The Intimate Grand Canyon Experience

In the fable of The Tortoise and the Hare, Aesop cautioned us to temper our “need for speed,” because “slow and steady wins the race.” In the case of the Horseshoe Bend Overlook, slow and steady doesn’t necessarily win any race, but taking a gradual, more mindful approach to this now-iconic symbol of the American Southwest will give the viewer a better appreciation for the true complexity of the area’s geology. And that, in our book, is definitely one for the “win” column!

As you exit your vehicle in the newly-expanded Horseshoe Bend parking area just South of Page, Arizona, your first challenge is to make your way up a mildly steep incline through deep, sometimes unwieldy sand. Though most visitors succumb to the temptation to make quick work out of this small obstacle, you might view it as an opportunity to take a trip through a real-life “Jurassic World.”

About 200 million years ago, a massive sea of sand dunes covered the landscape from Arizona to Wyoming. Known to geologists as “ergs,” they eventually became petrified (turned to stone) by water and minerals, solidifying into a uniform layer of sandstone over 2,000’ thick in some areas. After the bedrock of Navajo Sandstone formed, other sedimentary layers of sandstone, mudstone, calcite and limestone settled on top of it, then began to wear away under the constant scouring of relentless winds, flash floods, and extreme heat and cold. Today, the Navajo sandstone is once again exposed, and its top layer turning to sand. So this hill that makes you go “erg” is what remains of a gigantic sand dune that actually saw dinosaurs walk upon it. Indeed, there is a small, but hard-to-find dinosaur track about 50 yards from the end of the trail. Tell us the GPS coordinates if you happen to find it!

As you crest the hill, the trail begins to undulate and you’ll notice the tone of the landscape has taken on more jagged, sloping characteristics. Whitish gravel and chunks of sand also make an appearance. These are remnants of the calcite, or limestone layer that was once here. The diagonal stripes in the rock formations tell the story of how the sand dunes were petrified, yet retained their former shape as minerals, rain and snow changed their molecular composition over the course of 20 million years.

As you get closer to Horseshoe Bend Overlook, you’ll notice that some of the rock formations sport dark, sandy nodules. These are known as “iron concretions.” Because it was heavier than sandstone, iron tended to cluster up into small spheres during the process of petrification. As the sandstone erodes away, these concretions are becoming exposed to the elements once again. Occasionally, they will break away from the sandstone bedrock. When they do, they become what are known as “Moki Marbles.” If you find one – or more – please don’t pocket them. Remember, take only pictures and leave only footprints!

If all this sounds pretty amazing so far, wait until you see what’s ahead of you: the very thing you came here for – Horseshoe Bend! A geologic masterpiece sculpted by the Colorado River, Horseshoe Bend is an example of what happens when water takes the path of least resistance. Approximately 5 million years ago – or what a geologist might describe as “just the other day” – the Colorado Plateau abruptly uplifted. The rivers that flowed across this ancient landscape were suddenly trapped in their beds. Seeking a new natural level, with the help of gravity, the Colorado River began cutting through rock layers deep and fast. Here at Horseshoe Bend, an unstoppable force met an immovable object, namely, a sandstone escarpment. Since this rock formation wasn’t going to budge anytime soon, the river did the most logical thing it could: it went around it. The result is the 270° bend in the river (called an “incised” or “entrenched meander”) you see before you. Who knows, in a few million years, the stubborn promontory might finally decide to give way to the river’s whims, and future tourists could be viewing an attraction that bears a resemblance to Rainbow Bridge!

At this viewpoint, you can see the waters of the Colorado River in all their sparkling, blue-green glory as they drift along toward the Grand Canyon."

But, that’s in the realm of sheer speculation for now. What’s in the realm of absolute certainty is that this is one of the most intimate views of the Colorado River you’re likely to experience on your Northern Arizona vacation. At this viewpoint, you can see the waters of the Colorado River in all their sparkling, blue-green glory as they drift along toward the Grand Canyon. Where else can you take a selfie with this timeless, majestic waterway in the background? Certainly not at the Grand Canyon – from the South Rim, there is only a handful of viewpoints that the Colorado River can be seen from, and then only a small stretch before it disappears again behind a butte or plateau. So pause for a few minutes to breathe in the fresh air and appreciate this magnificent view for how powerful and miraculous it truly is!

Now, wasn’t it worth the walk? For best results photographing Horseshoe Bend, you’ll need a wide angle lens to get the entire scene in the picture. If heights freak you out a little, try sitting or even lying down to take in the view from a more secure perspective. Seeing little blue dots on the river? Don’t worry, that’s not the altitude messing with your mind, those are rafts rounding Horseshoe Bend on the Half-Day Glen Canyon Float Trip. If you take one look at that first hill and still say “no way,” consider flying over Horseshoe Bend to get an incredible bird’s eye view without breaking a sweat.

490 Responses

  1. Im planning a group trip 3/25-3/29 for my birthday to see grand canyons, horseshoe bend, and Sedona slide rock. We will be staying in Scottsdale, AZ. I was planning on going to the canyons that Friday then come back to Scottsdale the same day. What activities are there to do while at the canyons, horseshoe bend, or Sedona. Also, how early would we need to leave to be able to see everything?

    1. Hi Vanessa,
      I’m sorry, but your plan to visit all of the locations you name in one day won’t work.
      First off, it takes ~5 hours to drive from Scottsdale, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim. You need at least 2-4 hours to at least “scratch the surface” of all there is to see. Then, it will probably take you approximately 5 hours to drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ to visit Horseshoe Bend. Normally, the drive, from Grand Canyon to Page, AZ, takes ~3 hours, but a critical component of the shortest travel route between the two locations (AZ64 from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ) has been closed for nearly a year by order of the Navajo Indian Tribe due to COVID-19. The closure is expected to remain in effect through spring, and if it does, it means you’d have to drive all the way back down to Flagstaff, AZ, then proceed North via US89 to Page, AZ. Even if AZ64 East were to open back up, you’re still looking at a lot of driving just to get to 2 out of 3 destinations on your list. After visiting Horseshoe Bend, which takes ~90 minutes-2 hours to park, walk out to the overlook, take a few photos, then walk back, you’d be facing another 3-hour drive to Sedona, where you won’t have time to do much of anything, then ~2.5 hours to get back to Scottsdale. Trip map
      When you add that all up, 5+(3)5+3+2, that’s 13-15 hours of driving on a day where you don’t even have 11 hours of daylight (sunrise occurs ~6:15 AM, sunset takes place at around 6:45 PM). It would be best if you could set aside at least 2 nights to accomplish all that, 3 would be even better. For optimal safety and enjoyment, spend the night at the Grand Canyon, then another night in Page, AZ. You could then do some sightseeing in Sedona as a “drive-by” on the way back to Scottsdale, but Slide Rock wouldn’t be the best place to go at that time of year. It will probably still be too cold to enjoy the water. But there are still other sights to see and things to do, so I wouldn’t fret about that.
      If one day is all you can spare, then pick one location, and make the most of your day there. If you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, you should prioritize it over Sedona and Page, and save these destinations for another trip when you can give them the time they deserve.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thank you so much. We will just visit the Grand Canyons. If we stayed the night at the grand canyons, where is a good place to stay or a close city near by?
        On the drive by Sedona on the way back to Scottsdale. What are some places to go to sight see?

  2. Hi,
    I am travelling to Page AZ, on 23rd Jan and plan to spend 24th, 25th and a bit of 26th visiting the canyons. Do you have any recommendations as to where all I can visit in this short window? Initially I wanted to visit Zion national park but there seems to be some snow during this period so I decided to visit horse shoe bend but not sure what else I can visit under these circumstances. Any suggestions are greately appreciated! 🙂

    1. Hi Nandini,
      Snow shouldn’t necessarily deter you from visiting Zion National Park. It’s unlikely that the park will be closed if they do receive snow, and even if they do, the roads are usually plowed, and your photographs would be beautiful!
      But I digress… the first thing jumping out at me is wondering whether you’ve been to the Grand Canyon? If not, that should be the area you prioritize over all others. Only the South Rim is open at this time of year, and due to the closure of a section of AZ64 from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ, the drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ (or vice versa), is extended from a normal time of ~3 hours to ~5 hours. This is due to having to take a rather long detour South through Flagstaff, AZ, then back up North to Page, AZ (or the Grand Canyon). Because of this, it is best to stay overnight at the Grand Canyon rather than trying to make a day trip out of it from Page, AZ.
      Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ, remains open to visitors (it’s one of the few places that never closed). Unfortunately, the Antelope Canyons, another very popular attraction, remain closed by order of the Navajo Indian Tribe, along with all Tribal Parks. A good alternate slot canyon to visit, though, is Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon, near Kanab, UT, ~70 minutes from Page. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons in a short but memorable walk offering up classic slot canyon scenery, and some unique geological features, Red/Peek-A-Boo is the most family-friendly of the two afore-mentioned slot canyons. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you take one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is not difficult, the drive to get there is. 4WD vehicles with adequate clearance are a definite must, with tire pressure lowered to accommodate potentially deep sand. Even then, experienced drivers get stuck out there on a daily basis. If you’re in a rental car, forget it! You will void your insurance the minute your tires part with the pavement, which means you’d be on the hook for a very expensive rescue, should you need one, and have to foot the bill for any damage you’d sustain. There are several reputable companies in Kanab, UT, that can get you to Peek-A-Boo Canyon, including:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      Whether you stay overnight in Kanab, UT, or make a day trip out from Page, AZ, another hike you might enjoy in this area is the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos. The trailhead is between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, at mile marker 19 of US89.
      Getting back to the subject of Zion National Park, again, snow shouldn’t scare you off completely. It may limit some of the hikes you can take, due to the presence of ice or snow on higher altitude trails (such as Angel’s Landing), but there would still be plenty to enjoy, especially along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Another advantage to traveling at this time of year is that you don’t have to use the Zion Canyon shuttle, which is a pain in the hind quarters. Winter is one of the few times of year you can drive your own vehicle in the best areas for sightseeing.
      Should you still decide to skip Zion National Park this time around (or even if you don’t!), another nice drive you might take would be to make the loop down from Page, AZ, through Marble Canyon and Lees Ferry, through Jacob Lake, AZ, and then back. At Lees Ferry, this is one of the few places you can actually drive your vehicle fairly close to the banks of the Colorado River and actually dip your feet in (the water will be cold). You could also walk around the Lonely Dell Ranch Area for a fascinating glimpse into the history of transport and commerce in this area. After walking across Navajo Bridge and maybe spotting a California Condor, a great place to stop for lunch is Cliff Dweller’s Restaurant. The view is amazing, and the food is surprisingly good for such a remote location. It’s one of Northern Arizona’s best-kept culinary secrets! If you decide to proceed as far as Jacob Lake, stop at the Inn to grab a bag of their delicious home-made cookies.
      Time/desire permitting, you could also stop by Pipe Springs National Monument, another history-oriented site that illustrates the hardships of life for the areas early occupants and settlers. Another “bonus” stop you might make is the Big Water Visitors Center and Dinosaur Museum. Trip map
      No matter what you decide, be sure to book all hotels and guided tours in advance of your arrival, and to time any and all driving to occur during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit (a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky), and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other large wildlife that could elevate your risk of an auto accident. Trust me, that’s not something you want to chance in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold, where cell service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  3. Alley, I really appreciate your positivity even when sharing bad news. We too are planning a trip in March arriving 3/21 in Phoenix with our lodging set as a base camp in Flagstaff. We’re currently working on itinerary and wonder what input you might have. Key areas include Flagstaff, Sedona, grand canyon and page. We’ve got 5 full days, plus the the trip from Phoenix because we’ll arrive early morning.

    We’d like to go rafting somewhere, on the Colorado River.

    Any suggestions and/or recommendations?

    1. Hi Robyn,
      Assuming you only have one day to give to a Colorado River Rafting Trip, you have two options:
      1. Drive to Page, AZ (~2.5 hours from Flagstaff, AZ), and do the Wilderness River Adventures’ 1/2-Day Horseshoe Bend Rafting Trip. This tour covers 15 miles of the Colorado River from the base of the Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry, and occurs entirely on smooth water. Kids must be at least 5 to take part.
      2. Drive to Peach Springs, AZ (~2 hours from Flagstaff, AZ) for Hualapai River Runners’ 1-Day White Water Raft Trip. Open to children 8 and up, this is a full day trip that starts at around 7:00 AM and could last anywhere from 12-14 hours, so it will mean a very early morning and a late night using Flagstaff, AZ, as a “base camp.”
      Now, there is a possibility that option #1 might not be available at the time of your visit. The Horseshoe Bend Raft Trip was unable to operate last year due to COVID-19, and there is a possibility that it might not yet be up and running until later this year. Should that be the case, your best alternative would be to drive down to Lees Ferry, rent a kayak, get backhauled to the base of the Glen Canyon Dam, and paddle the 15 miles down the river back to Lees Ferry. This is a relatively easy activity that first-time kayakers can do, but may not be suitable for families with very young children or seniors in tow. Local companies that offer this service are:
      – Kayak Horseshoe Bend 928-355-2211 https://kayakhorseshoebend.com/
      – Wilderness River Adventures (928) 645-3296 https://www.riveradventures.com/
      – Kelly Outfitters/Lees Ferry Backhaul (928) 510-5511 http://www.kellyoutfitters.com/ http://leesferrybackhaul.com/
      – Kayak The Colorado 928-856-0012 https://www.kayakthecolorado.com/
      – Lees Ferry On The Fly (928) 326-1162 https://leesferryonthefly.com/
      – Marble Canyon Outfitters 800-533-7339 https://www.leesferryflyfishing.com/
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

  4. Hi Alley, We are planning a trip in March 3/18/21 – 3/27/21. We will arrive in Flagg Staff on the 18th. The flight arrives late so we plan on staying there for the night. The 3 places we would like to visit Sedona, Grand Canyon & Lake Powell. We do leave early on Saturday so I am thinking for the last leg to stay in Sedona. What is the best route to take, number of days needed in each area, Good places to stay, and things to do while we are there. These are a few things we have on our wish list. Unfortunately it looks like Antelope Canyon will most likely still be closed.
    Hike Horse Shoe Bend
    Rafting or Boat Tour Lake Powell
    Hiking at the Grand Canyon
    Hiking in Sedona
    Air Balloon
    Train Ride ??

    Any guidance and suggestions would greatly be appreciated. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Nicole,
      A few days in Sedona, AZ, would definitely be a great way to end your trip. A minimum stay of 3 days is recommended to fully explore and enjoy the area, it has a lot to see and do! This would be where you’d want to look at doing a hot air balloon ride. Most depart first thing in the morning.
      As for the rest of your time, I would recommend spending a couple of days in Page, AZ, if you wanted to hike Horseshoe Bend and do a water-based activity. Hopefully they will resume as planned in March.
      If you wanted to do any hiking at the Grand Canyon, I would not necessarily recommend the Grand Canyon Railway. Not that it isn’t fun (it is, I’ve ridden it several times!), but there are some definite points in the minus column that make it inconducive to Grand Canyon hiking. For one, it is pulled by an antique diesel engine, which takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to make a trip that would only take you 1 hour to make by car. You arrive at the South Rim at approximately 11:45 AM, then depart at around 3:30 PM. That gives you less than 4 hours to explore the immediate area around Grand Canyon Village. You could certainly walk part of the easy, paved Rim Trail, or even venture a short way down Bright Angel Trail (remember you have to double how long it took to hike down to calculate your estimated time to hike back up), and maybe grab lunch at some point, but not much else. If you wanted to spend the better part of your day hiking, your best option would be to drive yourself and stay inside the park. Here’s a video that explains the Train Vs. Drive to the Grand Canyon question in more detail.
      The only potential complication to self-driving is is the closure of the section of AZ64 from Desert View Point at Grand Canyon South Rim to Cameron, AZ. This critical component of the shortest travel route between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ, is situated on Navajo Indian Tribal Land and has been closed to minimize Navajo Reservation residents’ potential exposure to COVID-19. All other roads in the area are open, but if you’re planning to travel between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ (or vice versa), you will have to drive all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then proceed North via US89 to Page, AZ, or US180/AZ64 or I40/AZ64 to Grand Canyon South Rim. This has turned what is normally ~a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive.
      You are correct in that the Antelope Canyons are closed, and probably will remain closed at the time of your visit. The best alternatives at the moment are located near Kanab, UT, which is ~70-90 minutes from Page, AZ, so you might earmark a day to spend in that area. Tours of Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon last ~4 hours. Afterward (or before, depending on the time of your tour), you could enjoy the hike to the Paria Rimrocks and the Toadstool Hoodoos.
      Sorry to jump around a bit with your itinerary, I hope it all makes sense! If not, feel free to write in again and bounce more ideas off us 🙂
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley

      1. Hi Alley,

        I’m planning a trip next week to Zion and further to Page (Buckskin Gulch, Horseshoe Bend, etc). The plan is to go through St. George and Kanab, from Las Vegas, but i’m not sure what the situation is with the closure of the parks in this time. Is that route open all the way to Page from Las Vegas?
        Also, is Horseshoe Bend available to visit?
        Thank you !

        1. Hi Mircea,
          All the roads you plan to take from Las Vegas to Page, AZ, through Zion National Park are open and passable. Horseshoe Bend may be visited at your convenience during normal operating hours of the parking lot, which are sunrise to sunset.
          Some hotels and food service operations may be limited or reduced due to COVID-19, but this will vary from place to place. Whatever you do, be sure to book all hotels and guided tours in advance of your arrival.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  5. Hello, My family and I plan on going to visit horseshoe bend this weekend 1/16. Does anyone have any issues getting through the indian reservation in page? I was told they are on Lockdown every weekend until the end of the month?

    1. Hi Anissa,
      You are correct that the Navajo Indian Reservation has implemented some very strict protocols in order to mitigate transmission of COVID-19, and one of them includes limiting contact with outsiders via the weekend lockdown.
      One measure they have also taken is to close a section of AZ64 from Desert View Point at Grand Canyon South Rim to Cameron, AZ. This is a critical component of the shortest travel route between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ (where Horseshoe Bend is located). All other roads in the area are open, but if you’re planning to travel between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ, you will have to drive all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then proceed North via US89 to Page, AZ. This has turned what is normally ~a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive.
      Whatever you do, if your travels must take you through the Navajo Reservation, be sure that your vehicle is fully fueled and that you carry sufficient water and snacks to tide you over until you reach your off-Reservation destination. Avoid stopping on Reservation lands and interacting with tribe members.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  6. Hi Alley,

    Wondering what you would recommend for my fiancé and I as we would be flying into Tucson on March 4th and flying out March 10th. I am bummed to hear that Antelope Canyon is closed as this was #1 on my list to see in Arizona. I don’t have an itinerary planned, but I was thinking to visit the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe bend, and the Wave. I was also recommended Fountain Hills. What can we do that has the most wonderful views, activities, and hiking trails?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Shannon!
      Well, you’ve gotten the bad news about the closure of the Antelope Canyons, but there is a way to salvage that item on your wish list. More on that in a minute.
      Unfortunately, there’s more potentially bad news: there’s a 99.9% probability that The Wave is not going to happen. This world-famous geological formation is located in a specially managed area called Coyote Buttes North. Due to the uniqueness and fragility of the rock formations, only 20 people per day are allowed by advance permit to enter this area. 10 permits are given out by online lottery; another 10 by walk-in lottery in Kanab, UT, the day prior to when you wish to hike. Since March weather is typically mild, it is considered one of the prime months to hike The Wave, therefore, the permit process is particularly competitive. Best to cross The Wave off this time around, and maybe plan a visit to one of its popular, and so far permit-free, alternatives, such as White Pocket.
      Because you’re starting your trip off in Tucson, AZ, I recommend that you get the longer drive out of the way first, driving up to Page, AZ (~6.5-7 hours), and book a hotel for 2 nights. Visit Horseshoe Bend on your way into town, then the next day, drive up to Kanab, UT (~75 minutes from Page), to tour Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. This is a beautiful slot canyon that offers twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons in a short but memorable walk featuring classic slot canyon scenery, and some unique geological features. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you take one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is not difficult, the drive to get there is. 4WD vehicles with adequate clearance are a definite must, with tire pressure lowered to accommodate potentially deep sand. Even then, experienced drivers get stuck out there on a daily basis. If you’re in a rental car, forget it! You will void your insurance the minute your tires part with the pavement, which means you’d be on the hook for a very expensive rescue, should you need one, and have to foot the bill for any damage you’d sustain. There are several reputable companies in Kanab, UT, that can get you to Peek-A-Boo Canyon, including:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      Tours of Peek-A-Boo Canyon typically last ~4 hours. Time/desire permitting, you might stop and hike the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos Trail on the way back to Page, AZ. I recommend you spend a 2nd night there to give yourself a head start on the drive to Grand Canyon South Rim the following morning. What do I mean by that? Since COVID-19 began, the Navajo Indian Tribe decided to close and integral component of the shortest travel route from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim, namely, AZ64 from Cameron, AZ, to Desert View Point. This means that to drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim requires that you drive all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then slingshot back up North to GC South Rim via US180/AZ64 or I40/AZ64. This has turned what is normally ~a 3-hour drive into more like a 5-hour drive.
      Stay 1 night at Grand Canyon South Rim, then begin the return trip South. Fountain Hills is a nice area that has a lot to offer, but an area that IMO offers more in the way of scenic beauty and fun activities is Sedona. This is a stunning area ~3 hours drive from Grand Canyon South Rim that really deserves 2-3 days of your time to do it justice, so if you can’t give it that this time around, then by all means, head down to Fountain Hills for your last day and visit Taliesin West (architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Southwest retreat and school), the River of Time Museum, the Desert Botanical Garden, or hike Sunrise Peak.
      Should you take me up on the suggestion to conclude your trip in Sedona, AZ, the drive back to Tucson, AZ, will be ~4.5 hours. Fountain Hills, AZ, would put you ~3 hours away from Tucson. BTW, if you’re not locked into your flights into/out of Tucson, AZ, you might look at changing your staging city to Phoenix, AZ. That way, you avoid having to switch plans (possibly) for a 30-minute flight, and slice 90 minutes off your drive times at the beginning and end of your trip.
      Whatever you decide, be sure to book all hotels and guided tours in advance of your arrival.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

  7. Hi Alley –
    Sorry to bother you, but I see you’ve made some amazing recommendations for other people in these comments so I was wondering if you might have some advice for me too. I thought I had a good plan for our trip, but I just saw Antelope Canyon is still closed, so I’m looking for something else to do either around Page or maybe in Kanab? We are car camping and hikers so definitely looking for anything that gets our feet moving. We will be out that way from January 13-23 and here is what I had planned so far:
    13 – arrive in Las Vegas, sleep in Vegas.
    14 – drive through Zion to get to Big Water or Page (maybe Kanab might be better for the first stop?). I know we need 2-3 days to really see Zion, but we are coming back later this year for that. This time we’ll just take our time driving through and stopping at scenic overlooks.
    15 – Finding a hike to do in Kanab and/or the Grand Staircase-Escalante. Sleeping in Page.
    16 – Visiting Horseshoe Bend (and anything else in the area?) Sleeping in Page or heading on to Sedona
    17 – 18 – Visit Sedona and spend time in the area (any recommendations welcome!)
    19 – drive up to the Grand Canyon South Rim. Sleep in Kaibab National Forest
    20- Grand Canyon, Sleep in Park.
    21 – Drive to Hoover Dam/Lake Mead
    22- Hike Liberty Bell Arch Trail and drive back to Las Vegas
    23 – Go home.
    Would love to know your thoughts and suggestions! Thanks so much for taking the time to help us all plan these amazing trips 🙂

    1. Hi Blaire,
      First off, you’re not bothering me a bit, helping people like yourself plan trips out here is my passion!
      To coin a phrase, there’s good news and bad news: the good news is that your itinerary looks pretty fun and very well-paced.
      The bad news is that there’s a rather large flaw in it that I cannot ignore: the car camping. Although the area you’re proposing to visit is considered “the desert,” nights are very cold at this time of year. For examples, the nighttime low at Grand Canyon South Rim tonight is forecasted to dip down to ~20 degrees (Fahrenheit). Page, AZ, is expecting similarly cold temperatures. Kanab, UT, is slightly warmer, but low temperatures are expected to remain below freezing for the better part of the month. Unless you have a sleeping bag that’s specifically rated for cold weather, and/or a reliable heat source in your vehicle, you’re going to be very uncomfortable, and hiking is no fun if you haven’t had a good night’s sleep the night before! I would strongly recommend that you spring for motel rooms along your itinerary. While in-park lodging can be expensive, gateway city hotels tend to be more reasonably priced.
      On that first day out (01/14), make Kanab, UT, your stopping point. The drive over from Las Vegas takes ~3-3.5 hours. If you can, get an early start on the trip so you can make the short detour through the stunning Valley of Fire State Park. It’s not far out of your way, and winter is a great time to visit. Summer is way too hot! Time permitting, you might also stop by Pipe Springs National Monument near Fredonia, UT. It’s something of a “hidden gem,” but a very educational glimpse into the hardships and triumphs experienced by the area’s early settlers.
      On 01/15, the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos is a good and fairly easy hike you can make en route from Kanab, UT, to Page, AZ. If you want something a little more rugged, try the Wire Pass Canyon/Buckskin Gulch. Overnight in Page, then hit Horseshoe Bend the next morning. Other areas you can visit whilst in Page, AZ, include, but are not limited to:
      Page Rim View Trail
      Glen Canyon Dam/Steel Arch Bridge
      Hanging Garden Trail & The Chains
      Glen Canyon Dam/White House Overlook
      Grand View Overlook Park
      The “New” Wave and Radio Tower Rock
      Wahweap Swim Beach and/or Lone Rock Beach (located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which requires a $30/vehicle entrance fee, good for one week’s time)
      Now, if you wanted to drive to Sedona, AZ, to spend the night after sightseeing in Page, AZ, note that the drive takes ~3 hours, and you want to be sure you do ALL your driving out here during daylight hours. Local roads are very dimly lit (a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky), and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other wildlife which could elevate your risk of a collision. That’s not something you want to risk in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold, where cell service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. Sunset at the time of year you’re visiting takes place at around 5:45 PM, so if you wanted to make it to Sedona, AZ, safely, plan on leaving Page, AZ, no later than 3:00 PM, or spend the night in Page, AZ and hit the road when you’re fresh the next morning.
      In Sedona, AZ, you’ll find no shortage of things to see and do, including hiking! Top 12 Hikes in Sedona AZ The town itself is also home to some beautiful buildings, including the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Tlaquepaque, Amithaba Peace Park, and a ton of art galleries, if that’s your thing.
      The drive to Grand Canyon South Rim from Sedona, AZ, will also take ~3 hours. Here again, try to get a motel room in the park if you can. If budget is a primary concern, inquire about a European-style lodge room at Bright Angel Lodge. These are economical units with no TV, shared bath down the hall, but the bare basics taken care of, namely, a comfortable bed!
      The drive to Las Vegas will take ~5 hours. If you’re into Route 66 nostalgia, consider stopping at Seligman, AZ, which was partially the real-life inspiration for the town of Radiator Springs from the “Cars” movies. The Hoover Dam Visitors Center is closed due to COVID-19, but its outside areas have recently reopened to the public, which is good.
      For optimal convenience for hiking the Liberty Bell Arch Trail, you might want to stay in Boulder City or Henderson, NV, then drive on to Vegas after completing eLiberty Bell Arch Trail
      Good luck, safe travels and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Alley,

        I see you’ve made some amazing recommendations for other people in the comments so I was wondering if you might have some advice for my group as well. We have been staying in Scottsdale, AZ for the past 2 weeks and are looking to do a little road trip this weekend and explore (Friday, 1/15 – Monday, 1/18). We have no set itinerary and are very much open to any of your suggestions. Please see below for some of our thoughts and must-do items we have heard about:

        Horseshoe Bend / Lake Powell area
        Antelope Canyon alternatives since it is closed
        Glen Canyon Dam Bridge
        Toadstool Hoodoos
        Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
        Whitepocket
        Grand Canyon

        We are planning on leaving Friday, Jan 15th mid-afternoon to drive to Page, AZ so we are ready to go first thing Saturday AM. We were thinking of doing Horseshoe Bend / Lake Powell area, Antelope Canyon alternatives since it is closed, Glen Canyon Dam Bridge, Toadstool Hoodoos, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and Whitepocket spread out between Saturday and Sunday (open to other suggestions). I also saw you recommended the Sunset Safari Tour in Kanab, Utah which looked great. I see it is ~ an hour drive from Page, AZ so perhaps we can squeeze it in on Saturday afternoon if you think it is worth seeing? We then were going to drive to Grand Canyon area Sunday PM so we are ready to enter the South Rim first thing Monday AM. We were going to spend the entire day at Grand Canyon on Monday and then drive back to Scottsdale Monday PM.

