Page, Arizona The epicenter or Southwest glory and beauty. Put in place for many people that do the Grand Canyon, 2 major marinas so the launching point for Lake Powell excursions, and the amazing Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend make this place very popular for outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. People don’t stumble into Page, you really have to want to come here.
You are 2 hours away from an Interstate and aside from the small airport in Page you are at least 4 hours from a major airport. So let’s say you find yourself in Page or are planning to go to Page. What to do, what to see, where to go, who to take. I can’t help you with who to take but let me see if I can help with how I would do 72 hours in Page. Warning. There are some early mornings involved.
Let’s assume or hope you arrived the night before. I would start with a cliche. Horseshoe Bend. The Colorado River does a 270 degree bend here. It is crowded later in the day but sunrise seems to scare people off and when I was there we had probably 40 respectful people surrounding us and an equal number of cars in the parking lot. It is a 20 minute walk so bring your flashlight but seeing the world come alive from the rim looking deep into the Colorado basin is not something you will forget. After the sun comes up you can wander the rim and take different perspectives.
Horseshoe Bend @ Sunrise
From there I would drive South to Marble Canyon / Navajo Bridge. It is a glorious double span bridge that gets you closer to the river but also close to the cliffs and other sites. You can drive up to Lees Ferry and see where the blue colorado turns muddy from Paria Creek. Then I would backtrack to Page for some breakfast and regroup.
I would recommend splitting the Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon tours into 2 separate days. Lower Antelope has a reputation of being very crowded around 12 so I would recommend a 1pm or after tour. The light was fantastic and we didn’t have the crowds or wait that is there earlier in the day.
It takes about an hour and is a very cost effective $25. They didn’t offer the photography tour when we went but have started offering it again. http://lowerantelope.com/
Lower Antelope Overhead Pano
For the afternoon don’t go too far as you should try to be back for around Sunset for an aerial tour.
We selected American Aviation West and they did not disappoint. http://americanaviationwest.com/ for $110 each we got a 50 minute sunset flight that took in many of the sites from earlier in the day including Glen Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and gave us a preview of coming attractions like Antelope Canyon. Highly recommend.
Lake Powell Aerial Shot
Wahweap Overlook offers a great spot to see the sunrise but the lower Lake Shore Drive is probably a better bet as you can capture the Marina and rocks come alive. Once the sun is up the light changes quickly so head west you man/woman. 30 minutes West of Page are the Toadstool Hoodoos. A short walk from the highway in the morning you will most likely have it to yourself as you walk among the strange hoodoos that look like they are out of a Nintendo game.
Then from there if you are feeling some adventure head to Wire Pass / Buckskin Gulch. Considered by many to be the premier slot canyon the west it is spectacular. You will need a 4x4 but only 30 minutes from the Hoodoos you are there. It is a robust hike that quickly gets narrow and stunning. It is an out and back so gauge your time accordingly and spend as much time as you have.
Sunset. If you want to return to Horseshoe Bend be forwarned it will be very crowded. For us we elected after our hiking and adventuring to pony up for some great BBQ at Big John’s Texas BBQ http://bigjohnstexasbbq.com/menus/pagelake-powell-restaurant-menu/
Exploring the Curves of Wire Pass
Maybe your final day and hopefully you are heading North or South and not home. You have to take in Antelope Canyon. If you are a photographer I would recommend the Photography Tour. It is longer and more expensive and you need a tripod and DSLR but it is worth it as the guides do so much to help you get a great shot. These tours run from 11 to 1 typically. I was very happy with Navajo Tours http://navajotours.com/