How to Spend One Day

in Page, Arizona

Our Guide to a Fun Family Day in the American Southwest

We recently took an exciting road trip through the American Southwest.  This corner of the globe has some of the most amazing geological formations and breathtaking scenery in the world.  After leaving the epic areas of Southern Utah and before continuing onto Monument Valley, we stopped over in Page, Arizona for 24 hours.  This spot is sometimes overlooked, but visitors to this area won’t be disappointed.  Find out how we spent one day in Page and what we liked best.

The entrance to Ken's Tours
The entrance to Ken's Tours

Lower Antelope Canyon
Our first stop was visiting Lower Antelope Canyon on Navajo land just outside of Page. I couldn’t wait to climb down into those narrow slot canyons and see in person what I’ve been envying on Instagram for months now.   In planning ahead, I read countless reviews online describing the difference between Lower and Upper Canyon and then information on the various companies operating tours at each.  We chose Ken’s Tours and were happy with this choice.  The cost for a tour is $20 for adults and $12 for children.  Guests are also required to pay a cash fee of $20 per car to drive onto the Navajo reservation.  Since this was our first stop on a busy day, we opted for one of the morning tours.  We booked ahead of time on their easy online system.  

We walked about 15 minutes back behind the office area to where we would enter the slot canyon.  We followed our guide down a steep set of staircases and were in!  My 10 year old doesn’t like caves.  At first he was nervous about going into this narrow passage, but he was fine with it once he saw that it was wide enough at most places and that he could always see some portion of the sky above him. 

We appreciated our Navajo guide who made adjustments to each of our cameras and phones in order to get the best pictures possible.  He even took time adjusting our boys’ iPods for their picture taking. 

We learned that these canyons are a result of soft sandstone and flash flooding.  If there is ever a concern about rain in the forecast, all tours are cancelled.  Our guide also told us how these canyons were originally discovered by a girl tending to her herd of sheep.  Ken’s Tours also offers photography tours that cost a little more, but allow guests to spend more time without being hurried through.  Our tour lasted about 60 minutes and I think we each took at least 100 pictures!  It was truly amazing!


Exploring the Shoreline of Lake Powell
Next we made the short drive over to the Antelope Canyon Marina area.  We had about two hours to spare before our boat tour and enjoyed some down time to just explore the shoreline.  We found ample parking areas, restrooms, and a gift shop with light snacks.  Our favorite area was just west of the Marina.  There were rocks to climb on and pristine beautiful water to admire.  Our two hours flew by and everyone agreed we could have stayed longer.


Slot Canyon Boat Tour
Then we drove back over to the Antelope Canyon Marina to meet our boat tour.  We booked online ahead of time, but it seems like tours are readily available with or without a reservation.  The walk from the parking lot out to boat dock is quite far.  In fact, it’s a good 15 minute walk, even though it looks like you could make it in less than five.  We ended up having to run to make it in time!

The boat was a large flat-bottomed pontoon type boat.  Our guide was friendly and filled our time with lots of interesting information like where the name Antelope Canyon comes from and how the area changes from season to season.  We were amazed at the beautiful scenery, the glassy water, and incredible reflections.

The boat tour lasted about an hour and took us down one slot canyon of Lake Powell.  Similar to the walking tour we took earlier in the day, this slot canyon was a winding path of red and orange sandstone, only this time wider and filled with water.

Horseshoe Bend
Then it was time for our last stop.  The one that sat in the corner of my mind all day like a little worry bug.  Following other family travel bloggers on social media, I knew that Horseshoe Bend would provide an amazing view and something I definitely wanted to see.  But I also knew that the view came with some risk as there is no guard rail, and the sheer cliff is about 800 feet above the Colorado River below.  I have to admit.  I'm a little afraid of heights and being near any cliff with my family makes me very nervous.  When we arrived to the parking lot we had a serious talk before anyone was allowed to exit the vehicle.  I made everyone promise to stay 10 feet from the edge.  If they couldn’t agree, they would wait in the car.  No compromise.  Period.  Everyone agreed, so off we went.  

The hike to Horseshoe Bend from the parking lot is about 20 minutes.  There were lots and lots of people around.  I’m happy to report that everyone kept their promise (except my husband who bravely crawled on his belly to get “the” picture). 

I was glad to be heading back to the car with my family intact when we were done.  Personally speaking, I probably would not take young children here.  You really can’t get the full panorama of the horseshoe without getting right to the edge.

 

Lodging and Food Details
There really isn’t much to the actual town of Page.  The real highlights are the things I’ve already mentioned.  There are a handful of chain motel options, fast food restaurants and a few diners.  That suited us fine as we were just passing through.  We chose to stay at the Courtyard in Page, had their breakfast, and that was about it.  We were planning to have lunch at the restaurant at the Antelope Canyon Marina, but it was closed when we were there due to it being off season.  However we read good reviews and it looked nice when we saw it.

 

So, that’s it.  Our one day in Page, Arizona.  Have you been?  What are your recommendations?  I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment below.

 

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