        We are open to any and all recommendations and “must-see” things while here. Looking forward to hearing from you and so appreciate your help.

        Thank you!
        Alix

        1. Hey Alix,
          Thanks so much for your kind compliments! It makes it harder to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re trying to cram too many sites into a very short weekend. The one item that is least realistic is White Pocket. Not that this area isn’t beautiful — it is, incredibly so — but according to the tour companies that are authorized to go there, 7-9 hours is the typical timeframe for excursions to White Pocket. That essentially eats up an entire day of your already limited time. Save this for another trip when you can spend a week or more out here and really take your time!
          Another thing that’s potentially working against you this time of year is daylength. It’s very short, with sunrise taking place at ~7:45 AM, and sunset occurring around 5:30 PM. You need to make sure that you do all your driving out here during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, due to local roads being very dimly lit (a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky), and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other wildlife which could elevate your risk of a collision. That’s not something you want to chance in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold, where cell service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
          In light of some of these considerations, here’s what I’d recommend:
          01/15 – Drive to Page, AZ. Since the drive from Scottsdale, AZ, to Page, AZ, takes ~5 hours, you need to hit the road no later than 12:30 PM-1:00 PM. Overnight in Page, AZ
          01/16 – Visit Horseshoe Bend first thing in the morning, brief stop at the Glen Canyon Dam Bridge, then drive to Kanab, UT (~75 minutes from Page, AZ), to tour Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon (this is the #1 Antelope Canyon alternative tour). On the way back to Page, AZ, time and desire permitting, hike the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos Trail, then return to Page, AZ. OR you could return to Page, AZ, via the “long way around” which would take you past the Vermilion Cliffs, Marble Canyon, and Lees Ferry. Time permitting, you could have a late lunch or early dinner at Cliff Dweller’s Restaurant, one of the best-kept culinary secrets in Northern Arizona! The latter route will add another hour onto your drive time, so you should carefully consider whether you’d have enough daylight left before committing to it. Spend a 2nd night in Page, AZ. The reason I suggest driving back to Page instead of spending the night in Kanab, UT, is to give you a head start on the drive to the Grand Canyon.
          01/17 – Drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim. Now, normally, this would be ~a 3-hour drive, but since AZ64 is closed between Cameron, AZ, and Desert View Point, that means you have to drive all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then “slingshot” back up North to GC via US180/AZ64 or I40/AZ64. This has turned a 3-hour drive into more like a 5-hour drive. Overnight at Grand Canyon South Rim.
          01/18 – Head back to Phoenix. Via most direct route, drive time is ~5-hours, or if you want, make a detour through Sedona, which would extend the trip another 90 minutes-2 hours.
          Trip map
          Whatever you decide, be sure to book all hotels and guided tours before you set out this weekend.
          Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
          Alley 🙂

          1. Hi Alley,

            You are a wealth of knowledge! Thank you so much for sharing and for all your recommendations to people! I am still putting my trip together, and was wondering if you would have any kayaking recommendations for horseshoe?

            I am flying into Phoenix 1/21 and planned on heading straight to Sedona. I am from MN and have winter gear for both hiking and backpacking- but planned on car camping with my -20 rated sleeping bag and insulated pad. I should be to Sedona by 3p and looking for a short (8miles tops) sunset hike.

            On 1/22 I was hoping to rent a kayak and kayak Antelope Canyon- I was recommend https://lakepowellpaddleboards.com/paddling-horseshoe-bend/ – but they are closed for the season. Do you have any other recommendations?

            1/23 is unplanned

            1/24 I fly out in the afternoon- but debating the following hikes: Cathedral Rock, Bear Mountain or Solider Pass – also open to other suggestions for a quick morning hike.

          2. Hi Johnnashae,
            Thanks for your compliments, they are definitely nice to hear!
            Unfortunately, I have to be the bearer of a bit of bad news: kayak, SUP, and boat tours are on hiatus for the winter. Honestly, this time of year is not great for water-based activities anyway. Both the water temperature are way too cold to be comfortable. About the only option out there for doing anything on the water — and this too is something of a crapshoot — would be a private boat tour through Lake Powell Resorts. The boats seat up to six guest and can be chartered for $265 an hour, which includes the boat, captain, gas and taxes. To book or inquire about that, you must call Lake Powell Resorts directly at 928-645-1111.
            Other activities available in Page, AZ, are:
            – Horseshoe Bend
            Page Rim View Trail
            Glen Canyon Dam/Steel Arch Bridge
            Hanging Garden Trail & The Chains
            Glen Canyon Dam/White House Overlook
            Grand View Overlook Park
            The “New” Wave and Radio Tower Rock
            Wahweap Swim Beach and/or Lone Rock Beach (located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which requires a $30/vehicle entrance fee, good for one week’s time)
            One potential omission which is kind of jumping out at me is the Grand Canyon. If you’ve never been there before, you should definitely make time for it! The only complication is the closure of the section of AZ64 from Desert View Point at Grand Canyon South Rim to Cameron, AZ. This critical component of the shortest travel route between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ, is situated on Navajo Indian Tribal Land and has been closed to minimize Navajo Reservation residents’ potential exposure to COVID-19. All other roads in the area are open, but if you’re planning to travel between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ (or vice versa), you will have to drive all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then proceed North via US89 to Page, AZ, or US180/AZ64 or I40/AZ64 to Grand Canyon South Rim. This has turned what is normally ~a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive. If you were wanting to camp in that area, you’ll definitely need that cold weather sleeping bag and insulated pad. You’ll also be required to camp in a designated camping spot, which you’d have to pay for, or utilize “camping at large” areas outside the park, which would require you to be at least 1/4 mile from the main highway, and pack out all trash.
            As for hikes in Sedona, AZ, all the ones you’ve named are great, but are certainly not the only options. There are literally hundreds of miles of hiking trails in Sedona, AZ, so you’ll have no trouble finding a great way to spend your morning!
            Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

      2. This is amazing! Thank you so much! Also thank you for warning us about the weather, but I may have over-simplified with my “car camping” reference – we will be in a converted camper van with all-weather sleeping bags, extra blankets, and a portable heater so I think we should be warm enough. If it still turns out to be too cold, we will definitely find some motels!
        Again I really appreciate all the recommendations and think we have more than enough options now to keep ourselves entertained. Now comes the hard part of choosing which ones to do 🙂 Please take care and Happy New Year to you as well!

        1. Hi again, Blaire!
          Thanks for the clarification about having a camper van, all-weather sleeping bags, and a heat source. You seem adequately prepared for colder weather, and in light of that, and willingness to spring for a motel if need be, you should have a great time. If the purpose of car/van camping is to save money, visit FreeCampsites.net or download the app to find free or nearly free spots to camp along your route.
          If you get a minute when you return home, feel free to write in again and let us know how things went!
          Take care,
          Alley 🙂

  8. Hi,
    We will be having a quick getaway to sedona, az on January 26. Planning to leave on the night of the 25 from san gabriel valley,ca. Is it possible to do horseshoe bend before reaching sedona since our check in is until 3pm. We will be leaving sedona on the 28th; it os super tight but I really wanna maximize. Since antelope is closed do you have any suggestions on the itinerary…thanks mucho!

    1. Hi Regale,
      I get the distinct impression you are not aware of where Horseshoe Bend actually is. It is located ~5 miles South of the town of Page, AZ, ~a 3-hour North of Sedona.
      As it stands, you’re facing ~7-8 hours drive from San Gabriel, CA, to Sedona, AZ. Trying to cram Horseshoe Bend in will turn that into a 11-12 hour drive. Not my idea of a vacation, unless you can somehow rearrange your schedule so you can spend the night in Page, AZ.
      My advice? Enjoy your two days in Sedona, AZ. Plan a return visit to Page, AZ, when you have the time to do it justice, and the Antelope Canyons are open once again. From what we’ve heard, that won’t occur until spring of this year, and that’s being optimistic.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year,
      Alley 🙂

  9. We are travelling into Las Vegas on 1/13. My daughter (27) and I (46) are trying to plan our trip to include Bryce Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Escalante, and The Narrows/Zion. We really have three days to do all of this 1/15-1/17. Is there an itinerary that you would suggest to accomplish all of this within that given timeframe? Is Escalante worth trying to include, or is there something else you would suggest. We are totally open to suggestions in order to maximize our time in the area. We have not booked lodging in the area, so could base ourselves out of whatever is easier, and even stay each night in a different place. Do we need to hire a guide or take a tour to visit any of these, or can we do them on our own? We will have a rental car and can try to get a 4×4, although I am not experienced in driving off road.

    1. Hi Jill,
      One little “reality check” I need to throw in right off the bat is that I wouldn’t count on hiking the Narrows at this time of year. You have to realize that this hike requires walking through water most of the time, and it’s awfully cold on the river right now. Not that it hasn’t been done, but frankly, if you’re not experienced with this kind of hiking, I’d skip it this time around. The good news is that there are lots of wonderful hikes you can enjoy in Zion National Park. I think the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is open to private vehicles at this time of year, but if it’s not, you’ll need to utilize the shuttle system, which requires advance purchase of tickets via Recreation.gov. But again, I’m relatively certain that at this time of year you can drive your own vehicle into the park.
      RE: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, that is a huge area, and most of it is located East of US89 in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. You will, however, be able to pass by the Western “fringes” of the Monument driving from Kanab, UT, to Page, AZ. If you are able to plan a future trip out here, definitely set aside a few days to visit the area, as well as Capitol Reef and Moab.
      So in light of your timeframe and desires that can be realistically accomplished, here’s what I’d recommend:
      January 15th: Drive from Las Vegas to Page, AZ (~5 hours), visit Horseshoe Bend (or do it the next morning), overnight in Page
      January 16th: Drive from Page, AZ, to Bryce Canyon (~3 hours), maybe hike the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos Trail on the way, overnight in the Bryce Canyon area, or Kanab, UT (~90 minutes from Bryce)
      January 17th: Day trip from Kanab, UT, to Zion National Park (~30 minute drive from Kanab), 2nd night in Kanab, UT
      January 18th: Drive back to Las Vegas (~3.5 hours from Kanab, UT), if desired, take short detour through Valley of Fire State Park, just Northeast of LAS
      Trip map
      Another alternative would be to simply book all 3 nights in Kanab, UT, and visit Horseshoe Bend as a day trip from there. Page, AZ, is about one hour and change, one way, from Kanab, UT.
      None of the activities/areas I’ve recommended require a guide to visit, and all are located on paved, well-traveled roads. The thing you’ll really need to keep an eye on is the time, namely, to be aware of when sunset occurs. This time of year, it takes place around 5:30 PM. You need to plan on doing all driving during daylight hours out here since local roads are very dimly lit, and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other wildlife elevate your risk of a collision. That’s not something you want to risk in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold, where cell service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      Whatever you decide, I strongly recommend that you book some hotel reservations before you fly out here. Some motels and lodges have reduced capacity to facilitate cleaning and sanitizing between guest occupancies due to COVID-19. I’d hate to see you come all this way and not be able to find a place to stay!
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year,
      Alley 🙂

  10. Okay so we are a family of 4 (2 teens) that are visiting AZ for the first time. We will be at a meeting in Prescott that ends on Jan 16. We fly out of Phoenix the afternoon of the 19th. So what should we do with those 3 nights, 3 days? What would make the most sense? We were thinking about driving from Prescott to Grand Canyon the night of the 16th so we can do the Grand Canyon on the 17th. Should we try Page or Flagstaff on the 18th? We have never really seen much snow since we are from New Orleans:) Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Christine!
      You could do a number of things with your free time after your meeting in Prescott, AZ, but if you’ve never seen the Grand Canyon, you should definitely prioritize it over everything else. Going via the most direct route through Chino Valley, Ash Fork, etc., the drive would take you approximately 2.5 hours. If you wanted to take a more scenic route through Sedona, AZ, the drive would take ~4 hours. Due to the driving distance, plan on staying overnight at the Grand Canyon for optimal comfort and safety.
      Whatever you choose, hopefully your meeting in Prescott, AZ, would end early enough for you to make it to your destination by sundown. All your driving should be done during daylight hours since local roads are very dimly lit, and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other wildlife elevate your risk of a collision. That’s not something you want to risk in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold, where cell service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. In mid-January, sunset occurs at approximately 5:45 PM, so plan accordingly. If your meeting ends later in the afternoon, I would recommend just staying put in Prescott, then head to your next destination the following morning.
      RE: visiting Page, AZ, or Flagstaff, AZ, Page may not be so practical this time around due to the closure of an integral component of the shortest travel route from Grand Canyon South Rim. The Navajo Indian Tribe, in order to mitigate exposure to COVID-19, has opted to close AZ64 from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ. This means that to drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, you must drive all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then slingshot back North via US89. This has turned what is normally a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive. Since the Antelope Canyons are also closed, and water-based activities are on seasonal hiatus, as much as I hate to say it, I’d recommend skipping Page, AZ, this time around and maybe taking that extra day to concentrate on Flagstaff, AZ, and/or Sedona, AZ. Either town would put you just 2-2.5 hours from Phoenix, so you wouldn’t have far to drive for your return flight.
      As for snow, Northern Arizona has gotten a fair amount of it, but nowhere near what’s typical. It fluctuates from year to year. You might take the scenic gondola ride at Arizona Snow Bowl in Flagstaff, AZ, or visit one of several local sledding or snow play areas. Naturally, actual snow amounts can’t be guaranteed, so if you do get some during your visit, consider it, as you would say New Orleans, “lagniappe.”
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

  11. Hello,
    We reserved a cabin in Glendale, UT in the spring 2021 and will have full 4 days plus a 5th day that we are leaving from LV at night. Just realized Antelope is closed:( What would be your recommendation for each day? Anything we must see/do. Traveling with a 7 years old. Thank you!

    1. Hi Olga!
      Sorry to hear that the closure of the Antelope Canyons has thrown something of a wrench into your plans, but there may be a way to salvage that. More on that in a minute…
      Using Glendale, UT, as your “home base,” you can have a great time exploring Northern Arizona and Southern Utah! You should take one full day to visit Zion National Park (~30 minutes from Glendale, UT [one way]), another to do Bryce Canyon (~45 minutes from Glendale), a third to visit Horseshoe Bend and Page, AZ (~2 hours from Glendale), then your 4th day to visit Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon in Kanab, UT (~30 minutes from Glendale, that’s the best alternative to the Antelope Canyons for those traveling with young children). Note that the order in which you do these doesn’t matter all that much, with one possible exception.
      As you can see, all the destinations I’ve listed are a fairly short drive from Glendale, UT, except one: Horseshoe Bend. Since the drive from Glendale, UT, to Page, AZ, is almost 2 hours one-way, you may want to drop a night at Glendale, UT, and stay in Page, AZ, instead. If you’re locked into those reservations, you can visit Page, AZ, as a day trip from Glendale, UT, as long as you keep a close eye on the time, particularly, sunset. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit, and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other wildlife that could hike up your risk of a car accident. That’s not something you want to chance in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold (spring nights can still dip down around freezing), where help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. When you refer to your trip taking place in spring 2021, assuming that you mean March or April, sunset in Page, AZ, occurs sometime before ~7:00 PM, 8:00 PM in Utah. You must bear in mind also that Utah is on Mountain Daylight Time, but Arizona will be on Mountain Standard Time, meaning that Utah is one hour “ahead” of Arizona. You would need to leave Page, AZ, no later than 5:15-5:30 PM, local time, in order to make it back by Glendale by sundown.
      One question that does pop up for me is have you been to the Grand Canyon? If not, you should definitely work it in somehow, but staying in Glendale, UT, situates you best to visit the North Rim, which doesn’t open until May 15th. If your visit is occurring before then, you wouldn’t be able to go to the North Rim on the ground, but it would be possible to fly over it. Fixed wing airplanes can be chartered out of Kanab, UT, or Page, AZ. Should your visit occur sometime after May 15th, the park would be open then, but the drive from Glendale, UT, would be 3 hours 1 way. Here again, best to stay in the immediate area of the North Rim rather than try to cram it in as a day trip.
      On the drive back to Las Vegas, you might take the short detour through Valley of Fire State Park. That’s a stunning area that’s really nice to visit in the springtime if it’s not too hot!
      For Red Canyon/Peek-A-Boo Canyon, a guided tour is not required, but they are strongly recommended due to the access road not being suitable for rental cars or those inexperienced with off-road driving. Tour companies offering trips to Peek-A-Boo Canyon are:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

  12. Hi Alley! I am visiting Phoenix January 20 – 25th and would love to visit Page and Sedona. As we are landing before 1 p.m., I was thinking of driving straight to Sedona from the airport and spending one night there. The next day driving to Page and spending one night there. Visiting Horseshoe Bend first thing in the morning and driving back to Phoenix/Scottsdale to spend the remaining 3 nights there. Does this itinerary make sense to you, or do you think it’s too exhausting? Any recommendations on must see things in Page and Sedona that are open at the time? Thank you in advance!

    1. Hey Jennie,
      Your proposed itinerary doesn’t sound exhausting at all, totally feasible. Still… I can’t help but add my .02 😉
      When you propose to spend the remaining 3 nights of your vacation in Phoenix/Scottsdale, I can’t get too enthusiastic about that because to me, that area is just another big city. I can think of better places to spend that kind of time, namely, Sedona, AZ. That’s a stunning area with lots to see and do, and is a great place to just chill for a few days before heading back to reality. One day is nowhere near enough time to do that area justice!
      If it were me, here’s what I’d do:
      January 20th: Fly to Phoenix, overnight in Phoenix
      January 21st: Drive to Page, AZ (~4.5-5 hours), overnight in Page
      January 22nd: Visit Horseshoe Bend, drive to Sedona (~3 hours), overnight in Sedona
      January 23rd: 2nd day/night in Sedona (Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour, hot air balloon ride)
      January 24th: 3rd day/night in Sedona (hiking, wine tasting, city tour of Sedona)
      January 25th: Drive to Phoenix (~2.5 hours), fly home
      One night should be sufficient in Page, AZ, what with the Antelope Canyons being closed. One thing that did raise a red flag is that the Grand Canyon is conspicuously absent from your itinerary. If you’ve never been there, you should definitely try and work it in somehow, and between Page, AZ, and Sedona, AZ is the most logical place to put it. The only potential problem right now is that due to COVID-19, an integral component of the shortest route between the two destinations is closed, specifically AZ64 from Cameron, AZ, to Desert View Point. That means you’d have to go all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then proceed North to the park via US180/AZ64 or I-40/AZ64; this has turned what used to be a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive. Sorry to be the bearer of potentially bad news on that front.
      Hope that helps. Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

  13. Hello! I’ll be landing in Phoenix, AZ with my 3 year old daughter on the 6th of January and I’ll be leaving AZ on the 11th in the evening. I was wanting to visit Phoenix, Sedona, Page, Grand Canyon and UT. Could you give me some suggestions on any kid friendly hikes and whatever else we could do? I’ll most probably have her stroller on some of the hikes just in case she gets tired but she has hiked 2 hour trails before.

    1. Hi Haneen,
      First off, I’d recommend taking Utah off the table. With only 5 days to work with, you simply don’t have enough time to do it justice. Zion National Park in particular warrants at least a 3-4 day stay. Ditto for Sedona, AZ, but you can still have a fulfilling visit in just 2 days time. Hopefully you’ve allowed for that seeing as though you’re leaving tomorrow.
      In light of your time constraints and the fact that you’re traveling with a toddler, I’d recommend:
      January 6th: Land in Phoenix, overnight in Phoenix
      January 7th: Drive from Phoenix to Page, AZ (~5 hours), overnight in Page
      January 8th: Visit Horseshoe Bend first thing in the morning (trail is partially paved, so should be navigable with a stroller), drive to Grand Canyon South Rim ***due to the closure of AZ64 from Cameron, AZ, to Desert View Point, you’ll have to go all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then proceed North to the park via US180/AZ64; this has turned what used to be a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive*** The paved Rim Trail would be the best hike to take with a toddler in a stroller, overnight at the Grand Canyon
      January 9th: Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Sedona, AZ (~3 hours), overnight in Sedona. Sedona has many stroller-friendly trails in various lengths, so you’ll find no shortage of beautiful hikes you can take!
      January 10th: 2nd day/night in Sedona
      January 11th: Drive from Sedona, AZ, to Phoenix (~2.5 hours), fly home
      Whatever you decide, be sure that you reserve all your hotels and any guided tours you might want to take ASAP.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thank you so much! Would white pocket be a great place to visit with my daughter? I understand I would need a 4×4 high clearance vehicle, anything else I should know or how I could get clear directions on getting there?

        1. Hi again, Haneen,
          White Pocket would probably be a bit too labor-intensive with a 3YO in tow. Not only the walking involved, but the drive to get out there. If you’re not experienced at driving in deep sand, you’re very likely to get stuck.
          A better hike for you guys would be The “New” Wave and Radio Tower Rock, which is just a few minutes away from Page, AZ, easy to find, and the trail is very easy to follow. You may not be able to manage a stroller out there, but it’s short enough so that if you end up carrying your daughter for a ways, it won’t be that far.
          You might also enjoy walking across the Glen Canyon Dam and Steel Arch Bridge, and the Hanging Gardens Trail nearby. For more information, check out this recent YouTube video featuring a young family hiking out to Horseshoe Bend and the Hanging Garden area, plus the little guy narrating is just SO cute 😉
          Have a wonderful time!
          Alley 🙂

          1. Thank you so much for taking the time to give me some insight and recommendations! I will definitely be looking into all that you have suggested and plan accordingly! Happy New Year!

  14. Hello! I am a little confused about which roads are closed due to COVID restrictions. As of right now, our plan is the following:
    -Hike around Sedona
    -Drive from Sedona to Page
    -Hike Horseshoe Bend
    -Stay the night in Page
    -Drive from Page to Springdale/Zion
    -Hike around Zion (Zion National Park, Bryce, Grand Canyon)

    Would this itinerary make sense? I remember seeing a post about restrictions between Page and Zion! Also, should we plan to see Grand Canyon based out of Zion or white in Page? If you have any other suggestions, we would appreciate it so much! Thank you so much!!!

    1. Hi Annie,
      Your itinerary looks pretty fun, and logically organized. However, I don’t recall seeing when you were planning to travel, and that piece of information is a crucial component of the advice I would give.
      If your trip is taking place between May 15th and October 15th, you could certainly make a day trip to Grand Canyon North Rim based out of Zion, Kanab, UT, or Page, AZ.
      If you are planning on traveling between October 15th and May 15th, Grand Canyon North Rim is closed during that time, so you would be limited to visiting Grand Canyon South Rim or Grand Canyon West (where the Grand Canyon Skywalk is located). Grand Canyon South Rim can be visited as a day trip out of Flagstaff, AZ, or Sedona, AZ, with careful planning and an eye on the time, but honestly, it can be better enjoyed if you stay the night either in the park or Tusayan, AZ.
      At the moment, driving from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, Zion NP, and points North requires taking a rather long detour through Flagstaff, AZ. This is due to a critical component of AZ64 on Navajo Indian Land, from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ, being closed. Should that remain the case, and you are limited to visiting Grand Canyon South Rim, the drive from GCSR to Page, AZ, will be 5 hours one way instead of its normal ~3 hours.
      As of right now, there are no travel restrictions between Page, AZ, and Zion National Park, however, private vehicles are not allowed on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive during peak tourist season. You are required to ride a shuttle to the viewpoints in that area, and advance purchase of tickets is required. Zion Canyon Shuttle Tickets
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

  15. Hi Ally! I have a 4 year old golden retriever, and we are fairly strong hikers I would say, though I always worry about his safety in new places and I was reading that Horseshoe Bend has some steep and rocky terrain. What are your thoughts on hiking Horseshoe Bend with a dog? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Maggie,
      Dogs visit Horseshoe Bend all the time. They are perfectly welcome as long as they are leashed at all times and their owners pick up after them. Also, be sure to bring enough water for yourself and your pet as this is a desert environment and as such, it’s very dry, even in wintertime.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      I wouldn’t count on it. According to the official website of Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation, all Navajo Tribal Parks are still closed until further notice. These include:
      – The Antelope Canyons
      – Monument Valley
      – Four Corners
      – Tseyi Heritage Center at Canyon de Chelly
      – Some areas around Marble Canyon
      – Window Rock Veterans’ Memorial
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. If seeing Monument Valley remains high on your priority list, the safest way to go about it would be to take a fixed-wing airplane flight over it from the Page Municipal Airport. For more information on these, visit Westwind Air Service: Page To Monument Valley Air Tour
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hey Sandra,
      Yes, 4.5 hours is a fairly accurate figure, wheels turning, no stops. However, you can easily extend the drive as it’s very scenic and you will find many sights that warrant a photo stop! Have fun,
      Alley 🙂

  16. Hi,
    Is it possible to do a day trip to horseshoe band from Phonix? What time should we leave? And do you think we can do other things beside see the horseshoe band before we head back to Phonix? When would be the best time to leave the area to avoid driving in darkness? I see some comments that it could be dangerous. We are doing this on New years day. And antelope canynon is closed now, right?

