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The Best Things to do in Page AZ in Two Days

looking up a slot canyon with text overlay "2 epic days in Page AZ"

The Best Things to do in Page AZ in Two Days

Page Arizona is located in northern Arizona and is a place that the adventurous spirit dreams of! The young and the young at heart will find plenty of discovery that can easily fill two whole days. If you are lucky enough to be even considering this destination then woo-hoo for you.  We feel a little jealous. What is there to do in Page, Arizona? We are so glad you asked:) The answer is a lot and we are so happy to share with you what we think are the very best things to do in Page, AZ in two days.

Where is Page AZ Located and What Can You Do There?

Page is located at the northern tip of Arizona and only a handful of miles from its beautiful neighbor  Utah.  Most of the year, Utah and Arizona are not on the same time zone. Because of their close proximity, one of the really annoying things about the area is that often, cell phones will keep switching back and forth between Utah time and Arizona time.  That can cause a lot of trouble with missed tours, reservations, sleeping challenges and so forth. Our recommendation is to set your cell phone to Phoenix, AZ time for the entire duration of your stay to avoid any trouble associated with a time mix up. And as they say…you will be good to go.

* We road tripped to AZ this time since we are super close. If you will be taking a road trip to AZ, be sure to see The 20 Best Road Trip Tips for Families you NEED TO KNOW!

By far, the best things to do when visiting Page are:

  • Horseshoe Bend
  • Upper Antelope Canyon
  • Lower Antelope Canyon
  • Lake Powell

horseshoe bend with girl in white shirtTop Tips for Visiting Horseshoe Bend

OH MY GOSH, you guys!!! That’s the first thing I have to say about Horseshoe Bend. This is a must see.  And when I say must see, I mean if this is a first visit or your 100th visit, the site does not get old. Horseshoe bend can be successfully visited and photographed any time of day and it is fun to even visit multiple times to see which time you like the best.  Picture standing on the top of a near 1000 foot cliff and watching the Colorado River flow by the enormous peninsula at a 270-degree curve. It perfectly resembles the shape of a horseshoe, hence the name Horseshoe Bend.

If you are standing looking down at the bend, the sun will rise on your back. If you go toward sunset, the sun will be in your face.  Both scenarios are different but equally dramatic. In the bright sunlight, the water below is clearly bright emerald green and the shadows play on the ochre twisted rocks and craggy outcroppings of terracotta colored sandstone. On a cloudy day, the water looks darker and glassy with more even lighting. Both are surreal!

Do you need a tour to see Horseshoe Bend?  The answer is no. The park is operated by the Glen Canyon Recreation Area. You can easily visit on your own.  Let’s go over a few items that will help you plan the perfect outing to Horseshoe Bend.  

visiting horseshoe bend from aboveWeather Insights when you Visit Horseshoe Bend

Be prepared for the weather.  The tops of those cliffs are exposed and the weather changes quickly.  We were there when a thunder and lightning storm started to roll in. We knew we were in trouble when our hair started standing on end like we had just stuck our finger in a light socket.  Yikes! We high tailed it out of there as soon as we could. We were grateful we did because about 15 minutes later the lightning storm came in with a vengeance.

It can also get HOT HOT HOT.  Temperatures in the summer can easily reach above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  There is very little shade (although improvements are under construction to provide more shade) and not much protection from the sun.  In those summer months, I would highly recommend an early morning visit to be able to enjoy it at a more moderate temperature. In peak season (usually mid April through September), the parking lot opens so early (think 4:45 am).  Maybe carrying an umbrella for some shade would be a good idea.

Costs for Visiting Horseshoe Bend

To visit Horseshoe Bend is free but they do charge for parking.  Parking fees are for one time only and if you return multiple times, you will be charged the parking fee each time.  National Park passes are not accepted. The fee for a private vehicle is $10.00. If you visit in peak season, (usually mid-April through September) there is an overflow parking lot a short distance away from the main lot.  The overflow is open from 10:00am- 5:00pm. To catch the shuttle will cost $5.00 p/person. Another reason to get there early.

smiling girls visiting horseshoe bend arizonaHow to Remain Safe at Horseshoe Bend

This one is a biggie.  There is only one spot along the canyon wall where there is a railing to prevent falls, and it isn’t very big :/  Every year people fall, and it horrifies me to think about it. The rest of the large area offers no other safety railings or barriers. You can walk and hike along the steep walls for as far and as long as your heart desires (and you should).  There are so many cool vantage points from which to see and photograph the view.

