The perfect day trip to Page, Arizona

Page is a small but enchanting city in Arizona. It is home to some of the most incredible natural wonders in the US, including Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. We only had one full day in Page, but managed to cross off most of our bucket list items. We can already say that Page exceeded our highest expectations! This itinerary for the perfect day trip to Page covers the best things to do if you only have 24 hours.

Morning: Antelope Canyon Tour

The perfect day trip to Page: Antelope Canyon Tour

We had high hopes for extraordinary experiences during our 5 week road trip. Little did we know that the highlight of our journey would be found within the mystical depths of Antelope Canyon! This otherworldly slot canyon is one of the most enchanting and magical experiences we’ve ever had. This had been on our bucket list for years, but the reality surpassed our wildest expectations! Yes, Thysia even shed a tear when the tour was done. 🥹

In order to explore the magical Antelope Canyon, you will have to take a tour as you cannot visit the canyons on your own. You can choose between Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, and in our case, we opted for Upper Antelope Canyon due to its immense popularity.

Upper Antelope Canyon Tour

There are several guided tour operators. We booked our tickets through Antelope Canyon Tours and paid € 190 for the two of us. At first glance, this seems quite expensive, but we found that this experience was well worth this price!

The tour starts at Antelope Canyon Tours office in Page. From there, tour trucks are available to take you to Antelope Canyon. Our group consisted of 12 people, which was perfect. Not too busy, just how we like it. The trip to Antelope Canyon took about 20 minutes to half an hour. What surprised us was the amount of people that were waiting on the parking lot! Our tour guide told us these people were hoping for a spot to open up that day, but that almost never happens.

The entire tour lasts an hour and three-quarters, including transportation to the canyon. This means we only spent a little over half an hour in the canyon, which was way too short. 😞 But since this is such a popular place, we understand that you can’t walk around here for hours. Everyone deserves a chance to visit the stunning Antelope Canyon! The tour guide told us that before it was kind of a “free for all”, where people could come and go when they want. Because of this, big parts of the canyon got destroyed or damaged (think people carving their names in the walls, some people wanting to take a piece of it home, graffiti, …). Really sad, so now you can only visit with a tour guide!

Our tour guide was simply put amazing. She told plenty of captivating stories along the way, so interesting. She even showed us how the canyon has changed over the years by showing us a picture from 1997! Between then and now, the ground of the canyon has risen by more than 2 meters (7 ft). All because of lack of flash floods and drought. But the best part is that she took countless photos of us and of the canyon itself! She showed us the best spots and angles, and chased away people who ruined our photos. What more could you ask for!

Magical light beams

Light beams Upper Antelope Canyon

The most magical part of our experience were undoubtedly the light beams. We had heard, seen and read so much about this, but experiencing this in real life was so otherworldly! We can both confirm that this was the most magical moment of our road trip, and maybe even of all our trips. You just have to experience this to know what we are talking about! The feeling we had after seeing them, ma-gi-cal.

Good to know

To experience the iconic light beams, we recommend scheduling your visit between 11 am and 1:30 pm. Keep in mind that this is no guarantee of seeing the light beams, weather also plays a big role! Another tip is to book your tour several months in advance, since tickets are selling out fast. As mentioned in our preparation guide, we booked our tickets 6 months in advance and the best time slots were already sold out. We can count ourselves lucky that we were still able to experience the light beams!

Important note
Arizona doesn’t observe daylight savings time, meaning that the time on your phone will sometimes jump back and forth. We recommend setting your time zone manually (Phoenix time) to avoid those time differences! Also, if you’re unsure what the time is, just ask the frontdesk of the hotel you’re staying at. That’s what we did and they were happy to help us.

Noon: lunch at Big John’s Texas BBQ

The perfect day trip to Page: Big John's Texas BBQ

For lunch we absolutely recommend Big John’s Texas BBQ. This is such a cool spot with delicious food. The online reviews are amazing, and we can definitely see why. The restaurant is located in an old gas station location with both indoor and outdoor seating. Outside you will find cozy benches surrounded by some hay, so cool! They are also really showing off their amazing, big barbecues which we really liked. You can tell how everything is being made and it really adds to the total vibe. We totally loved the atmosphere and setting.

Kelvin had the smoked baby back pork ribs, these were the best he ate during our entire road trip. So tender and perfectly smoked, he often thinks back about those ribs. There were also several sauces on the table, a big plus. We experimented a lot with these. 😂 First we tried them all separately, and once we got an idea of the taste we started combining flavors. Not only was it really yummy, it was fun too!

The only drawback is that they only offer dishes with meat, which was to be expected in a barbecue joint. Since Thysia is a vegetarian, we asked the staff for some nachos without meat. Our waitress was super friendly and suggested all kinds of alternatives, such as extra cheese and jalapeños, free of charge. You definitely have to come here for the best meat experience, but if you’re looking for vegetarian options: just order the nachos. 😉

Afternoon: Horseshoe Bend

The perfect day trip to Page: Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped (what else?) landmark formed by the Colorado River. This geological marvel is a popular spot, famous for its breathtaking panoramic views.

You have to pay a € 9/$10 fee per vehicle to park at Horseshoe Bend, which we personally thought was quite a lot. Since there are no other parking options, we had to park here. Also, what “bothered” us the most was that it was a one time entrance fee. If you decided to come back later that day, you’d have to pay the fee again. Most parks, locations and even museums we visited had a “full day ticket” which allows you to come back if you wanted to. Not Horseshoe Bend, though!

You can easily explore Horseshoe Bend on your own. It is a short and easy walk to get to the viewpoint itself, just over 1 km one way. It can get really crowded here, but the breathtaking views are worth battling the crowds! You have access to countless spots so you’ll definitely find a spot without people. At most, you’ll have to wait a couple minutes if you’re really keen on a certain spot, nothing major.

There is an official viewpoint that you can recognize by the fences. We saw a lot of people literally living on the edge, which is super dangerous! The stunts people did, like sitting or standing an inch from the abyss, absolutely crazy. We recommend staying away from the edge, there is a reason there are fences. No picture is worth risking your life for!

Where to stay in Page

La Quinta by Wyndham Page at Lake Powell

If you plan to stay longer in Page, or spend the night here before heading to your next stop, we recommend staying at La Quinta by Wyndham Page at Lake Powell. The hotel is ideally located, less than 10 minutes from Horseshoe Bend and 5 minutes from the Antelope Canyon Tours office. There are also a lot of restaurants and fast food nearby.

On top of that, the rate of the rooms is really price friendly. We already disclosed how much we spent on hotels in our Budget Breakdown, and this hotel is definitely not one of the major culprits for such an outrageous amount. We had a spacious room with kingsize bed. The room is quite basic, but the size of the room compensates for this! We had room to leave our luggage wherever we wanted! The hotel also has an outdoor pool and breakfast is included as well. From omelettes and sausages to waffles, there is a lot of choice.

We definitely recommend this hotel if you are staying in Page and looking for an affordable room. The location, the spacious room, and the large choice for breakfast are definitely worth it! Here are all our hotel recommendations in Page for every budget:

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