    1. Hey June,
      So sorry I didn’t see your inquiry in time. You’ve probably already come and gone, and hopefully were able to find your way around without much difficulty.
      For anyone else considering a similar plan, it is possible to visit Horseshoe Bend as a day trip from Phoenix, but at this time of year, it’s not ideal. For one, days are short. Driving at night is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit, and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other wildlife that elevates your risk of an accident. Trust me, that’s not something you want to risk in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, where cell service will be spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      The drive from Phoenix to Page, AZ, takes approximately 4.5 hours, each way. Sunrise occurs at approximately 7:45 AM and sunset takes place at ~5:15 PM. So that’s less than 10 hours of daylight to work with, and you’re already proposing to use all of it up driving up from Phoenix and driving back. You should allot at least 90 minutes-2 hours to park at Horseshoe Bend, walk out to the rim, take photos, and walk back to your vehicle. Since the Antelope Canyons are closed, that doesn’t leave much else to do during the time you have to work with. The section of US89 from Page, AZ, to Flagstaff, AZ, is the most dangerous part of the drive back to Phoenix. I-17 from Flagstaff, AZ, to Phoenix, AZ, does have more ambient light, although not much until you get to the suburbs around Phoenix. If visiting as a day trip is your only option, 2:00-2:30 PM would be the latest I’d advise leaving so you’re not caught on the darkest part of the drive after sundown.
      Better option? Stay overnight in Page, AZ.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year to all!
      Alley 🙂

  17. Hi I’m really looking forward to spend New Year’s Day at horseshoe bend coming from Santa Fe, we will travel on the 30th spend the night at some hotel and go hike on the 1st but wonder if there is another place to go the following day.

    1. Hey Jessica,
      You’ll be happy to know there are plenty of beautiful sights near Horseshoe Bend and Page, AZ, that are open for exploration!
      Some you might visit include, but are certainly not limited to:
      Page Rim View Trail
      Glen Canyon Dam/Steel Arch Bridge
      Hanging Garden Trail & The Chains
      Glen Canyon Dam/White House Overlook
      Grand View Overlook Park
      – The “New” Wave and Radio Tower Rock
      Wahweap Swim Beach and/or Lone Rock Beach (located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which requires a $30/vehicle entrance fee, good for one week’s time)
      Big Water Visitors Center & Dinosaur Museum **scroll down to the bottom of the linked page for this specific information** (in Big Water, Utah, ~20 minutes West of Page, AZ, on US89)
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Abbi,
      Barring super-bad weather (which is not expected) or some completely bizarre occurrence, Horseshoe Bend will be open on Christmas and New Year’s Day 🙂
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley

          1. Hi Douglas,
            The trail from the Horseshoe Bend parking lot to the overlook itself is ~.7 miles one-way, 1.4 miles round-trip. It is partially paved, the rest is graded, and relatively flat, so if everyone in your party is relatively healthy and fit, you should be able to manage it no problem.
            Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

  18. Hello do I need reservations for the horseshoe bend hike ? I plan to travel from Las Vegas on Saturday the 26th!

    1. Hey Monique,
      No reservations required to visit Horseshoe Bend — simply arrive at your convenience between sunrise and sunset and pay the $10/vehicle one-time parking fee.
      BTW, it’s ~a 5-hour drive, each way, from Las Vegas to Page, AZ, so plan accordingly.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

  19. hi, I am planning to spend couple of hours in horseshoe bend on my way to Zion on Christmas day? Is Horseshoe bend open on christmas day?

    Thanks
    Mahender

    1. Hi Mahender,
      Barring super-bad weather (which is not expected) or some completely bizarre occurrence, Horseshoe Bend will be open on Christmas and New Year’s Day 🙂
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley

  20. Hello! I will be in Arizona Dec. 28 – Jan. 1 and I was wondering if you have any suggestions for my trip including horseshoe bend… here is what we currently have in mind but I would love to hear any thoughts or ideas of stops or adjustments that we should make. Thank you in advance!
    – Monday Dec 28 – fly into Phoenix (stay the night)
    – Tuesday Dec 29 – drive to sedona, red rock state park, broken arrow trail, drive to flagstaff (stay the night in flagstaff)
    – Wednesday Dec 30 – drive to tusayan, hike grand canyon (stay the night in tusayan)
    – Thursday Dec 31 – sunrise at grand canyon south rim, drive to page, hike horseshoe bend at sunset (stay the night in page)
    – Friday Jan 1 – drive to phenix, fly home

    1. Hey Lily,
      Your itinerary as it stands looks pretty fun, and if it’s too late to change it (locked into hotel reservations, etc) I think you’ll have a perfectly wonderful time just leaving things the way they are!
      If you do have some flexibility to make some alterations, however, here’s what I’d recommend: flip-flop the order of the places you visit. Right now, you’re looking at doing the longer drives on the back end of your trip. Most people I talk to prefer to get them out of the way at the beginning.
      Another thing you may not be aware of is that due to COVID-19, an integral component of the shortest travel route between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ (AZ64 from Cameron, AZ, to Desert View Point on the South Rim) on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands is closed. This means that to get from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, now requires that you drive all the way back to Flagstaff, AZ, then back up North to Page, AZ via US89. This rather long but unavoidable detour has turned what used to be a 3-hour drive into more like a 5-hour drive, whether you go from GC-Page or the other way around. Be sure you plan accordingly.
      So here’s what I’d recommend:
      December 28th – fly to Phoenix, stay overnight (no change)
      December 29th – Drive to Page, AZ (~5 hours), hike to Horseshoe Bend at sunset (5:18 PM), overnight in Page, AZ
      December 30th – Drive to Tusayan (~5 hours), sunset at Grand Canyon, overnight in Tusayan (so, no change in hotel reservations here)
      December 31st – Drive to Sedona (~2.5 hours from Grand Canyon South Rim), overnight in Sedona (or Flagstaff)
      January 1st – Drive to Phoenix (~2.5 hours from Flagstaff, 2 hours from Sedona)
      One more observation: one day and/or night in Sedona is going to leave you wanting! Sedona, AZ, is a stunning area with lots to see and do, enough for at least 3-4 days. Even then, people report that they feel as though they’d only “scratched the surface” of all the area had to offer. I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be planning a return trip! Boo-hoo, huh? 😉
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

  21. Hi, we were planning to go Horseshoe Bend on Dec 26 but the weather shows it would snow that day. So, we preponed to Dec 24 and how will the weather be? Is it safe to travel from Las Vegas? Also, do we need to hike to the spot as we are visiting this place for the first time ?

    1. Hi Rahul,
      Actually, Page, AZ, is showing no indications of precipitation expected for your timeframe. Page, AZ, weather You might be looking at Grand Canyon South Rim weather, which does show a slight chance of precipitation early next week, but the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend are two separate areas.
      Horseshoe Bend is approximately a 5-hour drive, one way, from Las Vegas, NV, all on paved roads that are very well-traveled. When you get to Horseshoe Bend, you should allot 90 minutes to two hours to park your vehicle, hike out to the rim (it’s ~.7 miles one way, partially paved and fairly flat). You’d then be facing a 5-hour drive back to Las Vegas, which doesn’t sound like my idea of fun on a vacation, plus your day is going to be quite short: sunrise occurs at around 7:30 AM and sunset takes place at approximately 5:15 PM. You might consider spending the night in Page, AZ, so you can have a nice relaxing visit to Horseshoe Bend.
      While snow is not expected in the Page, AZ, area, it is expected to be on the cool side with daytime temperatures in the ’40’s and overnight lows in the teens and ’20’s. Bring a jacket and maybe some gloves if you’re out and about in the morning or evening.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  22. Hi! Thank you for all your helpful information – I have a trip scheduled from 12/16 landing at night through 12/27 flying out of phoenix. Right now, my plan is to first start south in tuscon and saguaro park (1 day) then the next day in the petrified forest, then north to Grand Canyon and horse shoe bend for two nights. Then to Sedona for 3 nights (?). Does this route sound like a good plan? I have some free time in there, so have flexibility. Thank you!!

  23. What a plethora of information here in your comment section!!!! I have all the information I need for our trip in a week! The detour from the Grand Canyon to Page,AZ was super helpful. Thank you so much for the time in answering others questions!

    1. Hi Teresa,
      Yes, having a 3-hour drive turn into a 5-hour drive is the kind of surprise we’d rather have people avoid!
      Have a wonderful trip, and a Happy Holiday season,
      Alley 🙂

  24. Hi,

    We are planning for a trip to AZ/UT. Arriving from San Jose to Vegas on Dec 23 evening, considering the road conditions are not very safe to travel in night, we plan to reach St George by 10 pm and stay overnight. Considering we have 1 and half day (Dec 24th and half of 25th) what all can we visit in and around Horseshoe. I was so looking to cover Antelopes but heard it is closed :-(.
    I will be with my spouse and daughter (8). We can do moderate hiking.

    Thereafter, we plan to start to Moab post lunch on Dec 26th to cover Arches. Google map shows it is 4:30 hours drive, (1) are there any destination we can cover enroute, (2) it the route to Moab safe to reach late night (10 PMish) just in case we plan to cover some scenic points on the route.

    1. Hi Gaurav,
      So sorry that the closure of the Antelope Canyons has dealt you an unpleasant surprise in your trip planning, but there may be a way to salvage that part of your trip. More on that in a minute…
      Driving into St. George at night isn’t as risky as other areas because it’s a well-populated community with a good-sized light dome. Everywhere else, we strongly recommend doing your driving during daylight hours, including Moab.
      Page, AZ, where Horseshoe Bend is located, is approximately a 2.5 hour drive from St. George, UT. However, if seeing a slot canyon remains high on your priority list — which we wouldn’t blame you one bit for! — you should make Kanab, UT, your first stop so you can tour Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features classic slot canyon scenery, as well as some geological features unique to it. Technically, a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, however, we strongly recommend that you take one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is not difficult, the drive to get there can be. People get stuck on this route on a daily basis. Reputable tour companies who can help you get to Peek-A-Boo Canyon are:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      Kanab, UT, is approximately 90 minutes from St. George, UT. Tours of Peek-A-Boo Canyon last approximately 4 hours. Then, Page, AZ, would be a further ~75 minute drive from Kanab, UT. I recommend staying overnight in Page, AZ. Time permitting, you could visit Horseshoe Bend that afternoon or evening before retiring for the night, or hit it the following morning en route to Moab, UT.
      The drive from Page, AZ, to Moab, UT, typically takes ~5 hours, but that’s wheels turning, no stops. That’s unlikely to happen since it’s a very scenic drive and you will be stopping more often than you realize to take pictures. ***Word of caution: be sure that your vehicle is fully fueled, and that you eat breakfast in Page, AZ, or at least have some snacks and water to tide you over until you get to Moab, UT. The reason for this is because the first 2-2.5 hours of the drive will be through Navajo Indian Tribal Lands. Due to being hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19, they have made the decision to close most businesses on their lands to outsiders in order to minimize their exposure. So while you can drive through the reservation in order to get from Page, AZ, to Moab, UT, you are strongly discouraged from stopping at anytime. That means that you’ll have to enjoy Monument Valley as a “drive-by,” but you can get out of the car at other off-reservation sites such as the Goosenecks of the San Juan State Park, and the quaint towns of Bluff, UT, and Blanding, UT. Don’t be surprised if the drive ends up taking 6-7 hours! However long it takes, I recommend timing your arrival in to Moab, UT, before sunset, which takes place at 5:00 PM at the time of year you’re visiting. Sunrise occurs just after 7:30 AM.
      Trip map
      Hope that helps! Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

  25. Hi there! We are flying into Phoenix on 1/7. Depart on 1/11. We want to see Sedona (hikes and places recommended are welcome), Horeshoe Bend, Bryce and Antelope Canyon. I know it’s closed, but are there any other slot canyon hikes we can do? Is this itinerary doable? We’re renting a car. Thanks so much for your feedback. We aren’t opposed to kayaking Horseshoe as well.

    1. Hey Christine,
      Assuming that 1/7 and 1/11 will be devoted to flying out and flying home, that gives you 3 full travel days to work with. Unfortunately, that’s not a lot of time. Plus, you’re visiting at a time of year when snow is a very real possibility in the higher elevations, such as Bryce Canyon, plus, if you’re going to visit Bryce Canyon, you should really visit Zion National Park since it’s practically right next door, but there’s that pesky time consideration, or, lack thereof as the case may be. In light of these issues, I recommend taking Bryce off the table and saving it for another trip, preferably when it’s warmer, and when you can fly in and out of Las Vegas and spend a week or more exploring and enjoying the sights at a more leisurely pace.
      Technically, you don’t really have enough time to do Sedona, AZ, justice either. Even eliminating Bryce from your wish list, you have at most one day to spend there, and I guarantee that will leave you wanting. Sedona is a huge and stunning area, with lots to see and do, even in wintertime. You really need at least 3-4 days there, and even then, people report that in that amount of time, they still felt that they only “scratched the surface” of all the area had to offer. As much as I hate to say it, you might consider just using the 3 days you have and giving it all to Sedona. Should the weather turn horrible and put a kabosh on your sightseeing plans, it’s a great place just to relax and chill. Sedona is ~a 2-hour drive (one way) from Phoenix.
      If you decide against that, here’s what I’d recommend:
      January 7th: fly to Phoenix, overnight in Phoenix
      January 8th: drive to Page, AZ (~5 hours from Phoenix), visit Horseshoe Bend (sorry, the kayaking doesn’t run at the time of year you’re visiting), overnight in Page, AZ (book 2 nights)
      January 9th: day trip to Kanab, UT (~70 minute drive, 1 way) to tour Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. With the Antelope Canyons closed, this is the most easily accessible alternative. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features classic slot canyon scenery, as well as some geological features unique to it. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you consider taking one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there can be. People get stuck on this route on a daily basis. Reputable tour companies who can help you get to Peek-A-Boo Canyon are:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      Tours of Peek-A-Boo Canyon last approximately 4 hours. Time permitting, you might also use this day to enjoy the hike to the Paria Rimrocks and Toadstool Hoodoos, between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT. The trailhead is on US89 near mile marker 19. If you have time to spare, you might pop into the Big Water Visitors Center and Dinosaur Museum, ~20 minutes from Page, AZ, over the Utah border. Overnight in Page, AZ, again.
      January 10th: drive to Sedona (~3 hours from Page, AZ), overnight in Sedona
      January 11th: drive to Phoenix (~2 hours from Sedona), fly home
      Trip map
      Whatever you decide, be sure to book all hotels and guided tours in advance. Also, be sure plan to do all your driving during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to the fact that local roads are very dimly lit, and you might encounter deer, elk, or other wildlife, which can hike up your risk of an accident. That’s not something you want to chance in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold, where cell service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. At the time of year you’re traveling, days are short: sunrise occurs at around 7:30 AM and sunset takes place just before 5:30 PM.
      Hope that helps! Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thank you so much! We extended our trip another day, and have now opted to fly out of Vegas instead of circling back to PHX. I’ve done Zion before, but I’m not opposed to do it again. The Narrows was amazing!!

        I appreciate your feedback!

        1. Hey Christine!
          Good call on adding another day. More time is always a good thing in the American Southwest 😉
          Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s, and if you get a minute when you return home, let us know how things went!
          Take care,
          Alley

    1. Hi North Lee,
      Yes, Horseshoe Bend is open! It’s one of a few attractions that never closed during COVID-19.
      As for other sights in the Page, AZ, area that are still open for visiting, there is:
      Page Rim View Trail
      Glen Can Dam/Steel Arch Bridge
      Hanging Garden Trail & The Chains
      Glen Canyon Dam/White House Overlook
      Grand View Overlook Park
      The “New” Wave and Radio Tower Rock
      Wahweap Swim Beach and/or Lone Rock Beach (located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which requires a $30/vehicle entrance fee, good for one week’s time)
      Big Water Visitors Center & Dinosaur Museum
      Hope that helps! Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

  26. Hi Alley! Thanks for all of the great information and being so helpful for all of us out-of-towners. I’m sorry if this is a repeat question. I read through quite a few, but still have some questions.

    We are landing in PHX the morning of Saturday, December 26th. We plan on stopping at the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market. From there I am undecided between spending the next few days in Sedona or Page. We fly out at 1 PM on Tuesday, December 29th so we really only have two full days. I thought about doing Sedona one day and then Page the other day, but I feel like that may be too much. We were looking at going to Horseshoe Bend for sunrise and then looking for hiking or biking tours. If you have any recommendations on tours and any opinions on what you would do with that amount of time they would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

    1. Hey Kylee and thank you for your compliments!
      Good call on choosing “quality over quantity” for your upcoming trip. As to which destination you choose, that depends on a few factors, such as your preference or aversion to long drives and cold weather, but most importantly, it will probably come down to hotel availability and pricing. You’re traveling during the week leading up to New Year’s Day, so it is most likely to be busy, COVID-19 notwithstanding.
      It takes ~5 hours to drive from Phoenix to Page, AZ. You could hit Horseshoe Bend either on your way into town or on your way back to Phoenix; the parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset. As for the rest of the time, you could certainly enjoy hiking and maybe even some biking. For biking, you might enjoy an electric mountain bike tour around the Page Rim View Trail with Lake Powell Adventures. Hiking is easy enough to do on your own. Popular trails and sights include, but are certainly not limited to:
      Page Rim View Trail
      Glen Canyon Dam/Steel Arch Bridge
      Hanging Garden Trail & The Chains
      Glen Canyon Dam/White House Overlook
      Grand View Overlook Park
      The “New” Wave and Radio Tower Rock
      Wahweap Swim Beach and/or Lone Rock Beach (these are located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which requires a $30/vehicle entrance fee, good for one week’s time)
      Big Water Visitors Center & Dinosaur Museum (in Big Water, UT, ~15 miles from Page, AZ)
      Sedona is ~2-2.5 hours drive (one way) from Phoenix, and offers plenty to see and do in 2-3 days time! If you opt to visit Page, AZ, on this trip, definitely plan a future trip to Sedona, AZ, when you can spend 4-5 days. You won’t regret it!
      Hope that helps. Good luck, safe travels, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thanks Alley!!! As much as we wanted to go to Page we decided to do Sedona since it was a shorter drive and we will have my parents with us. Do you have favorite hikes in the Sedona area? We are also looking at the jeep tours. Do you have a favorite company? Thanks for all your recommendations! We are saving them for a future trip to Page 🙂

        1. Hi again, Kylee,
          At the time of year you’re traveling, and in light of the road closures in effect in Northern AZ, I think this is a good decision.
          As far as hikes in Sedona, AZ, go, you’ll find no shortage of good ones. I like the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon, but that trail crosses a river several times and may not be practical when outside temps are at or below freezing. You might look at the Fay Canyon Trail, Deadman’s Pass Trail, or the Honanki/Palatki Heritage sites. For more information, visit HikeSedona.com or Sedona.net
          For jeep tours, again, several possibilities here, but the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour continues to be the “quintessential” Sedona backcountry tour. Naturally, this will occur weather permitting and possibly contingent on a certain number of passengers traveling. IIRC, you’re traveling around the Xmas holiday, so advance reservations for hotels and guided tours are an absolute must!
          We hope you’ll get a chance to plan a trip to Page, AZ, for another time. The best time of year to visit the Grand Canyon, Page, AZ, and the surrounding area is late September-early October. Weather is nearly perfect for sightseeing and hiking at that time of year <3
          Have a great time and if you get a minute when you return home, let us know how things went!
          Take care,
          Alley 🙂

  27. Hi there – great page and resources! My friend and I are traveling to Arizona from Dec 16-20th (flight lands at around noon on the 16th, and we depart at around 3 pm on the 20th, all to/from PHX airport).

    We’d like to visit the Grand Canyon, as well as Horseshoe Bend and Lower Antelope Canyon via the kayak options. Do you have any recommendations on the best route between these three? We were thinking to spend Thurs Dec 17 kayaking to the Lower Antelope Canyon to hike and then spend the afternoon visiting Horseshoe Bend – we don’t know if many have taken the kayaks to the Antelope hike so want to know if this is recommended? We also don’t know if it would be feasible to visit Horseshoe Bend in the afternoon close to closing as we read it gets busy / parking lot gets full…. We then wanted to drive toward the Grand Canyon area and spend Fri Dec 18 at the Grand Canyon. We aren’t able to visit these sites on Saturday because we observe Sabbath and Sunday we fly out…so we appreciate any advice on these plans.

    1. Hi Shaked,
      Thank you so much for your compliments. They are much appreciated!
      If you are interested in kayaking in Lower Antelope Canyon, you would have to rent a kayak and go there on your own, which is relatively simple, especially if you rent from Antelope Point Marina. They would advise you as to how far into the land-side of the canyon you could hike so as not to trespass on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands which are closed to outsiders. To reserve or get more information, phone 800-255-5561.
      Time permitting, you could visit Horseshoe Bend that afternoon, or evening for sunset. If that doesn’t work out, simply stop by on your way to Grand Canyon South Rim. One word of warning about the drive to Grand Canyon South Rim: normally it’s ~3 hours, but due to an integral component of the drive (AZ64 from Cameron to Desert View Point) being closed since it’s on Navajo Tribal Land, you are now required to drive all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then back up North via US180/AZ64 (or I-40/AZ64 if you prefer). This has turned a 3-hour drive into more along the lines of 5 hours, so be sure to get an early start on that day! Trip map
      Good luck, safe travels, and good Shabbat,
      Alley 🙂

  28. Hi Alley,

    This is an incredible feed and thank you for your service to everyone here. I have tried to read as much as I can, but it’s a lot to piece together so I am just going to ask about my particular situation anyway. Sorry for the likely duplicative questions.

    My wife and I are flying in and out of PHX on Dec 11-16. We would like to cover the Grand Canyon (not the whole thing obviously!), Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon (or similar given the closure), Sonoma, and Phoenix (time permitting). We will rent a car to drive location to location. We are in our mid-twenties and good shape so hiking is fine/good! Any tips on what is best to cover with this limited time? What is the best path to take based on timing and geography? Any other tips/recs? Perhaps most importantly… where should we eat? 🙂

    Thank you so much for your advice! Wishing you good health!

    1. Hi Blake and thank you so much for your compliments.
      No problem asking questions that have already been asked, it comes with the territory when helping folks like you plan trips to unfamiliar areas.
      Normally, I don’t like to make assumptions, but in this case I’m going to assume that your auto correct kicked in and that instead of “Sonoma” you mean “Sedona?” Sonoma, CA, would be too far a swing out of the way and California’s wine country deserves its own trip!
      So, assuming (again!) that December 11th and 16th will be travel days, that leaves you with 4 full days to work with. Unfortunately, that’s not enough time to do Sedona, AZ, justice. Sedona is a stunning area, with lots to see and do. You really need 3-4 days minimum to enjoy and explore it fully; people even report spending a week there and still feeling as though they’d only “scratched the surface.” Long story short, you can still get there, but your visit will be short; I can pretty much guarantee that you will be planning a return trip there someday!
      Secondly, a road closure that could potentially throw a kink into your plans is AZ64 from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ. Normally, this is an integral component of the shortest travel route from Grand Canyon South Rim to Horseshoe Bend (or vice versa), but since it lies on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands, which are closed to outsiders due to COVID-19, it is now necessary to drive all the way back from GC South Rim to Flagstaff, then back up North to Page, AZ, via US89. This detour has turned what used to be ~a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive.
      With the Antelope Canyons being closed, since they are also on Navajo Indian property, you might want to instead hike Wire Pass Canyon/Buckskin Gulch near Paria, UT. This photogenic two-part slot canyon is located between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, on US89, about a 45 minute drive from Page, AZ. The nice thing about Wire Pass Canyon that is short enough for intermediate-level hikers to enjoy, yet offers the option to delve further into Buckskin Gulch for those wanting more of a challenge. The walk to the entrance of the initial slot is via a typically dry streambed, which may be full of deep sand if recent weather has been dry. An 8-10’ drop a short distance into the slot canyon is one reason why Wire Pass Canyon may not be appropriate for those traveling with young children, the elderly, or individuals afraid of heights. As the canyon walls become higher and closer together, they suddenly open up as the second slot connects with the Buckskin Gulch. If you’ve had enough at this point, you can simply turn around and head back to your vehicle. If you’d like to explore further, you can easily make a half-day hike out of the immediate area around the confluence with the Buckskin. Look for some bighorn sheep petroglyphs dating back hundreds, maybe thousands of years! Access to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch is off US89 between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, on the House Rock Valley Road. Hikers are required to pay a self-permitting fee at the kiosk by the trailhead. Fair warning: the House Rock Valley Road is unpaved! While it is accessible to 2WD vehicles much of the time, if recent weather has brought any moisture whatsoever, the HRVR can turn into a muddy, impassable mess. Parties in rental cars should think twice about attempting this road since off-road driving is strictly prohibited by most rental car companies. A guided tour will get your family to Wire Pass Canyon and back in one piece, and turn you onto features you might have missed trying to find your own way. Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT based companies offering guided tours to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch include:
      – Detours American West, 480-633-9013, http://www.detoursamericanwest.com
      – Paria Outpost & Outfitters, 928-691-1047, http://www.paria.com
      – Grand Staircase Discovery Tours, 928-614-4099, http://www.grandstaircasediscoverytours.com
      So, here’s what I’d recommend:
      December 11th: fly to Phoenix, if flight arrives early, drive to Sedona, AZ (~2 hour drive) and overnight
      December 12th: drive to Grand Canyon South Rim (~3 hours), overnight at Grand Canyon, maybe hike a short distance down the Bright Angel Trail
      December 13th: drive to Page, AZ via Flagstaff, AZ (~5 hours), visit Horseshoe Bend, overnight in Page, AZ
      December 14th: Hike Wire Pass Canyon/Buckskin Gulch **be sure to verify that the House Rock Valley Road is passable before attempting to drive it yourself, or book a guided tour** spend 2nd night in Page, AZ
      December 15th: Drive from Page, AZ, to Phoenix (~5 hour drive), explore around Phoenix area that afternoon or part of following morning, overnight in Phoenix
      December 16th: fly home
      Trip map
      If the idea of shorting Sedona, AZ, doesn’t appeal, as much as I hate to say it, you might skip Page, AZ, this time around and schedule a visit there at another time, namely the Navajo Nation feels safe enough to welcome tourists to the Antelope Canyons once again. If you take me up on that suggestion, plan a trip in the spring or fall months that has you fly into Las Vegas and do a 7-day loop through Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon North Rim, Lake Powell, and Monument Valley! Ultimate 7-Day Itinerary in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah
      As for where you should eat, again, COVID-19 will have a definite influence on where you can go, seating capacity, mask requirements (maybe lack thereof in some cases). If you’re looking for quality and variety, Phoenix and Sedona will offer more of both. Dining options at the Grand Canyon have been significantly reduced. Some places in Page, AZ, have also closed, either temporarily or permanently, due to COVID-19. My best advice would be to consult TripAdvisor, Yelp, FourSquare or whatever restaurant review sites you prefer to use and look for recent reviews in the areas you plan to visit. Also, be prepared to take a DIY approach, maybe pick up a cheap cooler after arriving in Phoenix, hit a grocery store, and pick up food supplies you can easily take with you sightseeing, or prepare in your hotel room. Since most hotel rooms these days have microwaves and mini-fridges (with the exception of the Grand Canyon), that makes things easier.
      Whatever you decide, book your hotels ASAP if you haven’t done so already. Ditto for guided tours.
      Hope that helps and that you have a wonderful trip! If you get a minute when you return home, write back in and let us know how things went.
      Take care and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Alley,
        I am glad to see this website with your responses to people’s queries for trip planning. I was initially planning to go to San Diego for a week with my sister’s family as a group of 4 adults and 4 children (aged 16, 12, 11, and 8). My trip was from 24th Dec to 1st Jan. Since there are travel restrictions in San Diego we are canceling our trip to San Diego.
        I am thinking about planning a trip to the canyons (Horseshoe, Zion, Sedona, Antelope, Bryce, Arches) instead. I will avoid Las Vegas. I am planning to fly into Pheonix and depart from Pheonix. Can you help me plan my trip itinerary for 7 seven nights from 24th Dec to 1st Jan from Pheonix.
        Thanks
        Gokul