There are loads of children there and in my opinion taking children requires a higher level of vigilance to keep everyone safe. Having a conversation beforehand with children who can understand is a good place to start. Set the ground rules.  I think keeping young children within the area of the barriers is a good idea. If you want to venture out and about, make sure your children are holding hands at all times with an adult. Don’t get too close to the edge… the surfaces are very uneven and the sandstone can give way. Horseshoe Bend is definitely one of the best things to do in Page, AZ in two days! Let’s all be safe while enjoying this incredible view!!

Top Tips for Visiting Both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons

Without question, both of these canyons are bucket list worthy! We will first share a few things that are true for both canyons and then share the items that are pertinent for each canyon.

Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons are some of the most famous and photographed slot canyons in the world and with good reason.  Exquisitely and epically representative of the American Southwest the twisted and contorted walls are breathtaking. Both located on Navajo land they are considered sacred to the Navajo people that live nearby.  Respect is key:) Now, let’s address some common questions about visiting Antelope Canyon!

visiting lower antelope canyon looking upCan you go to Antelope Canyon without a tour?

The answer is no. A visit to either Lower or Upper Antelope canyons is not possible on your own.  You must be accompanied by a Navajo guide. We found the guides to be kind and accommodating and more than willing and eager to share these special areas.  We have also found that many of them are multilingual. On our last visit, between both of our guides, they spoke at least some Korean, Japanese, English and French.  The tours are not broken up by languages so it is likely that there will be different nationalities represented each tour group. 

In both canyons, be prepared for crowds. The canyon was filled with crowds and the tours moved slowly (which is a good thing).  The guides do a good job of spacing and maneuvering the groups through the winding canyons so you are able to get good photos (without others in them) and stop to see and enjoy the different formations. You will not be able to stop for very long to take pics but the guides are also helpful to show you where to snap some great photos.  In high season, I would never show up without a reservation. You can reserve online and we highly highly recommend it.  Even with the crowds, it remains one of the best things to do in Page, AZ in two days.

When is the best time of year to go to Antelope Canyon?  

You can successfully visit the canyon any time of year. Each experience in the canyon will yield different but beautiful results.  I think Monet himself would have been fascinated with these canyons as he loved to paint exactly what he saw as the light and color changed the scene entirely.  Think of the canyons in that way…very impressionistic to capture. Be aware that the summer months can be sooo hot. The temperature in the canyons is 10-15 degrees cooler inside than the exterior temperature.  Plan accordingly.

What is the best time of day to go to Antelope Canyon?  

We were very persistent in asking the guides and doing our own research.  Through our experience and research, we think that the best time of day to visit Antelope Canyon is around noon in the winter and either mid-morning or late afternoon in the summer.  There is so much written about this and everyone has their own opinion. The great thing about it is that the colors and light are constantly changing and each experience will be a unique one!!! SO exciting. No matter when you go, the canyons will be spectacular!

two girls visiting the inside of antelope canyonCan you visit Upper Canyon and Lower Canyon in one day? 

YES.  It is totally possible to visit both in one day. Allow 2 hours total (including check-in time) for each canyon.  A visit to one in the morning and one in the evening would be the ideal day. Make sure you have a booked reservation to each canyon, especially in high season.

What can you NOT take with you when Visiting Antelope Canyon?

NO BAGS, CAMERA BAGS, TRIPODS, BACKPACKS, DIAPER BAGS OR PURSES ARE ALLOWED IN EITHER CANYON.  They are very strict about this and allow no exceptions. Baby backpacks or front carriers ARE allowed in Lower Canyon but NOT in Upper Canyon. There are no lockers, so you must leave all of these items in your car. In your research, you may see older pictures with these things but the policy has since changed.  Remember this if you are wanting to take infants or small children. We recommend taking a jacket, pants or shirts that have pockets (the bigger the better). This will leave your hands free to enjoy the experience and take photos rather than shuffling car keys, camera lens covers, cell phones, baby pacifiers, sunglasses etc.. No strollers or wheeled vehicles are allowed.

Are there bathrooms inside of Antelope Canyon?

