Is it true what they say – spend a day in Page, Arizona and you’ll be hooked for life?
After having a chance to visit the area this past year, I think it’s safe to say that Page/Lake Powell will definitely be on my top list of recommendations for anyone looking for a lakeside getaway offering a wide array of activities. Popular highlights include Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, and Horseshoe Bend. Being located only a short drive from the entrance to the Coyote Buttes North/South (as well as countless other hikes/excursions) – this place is everything you could want in an adventure destination and more.
The City of Page is one of the youngest communities in the United States. We learned that the city was built in 1957 specifically for the workers and families of those building the Glen Canyon Dam. The new construction of the roads, bridges, and the surrounding infrastructure led Page to become the gateway to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Powell. Currently, the rapidly-developing town and surrounding areas and activities attract more than 4 million visitors per year. While it has become an easier place to visit with many restaurants and hotels in the city proper – not to mention the Amangiri – outside of the town is more underdeveloped with scarce resources available and no nearby hospitals. Everyone being kind-hearted and like-minded in the spirit of communal growth and cooperation, seems to be an important aspect of the wild-west vibes of Page and its outskirts. If you need help out here, you’ll eventually find it.
While Page is Navajo Nation-adjacent in the present day, it actually used to be legally a part of the Navajo Nation before a land exchange in 1958 after the dam construction had commenced. The Navajo people represent the largest segment of the population in the Glen Canyon area and their reservation contains more than 16 million acres through Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. In most areas of the Navajo Nation, it is actually illegal to enter the land without invitation or permission. Some of the most beautiful natural gems in North America may actually be the ones we can’t even access! While it can be a challenge to find information on visiting the Navajo Nation apart from a few select destinations nearly impossible and constantly changing.
However, no need to be discouraged – there are still some pretty amazing opportunities to explore the Navajo land through guided tours and the like, the most famous example in the area being the Upper and Lower-Antelope Canyon.
Page, AZ is the perfect place for all types of adventurers including those who want to just kick it and enjoy the easy life on the lake to those looking for a tad more of an on-foot or overland thrill. Whether you are with your family or taking a vacay with your friends, here are some of the amazing things to do around this charming town that everyone can enjoy.
Stand Near The Edge At Horseshoe Bend
If you do nothing else in Page, AZ, it’s worth the quick stop and short walk to the iconic Horseshoe Bend overlook. Even if you don’t recognize it by the name, you’ll probably recognize Horseshoe Bend from the millions of stunning pictures posted from there. While Horseshoe Bend has always been a local favorite, it definitely went viral a few years ago because of its amazing horseshoe shape, blue water twisting around a deep red-hued canyon. Horseshoe Bend is located only about 6 minutes from the town, right off of route 89. There is a fee-parking area, restrooms, and a trail to get down to the overlook where you can explore or just get your IG-worthy picture before returning to the car.
Sup/Kayak Into Antelope Canyon From Lake Powell
Updated for COVID-19
Visiting Antelope Canyon is an experience of a lifetime. Technically, Antelope Canyon can only be accessed two ways, by taking a paid tours offered through one of the few Navajo-run tour companies to access specific areas of the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons or by actually paddling or boating up the canyon inlet from Lake Powell. They do take you to different places – just further along the canyon – and are very different experiences.
If you’re visiting during 2021, the chances are that tours may not be running due to COVID-19 closures, so there is only one way to enter the canyon, through the water. It may sound difficult, or too good to be true, but it’s actually pretty simple.
Head over to the Antelope Point Marina. From there, you can either rent a kayak/SUP onsite or if you brought your own, you can actually kick off from the Antelope Point Launch Ramp, saving you about a ¼ of a mile of paddling.
The journey takes about an hour and a half to two hours, each way. You can take a boat over to the entrance of Antelope Canyon, but boats are not able to dock or enter the sand beach, so the only way to hike through the final canyons is with a small vessel. It’s definitely worth the experience though. Imagine SUPing through tall canyons, filled with still turquoise waters. YES, PLEASE.
Plan your time wisely, the earlier you get there is definitely better as you will need to enter the canyon on foot. Allow yourself plenty of time to explore and get home before it gets dark and the wind speed picks up.
Go Off-Roading With Big Orange Jeeps
There are some pretty cool ways to explore the backcountry of Page, but traveling in a fully decked-out Jeep is definitely one of the best. Big Orange Jeeps offer tour options to discover many of the known and less well-known gems of the Glen Canyon area including hoodoos, arches, and slot canyons, day trips to the Alstrom Point, Coyote Buttes, and more. You can easily book with Big Oranges Jeeps online, on the phone, or through the Hyatt Place Page/Lake Powell.
Hike Into Coyote Buttes North and South
Speaking of Coyotes Buttes, only about 30 minutes from Page is the entrance to some of the most amazing landscapes that you will find in the Southwest, maybe even the United States! Take a day or two and head down the 89 towards Kanab until you get to a turn-off for House Rock Valley Road. Prepare to have your mind blown! Down that road, you will find access points to The Wave (lottery permits required), White Pockets, Buckskin Gulch, and more.
Travel note: 4-wheel, high-clearance vehicles are required to enter the majority of these routes due to clay and deep sand. You should be able to make it to Wire Pass trailhead in a 2-wheel drive vehicle, which is the starting point for the Wire Pass/ Buckskin Gulch hike and The Wave.
If you want information on how to apply for The Wave lottery, read my US Wilderness Permits guide. You will also need permits to visit the Coyote Buttes South. Check Recreation.gov for more information.
Rent A Boat And Get Lost On Lake Powell
With 2,000 miles of shoreline and 186 miles long, Lake Powell will have you going “oooh” and “ahhhh” for days. The best way to see Lake Powell is definitely on a boat. There are plenty of rental options to choose from, including large houseboats to small watercraft.
Get Reconnected With Monument Meditation
If you are looking for a truly unique experience while in Page, check out Monumental Meditation. They offer sunset workshops and can even custom-tailor experiences focused on connecting with nature and disconnecting from the daily stresses of life. They feature mindful walks, yoga, reiki, and meditation – all in sacred and spiritual natural locations near Page.
If you are looking to connect to the natural world around you and meet some genuinely kind people along the way, this is the way to do it in Page. The workshops include a dark sky journey with even an optional astrophotography workshop where they provide you with a camera, lens, tripod, and helpful instruction to get the perfect capture of dark night skies of Page. All the Monumental meditation adventures begin and end at the Hyatt Place Page/Lake Powell and include a lovely dinner.
Explore "The Chains"
Don’t let the name “The Chains” fool you, this is simply a walking area near the lake with some pretty epic views of the dam. With that being said, The Chains were one of my favorite random stops while at Lake Powell. The sandstone formations mimic areas like the popular “Wave” trail, and standing next to the enchanting blue water was the perfect way to watch the sun close down the day.
Set Up Camp At Lone Rock
Nothing beats a campfire by the shoreline! It’s helpful to know that Lake Powell offers both campgrounds and free dispersed camping along the shorelines. Our favorite drive-up campground that we found was at Lone Rock, only a short 15 minutes up the road from the town of Page. With plenty of spaces, near and off the shore, this place knows how to party. It’s also a great launchpad for kayaking and SUPing on the water.
Finally, when you need a place to relax your head and a fresh shower, head over to the Hyatt Place PAGE /Lake Powell where they not only provide modern-feel accommodations but are also your one-stop shop for booking some of these truly unique experiences!
Thank you to Hyatt Place, Page/Lake Powell for offering us this amazing experience. For more information about what they offer, visit the Hyatt website or @hyattplacepagelakepowell.