        1. Hi Gokul,
          So sorry your trip plans for California have been impacted by COVID-19 🙁 But, hopefully California’s loss will be Arizona and Utah’s gain.
          Unfortunately, I have to begin by giving you couple of small ‘reality checks:’
          1. Take Arches out of the equation. It’s too far a swing out of your way flying into Phoenix (~8 hours, one way – yikes!), and Moab, UT, deserves at least 4-5 days to do it justice, preferably when it’s warmer. That way you can explore and enjoy Arches, Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point, Castle Valley, maybe do some rafting in Cataract Canyon. Lots of possibilities! For that area, Salt Lake City is a better airport to fly into.
          2. You’re traveling during the Christmas/New Year’s holidays, which means that many hotels near the parks are likely to be sold out. If you haven’t made reservations already, you might have a rough time finding accommodations. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for that not to be the case, but that’s why I’m suggesting you use Kanab, UT, as a “base” from which to sightsee in Bryce and Zion.
          With those small modifications, here’s what I’d recommend:
          December 24th: Fly into Phoenix, overnight there
          December 25th: Drive from Phoenix, AZ, to Kanab, UT (~6 hours), stay 3 nights
          December 26th: Day trip to Bryce Canyon National Park (~90 minutes each way from Kanab, UT), back to Kanab, UT, for overnight
          December 27th: Day trip to Zion National Park (~45 minutes each way from Kanab, UT); you will have to use the shuttle to access Zion Canyon, the main sightseeing area. Tickets must be purchased in advance for the Zion Canyon Shuttle, and may already be sold out. Should this be the case, there are still areas you can visit by driving UT9 throug the park to Springdale, UT, including the visitors center, watchman trail, parus trail, the long tunnel, canyon overlook trail, Checkerboard mesa, the chance to see the mountain sheep, and many pullouts along the way where you can stop for the view, or hike down into the washes. Return to Kanab, UT, for overnight
          December 28th: Drive from Kanab, UT, to Horseshoe Bend/Page, AZ (~1 hour), then to Flagstaff, AZ (~3 hours), spend 2 nights **the reason I don’t suggest going directly from Kanab, UT, to Grand Canyon South Rim is because an integral component of the shortest drive is on Navajo Reservation land, which is closed due to COVID-19 along with the East gate of the park; you have to detour through Flagstaff, AZ, then proceed North to the park, so in light of the detour, you may as well spend the night in Flagstaff***
          December 29th: Day trip to Grand Canyon South Rim (1.5 hour drive, each way), visit Grand Canyon Village Historic District, Canyon View Information Plaza, overlooks on Hermit’s Rest Road What’s open in Grand Canyon, return to Flagstaff, AZ, to overnight
          December 30th: Drive to Sedona, AZ (~1 hour from Flagstaff, AZ), visit Chapel of the Holy Cross, Tlaquepaque, perhaps take the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour, overnight in Sedona, or return to Flagstaff, AZ, to overnight if Sedona is sold out One Day In Sedona
          December 31st: Drive back to Phoenix (~2 hours from Sedona) to fly home
          Trip map
          One last thing: your visit is taking place during a timeframe when you might encounter snow. “White Christmases” are especially common in Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon South Rim. Should you run up against a snowstorm, your best bet is to wait it out until it clears, then move on to your next destination when it’s safe to do so. Start monitoring local weather and road conditions ~2 weeks before you get ready to travel. That will give you the best idea of what to expect.
          Oh, another last thing 😉 — be sure do all your driving during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to the fact that local roads are very dimly lit, and you might encounter deer, elk, or other wildlife, which can hike up your risk of an accident. That’s not something you want to chance in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold, where cell service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. At the time of year you’re traveling, days are short: sunrise occurs at around 7:30 AM and sunset takes place just before 5:15 PM.
          Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
          Alley 🙂

  29. HI,

    We are planning to visit Grand Canyon, Horse Shore bend, Zion and Arches National Park. As of now our trip is planned from 24-29th Dec. Is it possible to cover all these ?.
    As of now we have planned to travel early mrng on 24th Dec from Vegas to Grand Canyon. Spend daytime in Grand Canyon and head for Page by 3 or 4 PM. Stay in Page 24th Night and watch sunrise (25th Dec) at horse shoe bend. After watching sunrise leave for Zion/Arches, this is where we are confused. Should we go to Zion or Arches from Page. Thinking to spend 1 day in Arches (see Delicate arch and few easy hikes) and spend rest 2 days in Zion. And return back to Vegas on 29th to catch our 6PM flight.
    Can you suggest us good itinerary for our above tentative plan ?.
    Thanks for your help in advance :).

    1. Hi Rajat,
      Sorry, but I can’t endorse your itinerary as it stands.
      Your plan pretty much goes wrong on day 1: it takes ~5 hours to drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim. It then takes roughly the same amount of time to drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ. You might have heard that the drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, takes ~2.5-3 hours, but that’s not the case right now. Due to COVID-19, an integral component of the normal travel route that traverses Navajo Indian Tribal Land (Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ, on AZ64) is closed. That means, to get from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, requires that you drive all the way back down to Flagstaff, AZ, then back up North to Page, AZ, via US89. This rather long and mandatory detour has turned a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive, which you’re proposing to do on a day when you’ve already driven 5 hours, and your day is already going to be very short: sunrise in Las Vegas occurs shortly before 7:00 AM and sunset in Arizona takes place at around 5:15 PM. Nighttime driving is something you should avoid in this part of the U.S. due to the fact that local roads are very dimly lit, and you might encounter deer, elk, or other wildlife, which can hike up your risk of an accident. That’s not something you want to chance in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold, where cell service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      A better plan on your first day of travel would be to overnight at Grand Canyon South Rim , then drive to Page, AZ, the next morning, spend the night in Page, AZ, then move on to your next destination.
      As to where your next destination should be, as much as I hate to say it, I recommend taking Arches off the table this time around. It is simply too far out of your way (~5 hours from Page, AZ, roughly the same from Zion [see map]), and you don’t have enough time to enjoy and explore it fully. The Moab, UT area — where Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are situated — really needs 3-5 days to do it justice. So instead of driving all that way just to “scratch the surface” of all Moab, UT, has to offer, I’d recommend instead going to Bryce Canyon. It’s a beautiful area, and would probably be a better option for you this time around. For one, it’s closer to Page, AZ (~3 hour drive). Second, it comprises a relatively small area, square mileage-wise, so one day there is usually sufficient for most visitors. Secondly, it puts you closer to Zion, ~90 minute drive. Zion definitely needs at least 2 days time as it is a very large park with a lot to see and do. The drive back to Las Vegas from Zion will take anywhere from 3-4.5 hours depending on where you stay the night before. Springdale, UT, and Hurricane, UT, are popular gateway communities for Zion as they are both situated on the Western border of the park, which gives you a substantial head start on the drive back to Las Vegas.
      A couple more things: you’re traveling during the Christmas holiday, which is a very popular time of year for tourism in this area, COVID-19 notwithstanding. All hotels and guided tours must be booked in advance. On the subject of the Christmas holiday, “white Christmases” are common in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, especially Grand Canyon South Rim and Bryce Canyon. Be sure to keep an eye on local weather conditions, starting about 2 weeks before you get set to travel. Should you encounter a snowstorm during your travels, be prepared to wait it out, don’t try to power through it, especially if you’re not used to driving in such conditions. Lastly, and probably most importantly, you will be required to utilize the Zion Canyon Shuttle System in order to access the main scenic drive of that park. Due to COVID-19, capacities on these vehicles have been substantially reduced, necessitating the advance purchase of tickets for all riders. For more information on this arrangement, visit NPS.gov: Zion Canyon Shuttle Tickets
      Oh, one more thing 😉 — if possible, get an early start on the drive back to Las Vegas so you can make the short detour (road and weather conditions permitting) through the Valley of Fire State Park. This is a stunning area with exquisite rock formations, that can be enjoyed via an easy loop drive that won’t take you too far off course. Full trip map
      I hope that helps! Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

  30. Hi Alley! Your insight is so great I am so glad I found this page. I have a few questions. I am staying in SLC with a friend in an apartment from December 2-10 and planning on traveling the Thursday night-Sunday (December 3-6). Zion and Bryce are definitely things we wanted to see in that time but now I am wondering if it would be a fun idea to see Horseshoe Bend at sunrise one morning. Do you think it is doable and worthwhile? This is my thought process:
    1. Drive to hotel/airbnb Thursday afternoon near Zion National Park (we were thinking of staying in Hurricane, UT because we heard it was cheaper)
    2. Spend all day Friday at Zion and hike angel’s landing then drive back to Hurricane for the night.
    3. Leave hotel around 5am to make it to Horseshoe Bend for sunrise and then head to Bryce Canyon for the day. And drive back to SLC on Saturday night? I know it is a 4 hour drive. We could wait until Sunday to drive back- I just didn’t know if it would be worth it to find another hotel near Bryce for the night.

    I am not glued to this plan, we just want to make sure we at least see Zion and Bryce in the one weekend! I am open to any and all suggestions and would love to hear any recommendations you have. Thanks so much in advance!!

    1. Hi Julia, we’re glad you found us, too!
      Your plan looks pretty fun, I’d still recommend some small modifications for optimal safety and comfort.
      You are correct in that hotels in Hurricane, UT, are significantly less expensive than those in Springdale, UT, a popular gateway community for Zion National Park. You would also find that to be the case in Kanab, UT.
      The reason(s) I would tend to steer you toward Kanab, UT, over Hurricane, UT, is because it’s more centrally situated between the 3 attractions on your wish list, and would substantially reduce your drive time to Page, AZ, for Horseshoe Bend on that 3rd day: Hurricane, UT, is ~2 hours from Page, AZ, whereas Kanab, UT, is more like 1 hour. You want to avoid driving before sunrise or after sunset as much as possible in this part of the U.S. due to the fact that local roads are very dimly lit, and you might encounter deer, elk, or other wildlife, which can hike up your risk of an accident. That’s not something you want to chance in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold, where cell service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      Similarly, instead of driving all the way back to SLC after sightseeing at Bryce, you could just drive back to Kanab, UT, which is ~90 minutes from Bryce. The trip back to SLC the next morning would be slightly longer, but only by ~30-45 minutes.
      On the trip back to SLC, you could make a slight detour through Brian Head and Cedar Breaks National Monument, weather and road conditions permitting, of course. Map of trip
      Hope that helps! Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Janet,
      Horseshoe Bend will be open from sunrise to sunset. You pay a one-time $10 parking fee to visit. As you might imagine, Horseshoe Bend is very popular for sunset viewing, but I personally think that sunrise is the best time to be there because crowds are usually smaller.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

      1. So you can hike the Horeshoe Bend? I was just told by my hotel that you can’t have your view of it but can’t really do anything else.

        1. Hi Kiki,
          Yes, you can hike to Horseshoe Bend. It is one of a few attractions in the area that never closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset, and you pay a one-time $10 parking fee to visit. As you might imagine, Horseshoe Bend is very popular for sunset viewing, but I personally think that sunrise is the best time to be there because crowds are usually smaller.
          Other places in the Page, AZ, you might go include, but are not limited to:
          The Page Rim View Trail
          Glen Can Dam/Steel Arch Bridge
          Hanging Garden Trail & The Chains
          Glen Canyon Dam/White House Overlook
          Grand View Overlook Park
          The “New” Wave and Radio Tower Rock
          Wahweap Swim Beach and/or Lone Rock Beach (these are located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which requires a $30/vehicle entrance fee, good for one week’s time)
          Big Water, UT, Visitors Center and Dinosaur Museum
          Hopefully as you can see, there’s still no shortage of things to see and do in the Page, AZ, area, even with some attractions closed due to COVID-19.
          Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
          Alley 🙂

  31. hi there,
    planning on going tuesday at Horseshoe Bend please i need some advice it’s our 1st time 🙂 do u think bringing kids is a good idea? (age 8,12,14) also how far is the Horseshoe Bend from Vegas strip? and last what time is the best time to arrive at Horseshoe Bend ? thank u so much.

    1. Hi Trisha,
      It takes approximately 5 hours to drive from Las Vegas, NV, to Page, AZ, where Horseshoe Bend is located. It’s fine to bring kids with you as long as you are aware that the majority of the rim of Glen Canyon is unfenced and it’s a 700′ drop to the Colorado River. Also, since it’s a desert environment, be sure to bring enough water for all members of your party.
      As for the best time to visit Horseshoe Bend, there’s no such thing as a bad time. As you might imagine, Horseshoe Bend is very popular for sunset viewing, but I personally think that sunrise is the best time to be there because crowds are usually smaller.
      One last thing: since the drive from Las Vegas to Page, AZ, is so long, I’d recommend making it an overnight visit instead of a day trip. You’ll find many hotels in Page, AZ, in a variety of amenity classes and price points. Page, AZ, hotels
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Lucy,
      If your visit is coming up in the near future, you should be aware that the main campground at Great Sand Dunes National Park has closed for the season. There is no lodging inside the park, so you’d need to look at hotels and motels in the nearby towns for accommodations. For more information on exploring and enjoying Great Sand Dunes, CO, visit http://www.NPS.gov/grsa/planyourvisit/index.htm
      For Arches, you’d need to stay in Moab, UT, and give that area about 3 days of your time so you can also explore Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, Castle Valley, and other sights. Since that area is still quite busy, it is advised to arrive before 9:00 AM if at all possible so as not to experience delays getting into the park. For more information on Arches National Park, visit https://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
      Please note that services in both areas may be limited or curtailed due to COVID-19. Be prepared to abide by any mask mandates or social distancing guidelines in place at each park.
      If you were planning to visit both parks in one trip, know that it takes ~6-7 hours to drive from one park to the other. If driving that long a distance in one go is not desirable, you might consider breaking up the drive in Mesa Verde National Park. Trip map
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

  32. Hello!
    We just did Horseshoe bend today. So beautiful! Since Antelope Canyon is closed, we found this blog about Peek-a-boo Slot Canyon. However, Google says there is a Peek-a-Boo Canyon in Kanab but also one that is a four-hour drive away from Page. Is the one in Kanab the one that looks similar to Antelope? And if so, are you able to provide detailed instructions with how to get there. Any other suggestions for the area? Thanks so much for all this info! This blog really helped us plan our trip.

    1. Hi Maria,
      So sorry I didn’t see this until today, hopefully, you were able to get the answers you needed to this very good question!
      There are indeed two “Peek-A-Boo” Canyons in Southwest Utah, but they are very different from one another. Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon in Kanab, UT, is presently the most popular alternative to the currently closed Antelope Canyons in Page, AZ. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features classic slot canyon scenery (including the occasional light beams in the summertime), as well as some unique features such as ancient “moqui” steps, and “Shaman’s Needle,” a pencil-thin stone column located in a small sub-drainage near the canyon’s entrance. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you consider taking one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there can be. 4WD vehicles with adequate clearance are a definite must, with tire pressure lowered to accommodate potentially deep sand. If you’re driving a rental car, forget it! You will void your insurance the minute your tires part with the pavement, which means you’d be on the hook for a very expensive rescue, should you need one, and have to foot the bill for any damage you’d sustain. If you want to try your hand at self-driving, go 7.5 miles past the Kanab, UT, city limit sign on US 89; turn onto BLM road #102 and follow it 4 miles in until you find the parking area. For those who would prefer to explore Peek-A-Boo in the safety and comfort of a guided tour, there are several reputable companies to choose from in Kanab, UT, including:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      The other “Peek-A-Boo” Canyon is located in the Dry Fork Area of the unpaved “Hole In The Rock” road in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, approximately a 4-5 hour drive from Page, AZ. A hike of this slot canyon can easily be piggy-backed onto exploration of another, called “Spooky” Gulch, for a nice afternoon of adventure! A little climbing and boulder scrambling is required to explore this memorable slot canyon “two-fer,” also, Spooky has some tight spaces that claustrophobes and folks with larger BMI’s may find difficult to manage. The hardest part about accessing this area is the road. Like the House Rock Valley Road, the Hole in the Rock Road (or HITRR as we call it around here) is unpaved. Though regularly graded and passable for 4×4 vehicles most of the time, when wet, it can be rendered a clay bog that’s easy to get stuck in, and that (along with a very high tow bill) can be a major buzzkill. Before embarking on this particular trip, area road conditions should be verified through the local visitors center, who can be reached at 435-826-5499 Peek-A-Boo/Spooky Gulch Loop Hike
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  33. Hello!
    My friends and I are going to the grand canyon from Nov 22-24. We wanted to see if we could separate one day for the grand canyon and on the other days go to horse shoe bend, but we do not know if it is going to take all day long. Also, what other natural parks do you recommend and where is a good place to stay?

    1. Hi Ashley,
      With 2-3 days to work with, you don’t have much time to begin with. If you’re wanting to use one of those days to visit Horseshoe Bend, you need to think in terms of spending the night in Page, AZ. Normally, it takes ~3 hours to drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ. Unfortunately, a critical component of the normal travel route (AZ64 from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ) passes through the Navajo Indian Reservation, and has been closed by executive order of the Navajo Tribe. This means that to get from GC South Rim to Page, AZ, you must drive all the way South to Flagstaff, AZ, then up North via US89 to Page, AZ. This has turned a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive. That’s one-way. You don’t want to try and make a day trip out of Horseshoe Bend at the time of year you’re visiting because of daylength, or, lack thereof. Sunrise occurs at ~7:15 AM, and sunset takes place at around 5:00 PM. That’s roughly 10 hours of daylight, and the drive time has essentially taken all of it. You need ~90 minutes to 2 hours to visit Horseshoe Bend, then there’s the matter of having lunch at some point, so, as you can hopefully see, you’re already well into a “daylight deficit.” Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit, plus the possible presence of large wildlife such as deer and elk, as well as free range livestock such as cattle and even wild horses, ratchets up your risk of an accident. You don’t want to chance a collision with a large animal in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, extremely cold (nighttime temps are dipping down below freezing in the higher elevations), where cell service is spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      If your plans can be altered at this point, you should plan on overnighting in Page, AZ, to visit Horseshoe Bend. If you haven’t booked a Grand Canyon hotel yet, you must do so ASAP. I wouldn’t be surprised if lodging in the immediate vicinity of the park is already full since that’s Thanksgiving week, which is a popular time of year to travel, even in the age of COVID-19.
      As for other National Parks, again, you don’t have that kind of time. I’d recommend getting the most out of your visit to the Grand Canyon and/or Horseshoe Bend, and think about other places you might visit on a future trip. For a sample 1-week trip itinerary, visit our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: The Ultimate 7-Day Itinerary
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Dear Alley,

        we are planning a trip to visit the Grand Canyon on the week of Nov 23. I will be coming from Flagstaff. We would like to see the Canyon and the Horseshoe Bend. What would you recommend?

        1. Hi Marcus,
          Using Flagstaff, AZ, as a base, you should take two separate days to visit Grand Canyon South Rim and Horseshoe Bend. It is not practical at this time to combine the two into a single-day trip. More on that in a minute.
          It takes ~1.5 hours, each way, to drive from Flagstaff, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim. Upon arrival at the park, you should park as close as possible to Grand Canyon Village and use the Hermit’s Rest Shuttles to get to the viewpoints West of the Village. You can self-drive to the viewpoints East of Grand Canyon Village, as far as Navajo Point. AZ64 from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ, is closed by the Navajo Tribe due to COVID-19. At the time of year you’re visiting, you should be sure that you’re heading back to Flagstaff, AZ, no later than 3:30 PM from Grand Canyon Village so that you’re not doing any of the drive in the dark. All driving in this part of the U.S. must be done during daylight hours if at all possible due to local roads being very dimly lit, plus the possible presence of large wildlife such as deer and elk, as well as free range livestock such as cattle and even wild horses, ratchets up your risk of an accident. You don’t want to chance a collision with a large animal in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, extremely cold (nighttime temps are dipping down below freezing in the higher elevations), where cell service is spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
          The following day, plan on making the trip to Horseshoe Bend. It takes ~2.5 hours, again, that’s one way, to drive from Flagstaff, AZ, to Page, AZ, where Horseshoe Bend is located. Allow at least 90 minutes to park ($10 one-time fee), walk to the rim, take photos, then walk back to your vehicle. Other activities in the Page, AZ, area you can explore, time permitting, are the Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge, Hanging Garden Trail, the “New” Wave, and Grandview Overlook Park. Again, if you’re overnighting in Flagstaff, AZ, make sure you’re back on the road by 2:30 PM so you arrive back in Flagstaff, AZ, before sundown.
          BTW, if you were thinking you’d visit both Grand Canyon South Rim and Horseshoe Bend in one day, here’s why it won’t work: normally, the drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, takes ~3 hours. Due to the closure of a critical component of the normal travel route (AZ64 from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ), it is now necessary to detour all the way back to Flagstaff, then proceed North on US89 to get to Page, AZ. This has turned what used to be a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive. 1.5 (Flagstaff to GC) + 5 (GC to Page) + 2.5 (Page to Flagstaff) = 9 hours of driving on a day where you only have about 10 hours of daylight to work with in the first place.
          Long story short: you need to take two separate days to explore Grand Canyon South Rim and Horseshoe Bend. If one full day is all you’ll have, then prioritize the Grand Canyon and save Horseshoe Bend for another visit.
          Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
          Alley 🙂

  34. Hi,
    My partner and I are staying a few days in Page AZ, 12/4-12/7. We wanting to see horseshoe bend and Antelope canyon ( We know do to Covid-19 the Navajo tribe and certain activities will not be available). We are looking for recommendations for Trails to hike or things to see, also we would love to do some kayaking if available.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Courtney,
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the Antelope Canyons won’t be open at the time of year you’re visiting by Executive Order of the Navajo Indian Tribe. Other slot canyons in the area you might consider visiting are Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon near Kanab, UT, and Wire Pass Canyon and Buckskin Gulch, near Paria, UT. For more information, visit our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: Help! My Tour Got Cancelled
      You’re also visiting at the wrong time of year to enjoy kayaking on Lake Powell. December is wintertime, and even though the Page, AZ, area rarely sees snow, days in December are typically cold and windy. Not ideal kayaking weather, but there are other activities you can still take part in, such as walking across the Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge, hiking to the Hanging Garden Area or the “New” Wave, taking a walk down by Lake Powell (which is inside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, so you’d have to pay the park entrance fee), visiting the John Wesley Powell/Glen Canyon Conservancy Museum. And don’t forget Horseshoe Bend, which is open from sunrise to sunset.
      Hope that helps. Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  35. Hi Alley,

    We are planning a trip to Arizona December 20th-December 25th. Where do you recommend we stay if we potentially want to visit the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend? Do you recommend a helicopter tour? What else would you recommend to do in Arizona?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Sara!
      First of all, the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend are two separate areas, so you should allot one day each to these places. This is especially true in light of the fact that the Navajo Tribe has closed an integral component of the most logical travel route between the two due to COVID-19 (AZ64 from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ). This means that, to travel from the Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ (or the other way around), you must detour all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then loop back North. This has turned what is normally a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive.
      For Grand Canyon South Rim, it is best to stay inside the park, or Tusayan, AZ, a small town ~7 miles outside the park. Grand Canyon hotels For Horseshoe Bend, the best place to stay is Page, AZ, ~5 miles North of Horseshoe Bend.
      As for a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, we absolutely can recommend it whole-heartedly! An air tour of any sort will get you up above areas of the Grand Canyon that are inaccessible to both vehicular and foot traffic, and give you a truer sense of how big the Grand Canyon is. The best time to fly is first thing in the morning for best light and lack of wind. Airplane tours of the Grand Canyon are also available and tend to be a more budget-friendly option, FYI.
      As for other places you might go, you should give strong consideration to Sedona, AZ. This is a stunning area with lots of things to see and do. You can easily spend 3-4 days there and feel as though you’ve only scratched the surface. It might also make for a nice stop last on your tour so you can chill and enjoy some spa services or other low-key activities.
      The one thing you need to be aware of at all times is weather. “White Christmases” are common at the Grand Canyon, and occasionally occur in Sedona and Page. While complete closures of local roads doesn’t occur often, you should still be prepared to change plans on the fly should the need arise. Start monitoring the weather about 2 weeks before you get set to travel. That will give you the best idea of what to expect.
      Hope that helps! Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

  36. Hi I am going on a weekend trip to the horseshoe bend arriving on Saturday November 14th between 4-5pm. Is that an ideal time to get to the bend? Or should get there sooner? Before horseshoe bend I’m arriving at Bryce Canyon NP at 8am then making my way to horseshoe bend.
    I also wanted to see if you have any recommendations on if there’s any picnic areas near horseshoe bend? I carry my Coleman mini grill and like to cook my lunch. If you have suggestions that’d be great! Thank you.