There are bathroom facilities at the check-in locations, but once the tour starts, there are no bathroom facilities at either location.  Be prepared with feminine needs and with children’s needs too. There is no place to change a diaper or whisk a child quickly to the toilet.

Touring Upper Canyon

There are 4 operators that provide guided tours in Upper Canyon:

Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours– (allows children)

Antelope Canyon Navajo tours– (allows children)

Antelope Canyon Tours

Antelope Slot Canyon Tours– (allows children)

For Upper Canyon, you will meet at the site of the operator and be transported by Jeep or other vehicle to the entrance to the canyon. It isn’t a far drive, maybe 10 minutes or so but it can be bumpy.  If you are taking children, be prepared with a car seat that will be left on the vehicle, after the tour, transportation will be provided back to the original departure point.

The most famous of the two, Upper Canyon is above ground in an A shape formation and is known for its famous streaks of light.  These are found mostly when the dust is kicked up in the canyon. The ground areas are larger and easier to navigate while the top of the canyon is more narrow but still with plenty of light windows. It is an easy walk with very little incline and is much more easily maneuvered than Lower Canyon.  You will walk through the canyon (the distance is only .25 mile one way) and then you will walk back through the canyon and exit the same way you entered. If you have stability or mobility issues, this one is a better choice. Upper Canyon also tends to be busier.

Touring Lower Canyon

There are 2 operators that provide guided tours to Lower Canyon:

Ken’s Tours– allows children and baby carriers

Dixie Ellis Lower Antelope Canyon Tours– allows children and baby carriers

For Lower Canyon, you will check-in at your chosen operator and will walk only a short distance to the canyon.  The entrance is found after descending 6 flights of steep metal stairs. Lower Canyon is underground and is shaped in a V.  The floor is much smaller and narrow and the canyon ceiling opens up wider, letting in lots of light. There are various stairs and ladders that must be maneuvered throughout the tour.  There are even a few without rails although this was not a huge problem for us. Round trip is approximately 1 mile.

While Upper Canyon is known for its famous streaks of light, Lower is known for its beautiful and vibrant colors!  You will love the show and that makes this one of the best things to do in Page, AZ in two days. The canyon is always putting on a beautiful show in a kaleidoscope of colors including reds, auburn oranges, cinnamon, bronze and even shades of purple. We prefer to be in the canyon when the light is not directly overhead, the colors seem to dazzle at that time.  If you have time for only one canyon, we prefer Lower Canyon. Without a doubt, this is one of the best things to do in Page, AZ.

*One last tip.  We booked a Deluxe tour with Ken’s Tours on our last visit and there were only 4 people in our group.  We had a guide just for our group and it was a much better experience than the general tour (which has 10-12 people).  The cost is more but if you can swing…then do it.

the twisting red rock slot canyon in antelope canyonLast but not Least, Enjoy Lake Powell From A Boat

Another of the best things to do in Page, AZ is to enjoy the landscape of Lake Powell from a boat.  Haha. Well, let’s be clear… Lake Powell shares its borders with both Arizona and Utah, with the majority of the Lake in Utah.  One of the largest reservoirs in the country, it is also one of the most visually stunning. Book a boat tour of this magical place.  

Our preference is to take the all-day boat tour from Wahweap Marina to see Rainbow Bridge National Monument.  Rainbow Bridge is a natural wonder for sure and is located 50 miles upstream. It spans 275 feet across Bridge Canyon and extends 290 feet into the air.  SPECTACULAR! You will see the effects of wind and water in the creation of this arch. The boat ride allows for a view of the unique shoreline of Lake Powell while in transit.  Once you have arrived at the dock, a roundtrip walk of 1.25 miles is required to view the bridge. If you can take a day to do this… then go for it.

If you don’t have the time in the schedule for full day excursion to Rainbow Bridge, there are other boat tours that are less expensive and less time intensive.  You can find many options on the Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas website.  They also rent kayaks, jet skis and powerboats for some thrilling family time under the sun.

There you have it!!!  Some great options to enjoy the best things in Page, AZ in two days.  Many more adventures await in this fab region of the Southwest United States but these should be at the top of any traveler’s bucket list!!  

Have you ever been to Page, AZ?  Let us know what your favorite things are.

Happy Travels!

Shani

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Image of slot canyon with text The Best Things to do in Page Arizona

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