go to Sedona first, then up to Page, then Grand Canyon and back to Flagstaff. For more information on Grand Canyon hotels, this link lists them in order of preference and proximity to the South Rim. grandcanyon.com/category/hotels/south-rim-hotels/ Don’t fret too much about “what’s best,” just grab what’s available and go from there.
      2. As for the sequence for visiting Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, this can also be done in either order. The consensus on the best time to visit Horseshoe Bend is either just after sunrise or late afternoon just prior to sunset. The best time to visit Antelope Canyon is generally regarded as mid-day when the light in the canyon is brightest and the chance for observing the light shafts is greatest.
      3. Must-see places in Sedona – hope you have at least 2 days, because there’s a lot, including, but by no means limited to, Oak Creek Canyon, Slide Rock State Park, Pink Jeep Tours, Red Rock State Park, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, scenic air tours. Just do a Google search on “top things to do in Sedona, AZ” and you’ll come up with all kinds of suggestions.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and happy traveling!
      Alley

  132. Diana says:

    Thanks for this great itinerary. We’re visiting Page next month with our 6 and 9 year old sons as part of our Sedona and Grand Canyon trip. We have booked the half day raft trip and have one more day to plan. Based on your recommendation we’ve booked Lower Antelope Canyon and will definitely check out Horseshoe Bend. Do you think it still makes sense to do the Lake Powell boat trip being that we’ll be on the water for half of the previous day? We were thinking of squeezing in a hike between Lower Antelope and Horseshoe Bend. The boys like scramble on rocks but I don’t want any dangerous ledges for them.

    Thanks!
    Diana