    1. Hi Gaby,
      Between 4:00-5:00 PM is a perfectly fine time to arrive at Horseshoe Bend. Opinions differ on when the best time to get to Horseshoe Bend is; I personally am fond of the hours just after sunrise because early morning typically has smaller crowds.
      It will take you at least 3 hours to drive from Bryce Canyon to Page, AZ, possibly longer if weather is inclement. You might also take advantage of the opportunity to hike the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos, which is right on your way, near mile marker 19 on US89 between Kanab, UT, and Page, AZ.
      Cooking/campfires are not allowed at Horseshoe Bend, but you might enjoy cooking your lunch at the Page City Park or Golliard Park near the Page Municipal Airport. For a nice view of the lake (but no lake access), you might check out the newly opened Grandview Overlook Park. I’m not sure if they allow grilling there, but you might pack a cold lunch there and just enjoy the view. If you don’t mind paying the park entrance fee to Glen Canyon, you could go down by the Wahweap Swim Beach near the Lake Powell Resort. There are picnic tables and ramadas there, as well as a paved walking path. It does cost $30 per vehicle to access that area; the National Park Pass works, too.
      Hope that helps. Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  37. Hi there,

    My family will be in Sedona the week of Thanksgiving! We are going to do some things around the Sedona area but were interested in making a trip to Grand Canyon for Horshoebend and Antelope Canyon. Seeing Antelope Canyon is closed, what is your recommendation on travel tips to Horshoe Bend? Could we knock out Horshoebend and Peek a boo/red canyon in one day?

    We are in Sedona from Monday-Saturday on Thanksgiving week. Any and all recommendations of must-see sights of Grand Canyon and if you know if any great gems in Sedona that would be awesome! We have some things on our list.

    Very active family and we move fast!

    1. Hi Gabby,
      If you’re staying in Sedona, AZ, the entire week and making day trips to various attractions, it won’t be realistic to visit Horseshoe Bend and Red/Peek-A-Boo Canyon in one day.
      It takes ~3 hours, one way, to drive from Sedona, AZ, to Page, AZ, where Horseshoe Bend is located. You then need to allot at least 90 minutes to 2 hours to visit Horseshoe Bend, including parking ($10 one-time fee), walking out to the rim (.7 miles 1 way), taking photos, and walking back to your vehicle. The drive to Kanab, UT, where Red Canyon/Peek-A-Boo is located, takes ~70 minutes. A guided tour of Peek-A-Boo Canyon would take ~4 hours. You would then be facing another 4-hour drive back to Sedona, AZ.
      The main thing working against you at the time of year you’re visiting is daylength, or more specifically, lack thereof: during Thanksgiving week, sunrise occurs at ~7:15 AM, and sunset takes place just after 5:00 PM. That gives you barely 10 hours of daylight to work with, which you’re already proposing to eat up 6 hours of driving in and out from Sedona. With 2 hours required for the Horseshoe Bend visit, 2 hours round-trip to drive to Kanab, then 4 hours to tour Red Canyon, hopefully you can already see that this puts you in a “daylight deficit.” If you’re wondering why I’m obsessing so much about daylength, it’s because nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. The main reasons are that local roads being very dimly lit, plus the possible presence of large wildlife such as deer and elk, as well as free range livestock such as cattle and even wild horses ratchets up your risk of an accident. You don’t want to risk a collision with a large animal in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, possibly cold (nighttime temps are dipping down below freezing at that time of year), where cell service is spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. The section of US89A from Flagstaff to Sedona through Oak Creek Canyon is very narrow and twisty, I’ve driven it at night before, and won’t do it again! In light (pardon the pun) of those considerations, if you have your heart set on visiting Red Canyon/Peek-A-Boo, your best bet is to spend the night in Page, AZ or Kanab, UT.
      As for “must-see” sights at the Grand Canyon, there’s no shortage of great views, some of which are open to private vehicles, others that require the use of a shuttle to get to. Again, you’re looking at ~2.5-3 hours one way to drive up from Sedona, so that by itself is going to limit your time if you want to make it back to base by sundown. My advice would be to park somewhere in Grand Canyon Village, walk the rim trail through the Historic District, maybe grab lunch at one of the rimside restaurants (be sure you get to your chosen place by 11:00 AM, before the Grand Canyon Railway arrives), then take the Hermit’s Rest Shuttle to some of the overlooks West of the Village. For more guidance on how to plan your visit, go to http://www.NPS.gov: Grand Canyon – Plan Your Visit
      Regarding Sedona, there’s no shortage of beauty to be found in that area, both natural and man-made! Weather will be the key factor in determining what you can/should do, as well as the physical fitness levels of your traveling party. I suggest setting aside one full day to stay around town and explore some of the beautiful buildings such as the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village, and the numerous art galleries and museums within easy access of the downtown area. For more suggestions of things to see and so in Sedona, AZ, check out http://www.VisitSedona.com
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  38. Hello! My boyfriend & I will be traveling to Sedona Nov. 10-17! I am having a mildly difficult time doing research about the top things to do & see during our time there – we for sure want to make it up to the Grand Canyon & Horseshoe Bend. Unsure of which “rim” or hikes in the Grand Canyon to do? Are you aware of any waterfall hikes that we could do that we wouldn’t have to camp? Super interested in scenic hikes because we are from Florida & not use to all the Red Rocks! For sure plan on Devils Bridge but also open to any must sees in Sedona & surrounding areas! Thinking about Vermillion Cliff if open? I know Antelope Canyon isn’t. Really just looking for a solid “must see” list & some advice on the best ways to go about it all so we don’t waste our time (: Thank you so much in advance, truly appreciate you taking all the time to reply to everyone on here.

    1. Hi Carly,
      Using Sedona, AZ, as a “base” camp puts you in closest proximity to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It takes about 3 hours, one way, to drive from Sedona, AZ, to Grand Canyon Village. Once there, park as close as possible to Bright Angel Lodge and catch the shuttles out to the Hermit’s Rest overlooks, or you can self-drive on the Desert View Drive as fas as Navajo Point.
      The main priority on all of your sightseeing days is to make sure you do any and all driving during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to the roads being very dimly lit, plus the possible presence of large wildlife such as deer and elk, as well as free range livestock such as cattle and even wild horses. You don’t want to risk a collision with a large animal in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, possibly cold (nighttime temps in some areas can already dip down below freezing at that time of year), where cell service is spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. In November, you’ll be up against days that are rapidly shortening. During he first week of November, sunrise occurs at 7:00 AM, and sunset takes place shortly after 5:00 PM. You’ll need to be sure you’re heading back to Sedona from Grand Canyon South Rim no later than 2:30 PM to ensure that you’re not driving US89A through Oak Creek Canyon in the dark. That section of the drive is very twisty and narrow and definitely not recommended to take on at night!
      For Horseshoe Bend, you’ll need to set aside a separate day to drive to Page, AZ. There again, you’re looking at ~ a 3-hour one way drive. You’ll then need to allot approximately 2 hours to park, walk to the rim (~1.5 miles round-trip), take photos, then walk back. There is a construction project taking place near Horseshoe Bend that may delay your arrival slightly. As for including the Vermilion Cliffs area into your day, it’s possible, but you’ll need to keep a close eye on the time so that you’re heading back to Sedona, again, no later than 2:30 PM. What you might do is get an early start on the day, drive directly up to Page, AZ, visit Horseshoe Bend, then pop down to Cliff Dweller’s Lodge (one of Northern AZ’s best kept “secret” restaurants!) for a late lunch/early dinner, then head back to Sedona. Map of trip
      As for “waterfall hikes,” November isn’t the best time of year for that type of activity, mainly because it’s too cold to swim (usually, anyway). Many waterfalls in Arizona are seasonal, so you may not find any water flowing at all at that time of year. The one that would probably be most easily accessible is Slide Rock State Park. That’s a natural waterslide that’s very popular in the summer months. Note that there is an entrance fee required here.
      For more suggestions on things to see and do during your stay in Sedona, go to http://www.VisitSedona.com or the Sedona, AZ, Forum of TripAdvisor
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thank you Alley – that is extremely helpful. I will defintely take into account not driving in the dark, very happy you mentioned that!! You’re the best (:

        1. Hi again Carly,
          Glad our advice helped. Hope you have a wonderful time. If you get a minute when you return home, write in again and let us know how it went!
          Happy Holidays,
          Alley 🙂

          1. Hello! I have a few follow up questions after doing some more research! (I will definitely write in after the trip and let everyone know how it went)

            After looking into the Hermits Rest overlooks as well as that shuttle from the Grand Canyon Village, I was wondering if you had any recommended hikes with scenic picture spots within this proximity (or other close access points from the South Rim)? Definitely want to get some hiking in but also do not want to overdo it and not be able to leave at 2:30!

            I was also wondering about any recommendations on clothing? I have seen how the temperatures are starting to drop in Arizona recently but do not want to pack things I will not need or forget something I will need! Specifically in regard to these two day trips to the South Rim and Horshoe Bend.

            Thank you so much in advance again, you’re so extremely helpful!

          2. Hi again, Carly!
            The easiest hike you can take from Grand Canyon Village would be the paved Rim Trail, which extends along the canyon rim for 13 miles between Hermit’s Rest and the South Kaibab Trail. From Grand Canyon Village Historic District, a popular acvitity is to start walking West on the Rim Trail, then catch the Hermit’s Rest Shuttle back to the Village when you’ve had enough of walking.
            If you want to get below the canyon rim without going too far down, the Bright Angel Trail can be accessed just behind Bright Angel Lodge. The first tunnel along the trail makes for a good “taste” of the inner canyon. If you want to venture further, just remember that you have to double your time hiking up that you took to hike down, therefore, 1 hour down = 2 hours out, etc. Food and water should be carried if you plan on spending longer than 1 hour or going further than 1 mile on either the rim trail or Bright Angel Trail.
            As for what clothing to pack, you are correct in that winter temperatures are beginning to establish dominance in the area, so at the very least, a jacket, gloves, hat or earmuffs, and warm socks should be carried. Remember that elevations between the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend differ by ~3,000′ ASL, so Horseshoe Bend is usually warmer than Grand Canyon South Rim by 15-30 degrees. Dress in light layers that you can easily remove and tie around your waist and/or stash in a day pack as you acclimate to the temperature and the day gets warmer.
            Have a great trip and a Happy Holiday season!
            Alley 🙂

          3. Hello again! Our trip to the Grand Canyon South Rim and Horseshoe Bend was amazing!! The Hermits Rest Shuttle was the perfect way for us to view the Grand Canyon while also remaining warm in the weather. Horseshoe Bend is beyond gorgeous as well. The driving advice was extremely helpful, we left Sedona around 7am for each day trip and had no problem getting back before sunset – even had time to squeeze in a hike before the sunset one of the days! Thank you so so much for all of your advice, it made our trip so much easier and worthwhile (:

          4. Carly,
            Thank you so much for the follow-up! Glad you had a good trip.
            Have a Happy Holiday Season and may 2021 be a better year for us all,
            Alley 🙂

  39. Hello, my family wanted to visit arizona around thanksgiving time and it will be our first time. We were looking forward to the antelope canyons but heard it is closed. But horseshoe bend also looks nice and grand canyon. Does this trip seem reasonable if we go for a few days? Also, what other hikes are similar to the caves of antelope canyons because we really wanted to see that! Would appreciate your feedback!

    1. Hi Susan,
      Sorry to hear that the closure of the Antelope Canyons has thrown a kink into your vacation plans, but all is not lost when it comes to slot canyons! More on that in a minute…
      If by “a few days” you mean at least 3-4, that’s workable, but better if you could set aside 4-5. Also, not knowing if you’re flying in or driving in, I’m going off the possibly incorrect assumption that you’ll be starting your trip off in Phoenix, AZ.
      The drive from Phoenix to Grand Canyon South Rim is approximately 5 hours, one way. Due to the distance, and the fact that days are relatively short during the Thanksgiving Holiday, you should plan on staying overnight in the immediate vicinity of Grand Canyon National Park, either in the park, or Tusayan, AZ, 7 miles outside the park.
      Horseshoe Bend is located just outside the town of Page, AZ. Normally, it is about a 3-hour drive from Grand Canyon South Rim. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, a critical component of this drive on Navajo Indian Tribal Land is closed. This necessitates a detour back down to Flagstaff, AZ, then back up North on US89 to Page, AZ. This has turned a 3-hour drive into more like a 5-hour drive. If you book 2-3 nights in Page, AZ, this will enable you to devote one full day to making the short drive to Kanab, UT (~70 minutes) to visit Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. This short but memorable walk features scenery on par with the Antelope Canyons (which are closed), and a few that are unique to it. Although the slot canyon portion isn’t that difficult, the drive to get there is, which is why we recommend again taking a guided tour to this area. Tour companies that can get you to Peek-A-Boo in safety and comfort are:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      Whatever you decide, be sure to book all hotels and guided tours ASAP; now would not be too soon to start making reservations!
      Also, be sure to time all drives so that they are done during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit, and the possible presence of large wildlife such as deer and elk, as well as free range livestock such as cattle and even wild horses. You don’t want to risk a collision with a large animal in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, possibly cold (nighttime temps can dip down below freezing that time of year), where cell service is spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  40. Hi Alley,

    I know this is a bit late to ask, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions for me. My friend and I came for a spontaneous 2 day trip to visit horseshoe bend and antelope canyon (without much planning). We arrived today and were able to go and see the beauty of horseshoe bend, but are a bit lost as to what to do tomorrow. We really want to see a few of the best bits of the Grand Canyon tomorrow before we have to head back. We loved the idea of rafting down with one of the tour companies but I want to have a plan B since their website doesn’t show if they have availabilties. Would appreciate any input you might have! We are fine hiking short distances from parking spots, however our car isn’t really made for long distances on gravel so unfortunately anything like that would be difficult for us.

    1. Hi Henrik,
      Unfortunately, you are too late in the season for rafting.
      The drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim is normally ~3 hours, but due to the closure of an integral component of the normal travel route due to COVID-19, you’ll have to detour down through Flagstaff, then head back North via US180/AZ64 or I40/AZ64. This has turned what is usually a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive. This is all via paved roads, by the way. Upon arrival at the South Rim, there are ample hiking opportunities both on the rim and in the inner canyon. For the best quality experience, it is best if you spend the night at Grand Canyon South Rim.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Alley, my husband and I are planning a trip from Prescott, Az to Page. I noticed Antelope Canyon is closed, but Horseshoe bend is not. However I noticed your comment about travel distance being longer. Will that impact our travel time, as well. I’m not real familiar with the northern region

        1. Hi Danielle,
          The trip from Prescott, AZ, to Page, AZ, takes approximately 4 hours. It is not affected by the closure of AZ64 from Cameron, AZ, to Desert View Point. That primarily affects visitors traveling from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ as they now must detour through Flagstaff, which adds another 2 hours onto their drive time. But again, the normal travel route from Prescott, AZ, to Page, AZ, has not changed.
          You are correct in that the Antelope Canyons are closed. If seeing a slot canyon remains on your “wish list,” there are several alternatives not affected by the closure of Navajo Indian Lands. For more information on these, check out our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: “Help! My Tour Got Cancelled”
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  41. Hello Alley,
    My teenage boys (17 & 14 yrs. old) and I will be flying into Las Vegas on Sat 11/21- and leaving on Sat 11/28. We would like to visit the Grand Canyon (South Rim), Horseshoe Bend, Zion Nat’l Park, The Hoover Dam, and spend the last 2-3 nights in Vegas. Given this time of year, do you recommend visiting these places in any particular order? Is the Grand Canyon Railway day trip into the Canyon worth it? What time will it start getting dark while we’re there? I appreciate any insight you can provide.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Ashley,
      Assuming that 11/21 and 11/28 are travel days, and given your timeframe and parks on your “wish list,” here’s what I’d recommend:
      11/21 – Fly to Las Vegas, overnight in Las Vegas
      11/22 – Drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim (~5 hour drive). The Hoover Dam visitor center and bridge walkway are unfortunately closed due to COVID-19, but you can still get a good view of it from the Pat Tillman/Mike O’Callaghan Memorial Bridge that passes above it. Overnight at Grand Canyon South Rim
      11/23 – Drive to Page, AZ ***unfortunately, the closure of a section of the usual drive due to COVID-19 necessitates a detour through Flagstaff, AZ, then back North on US89; this has rendered what is normally a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour trip*** Visit Horseshoe Bend (or do it first thing the next morning) overnight in Page, AZ
      11/24 – Get up early, drive to Kanab, UT (~70 minutes from Page, AZ) to tour Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon (if desired), head to Zion National Park, overnight in Springdale, UT
      11/25 – 2nd day/night at Zion National Park, overnight in Springdale
      11/26 – Thanksgiving Day — drive to Las Vegas (~3 hours from Springdale), overnight in Las Vegas
      11/27 – 2nd day/night in Las Vegas
      11/28 – Fly home
      Trip map
      As you can see, the Grand Canyon Railway has not been included in this plan. Not because it isn’t fun, it’s just that in your case, it may not be the best use of your time, or money. The Grand Canyon Railway leaves from Williams, AZ, 60 miles due South of the park. This means that you won’t see the Grand Canyon from the train; you won’t see it until you get to the park and get off the train. Since it is pulled by antique diesel engines, the Grand Canyon Railway doesn’t break any speed records getting you to your destination: the train takes ~2.5 hours — each way, mind you — to make a trip that would only take you one hour by car. Upon arriving at the park, you then only have ~3.5 hours to explore before reboarding the train and heading back to Williams. You’ll be able to get the most out of your already limited time by self-driving. Here’s a video that discusses the train vs. drive debate in more detail. Note that the footage is a bit dated, but the core principles are evergreen.
      With two teenage boys in tow, I think the Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon Tour would be more enjoyable and more of an adventure for them. If you like hiking, but prefer more of a DIY approach, you might consider doing the Paria Rim Rocks/Toadstool Hoo-doo Trail. It’s a relatively easy hike to some cool rock formations, the trailhead is located between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, near mile marker 19 on US89.
      Regarding daylength, at the time of your visit, it will be short. In Arizona and Utah, sunrise takes place at around 7:15 AM, and sunset occurs just after 5:00 PM. Nevada will be one hour behind Arizona and Utah then. Once you leave Las Vegas, it’s important you do all driving during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit, and the possible presence of large wildlife such as deer and elk, as well as free range livestock such as cattle and even wild horses. You don’t want to risk a collision with a large animal in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, possibly cold (nighttime temps can dip down below freezing that time of year), where cell service is spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. On the back end of the trip (Springdale – LAS), it’s OK to do the latter part of the drive after dusk because between St. George, UT, Mesquite, NV, and Las Vegas, NV, you have a sizeable urban light dome and a relatively low risk of encountering any wildlife.
      Last but not least, the feasibility of all this will depend largely on hotel availability. Start by checking availability at Grand Canyon South Rim first. If need be, this itinerary can be reversed (Las Vegas-Zion-Kanab-Page-Grand Canyon-Las Vegas) if you have an easier time finding hotels that way.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hey Alley,

        Your trip suggestions are most helpful and very insightful. I agree about the train trip and it’s probably not the best use of our time; besides the boys may get bored with that. Lol. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your responses to others questions. So happy I encountered this website.

        Keep up the great job and suggestions! 🙂
        Thank you so very much!
        Take care.

      2. Hi again, Alley,

        I’m thinking we’ll try to choose either Horseshoe Bend, Peek-A-Boo Canyon or Zion National Park, so we’re not trying to cram too much into one week and the boys get road weary from the long drives. I’m just not sure. With 2 teenage boys, what do you recommend? My older son is more active and would enjoy the hikes while my younger son may get tired of the hikes more quickly. Besides Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, the others are lagniappe but would definitely enjoy seeing one of them. I’ve read the Hoover Dam is partially open now.

        Thank you, again, for your insight!
        Ashley

        1. Hi again, Ashley,
          Thanks to you, I’ve learned something new: “lagniappe!” Meaning bonus, icing on the cake, etc., right?
          When you make the trip from Grand Canyon South Rim to Zion National Park, you pretty much have to pass through Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, anyway. Staying overnight in either place would be a good way to break up the drive since the detour through Flagstaff, AZ, basically tacks another 2 hours onto an already long trip.
          Whether you visit Horseshoe Bend or Peek-A-Boo Canyon, scenery-wise, it’s an apples to oranges comparison. If time is tight, Horseshoe Bend would probably win out in that contest. Horseshoe Bend takes approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours to park, hike to the rim, take photos, and walk back to your vehicles. The trail to the rim is ~.7 miles one way.
          By itself, Red Canyon/Peek-A-Boo Canyon is also ~.7 miles long (one way), but to visit by guided tour, which is what we recommend, takes ~4 hours.
          I know it’s a hard choice, but I don’t think you can go wrong either way!
          Take care and Happy Holidays,
          Alley 🙂

          1. Hi Alley,

            Yes indeed. Lol, come to Cajun land down South and we can teach you all sorts of new language! 🙂
            Okay, I’ve made our itinerary using your suggestions. We are getting excited about the trip and hope the weather cooperates for us.

            Thank you, again, for your assistance!
            Happy and Healthy Holidays to you also.
            Ashley

          2. Hi again, Ashley,
            Hope you have a wonderful time!
            If you get a minute when you get home, write back and tell us how it went.
            Take care,
            Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Tashfin,
      So sorry I didn’t see your inquiry sooner! Hopefully you found that Horseshoe Bend is open from sunrise to sunset, 7 days a week 🙂
      Alley

  42. I’m so glad I found this page! It gas given me lots of future ideas!! We are taking a short weekend trip to check out Horseshoe Bend. Is there anywhere else I. The general are that you’d recommend hiking?

    1. Hi Lindsay!
      Assuming that your trip is coming up soon, you’ll find no shortage of hiking opportunities in Page, AZ, in addition to Horseshoe Bend. Unfortunately, the Antelope Canyons are off the table due to COVID-19, but if a slot canyon is on your “wish list,” there are other options. More on that in a minute….
      Horseshoe Bend will take at least 2 hours of your time to park, walk out to the rim, take photos, then walk back. In the immediate vicinity of Page, AZ, other hikes you might enjoy include, but aren’t limited to:
      The “New” Wave – a small but interesting cluster of rock formations, some bearing a resemblance to The Wave, others not; Radio Tower Rock is a highlight of this area. If you’re in a 2WD vehicle, be very careful not to drive too far into the sand or anywhere you might have trouble turning around. The access road is not regularly maintained, but there is a small campground located nearby.
      – the Page Rim View Trail – a popular spot for locals to get their morning walk or jog in, visitors are welcome to use it, too. It’s 10 miles long, circumnavigates Manson Mesa, atop which the City of Page was built, but you aren’t locked into doing the entire 10 miles if you don’t want to! There are several spur trails that will get you back to “civilization” when you’ve had enough. Great view of Lake Powell, but no Lake access.
      – along the Page Rim View Trail, you’ll also find the newly opened Grandview Overlook Park. Great views of the lake, but no access to it, has a beautiful East-West perspective, so is a great spot to catch sunrise and/or sunset form
      – the Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge and Hanging Garden Trail – park your vehicle on the Eastern flank of the Glen Canyon Dam, walk across the bridge, then come back to your vehicle and walk the short, easy Hanging Garden Trail; the springs for which the latter is named are probably dry, but it’s a nice little walk to an interesting spot
      – Wahweap Swim Beach (inside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, so you’ll have to pay the entrance $30/vehicle entrance fee, which is good for one week’s time) – a short distance from the Lake Powell Resort complex, walk out to the waterline, acquire bragging rights to say you dipped your feet in Lake Powell
      – Lone Rock Beach (also inside GCNRA), popular camping spot, nice beach area with great views of the Lone Rock formation
      For more information about the above-referenced areas and more, check out LiveLaughRV.net: Adventures at the Arizona-Utah Border
      – Wire Pass Canyon/Buckskin Gulch — takes some effort, both to get there, and to hike it, but you might find the scenic pay-off well worth it! Wire Pass Canyon is a photogenic two-part slot canyon that is short enough for intermediate-level hikers to enjoy, yet offers the option to delve further into Buckskin Gulch for those wanting more of a challenge. The walk to the entrance of the initial slot is via a typically dry streambed, which is typically full of deep sand. An 8-10’ drop a short distance into the slot canyon is another reason why Wire Pass Canyon may not be appropriate for those traveling with young children, the elderly, or individuals afraid of heights. As the canyon walls become higher and closer together, they suddenly open up as the second slot connects with the Buckskin Gulch. If you’ve had enough at this point, you can simply turn around and head back to your vehicle. If you’d like to explore further, you can easily make a half-day hike out of the immediate area around the confluence with the Buckskin. Look for some bighorn sheep petroglyphs dating back hundreds, maybe thousands of years! Access to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch is off US89 between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, on the House Rock Valley Road. Hikers are required to pay a self-permitting fee at the kiosk by the trailhead. Fair warning: the House Rock Valley Road is unpaved! While it is accessible to 2WD vehicles much of the time, if recent weather has brought any moisture whatsoever, the HRVR can turn into a muddy, impassable mess. Parties in rental cars should think twice about attempting this road since off-road driving is strictly prohibited by most rental car companies. A guided tour will get your family to Wire Pass Canyon and back in one piece, and turn you onto features you might have missed trying to find your own way. Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT based companies offering guided tours to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch include:
      – Detours American West, 480-633-9013, http://www.detoursamericanwest.com
      – Paria Outpost & Outfitters, 928-691-1047, http://www.paria.com
      – Grand Staircase Discovery Tours, 928-614-4099, http://www.grandstaircasediscoverytours.com
      As you can see, there’s no shortage of things to see and do around Page, AZ, even with the Antelope Canyons closed.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  43. Hi Alley,
    This site has a lot of great information! My family of 4 (my husband, myself and our 14 and 16 year olds) is traveling to Sedona and surrounding area Dec. 18- 29 (flying in and out of Phoenix). We are booked in Sedona for the week of 18th-25th and then are thinking of staying in Page two nights (12/25 and 26th) and then Scottsdale the 27th and 28th. We are very active and love to hike. We are thinking of doing a day trip from Sedona to the Grand Canyon (South Rim) either on a helicopter/plane tour or just a hiking tour. From Page we would like to see Peek a Boo Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. From Sedona to Page on Xmas day, will anything be open, and what would be best to do that day? Also wondering about going to Zion National Park and whether we can fit that in. Then, I thought on the 27th we could do a day trip drive through the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest on our way to Scottsdale. Then spend Monday in Scottsdale and leave on Tues. However, I am wondering whether we should skip Scottsdale and spend more time in the Page and Zion area. Wondering if you have any tips on itinerary and routes? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Melissa, glad you found us!
      Your trip plan looks pretty fun, but there are a couple of areas in need of a “reality check.”
      First off, I wouldn’t recommend visiting the Grand Canyon from Sedona as a self-drive day trip. The main reason for this is because it’s ~a 3 hour drive, each way, from Sedona to Grand Canyon South Rim. At the time of year you’re visiting, you’re also dealing with days that are extremely short. Sunrise during Christmas week takes place at around 7:45 AM, and sunset occurs at approximately 5:15 PM. That’s not even 10 hours of daylight that you have to work with, and you’re proposing to eat up 6 of those hours driving. You then have to factor in finding a place to park and getting your bearings once you arrive at Grand Canyon South Rim, which could easily take up another hour. At some point, you’ll probably want to get lunch (unless you bring something with you). That doesn’t leave a lot of time for sightseeing. If you’re thinking at this point, “we’ll just drive back that night,” uh… no. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit, and the possible presence of large wildlife such as deer and elk, as well as free range livestock such as cattle and even wild horses. The stretch of US89A from Flagstaff to Sedona in particular is very dark and windy. You don’t want to risk a collision with a large animal in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, possibly cold (nighttime temps can dip down below freezing that time of year), where cell service is spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. Long story short, either arrange to spend the night at the Grand Canyon, or do an air/ground combination tour out of Sedona. Those are HUGE time-savers, and flying over the area will give you a deeper appreciation for the magnitude and complexity of the landscape!
      In Page, AZ, you won’t find much open on Christmas Day itself, save for hotels, but tour operators, restaurants, and other services should be back up and running the following day. The drive from Sedona, AZ, to Page, AZ, takes approximately 3 hours as well. Horseshoe Bend is something you can probably hit on your way into town, then the next day, plan on visiting Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. Although the hike in Peek-A-Boo is pretty easy, driving there is anything but. If you’re in a rental car, forget it. Therefore, we recommend taking a guided tour to that area with one of several reputable tour companies in Kanab, UT (~70 minutes from Page):
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      Since a tour of Peek-A-Boo will take anywhere from 3-4 hours, that won’t give you much time do much sightseeing in Zion other than a quick “pop-in/pop-out” just to say you saw it. Here again, you don’t want to find yourself having to drive back to Page, AZ, at night. The stretch of US89 between Kanab, UT, and Page, AZ, in particular is a popular migratory route for elk, who are notorious for moving about at night. Trust me, I’ve had a couple of “too close for comfort” encounters myself! You could certainly consider spending the night in Kanab, UT, or Springdale, UT (on the Eastern and Western borders of Zion, respectively), but that would leave you having to make an extra-long haul back to Phoenix, anywhere from 7-8 hours to be exact. Here, you could certainly use the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert to break up the drive; the gateway community of Holbrook, AZ, is ~5-6 hours from Zion, and the drive back to Phoenix would be ~4 hours.
      Another option? Skip that part of the plan entirely, give the extra time to Zion, and fly out of Las Vegas. IMO Scottsdale/Phoenix is just another big city, and all that that implies. The desert scenery surrounding it may be somewhat novel for your family, and the cost of switching your plane tickets around may be too high at this point, but the in at PHX/out at LAS approach has been used by many travelers to the American Southwest to get the most out of their sightseeing time. If it’s not too expensive (the rental car drop-off fees tend to rule it out for many people), it certainly merits consideration.
      Hope that helps, I know it’s a hard choice! Feel free to write in again if you need to bounce more ideas off us.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

  44. Hi Alley,

    Thanks so much for your quick responses — all this information is extremely helpful and informative. I am planning to travel to Sedona with my parents during the 1st week of November, for about 7-8 days. We are looking to definitely visit Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sedona, Flagstaff, Page / Horseshoe Bend, and the Grand Canyon (South Rim seems ideal) – but are open to any other suggestions you might have for what we could visit in this time. We know Antelope Canyon is unfortunately closed, but have read about other places like Glen Canyon, the Wave, White Pocket, Monument Valley, etc. that seem to be worth visiting if we have the time.

    Also, we are thinking of flying in and out of Phoenix, but again open to what you think would be best.

    We would really appreciate any advice or recommendations you have for us! Thanks!

    1. Hi Nihar!
      Well, let me get the bad news out of the way first: The Wave won’t happen. That’s a highly-coveted hike in an area where access is extremely limited: only 20 people per day are allowed to visit Coyote Buttes North, who must apply for an online permit lottery 4 months in advance, or by walk-in lottery the day prior to when they wish to hike. Also, I don’t recall seeing your parents’ age, physical fitness level, etc., mentioned, but the Wave is a 6-mile round-trip hike that not everyone is up for. For more information on permits, terrain, etc., visit our companion site, http://www.TheWaveAZ.com
      Another non-starter: Monument Valley. It’s on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands, which are closed due to COVID-19. Even if you don’t go there, there might still be a way for your family to see it. More on that in a minute…
      You are correct in that the Antelope Canyons are closed. They are also on Navajo Indian Lands. However, if seeing a slot canyon remains on your “wish list,” there are some in the area not subject to the closure of Navajo Indian Tribal Lands. The most family-friendly (read: easiest to walk) is Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon in Kanab, UT. With twists and turns and classic slot canyon scenery comparable to the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk also offers some unique geological features. While a guided tour is not required to get there, we strongly recommend taking one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is not difficult, the drive to get there is. can be. Parties in rental cars are discouraged from attempting it as you will void your insurance the minute your tires part with the pavement, which means you’d be on the hook for a very expensive rescue, should you need one, and have to foot the bill for any damage you’d sustain. Reputable tour companies who go to Red Canyon are based in Kanab, UT:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      White Pocket is also a possibility as this area boasts stunning rock formations and easy hiking, and doesn’t require a permit to access (not yet, anyway, knock on wood). Here again, a guided tour is strongly recommended due to the difficult nature of the drive to this area. Most of the above-referenced tour companies can get you to White Pocket; one not mentioned but who we are personally familiar with is Paria Outpost & Outfitters, http://www.paria.com, 928-691-1047.
      You are also correct in that Grand Canyon South Rim would be best for you to visit at the time of year you’re traveling. If it would be your first visit, especially, the South Rim has more in the way of visitor services (hotels, restaurants, etc.). For maximum safety, comfort, and enjoyment, plan on spending one or two nights at the Grand Canyon, preferably in the park or Tusayan, AZ. Also, note that the drive between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ, is normally ~3 hours, but due to the closure of Navajo Indian Lands due to COVID-19, it is now necessary to detour through Flagstaff, AZ, to get from one place to the other. This has turned a 3-hour drive into more like a 5-hour drive. Map
      Speaking of driving, any and all of it must be done during daylight hours in this part of the U.S. This is due to local roads being very dimly lit — a deliberate move in many cases to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky — and the possible presence of large animals such as deer, elk, free range cattle, even wild horses. You don’t want to risk a collision with one in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, possibly cold (nighttime temperatures are starting to dip down below freezing in some areas in November), where cell service is spotty to non-existent and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      Long story short: in light of what you want to accomplish, and possible modifications to your plans due to some areas being closed, I’d recommend flying in and out of Las Vegas. You can still hit Sedona, AZ, with relative ease using LAS as your staging city, but would probably need to save Phoenix/Scottsdale for another visit.
      For a sample 7-day itinerary (pre COVID-19, so you’ll need to adjust accordingly), visit our companion site http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: Ultimate 7-Day Itinerary in Northern Arizona & Southern Utah
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂
      P.S. Oops! Forgot to mention how you might still work Monument Valley into your trip without actually going there: fly over it! Fixed wing airplanes may be chartered out of the Page, AZ, Municipal Airport with Westwind Air Service. Flights over Monument Valley, Lake Powell, and the Glen Canyon Dam last 90 minutes and are spectacular!

  45. Hello Alley!

    I am so glad I found this website! I have been a little lost with planning my trip, especially with Covid. I’m from Texas, but my family and I have just bought an Airbnb in Kanab! We’ll be driving, and we will be staying in Kanab from December 25th – December 30th. I’ve been doing research, and I found a bit of information on Coyote Buttes South, Paria Canyon, some trails in Bryce Canyon, and a little bit about Buckskin Gulch. Since I’m from Texas, I don’t know where to go first or the best way to spend my time.
    Do you have any recommendations of other places my family and I can go to? I’m also going with my parents, so I’d like to go with safer options because it might be a bit icy.
    I’m also concerned about the permits because I have heard those are difficult to secure.
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Jessica!
      At the time of year you’re visiting, weather will be the primary determining factor on where you can go and what you can do.
      I’ll get the potentially bad news out of the way first: Coyote Buttes permits will be the most difficult to come by. Coyote Buttes North, where the world-famous “Wave” formation is located, is probably going to be a non-starter since only 20 people per day are allowed into that area. Coyote Buttes South, which many feel to be more beautiful than North, tends to be easier to acquire permits for, but the number of hikers is still quite limited into that area. The fact that you’re visiting during what is technically winter may be advantageous, but there are downsides to it, such as needing to be prepared for very cold weather, etc. For more information on how to apply for a permit, visit Recreation.gov: Coyote Buttes Permits
      Should you succeed at acquiring a permit, however, there is the matter of getting out there. Access to the Coyote Buttes area is via the Wire Pass Trail, located on the House Rock Valley Road off US89. This unpaved road, though regularly graded, is usually rendered impassable after a snow or rainstorm, and during the Christmas holidays, these tend to occur more often than not. If you’re in a standard passenger vehicle (2WD), I would strongly discourage you from attempting to drive on the HRVR. Even if you’re in a 4WD, if you’re not accustomed to driving in muddy conditions or through deep sand, you may wish to enlist the help of a licensed guide service to get you there and back in one piece. For more information about hiring a guide to Coyote Buttes and other scenic areas in the Kanab, UT, area, visit our companion site, http://www.TheWaveAZ.com: Hire A Guide Many of the other sights you’ve mentioned, such as Wire Pass Canyon, Buckskin Gulch, Paria Canyon, etc., must also be accessed via HRVR or other unpaved roads, so the aforementioned link will also help you in that situation.
      One thing that jumps out at me is that you say you are traveling with your parents. Not knowing their exact ages or physical fitness levels, or whether you are traveling with any young children, I still feel the need to forwarn you that the sights you have on your wish list are in very rugged terrain. Wire Pass Canyon, for example, has a 8-10′ vertical drop that tends to deter parties with the elderly, small children, or anyone afraid of heights. If your traveling party has any of these concerns, you might wish to opt instead to tour Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. This short but memorable walk features scenery on par with the Antelope Canyons (which are closed), and a few that are unique to it. Although the slot canyon portion isn’t that difficult, the drive to get there is, which is why we recommend again taking a guided tour to this area. Tour companies that can get you to Peek-A-Boo in safety and comfort are:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      Another area you might consider instead of Coyote Buttes is White Pocket. This is a stunning area chock-a-block with exquisite geological features, yet doesn’t require a permit (not yet anyway, knock on wood). Another plus? The “hiking” involved is very easy. The hard part — surprise, surprise — is the drive out there. Here again, hire a tour guide. You can find suggestions of companies in the link provided above from TheWaveAZ.com.
      If you do take us up on the suggestion to take a tour of Peek-A-Boo Canyon, ask your chosen tour company about dovetailing or packaging this area with the Coral Pink Sand Dunes or Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
      Last but not least is Zion National Park. Located less than an hour’s drive from Kanab, UT, this is one of the most beautiful National Parks in the American Southwest, and rightfully on the list of Utah’s “Mighty 5.” There are all kinds of opportunities for hiking and exploring, from easy to hard and everything in between. You should definitely plan to spend at least one of your days there. Due to COVID-19, there are some limitations on services, and you have to purchase tickets for the park shuttle in advance of your arrival. Also, be warned: a day visit will leave you feeling as though you’d only “scratched the surface” of all that’s there. I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be planning another visit when you can spend more time!
      Oh, almost forgot: another area within easy access by car, and one of the area’s “hidden gems” is Pipe Springs National Monument. A very educational and humbling glimpse into the area’s past, and how difficult it was for folks to eke out a life in this often inhospitable land.
      You might also set aside a day to make the short drive to Page, AZ (~70 minutes), and visit Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, and the Glen Canyon Dam.
      As you can see, you’ll have no problem finding places to go and things to see and do using Kanab, UT, as your base camp! For more suggestions, go to http://www.VisitSouthernUtah.com
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Alley!

        Thank you so much for responding! Your response was so helpful. I had a few follow-up questions:

        1) I read about the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, but if I weren’t going to go with my tour company, would it be possible to go there on my own? If so, how does the parking/permit situation work?
        2) I’ve been looking for information on the Horseshoe Bend parking, but I’ve only found that the price for one vehicle, which I believe was $10. Do I need to pay in advance, if so, where?
        3) For Peek-a-Boo canyon, I found that TC Tours has the cheapest options (by almost $100). They also won’t answer my calls. Are you sure this is a reputable tour company?
        4) I’m still confused about the location of everything. I know I want to hit Grand Canyon, Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and now probably Peek-a-Boo Canyon. If I’m only staying there for around 6 days, how can I get the best experience? Are there some canyons that are close to each other that I can hit while I’m around that area?

        1. Hi Jessica,
          So sorry for the delay in getting back to you, the format of the comments page tends to “bury” follow-up replies such as yours. But, better late than never, I always say!
          1) It is absolutely fine to visit Coral Pink Sand Dunes without a guided tour. The parking fee is $10/vehicle, it may be purchased in advance online if you wish, but that’s not mandatory. Without an ATV or equivalent off-road vehicle, you will be somewhat limited in where you can go, but you can still have an enjoyable time just hiking around and exploring.
          2) The parking fee for Horseshoe Bend is $10/standard passenger vehicle or $35/light commercial vehicle. The option to purchase tickets in advance is not yet available, you simply pay the fee upon arrival. The parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset.
          3) Wow, sorry to hear that TC Tours is not returning your calls. I’ve never used them personally, but to my knowledge, they are a reputable company that has been around for several years. Should they continue to dodge you, I’d simply take my business elsewhere. Dreamland Safaris is probably the most well-established tour company that goes to Peek-A-Boo, followed by Kanab Tour Company.
          4) Regarding the locations of the parks you wish to visit, here is a map of them. As to which order to visit to “get the best experience,” there is no “wrong” way to do it. Realistically, your route will be determined by hotel availability — or possibly lack thereof — in the various locations you are wanting to visit. For Zion, we recommend at least 2 days. Bryce can be explored fairly well in 1 day. Give Page, AZ, 2 days, then 1 for Grand Canyon South Rim.
          5) There are several slot canyons you can visit while you’re in the area between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT. Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo is one. If you’re wanting something more rugged, then Wire Pass Canyon/Buckskin Gulch would fill the bill. Another slot canyon that’s kind of flown under the radar until now is the Cottonwood Wash Narrows. While not as “slotty” if that’s a proper word as Antelope or Wire Pass, the scenery around the area is still beautiful. In all cases, access to the canyons is via unpaved roads. If you’re in a rental car, or 2WD vehicle, we would strongly discourage you from attempting to get to them on your own. These are very remote areas where cell service will be spotty to non-existent, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive, if you get in trouble. For Wire Pass Canyon/Buckskin Gulch, we recommend going with Paria Outpost & Outfitters, http://www.paria.com, 928-691-1047. For the Cottonwood Wash Narrows and other “hidden gems,” visit Big Orange Jeep Tours or phone 928-288-0685.
          Take care and have a safe trip,
          Alley 🙂

  46. Hi Alley – thank you SO much for spending all this time answering folk’s questions. Reading thru those is as educational as the main post itself. Quick one for you – i keep reading that the North Rim is closed and it’s impossible to get in, however, according to https://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/news/north-rim-begins-day-use-operations-2020.htm – AZ67 will remain open thru November 30 (pending snowstorms) which means that even though the VS is closed, one can still drive through and do day-hiking activities. Is this correct or am I missing something? TYSM for your help!

    1. Hi Lance,
      Nope, you’re not missing a thing! Although visitor services at Grand Canyon North Rim area closed, you can still get into the park as long as favorable weather holds. As you can imagine, that situation can change in a New York minute, so keep an eye on local weather for best guidance.
      Since the sole in-park hotel is closed for the season, along with the nearby Kaibab Lodge, the closest overnight accommodations to the North Rim would be the Jacob Lake Inn (~60 minutes away), seconded by Kanab, UT, the Marble Canyon/Lees Ferry area (both ~90 minutes from the North Rim), then Page, AZ (~2.5 hours from GC North).
      Should you book lodging nearby and visit the North Rim as a day trip, it can be very cool having the park virtually to yourself, but remember you won’t find any restaurants, gas stations, or other services open. Be sure that your vehicle is fully gassed up, and that you pack a picnic lunch and plenty of water.
      Should your plans on visiting the North Rim in person be thwarted by inclement weather, there is still a way you could at least see it, and that is to fly over it. Fixed wing airplanes can be chartered out of the Page Municipal Airport in Page, AZ, or you can hop on a scheduled airplane flight or helicopter tour from Grand Canyon South Rim. Neither flight would land at the North Rim (no airstrip or helipads).
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  47. Hi! Visiting Sedona with family in December. What do you recommend for a 4 night stay. I see some places are closed. Any advice is appreciated!

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Brittney,
      Sedona is a stunning area with lots to see and do! You could easily have a wonderful 4-day visit, yet feel as though you’d only “scratched the surface” of all Sedona has to offer.
      In December, you’re going to be dealing with short days; sunrise occurs at around 7:30, while sunset takes place just after 5:00 PM. Since all driving should be done during daylight hours, I would advise against making any day trips involving more than 2 hours — round-trip — behind the wheel. That would mean that if you fancied going to the Grand Canyon or Horseshoe Bend (Page, AZ), both of which require a 3-hour one way drive, you should set aside separate days for these and spend the night in the area.
      For 4 days in Sedona, here’s jus a small sampling of what you can do:
      – the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour — a fun 4WD tour into Sedona’s amazing backcountry with knowledgeable guides skilled at navigating rough terrain
      – touring the “man-made” wonders of Sedona, including the Chapel of the Holy Cross, shops and galleries in the downtown area, Tlaquepaque shopping complex, etc. For suggestions, check out this video: “Walking Tour of Downtown Sedona
      hot air balloon rides — these occur weather permitting, first thing in the morning
      – hiking: there are plenty of beautiful trails and opportunities for people of all fitness levels Best Hikes in Sedona
      Verde Canyon Scenic Railway – beautiful half-day excursion through a scenic river canyon, originating in Clarkdale, AZ (~30 minutes drive from Sedona)
      Wine tastings – there are several wineries in the Sedona area with tasting rooms for you to sample the fruits of their labors! DIY or take a guided tour
      Montezuma Castle & Montezuma’s Well/Tuzigoot National Monuments: explore ancient Native American dwellings set amongst beautiful scenery in an easy loop drive from Sedona, or you can hit Tuzigoot before or after the Verde Canyon Railway trip and visit Montezuma’s Castle on a separate day
      Out of Africa Wildlife Park – rated one of Arizona’s top zoos, located in Camp Verde, ~20 minutes from Sedona
      Again, this is just a small sampling of things to see and do. For more suggestions, visit the Arizona Forum of TripAdvisor and look for posts by a contributor called “RedRox.” He’s a long-time resident of Sedona who can give you practical and realistic advice on how best to enjoy this area.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  48. Hello,
    I am planning to visit Zion, Bryce, horse shoe bend, Grand canyon north rim, south rim & west in Nov first week. I will be spending around 8-9 days. I will flying to Vegas on 31st Oct and then driving in a loop and flying out of Vegas again on Nov 9th. I wanted to check whats the feasibility of covering all of these location and has COVID pandemic affected the entrances to any of the areas. I have a few questions regarding this trip. It would be really helpful if you could help me out.
    1) How safe is it to fly & stay in hotels around these areas considering COVID situation?
    2) Do you know if any of these locations are closed due to COVID?
    3) Will I be exhausting myself with all of these locations during a single trip within 9 days?

    It would be really helpful if you could provide me some advice regarding about questions and my trip.

    1. Hi Pranav,
      Well, let me get the potentially bad news out of the way first: there’s a 95% probability that you will not be visiting Grand Canyon North Rim. That has nothing to do with COVID-19, it’s because visitor services there close in mid-October, and the road into the park is usually not far behind. While you most likely won’t be able to visit the North Rim in person, however, there might still be a way for you to see it. More on that in a minute…
      In answer to your specific inquiries:
      1) How safe is it to fly and stay in hotels? Only you can make that determination for yourself. The hotels and airlines are all taking extra precautions to clean and sanitize facilities and take other preventative measures, such as reducing capacity and room inventory. Still, people do catch COVID-19 as a result of traveling in this area. Think about it: even with masks and social distancing, you’re liable to be around people from all over the country who may have unknowingly been exposed. With COVID-19’s long incubation period, it may be awhile before you are even aware you’ve been exposed. Should you fall ill while you’re traveling in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, another factor that could work against you is the relative remoteness of the area and the lack of medical facilities. You may end up traveling a very long distance (at potentially great expense) to find a hospital or clinic with the necessary facilities to care for you.
      2) Are any locations closed due to COVID-19? Yes – specifically, attractions on the Navajo Indian Reservation. These include the Antelope Canyons, Monument Valley, Four Corners, Canyon de Chelly Campground, some areas of Marble Canyon, and the Little Colorado River Overlook. Most significantly IMO, is the closure of AZ64 from Cameron, AZ, to Desert View Point. This is an integral component of the travel route from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim. Because of this closure, it is now necessary for those traveling from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim to drive all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then back North via US180/AZ64 or I40/AZ64 to the South Rim. This rather long detour has turned what was once a ~3 hour drive into a ~5 hour drive. You must be prepared for this by ensuring that your vehicle is fully fueled, and that you carry water and maybe a few snacks so you avoid stopping on Navajo Reservation Lands. Tribal residents wish to avoid any interraction with outsiders as they have been affected disproportionately hard by COVID-19.
      3) Will you be exhausting yourself by trying to hit all these locations? Taking the North Rim off the table helps. Depending on when your flights get into Las Vegas, and when you leave Las Vegas, you essentially have 8 full days to give to your trip.
      In light of these and other concerns, here’s what I’d recommend:
      October 31st: Fly to Las Vegas, overnight in Las Vegas
      November 1st: Drive to Zion National Park (~3.5 hours), overnight in Springdale, UT or Hurricane, UT
      November 2nd: 2nd day in Zion, overnight in Hurricane, UT
      November 3rd: Drive to Bryce Canyon (~2 hours from Hurricane, UT), overnight in Bryce Canyon area
      November 4th: Drive to Page, AZ (~3 hours from Bryce Canyon, UT) stop in Kanab, UT on the way to tour Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon (tour takes ~4 hours), overnight in Page, AZ
      November 5th: Get up early, visit Horseshoe Bend en route to Grand Canyon South Rim (~5 hour drive), overnight at Grand Canyon
      November 6th: 2nd day at Grand Canyon South Rim — remember how I said you might still be able to see the North Rim without actually going there? Here’s where that comes in! Get up early that morning, then take a flight over it in an airplane or helicopter. Neither flight will actually land at the North Rim (no airstrip or helipads), but will give you enough time over it to get a sense of how different it is from the South Rim. If possible, take the helicopter flight (they are allowed to fly lower than planes) and spring for the longer flight (40-45 minutes) in the Eco-Star helicopter. Grand Canyon helicopter tours If you’re on a tighter budget, you can take an airplane tour of comparable length and route; Grand Canyon airplane flights are required to fly ~1,000′ higher than helicopters, but offer a nice bird’s eye view of not only the Grand Canyon, but the surrounding landscape. Mornings are the best time to fly. Afterward, if desired, you might see the IMAX movie “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.” 2nd night at Grand Canyon South Rim
      November 7th: Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Grand Canyon West (~5 hour drive), tour Grand Canyon Skywalk, maybe take heli flight/boat ride to canyon floor , overnight in Kingman, AZ (~90 minutes from GC Skywalk), or at Grand Canyon Ranch (~30 minutes from Grand Canyon West)
      November 8th – Drive back to Las Vegas (~2.5 hours from Grand Canyon Ranch, ~90 minutes from Kingman), overnight in Las Vegas
      November 9th – fly home
      Map of trip
      If you can allot another day to your trip, you can choose to stay another day in Page, AZ, or Zion.
      One last thing regarding weather: at the time of year you’re visiting, it’s typically cold. In the higher elevations, such as Grand Canyon South Rim (7,000′ ASL) and Bryce Canyon (8,000′ ASL), you could encounter snow. Of course, it’s too soon to call, but start monitoring weather in the area about 2 weeks before you get set to travel (meaning, start checking now!). That will give you the best idea of what to expect.
      If you haven’t booked any hotels, or guided tours, do so ASAP. Those hotels and tour companies that are still operating may have reduced room inventory or seat capacity to facilitate social distancing.
      Hope that helps. Feel free to write in again if you need to bounce more ideas off us.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thanks a lot Alley. Your advice is really helpful and I will tweak the plan to substitute visiting to north rim with helicopter ride. This is an excellent forum and you are extremely helpful with timely advice. Thanks again.

        1. You are welcome Pranav — hope you have a wonderful trip!
          If you get a minute when you return home, write in again and let us know how things went 😉
          Alley

  49. Hi Alley,

    My mom and I are planning a trip to Arizona at the end of October, first days of November (it was initially planned for Holy Week, but the COVID-19…).
    We arrive first at Sedona, where we spend more or less 4 days, after that we will be staying in Page, AZ.
    We just saw that the Antelope Canyon is closed!!!! 🙁 Do you know if it is for sure???
    We want to visit Horse Shoe Bend, and don’t really have an itinerary planned… we’ve only thought we would enjoy some trails, stargazing experiences, or ATV tours.
    Could you maybe give me some ideas or tips in order to better plan the trip and take advantage of all AZ has to offer?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Ariadna,
      So sorry that COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into your trip plans, and that you’ve been dealt a double-whammy with the closure of the Antelope Canyons.
      Yes, it is certain that all attractions on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands are closed through the end of 2020. That includes the Antelope Canyons, Monument Valley, the Four Corners Monument, Canyon de Chelly Campground, the Little Colorado River Overlook and some areas of Marble Canyon. However, if seeing a slot canyon was high on your “must-do” list, there are still a couple of options for salvaging that part of your trip. More on that in a minute 😉
      That’s awesome that you’re spending ample time in Sedona, AZ. You’ll be glad you gave it the time it deserves! The drive from Sedona, AZ, to Page, AZ, will take you ~3 hours. Since a good chunk of that route goes through Navajo Indian Land, and they discourage outsiders from interracting with tribe members, be sure your vehicle is fully gassed and that you have plenty of water and a few snacks packed just in case you get hungry. Since Horseshoe Bend is located a short distance South of Page, AZ, you can hit it on your way into town, parking permitting. If for some reason you’re running late, or the parking lot is full, plan on hitting it first thing in the morning the next day. Whichever way you go, be sure to allow ~2 hours to park (a one-time $10/vehicle fee is collected upon entry), walk to the rim, take photos, then walk back.
      You mention that you are traveling with your mom and that you want to ‘enjoy some trails’; if your mom is relatively healthy, she should be able to manage the 1.4 mile round-trip walk to the rim of Horseshoe Bend and back. If for some reason that’s too much for her, you might consider flying over Horseshoe Bend in a fixed-wing airplane or helicopter. Horseshoe Bend flights
      As for some other trails you might do, the Hanging Gardens trail is relatively easy and takes you to an unexpected sight here in the desert. The springs are probably dry at this time of year, but it’s a nice walk. Since that trail is right near the Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge, you can easily walk across it next. If you’d like to get down to the waterline of Lake Powell, you can do so at the Wahweap Swim Beach or Lone Rock Beach. Note that these areas are located within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, so you’d have to pay a $30/vehicle entrance fee, which is good for one week’s time. If you have a National Park Pass, that works, too.
      For ATV tours, one that might “kill two birds with one stone” for you is Big Orange Jeep Tours’ Cottonwood Slot Tour. As the name suggests, it does visit a slot canyon that is not affected by the closure of the Navajo Reservation. While it is not as “slotty” (if that’s a proper word LOL) as Antelope Canyon, you’ll enjoy a ton of beautiful scenery in a relatively short trip.
      If you prefer something with more “classic” slot canyon scenery, plan on making the short drive to Kanab, UT (~70 minutes) to take a tour of Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features picture-postcard slot canyon formations, as well as some unique features such as ancient “moqui” steps, and “Shaman’s Needle,” a pencil-thin stone column located in a small sub-drainage near the canyon’s entrance. Tour companies that go to Peek-A-Boo Canyon are:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      For stargazing, you’ll find no shortage of good vantage points in the area. The newly opened Grandview Overlook Park in town would be a good spot, but for best results, you should try to get outside Page, AZ’s surprisingly large light dome. Lone Rock Beach might be a good candidate for this (just don’t drive too far in the sand). If you’re OK with doing a short-ish drive off-road, you might venture as far as Big Water, UT (~20 minutes from Page, over the Utah border) and go to an area known affectionately as “the Moon.” If it has rained recently, though, avoid this area as the road can become a muddy, impassable mess when it’s wet. Inquire with a local if you’re even remotely interested in doing this if it’s feasible. If conditions are right, you might piggy-back this activity onto a visit to the Big Water Visitors Center & Dinosaur Museum
      Hopefully, you’re feeling more reassured about visiting Page, AZ, because even with the Antelope Canyons being closed, there’s no shortage of things to see and do!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Alley,

        Thank you so much for your response, it has helped a great deal! I wanted to ask you something else, would yu recommend visiting Zion National Park? We’ll be arriving to Page on the 4th of November, and leaving on November 7. Or would you recommend us to better stay close by?

        Thank you!

        1. Hi again, Ariadna,
          Glad our advice has helped so far!
          I think in light of your existing plans, you might be better off skipping Zion this time around. Zion is a huge park and deserves at least 3-4 days of your time, at least, to fully enjoy. Another consideration is that due to COVID-19, capacity on the Zion Canyon Shuttle, which is mandatory for access to the main scenic area of the park, has been reduced. This has necessitated advance reservations for shuttle tickets, which is a huge pain in the tookus according to friends of mine who were recently there.
          Now, I don’t recall where you were flying out of, but if you happened to be flying out of Las Vegas, you could make a quick “drive-through” of Zion on the way from Page, AZ, to Vegas. That would add another 90 minutes onto an already long drive. Less than ideal, but at least would entitle you to bragging rights to having seen Zion.
          Hope that helps and that you have a happy Holiday season!
          Alley 🙂

  50. Hi Alley, Im so glad I found your page!
    Me, my Husband, & 3 kids (ages 8-14) are planning a trip towards Grand Canyon mid November 2020.
    We are driving from California & plan to spend a week exploring (can extend to 10 days). This is our first time visiting!
    Our wish list includes: Hikes in Sedona/ATV tour in Page /Lone rock beach/ “new” wave / Horeshoe bend/ Glen canyon bridge/ Grand Canyon south rim.
    Is this feasible? What route would you recommend & how much time would needed at each location?
    Nothing is set and we are willing to switch things around if you recommend an alternative or of there is a must see along the way that I’m missing.
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Hi Melissa, we’re glad you found us, too!
      It’s not often I say this, but you should be able to achieve everything on your wish list, and maybe a bit more, in the time that you have. Most people try to cram too many places into too short a time 😉
      The main thing to be aware of is that mid-November is in the transitional timeframe between autumn and winter, so you’re very likely to encounter days that range from sunny and brisk to raging snowstorms and everything in between! It’s too soon to call, of course, but I’d recommend monitoring Grand Canyon area weather about 2 weeks before travel to get the best idea of what to expect, and how to pack.
      I don’t recall seeing what part of California you’re traveling from, so I’m going to assume LA. Because the initial drive out and the final drive back could be on the long side (~8-10 hours), you might consider breaking up these legs of the trip in Las Vegas, NV, Laughlin, NV, or the Mojave Desert Area. Your kids would probably thank you LOL
      In light of these and other considerations, here’s what I would suggest:
      Day 1 – Drive from LA to Las Vegas (~5 hour drive), overnight in Las Vegas
      Day 2 – Drive from Las Vegas, NV, to Zion National Park (~3.5 hour drive), overnight in Springdale, UT
      Day 3 – Morning: sightseeing in Zion National Park – **note that you must use the Zion Canyon Shuttle to access the main part of the park, and since capacity has been reduced to promote social distancing, advance reservations are required. Zion Canyon Shuttle Tickets If you prefer not to mess with that, there are other areas accessible to cars, but hiking opportunities may be limited in these areas.** Drive to Page, AZ, in the afternoon (~2 hours), time permitting, visit Lone Rock Beach and Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge on the way into town, overnight in Page, AZ.
      Day 4 – Sightseeing in Page, AZ: ATV tour, “New Wave,” spend 2nd night in Page, AZ.
      Day 5 – Visit Horseshoe Bend on way to Grand Canyon South Rim. ***This drive normally takes ~3 hours, but due to COVID-19, the section of AZ64 from Cameron, AZ, to Desert View Point has been closed per executive order of the Navajo Tribe. This means that you must drive all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then back North to the Grand Canyon. This detour has turned a 3-hour drive into more like a 5-hour drive.*** Overnight at Grand Canyon South Rim
      Day 6 – See IMAX movie “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets” on the way to Sedona, AZ (~3 hours from Grand Canyon South), overnight in Sedona, AZ
      Day 7 – Hiking and sightseeing in Sedona, AZ, 2nd night in Sedona
      Day 8 – Begin trip back home, maybe break up drive in Mojave Desert area (~5 hours from Sedona), overnight in Needles, CA? Whatever you do, stay away from Baker, CA.
      Day 9 – Complete drive home
      Map of the trip
      If you are able to squeeze an extra day in somewhere, I’d recommend either Zion or Sedona. Both areas are stunning, big, and offer a lot to see and do!
      Hope that helps. Feel free to write in again if you need to bounce more ideas off us 🙂
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  51. Hey!
    My friends and I are planning a Road trip which may sound a little crazy but we will try our best to make every stop happen! We will plan to leave San Fransisco on the 13 of November early evening and have this route planned…
    SF – Joshua Tree NP – Salvation Mountains (picture) – Route 66 (Flagstaff + just want pictures) – Grand Canyon – Antelope Canyon (we know its closed) – Horseshoe Bend ( no big need of hikes) – drive ‘through’ Monument Valley (picture) – Arches NP – Salt Lake City – Bryce Canyon – Zion NP – drive by Seven Magic Mountains( picture) – Death Valley (no need to plan a big day just taking some pictures) – back to San Fransisco

    So the whole trip is planned through the 11/13-11/22/2020. Another question just adding too my previous question is if we need any reservation in advance for the parks I have listed above (we have the annual pass) If you guys have any suggestions of places to sleep or in general some advice we would really appreciate… we are three young girls in a car and are all used to road trips and we switch between the three of us with driving!

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hey Marie,
      So, since your e-mail address has the .de suffix on it, I’m assuming that you’re coming over from Germany? If so, you’re going to be jetlagged when you arrive in the U.S., and may need an extra night in San Francisco to acclimate to local time.
      Also, it’s best if you avoid driving in the dark, especially in unfamiliar areas, and especially in the more remote areas of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. Instead of leaving SF on November 13th, just spend the night there and hit the road first thing 11/14 when everyone is rested. In mid-November, sunrise in San Francisco, CA, occurs just before 7:00 AM, and sunset takes place at around 5:00 PM in California
      It’s good that you’re used to road trips and long drives, but still, IMO you’re going to need to rein in your ambitions. Otherwise, you’re looking at a trip that will resemble more of a death march than a vacation. For example, you’re looking to encounter a super-long haul right off the bat: it takes ~8 hours to drive from SF to Joshua Tree, then another 1.5-2 hours to get to Salvation Mountain. There isn’t much in the way of lodging nearby, so you’d probably end up having to go as far as El Centro, CA, to find a hotel room… more driving (oh, joy), and you’re already racing against a short daylength as it is. I’d recommend breaking up the drive somewhere like Sequoia National Park, which is ~5 hours from SF, then make the trip to Joshua Tree NP and Salvation Mountain the next day. Map of trip
      The drive from Joshua Tree to Flagstaff, AZ, via Route 66 will take anywhere from 7-8 hours factoring in stops, so plan on overnighting in Flagstaff, AZ, that night. In fact, you might want to book 2 nights in Flagstaff and just visit Grand Canyon South Rim as a day trip. The reason I recommend this is because normally, the drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, takes ~3 hours. Due to COVID-19, the Navajo Indian Tribe has opted to close an integral component of the shortest travel route between the two areas (AZ64 from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ). This means that you’d have to detour all the way back to Flagstaff, AZ, anyway, then proceed North on US89 to Page, AZ. This has turned a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive. You might as well just stay in Flagstaff, AZ, the night before, then make a 3-hour drive to Page, AZ. Sunrise in Arizona in mid-November occurs shortly after 7:00 AM, sunset takes place after 5:00 PM. Again, make sure you are keeping an eye on the clock always so you are not doing any driving at night.
      In Page, AZ, Horseshoe Bend won’t be a problem — you need at least 2 hours to visit it — but the Antelope Canyons are a no-go. They are completely closed, and the nearest slot canyons open to tourism are located in Paria, UT (Wire Pass Canyon/Buckskin Gulch) or Kanab, UT (Red Canyon aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon). You could visit either of these en route from Bryce Canyon to Zion. A guided tour is not technically required for either, but are strongly recommended due to the access roads being unpaved, which will void the insurance on your rental car. For more information on touring Wire Pass or Red Canyon, read this piece on our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: Help! My Tour Got Cancelled
      In light of these concerns, here’s what I’d recommend:
      11/14 – Drive from SF to Sequoia National Park (~5-6 hours), overnight in Visalia, CA
      11/15 – Drive from Sequoia National Park to Joshua Tree & Salvation Mountain (6-8 hours), overnight in Brawley, CA, or El Centro, CA
      11/16 – Drive from Joshua Tree area to Flagstaff, AZ, via Route 66 (7-8 hours), overnight in Flagstaff, AZ (map of trip section from SF to Flagstaff)
      11/17 – Day trip to Grand Canyon South Rim (1.5 hour drive each way), 2nd night in Flagstaff, AZ
      11/18 – Drive from Flagstaff, AZ, to Page, AZ (~3 hour drive), visit Horseshoe Bend, overnight in Page
      11/19 – Drive from Page, AZ, to Moab, UT (~6 hours), via Monument Valley, overnight in Moab, UT (Map of trip section from Flagstaff, AZ, to Moab, UT)
      11/20 – Drive from Moab, UT, to Bryce Canyon via Scenic Byway 12 (~6 hours, beautiful drive), overnight in Bryce Canyon area
      11/20 – Drive from Bryce Canyon to Kanab, UT (~1.5 hours), tour Red/Peek-A-Boo Canyon (tours last ~4 hours), then drive to Zion National Park (~1 hour from Kanab), overnight in Springdale, UT
      11/21 – Drive from Springdale, UT, to Seven Magic Mountains (~3.5 hours), then on to Death Valley NP, overnight in Barstow, CA (map of that leg of the trip)
      11/22 – Drive back to San Francisco (~7 hours from Barstow)
      11/23 – Fly home
      Notice I’ve taken Salt Lake City off the agenda. You don’t have time for it, it’s too far out of the way, and frankly, it’s just another big city. I know, I live 90 minutes from there.
      As for requiring advance reservations in the parks, the National Park Pass will take care of entrance fees, which don’t require advance reservations. At Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ, the parking lot is managed by the City of Page, so a one-time $10 per vehicle parking fee is required, whether you have the National Park Pass or not. In Zion, you must use a shuttle to access the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, which is generally considered the main sightseeing area of the park. Due to COVID-19, passenger capacity on the shuttles has been reduced to facilitate social distancing, so advance reservations are now required if you want to utilize this service. Zion Canyon Shuttle Tickets
      Other “general advice:” that time of year is usually cold, and you could encounter snow in the higher elevations, such as Grand Canyon South Rim (7,000′ ASL) and Bryce Canyon (8,000′ ASL). Be sure to check the weather in the areas you plan to travel about 2 weeks before you arrive to get the best idea of what kind of conditions you’ll encounter and what kind of clothes to pack.
      Whatever you decide, be sure that you reserve all hotels and guided tours in advance of your arrival. Now would not be too soon to start checking availability!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thank you very much for your quick response and we will definitely take your advices serious!
        Yes, you saw right that my email is foreign (Germany) but me and my friends live here in the states (them in Cali) and we have our own car so no need to worry to much about the rental car…
        I really appreciate your detailed response and I am looking forward to use your information!
        Best regards,
        Marie

        1. Hi again, Marie!
          Glad my advice has helped so far, and thanks for the clarification about where you’ll be coming from, and the fact that you’re driving a personal vehicle instead of a rental car.
          Even though you’ll be driving your own vehicle, we still recommend guided tours for attractions where the access roads are unpaved (Peek-A-Boo Canyon, Wire Pass Canyon, etc). Trust me, we hear a lot of horror stories about folks getting stuck in these areas, and they’re not fun (or inexpensive).
          Take care and have a wonderful trip. If you get a minute upon your return home, write in again and let us know how things went!
          Alley 🙂

  52. Hi,

    My family and I are going on a road trip and already planned on spending one day in Page, AZ on November 1st, before even checking the websites and learning that the canyons are closed for the remainder of 2020. I am thinking we visit Horseshoe Bend and then possibly cruise Lake Powell on a boat or kayaks. Anything other recommendations? We only have one day in Page and then heading home the next morning.

    1. Hi Marlene,
      Sorry to hear that your vacation plans have been unexpectedly affected by COVID-19. The Antelope Canyons are indeed closed indefinitely, but there are other slot canyons in the area that are still open to tourism. The one we recommend most is Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon, located near Kanab, UT, approximately 90 minutes from Page, AZ. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features classic slot canyon scenery (including the occasional light beams in the summertime), as well as some unique features such as ancient “moqui” steps, and “Shaman’s Needle,” a pencil-thin stone column located in a small sub-drainage near the canyon’s entrance. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you consider taking one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there definitely is; lots of people get stuck out there, even those with prior experience with 4WD-ing. Tour companies that go to Peek-A-Boo Canyon are:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      Water-based activities may not be realistic at the time of year you’re visiting since most of them go on seasonal hiatus in mid-October. Besides, it’s starting to get cold in November; not the type of weather conducive to boating or kayaking. Still, you can explore Lake Powell from the shoreline, or one of several viewpoints (without lake access) in Page, AZ. Whatever you decide, be sure to book all hotels and guided tours in advance of your arrival.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  53. Hi,

    Working on plans to travel to Page, AZ Nov 13-14 with 3 and 5yo. They are good hikers (and can be carried if necessary!). Any activities you would recommend? Also, do the highway closures mentioned above affect the drives from Sedona to Page and then Page to Williams?

    Thank you!
    Meredith

    1. Hi Meredith!
      At the time of year you’re visiting, water-based activities on Lake Powell are pretty much on seasonal hiatus, so that takes boat tours, kayak tours, etc. off the table. Still, it is possible to visit the lake and walk around the shoreline. Since it is within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a $30/vehicle entrance fee is required, which is good for 1 week’s time. If this feels like a lot to spend for a quick visit, you’ll be glad to know that views of Lake Powell (but no actual lake access) can be enjoyed from several areas not subject to the entrance fee, such as the Wahweap Overlook, the Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge, the Chains/Hanging Garden Area, and the brand new Grandview Overlook Park.
      Horseshoe Bend is a definite must; the parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset, and a one-time $10/vehicle parking fee is collected upon entry. The trail is ~.7 miles one way and mostly flat. If your kiddos are good hikers, they should be able to manage it, but be sure to keep an eye on them near the rim: the majority of it is unfenced, and it’s a 700′ drop to the river. If you would feel better behind a fence, there is a small viewing platform with a safety railing available. Whatever you decide, be sure to wear appropriate walking shoes, and bring enough water for yourself and all members of your hiking party.
      If you were wanting to tour a slot canyon while in the area, unfortunately the Antelope Canyons are closed for the remainder of 2020, but Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon would be appropriate for your family (it’s open to all ages). This slot canyon is located near Kanab, UT, approximately 90 minutes from Page, AZ. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features classic slot canyon scenery (including the occasional light beams in the summertime), as well as some unique features such as ancient “moqui” steps, and “Shaman’s Needle,” a pencil-thin stone column located in a small sub-drainage near the canyon’s entrance. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you consider taking one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there definitely is; lots of people get stuck out there, even those with prior experience with 4WD-ing. Tour companies that go to Peek-A-Boo Canyon are:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      Regarding your travel routes and drive times, you shouldn’t encounter any issues with highway closures if you stick to the most direct routes between the cities you have specified. From Sedona, AZ, to Page, AZ, is about a 3-hour drive; ditto for Page, AZ, to Williams, AZ. However, if you were wanting to visit Grand Canyon South Rim at any point, that could throw a kink in your travel plans, particularly between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ. A critical component of the most logical travel route — AZ64 between Desert View Point and Cameron, AZ — has been closed per order of the Navajo Indian Tribe. This means that you have to travel all the way back to Flagstaff, then proceed North on US89 to Page, AZ. This means that what is normally a ~3 hour drive has turned into a 5-hour drive.
      Hope that clarifies things sufficiently.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Alley,

        We are planning an Arizona trip October 29th- November 2nd. We land at 1pm Thursday and leave early that Monday morning. We have Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Havasu Falls, and Montezuma on our list. What are you recommendations for this trip? We are willing to add/drop certain things. Neither of us have been before so welcome to ALL suggestions and tips. There will be only two of us and want to get the most out of the trip. Thanks for your help!

        1. Hi Ranzi,
          Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your trip plans are in need of a reality check.
          Havasu Falls, first of all, is not going to happen. This area is closed to tourism until further notice by the Havasupai Indian Tribe due to COVID-19. Even if that weren’t the case, it still wouldn’t be feasible for you to get there in the limited time you have. I also have a distinct feeling that you’re not familiar with what it actually takes to get there. It’s a 10-mile hike in — one way — in an extremely remote area, and advance reservations for either accommodations at the Supai Lodge or Havasu Falls Campground are 100% essential. This is something you’ll need to plan for a future trip, fully cognizant of the sometimes complicated logistics, and physical challenges of the terrain. For more information, visit http://www.HavasupaiReservations.com or read this article on AZCentral: Hiking to Havasupai
          Antelope Canyon is also a no-go. Here again, these attractions have been closed to tourism indefinitely per the Navajo Indian Tribe, on whose lands they are situated. If seeing a slot canyon is still high on your list, you might still be able to salvage this component of your vacation. More on that in a minute.
          Provided your flight, which I assume is into Phoenix, lands on time, you’ll still have another ~2 hours in the airport collecting your luggage and rental car. Best case scenario, it would probably be ~3:00 PM when you’re actually able to get on the road. Another thing potentially working against you at the time of year you’re visiting is daylength, or lack thereof: sunrise occurs just before 7:00 AM in late October, sunset takes place just after 5:00 PM. You’ll need to get up early to make the most of your sightseeing days. You also want to avoid driving after sunset in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit (a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky), and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other wildlife that could raise your risk of an auto accident. Trust me, that’s NOT something you want to risk in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold (nighttime temperatures are dipping down into the 30’s at that time of year in the higher elevations), where cell service is spotty, and help may be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
          In light of these factors, here’s what I suggest:
          Thursday – Fly into Phoenix, head for Flagstaff, AZ, (~2 hours from Phoenix, AZ), stay overnight (book 2 nights).
          Friday – Get up early, drive to Grand Canyon South Rim (~1.5 hours from Flagstaff, AZ) for the day, return to Flagstaff, stay overnight
          Saturday – Get up early, drive to Page, AZ (~3 hours from Flagstaff), check into Page, AZ, hotel, drive to Paria, UT, area (~40 minutes from Page) to hike Wire Pass Canyon, return to Page to stay overnight
          Sunday – Get up early, visit Horseshoe Bend. Drive from Page, AZ, to Phoenix, AZ, with stop at Montezuma Castle (~6-7 hours), overnight in Phoenix
          Monday – Fly home
          Trip map
          Regarding Wire Pass Canyon, it is a moderately strenuous hike, with an 8-10′ drop a short ways into the slot canyon. This may be a deterrent to inexperienced hikers, or individuals afraid of heights. Another consideration: the trailhead to Wire Pass Canyon is off US89 between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, on the House Rock Valley Road, an unpaved road. While it is regularly graded and accessible to 2WD vehicles much of the time, if recent weather has brought any moisture whatsoever, the HRVR can turn into a muddy, impassable mess. Parties in rental cars should think twice about attempting this road since off-road driving is strictly prohibited by most rental car companies. We strongly recommend looking into a guided tour that can get you to there and back in one piece, and turn you onto features you might have missed trying to find your own way. Reputable companies offering guided tours to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch include:
          – Detours American West, 480-633-9013, http://www.detoursamericanwest.com
          – Paria Outpost & Outfitters, 928-691-1047, http://www.paria.com
          – Grand Staircase Discovery Tours, 928-614-4099, http://www.grandstaircasediscoverytours.com
          Whatever you decide, be sure that you have all hotels and guided tours booked in advance of your trip.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

          1. Thanks for your help! This is a last minute trip and as well as one we plan to do again with more time and better planning. Just in need of a weekend get away now. Very interested in the Wire Pass Canyon. I also saw you mention Red Canyon in another response that I was interested in.
            Also, interested in Sedona as well. What would you recommend in that area? Like I said, open to all recommendations on things we should add or skip.

            Thanks again,

            Ranzi

          2. Hi again, Ranzi!
            Not surprised to see that Sedona, AZ, has piqued your curiosity, it’s a stunning area with lots to see and do. It’s good that you’re planning to visit in the future when you have more time, because you’ll need it in Sedona. People report staying there 4-5 days and still feeling as though they’ve only “scratched the surface.” In your situation, with the limitations you already have on your time, you’d probably be best off either a. visiting as a “drive-by” on your way back to Phoenix, AZ; be prepared to add another 2 hours onto your trip time, at least or b. drop a destination in order to stay overnight… more on that in a minute.
            Regarding Red Canyon aka Peek-A-Boo, it is actually situated near Kanab, UT, about 60-70 minutes West of Page, AZ, on US89. If you’d stayed overnight in Flagstaff, AZ, the night before, that would extend your one-way drive time to ~3.5-4 hours. Guided tours of Peek-A-Boo last ~4 hours as well. Guided tours are not required, but they are strongly recommended due to the access road to the slot canyon being very sandy, and not recommended for parties in rental cars. Lots of people get stuck out there, even those with prior experience with 4WD-ing. Tour companies that go to Peek-A-Boo Canyon are:
            – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
            – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
            – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
            – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
            – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
            In light of your time constraints, and the fact that the Antelope Canyons in Page, AZ, are closed, as much as I really hate to say it, you might be best off dropping Page, AZ, from your itinerary and giving that night to Sedona instead. If need be, you could simply book 3 nights in Flagstaff, AZ, and use it as a “base” from which to explore the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Sedona is ~1 hour from Flagstaff (one way). If you take me up on that suggestion, one of the more popular activities in that area is the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour. No matter what you decide, do remember what I had advised about driving at night, or not doing so.
            Good luck, I know it’s a hard choice.
            Alley 🙂

  54. Hello. My husband and I are planning on a 5 to 6 day AZ trip the week of Thanksgiving. Based on my limited knowledge of the area, we were planning on starting in Phoenix Saturday morning with local attractions and then making our way to Sedona by the evening to catch the sunset. Spend Sunday in Sedona and then slowly make our way out to the Horseshoe Bend on Monday to make it there by late afternoon (assuming the best views are during sunset). Stay in the area Monday night and drive to the Grand Canyon Skywalk Tuesday morning and then cover the Grand Canyon. Spend the night in the area and drive out to Vegas on Wednesday and fly out Thursday from Vegas. The map indicated some partially restricted roads. I’m not at all familiar with the area especially with the current circumstances so I was hoping for your expert opinion. The 6 location I mentioned are the key spots we want to hit. Please let me know if there is a better way to approach this trip, the plan is feasible/logical, or if I’m making any grave mistakes. Also wondering about the partially restricted roads and what they mean for travel by car. Thank you so much in advance!

    1. Hi Kavya,
      First off, you’re not giving Sedona enough time. It’s a stunning area with a lot to see and do. People report spending 4-5 days there and feeling as though they’d only scratched the surface. A one day visit is sure to leave you wanting. If you can, try to at least set aside another day to spend in that area. I promise you won’t regret it!
      Another thing that’s jumping out at me is that you’re putting the Grand Canyon Skywalk and Grand Canyon National Park in the wrong order. Grand Canyon West, where the Grand Canyon Skywalk is located, is closer to Las Vegas than Grand Canyon South Rim, which is the only side of the National Park that’s open over Thanksgiving.
      You have correctly assumed that some roads are closed, most notably, AZ64 between Cameron, AZ, and Desert View Point. This stretch of highway, an integral part of the normal travel route between Horseshoe Bend and the Grand Canyon, is necessitated a detour through Flagstaff for those traveling between Page, AZ, and the South Rim. This means that what is typically a 3-hour drive, has turned into a 5-hour drive.
      Speaking of long drives, which are a fact of life in this part of the U.S., it takes ~4.5 hours to drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to the Grand Canyon Skywalk; it would then take another 2.5 hours to drive from the Skywalk to Las Vegas. IMO, you really don’t have enough time to do all that, meaning you’ll have to sacrifice one attraction, and it should be the Skywalk. Not that it isn’t a cool attraction, but Grand Canyon South Rim is the “true” Grand Canyon, where the picture postcard views can be experienced from.
      Another consideration at that time of year is daylength, or lack thereof as the case may be. All driving must be done during daylight hours since many roads in Northern Arizona are very dimly lit (a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky), plus deer, elk, and other wildlife pose a safety hazard after dark. During Thanksgiving week, sunrise occurs at around 7:15 AM, sunset takes place shortly after 5:00 PM.
      Here is a map of the trip for reference. Be sure that you book all hotel reservations and any guided tours you might like to take well in advance. Even with COVID-19 restrictions, many areas remain fairly busy.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thank you so much for your quick response Alley! It’s very helpful, especially the map! I do have a few more questions. We are flexible in reversing the order as well, meaning starting in Vegas and ending in Phoenix. The main goals for our trip are to ride a hot air balloon in Phoenix, hike/relax in Sedona, see the Horseshoe Bend and the Southern Rim, and then the Skywalk (It’s something my husband would really like to do). In your expert opinion, what is the best way to achieve as many of these things as possible without feeling like we missed out? We are, of course, willing to drop locations (like the Skywalk) if it’ll make our time elsewhere much more worthwhile. We will land Friday night and leave Thursday morning, and like I said, order can be reversed. Vegas is also not a must; just added it because it was closer to fly out from there than Phoenix on our initial plan. We are not familiar with the area or the current situation there with COVID. We certainly do no want to get stranded on the roads/get lost, etc (thank you for the tip on driving during the day by the way!). I’m also aware that it is the holiday week and attractions may be closed on weekends and weekdays. Bearing all these factors in mind, how do you suggest we go about this? Hope I communicated clearly and am looking forward to your response!

        1. Hi again, Kavya!
          If the Grand Canyon Skywalk remains high on your husband’s wish list, then visiting Las Vegas, NV, is prett much a given since that’s the city it’s closest to.
          The order in which you visit these attractions will depend largely on hotel availability, also. Grand Canyon South Rim tends to be the “lynchpin” around which most peoples’ trip plans tend to revolve, and evolve, so check Grand Canyon lodging first, then build the rest of your trip around that.
          Landing on a Friday night, then departing on Thursday morning, gives you five full days to work with for this trip. That may sound like a lot of time, but it really isn’t in light of the driving distances you have to contend with. Assuming that your plan to land in Phoenix and depart out of Las Vegas remains as is, you could do this:
          Friday night: land in Phoenix, overnight in Phoenix
          Saturday: hot air balloon ride in Phoenix (these typically occur first thing in the morning, weather permitting), then drive to Sedona, AZ (~2 hour drive), overnight in Sedona
          Sunday: Drive to Page, AZ (~3 hour drive), overnight in Page
          Monday: Visit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise, drive to Grand Canyon South Rim (~5 hour drive due to required detour through Flagstaff), overnight at Grand Canyon
          Tuesday: Drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Las Vegas (~5 hours), overnight in Las Vegas
          Wednesday: Self-drive day trip to Grand Canyon Skywalk (~5 hour round-trip drive, not including time at the Skywalk), or package Grand Canyon West tour out of Las Vegas, spend 2nd night in Las Vegas
          Thursday: Fly home
          As you can see, this itinerary pretty much as you packing up and driving every day of the trip, except one. If the prospect of that doesn’t appeal, you’ll need to drop a destination, and as much as I hate to say it, Page, AZ, might be the one that has to go. Not that it isn’t beautiful, but just in light of the fact that the drive has turned into a long-distance run-around due to the closure of AZ64, saving it for another trip might be the wisest choice.
          Good luck, I know it’s a hard choice!
          Alley 🙂

  55. Hello,

    I am traveling to the South Rim Oct 10-15th and wanted to make a day out of visiting Page. Could you advise me as to what there is to do there at this time that isn’t currently closed. I see that the Antelope Canyon tours are not operating however was wondering if any of the other slot canyons in the area perhaps were? (Secret, Cardiac, canyon X, Mountain Sheep, Rattlesnake?). Also wanted to make sure that Horseshoe Bend was still accessible for us to visit on our own. Additionally I was hoping to do something on the river or in the water. I noticed the 1/2 day and full day rafting trips I’ve seen are also all cancelled but was wondering if you knew of a guided tour of any kind either by boat or kayak that would still be taking place.

    Any advice sure does help!
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Vanessa,
      Unfortunately, all the slot canyons you list are on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands, which are closed to outsiders at least through the end of this year.
      The good news is that many other attractions, such as Horseshoe Bend, remain open. However, you won’t have enough time to do a water-based activity, either on the Colorado River or Lake Powell, if you visit Page, AZ, as a day trip. The main reason for this is because you have to take a rather long detour through Flagstaff, AZ, to get from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ. Again, this is due to the closure of Navajo Indian Tribal Lands due to COVID-19, which has taken an integral component of the shortest travel route between the two places out of circulation. This means that what normally is ~a 3-hour drive (one way) has turned into a 5-hour drive; again, that’s one way. For this reason alone, you should rethink your travel plans so you can stay overnight in Page, AZ. That way, you’ll have enough time to do a kayak tour.
      Popular kayak alternatives in this area are Hidden Canyon Kayak’s tour of the waterside of Antelope Canyon. From what I’ve heard, the current water level is low enough to allow a bit of hiking into the beginning of the slot portion of Lower Antelope Canyon, which is within the boundaries of Federal land. Another popular option is to kayak the 15-mile stretch of Glen Canyon through Horseshoe Bend to Lees Ferry. For this, you’d have to drive down to Lees Ferry, rent a kayak, get backhauled to the base of the Dam, then paddle unguided back to the Ferry. For more information on this trip, visit http://www.KayakHorseshoeBend.com
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  56. Need idea where to start, traveling end of the month to UT and AZ for 3 days. road trip. leaving from either vegas or phx – where should we start
    is it required to do tours or we can hike ourselves ? do we need to register anywhere . with covid and everything, we want to make sure we do everything before hand. thanks in advance

    1. Hi again, NemSar,
      Thank you for clarifying your trip length.
      With 3 days to work with, I’d recommend flying into Las Vegas and spending 2 nights at Grand Canyon South Rim, and 1 night in Page, AZ. You can do it in that order, or reverse it depending on hotel availability.
      It takes approximately 5 hours to drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim. It also takes that long to drive from Las Vegas to Page, AZ, so check hotel availability in both places Grand Canyon hotels Page, Arizona hotels and plan your trip around that.
      The biggest kink that COVID-19 will throw into these plans is the trip between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ. Normally, that is a 3-hour drive along the East Rim/Desert View Drive, through the Navajo Reservation, then North on US89. Due to COVID-19, the Navajo Indian Tribe has closed an integral component of the most logical travel route between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ — AZ64 from Desert View to Cameron, AZ. That means that, upon leaving Grand Canyon South Rim, you’re going to have to drive all the way back to Flagstaff before heading North on US89 to Page, AZ, and Horseshoe Bend. This very long detour has basically turned the ~3 hour drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ (or the other way around), into a 4.5-5 hour drive.
      In Page, AZ, plan to visit Horseshoe Bend, which you can do at your leisure in your own vehicle between sunrise and sunset. In your other inquiry, you mentioned wanting to visit kid-friendly sites, but I don’t recall seeing how old your kids were. If your kids are relatively young, and you still wish to visit a slot canyon, Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon in Kanab, UT. Kanab, UT, is ~1 hour drive from Page, AZ. It is a family-friendly canyon, and a relatively easy walk. The hard part about getting there is the access road in, which a lot of people get stuck on, therefore, a guided tour is strongly recommended. Reputable tour companies who can get you to Peek-A-Boo are:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      If you take us up on the suggestion to tour Peek-A-Boo Canyon, you might want to shift the number of nights you allot to each place, in other words, spend 2 nights in Page, Arizona, and 1 night at Grand Canyon South Rim.
      As for “registering” anywhere, you must make reservations for guided tours, such as Peek-A-Boo Canyon, in advance, along with all hotels.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  57. Looking to travel to UT and Az first week of November. Flying to Vegas and that way. What suggestion on places to visit thy is open and kid friendly to see sunsets

    1. Hi Nemsar,
      If I’m understanding you correctly, you were wanting to spend approximately 1 week’s time traveling in our area? If that’s the case, check out this piece on our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: The Ultimate 7-Day Itinerary in Northern Arizona & Southern Utah
      On that itinerary, you will find two key places closed due to COVID-19: Monument Valley and the Antelope Canyons. Another important consideration, if you do decide to go to the Grand Canyon, is that an integral component of the most logical travel route between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ — AZ64 from Desert View to Cameron, AZ — is closed due to COVID-19. That means that, upon leaving Grand Canyon South Rim, you’re going to have to drive all the way back to Flagstaff before heading North on US89 to Page, AZ, and Horseshoe Bend. This very long detour has basically turned the ~3 hour drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, into a 4.5-5 hour drive.
      If you still wish to visit a slot canyon while you’re here, you’ll be happy to know that there are alternatives not affected by the closure of Navajo Indian Tribal Lands. The most “family-friendly” of these is Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon in Kanab, UT. Kanab, UT, is ~1 hour drive from Page, AZ, and Red Canyon is a beautiful slot canyon, and an easy walk. The hard part about getting there is the access road in, which a lot of people get stuck on, therefore, a guided tour is strongly recommended. Reputable tour companies who can get you to Peek-A-Boo are:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      As for good places to see sunsets, we’ve got loads of them — no such thing as a bad place to see sunset from around here 😉 One neat spot that has opened up recently is the Grandview Overlook Park in the town of Page, AZ. The cool thing about it is because it’s oriented East-West, it makes for a good spot from which to watch sunrise AND sunset!
      One last thing: weather in November can be cold, so make sure you are prepared to pack warmer clothing such as jackets, gloves, etc., especially for higher altitude areas like Grand Canyon South Rim (7,000′ above sea level) and Bryce Canyon (8,000′ ASL).
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  58. Hi, my boyfriend and I are traveling to Horseshoe Bend next month. Can you give me some more information about the park and what to expect if hiking?

    1. Hi Sash!
      Well, first of all Horseshoe Bend is open, contrary to what you might have heard. It is one of the few attractions in Northern Arizona that never closed during COVID-19. The parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset. The parking fee is $10 for standard passenger vehicles and motorhomes.
      The trail from the parking lot to the canyon rim is .7 miles in length, one way. The trail is partially paved, and partially graded. You can take an advance look at it on this Facebook video by Finley Holiday Films. Appropriate footwear for walking should be worn, as should sun protection such as a hat, sunblock, possibly long sleeve shirt and long pants. Also, be sure to bring enough water for yourself and all members of your traveling party.
      Weatherwise, you can expect everything from sunny and comfortable to cold and blustery. Start monitoring Page, AZ, weather about 2 weeks before you travel. That will give you the best idea of what to expect.
      One last thing: there is a construction project taking place near Horseshoe Bend that will very likely affect your visit. They’re building a dedicated turn lane to Horseshoe Bend on the Northbound side of the highway. Traffic in both directions will be regulated either by flagmen or automated traffic control devices, which means that delays of 15-30 minutes, in either direction, may occur.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  59. Hello!
    I’m planning on getting married at Horseshoe Bend on October 31st. I understand it’s a tourist destination, but I was wondering about just how popular it is at the end of October. I also wasn’t sure if we would be able to book any private tours with covid happening. It’s also my understanding that the “hike” up there has been made a little more accessible. Wedding dress accessible??

    1. Hi Kasey, and congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!
      You are correct that Horseshoe Bend is a popular tourist destination, and weddings there are still happening in spite of COVID-19. In years past, things used to quiet down quite a bit around Halloween, but that’s not the case these days. It will still be busy, and you might have to be prepared to deal with colder weather. However, you’d still be able to have a beautiful wedding, and appear in your photos as though you had the overlook all to yourselves, by working with the right people. We recommend you contact Monumental Arizona Weddings. They are owned and operated by a longtime Page, AZ, local, with all the right connections to ensure that you have the proper permits, and that other contingencies are anticipated. For more information, call 480-980-8121 or visit http://www.HorseshoeBendWedding.com
      As for how the trail is these days, it has been partially paved and graded on the other half, so it should be an easier walk with a wedding dress on! To see how it looks these days, check out this video on Facebook by Finley Holiday Films
      One thing I should mention: there is a construction project taking place near Horseshoe Bend (a long-overdue, much needed dedicated turn lane) that will probably extend through next month, and will very likely result in delays in travel. Be sure you pad your drive times by 15-30 minutes to account for this.
      Good luck, safe travels, and have a lovely wedding! If you get a minute after returning from your honeymoon, write in again and let us know how it went.
      Alley 🙂

  60. Hello! I am visiting Arizona the first week of November for the first time. I am flying into Phoenix and will be taking roughly a 5 day vacation. I am hoping to stop by scottsdale, Sedona (cathedral rock, devils bridge, bell rock) Grand Canyon and page (horseshoe bend, antelope canyon, kayak or boat lake powell, the wave)!! Any recommendations on how I should plan all of these different locations? or suggestions if something is closed due to Covid 19. I was thinking about driving straight to Page when I land in Phoenix and then traveling my way back.. what do you suggest? thank you so much for your help. This page has been so helpful

    1. Hi Brittany,
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your plans are overly ambitious.
      Let’s start with The Wave: it’s highly unlikely you’re going to be able to include it in your itinerary. The Wave is one of the most coveted hikes in the American Southwest. Since it is in such a unique and potentially fragile area, only 20 people per day are allowed to hike in, and must do so by obtaining a permit. 10 permits are given out by advance online lottery 4 months in advance (so, November permits were given out in July), then another 10 by walk-in lottery the day prior to when you wish to hike. Since early November is prime time for hiking The Wave, competition for the remaining 10 walk-in permits is going to be fierce, and besides, you just don’t have time to work it in. Long story short, take The Wave off the table. For more information about getting there in the future, read this piece on our companion site, AntelopeCanyon.AZ: How To Get A Wave Permit
      Next up: the Antelope Canyons. Due to COVID-19, they are closed until further notice. Whether they will open in November remains to be seen, but hopes are not running very high for that right now. You can be placed on a priority e-mail list to be notified when/if they do, again, on our AntelopeCanyon.AZ site. Should the closure remain in effect at the time of your visit, a good alternative would be Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon in Kanab, UT. Kanab, UT, is ~1 hour drive from Page, AZ, and Red Canyon is a beautiful, user-friendly slot canyon. The only hard part about getting there is the access road in, which a lot of people get stuck on, therefore, a guided tour is strongly recommended. Reputable tour companies who can get you to Peek-A-Boo are:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      Let’s talk about Lake Powell — sorry to be a “Debbie Downer” again, but November is not the best time to do any water-based activities due to the fact that it’s starting to get really cold. Many kayak tour/rental outfitters close up for the season in October. Boat tours are also on hiatus until further notice due to COVID-19. If you’re wanting to enjoy Lake Powell, probably best to plan on doing it from the shoreline. Fortunately, there are ample opportunities for this type of exploration, including The Chains, Wahweap Swim Beach , and Lone Rock Beach.
      Hope it doesn’t sound as though Northern Arizona will be rolling up the sidewalks at the time of your visit; that’s far from the case! That said, I’d recommend planning for 2 nights in Sedona, 1 night at Grand Canyon South Rim, and 2 nights in Page, AZ. How you position these in relation to when you land or fly out of Phoenix will largely depend upon hotel availability. Since Grand Canyon South Rim and Page are both ~5 hours from Phoenix, you might look at hitting Page, AZ, first to visit Horseshoe Bend and maybe tour Peek-A-Boo, then move on to Grand Canyon South Rim.
      Now, normally, the drive from Page, AZ, to GC South Rim takes ~3 hours; due to COVID-19, the Navajo Nation has opted to close an integral portion of the shortest travel route between the two places, necessitating a detour through Flagstaff, then traveling back North again via US180. This has essentially turned a 3-hour drive into more of a 5-hour drive. Overnight at the Grand Canyon, then conclude your trip with a couple days of chill time in Sedona, AZ, ~3 hours from Grand Canyon South Rim. Your drive back to Phoenix would then be ~2.5 hours. Map
      One last suggestion: if you can possibly free up another night or two so you can spend more time in Sedona, you won’t regret doing so. A lot of people report staying 4-5 days in Sedona and only feeling as though they’d “scratched the surface.” There’s a lot to see and do there!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  61. Hi, I’m thinking of bringing a friend to Horseshoe Bend when she visits next month. Are dogs allowed in the park and on the trail?

    1. Hi Brittney,
      Yes, dogs are allowed at Horseshoe Bend as long as they are on a leash and the owner picks up after them. Be sure to bring enough water, not only for your “human” hiking party, but for your dog as well.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  62. Hi–

    Myself and a group of about ~10 others are looking to hike the Grand Canyon (is the South rim entrance open now?), Lake Powell (potentially Horseshoe Bend as well in the same day), and Sedona. Would we need to prepare to purchase any permits prior to making this endeavor/would all of these locations be open for us to hike and explore? Any insight here would be helpful, thank you! This page is great.

    1. Hi Eric and thanks for your compliments!
      Grand Canyon South Rim is open, with some limitations on services due to COVID-19.
      You do not need to purchase or reserve any kind of permit for the trip you were planning to take, unless you were wanting to camp below the rim of the Grand Canyon, in which case, you’d need to reserve a backcountry permit. These are reserved several months in advance, however, so if you don’t have one already, you’ll be limited to day hiking, which can be just as fulfilling as an overnight Grand Canyon hike! Check out this list of popular Grand Canyon day hikes
      The biggest problem I’m seeing here is your plan to hike in the Grand Canyon and visit Horseshoe Bend in the same day. Even under ideal circumstances, this is neither practical nor desirable. Under normal circumstances, the drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Horseshoe Bend takes ~3 hours. Unfortunately, an integral component of the normal travel route is on Navajo Indian Reservation land, and the tribe has opted to close it due to COVID-19. This means that you’re going to have to drive from Grand Canyon South Rim back to Flagstaff, AZ, then continue up US89 North to Page, AZ, and Horseshoe Bend. This effectively turns a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive. Trust me, that’s not something you’ll want to deal with after a potentially rigorous hike in the Grand Canyon! You really need to plan for an extra day and overnight stay in Page, AZ, to comfortably include Horseshoe Bend in your trip plans.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Alley–

        Thank you for the insight! We were planning on doing a day-trip to the Grand Canyon so that works out nicely. Sounds like we may opt to stay in Lake Powell for the day then rather than make the hike to Horseshoe Bend thereafter! Are there any specific sites or activities within the Lake Powell area that you would recommend checking out? Thank you again!

        Best,
        Eric

        1. Hi again, Eric!
          I think you’ve made a good call to stay overnight in Page, AZ. Contrary to what you might have heard, you’ll find no shortage of things to see and do. Unfortunately, the Antelope Canyons are closed, but you won’t have any problem occupying your time. Attractions and activities that remain open and accessible right now include:
          – Grandview Overlook Park
          – Wahweap Marina
          – Antelope Point Marina
          – The Chains & Hanging Garden Trail
          – Lone Rock Beach
          – Page Rim View Trail
          – The “New” Wave and Radio Tower Rock
          – Wahweap Overlook
          – Glen Canyon Dam Overlook
          – Alstrom Point
          – Skylight Arch
          – White Pocket
          – Wire Pass/Buckskin Gulch
          – Lees Ferry & Lonely Dell Ranch
          – Navajo Bridge & Interpretive Center
          – Glen Canyon Conservancy Flagship Store
          – Kayak Tours on Lake Powell & the Colorado River
          – Private Boat Charters
          – Airplane & Helicopter Tours
          – Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge
          – Jeep/ATV Tours
          – Electric Mountain Bike Tours
          – Big Water Visitors Center (Big Water, Utah)
          – “The Moon” (Big Water, Utah)
          – Gunfighter Canyon Indoor Shooting Range
          For more suggestions on how to make the most of a day in Page, AZ, visit “24 Hours in Page, Arizona
          Hope you have a wonderful time! If you get a minute when you get home, drop us a line and let us know how it went 🙂
          Alley

          1. I see that you have recommended White Pocket. Are you aware of any companies that rent high clearance 4×4 vehicles? Thanks

          2. Hi John!
            This is a great question — there are indeed several companies that rent high clearance jeeps and other 4×4 vehicles that could get you to White Pocket.
            They include, but aren’t necessarily limited to:
            – Powell Adventure Rentals, http://www.powelladventurerentals.com, 928-645-0208
            – Carl’s Marine & Jeep Rentals, http://www.carlsadventurerentals.com, 928-660-0548
            – Lake Powell Jeep Rentals, http://www.lakepowelljeeprentals.com, 928-660-1395
            – Lake Powell Vacations, http://www.lakepowellvacations.com, (928) 614-8573
            Before you commit to a self-guided tour to White Pocket, I must warn you that the access route to get there should only be attempted by those with previous 4×4 experience. Even individuals who regularly drive off-road have gotten stuck out there, requiring a VERY expensive towing bill. If you have never driven a jeep in deep sand, rutted roads, or over rocky terrain, I’d skip the rental and go with a guided tour. These companies have experienced drivers and vehicles with beefy enough suspensions to handle the terrain! Authorized tour companies for this area are:
            – Paria Outpost & Outfitters, 928-691-1047, http://www.paria.com
            – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
            – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
            – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
            – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
            – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
            Good luck and safe travels!
            Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Richard,
      If you are referring to Horseshoe Bend, yes, it is one of a few attractions in Northern Arizona that never closed. Glen Canyon National Recreation (Lake Powell) is also open, albeit with some facilities closed. The most significant component of most peoples’ Page, AZ, vacations that remains up in the air are the Antelope Canyons. They are currently closed due to COVID-19. When they will reopen is uncertain, but you can get on a priority e-mail list to be notified when the closure is lifted. AntelopeCanyon.AZ: Closure Alert E-mail List
      One thing to bear in mind, whatever you decide to do, is that December is winter, therefore, it will be cold in most places you go. It’s rare for the Page, AZ, area to see enough snow to warrant closing Horseshoe Bend, but you’ll at least need to pack jackets, gloves, etc.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    2. Hi There! I’ve been wanting to plan a tip to Arizona to explore the national parks and sites for a long time. I heard that most places you need to apply for a permit? Like Antelope Canyon and Havasu Falls. Does Horseshoe Bend need one too? Can you let me know all the places that require a permit or reservation? And provide me with a link to the site to do so? Thank you so much for any information 🙂
      -Julie

      1. Hi Julie!
        Contrary to what you might have heard, only a few “Arizona Bucket List” places actually require a permit to visit.
        Havasu Falls is one of them. Unfortunately, that area is closed indefinitely due to COVID-19. When they do reopen, you’ll want to bookmark http://www.HavasupaiReservations.com to apply for a camping permit.
        The Antelope Canyons are also closed until further notice due to COVID-19 unfortunately 🙁 Visiting that area doesn’t require a permit, per se, you just have to go with a guided tour. When/if the Antelope Canyons reopen, visit our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon Should they remain closed at the time of your visit, our companion site also has guidance on how to deal with that situation: “Help! My Tour Got Cancelled
        As for other permit-required sites, The Wave is perhaps the most highly coveted one of all! Due to the unique nature of the terrain, and the fragility of the rock formations, only 20 people per day are allowed to visit this area, which is part of the Coyote Buttes Special Management Area of the Vermilion Cliffs/Paria Canyon Wilderness Area. 10 permits per day are distributed via an online lottery, which must be applied for 4 months in advance. The other 10 permits are given out in a walk-in lottery held in Kanab, UT, the day prior to when you wish to hike. For more information on Wave permits, visit our other companion site, http://www.TheWaveAZ.com
        Good luck and safe travels,
        Alley 🙂

  63. I would definitely NOT recommend this as being “wheelchair accessible” despite what is claimed. I took my wife there today who is in a wheelchair. The walkway to the Horseshoe is NOT smooth. The path is full of rocks and sand and is very uneven. We nearly broke the wheels on the wheelchair several times due to the rocks, holes and sand on the trail. I nearly dumped my poor wife numerous times! The hill is also quite steep both on the way TO the Horseshoe and on the way back to the parking lot. I don’t think I would have made it were it not for another man helping me. I’m in decent shape, so it’s not that I am so weak that I could not make the hills. Anyhow, I hope they improve this for wheelchair access. The view was spectacular, but we barely made it back!

    1. Dear David,
      I am terribly sorry that you found the trail to Horseshoe Bend less than accommodating for your wife’s wheelchair!
      Since the City of Page, AZ, is in charge of maintaining the trail and parking lot (and touting the trail as being ADA compliant), I would strongly recommend that you share these observations with someone there. The Economic Development/Tourism department would probably be a good place to start. They can be reached by phone at (928) 645-4310.
      Despite how things went this time around, I hope you get a chance to return to the area someday, perhaps at a time when the trail to Horseshoe Bend has been fully paved.
      Take care and have a good rest of your summer,
      Alley 🙂

      1. My husband and I are planning a trip to the area in late January/early February and thought we’d like to take a look at Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon (if it’s opened at that time). We’re hikers (having previously traversed down to Phantom Ranch) and I’m wondering how long (in time and distance( the hike is at Horseshoe Bend) and if it is just around the rim or if you actually descend into the canyon-and if so, how far. Also, how cold is this area in mid-winter?

        1. Hi Debbie!
          If you’ve been to Phantom Ranch, Horseshoe Bend will be a cakewalk. The out-and-back trail is only .7 miles in length (one way), is mostly flat, and extends from the parking lot to the canyon rim. No part of the trail actually goes down into the canyon itself.
          As for what Page, AZ, is like in mid-winter, you’ll encounter days that are sunny but brisk mostly, but we do get the occasional wind or snowstorm passing through. Bring a jacket and gloves in any case.
          As for the Antelope Canyons, we are crossing fingers and toes that they’ll be reopened by the time you get here. If they aren’t, you might want to start looking at some alternate activities. If touring a slot canyon is on your wish list, you’d probably enjoy Wire Pass Canyon. This photogenic two-part slot canyon is short enough for intermediate-level hikers to enjoy, yet offers the option to delve further into Buckskin Gulch for those wanting more of a challenge. The walk to the entrance of the initial slot is via a typically dry streambed, which may require traversing deep sand if recent weather has been dry. An 8-10’ drop a short distance into the slot canyon is one reason why Wire Pass Canyon may not be appropriate for those traveling with young children, the elderly, or individuals afraid of heights. As the canyon walls become higher and closer together, they suddenly open up as the second slot connects with the Buckskin Gulch. If you’ve had enough at this point, you can simply turn around and head back to your vehicle. If you’d like to explore further, you can easily make a half-day hike out of the immediate area around the confluence with the Buckskin. Look for some bighorn sheep petroglyphs dating back hundreds, maybe thousands of years! Access to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch is off US89 between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, on the House Rock Valley Road. Hikers are required to pay a self-permitting fee at the kiosk by the trailhead. Fair warning: the House Rock Valley Road is unpaved! While it is accessible to 2WD vehicles much of the time, if recent weather has brought any moisture whatsoever, the HRVR can turn into a muddy, impassable mess. Parties in rental cars should think twice about attempting this road since off-road driving is strictly prohibited by most rental car companies. A guided tour will get your family to Wire Pass Canyon and back in one piece, and turn you onto features you might have missed trying to find your own way. Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT based companies offering guided tours to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch include:
          – Detours American West, 480-633-9013, http://www.detoursamericanwest.com
          – Paria Outpost & Outfitters, 928-691-1047, http://www.paria.com
          – Grand Staircase Discovery Tours, 928-614-4099, http://www.grandstaircasediscoverytours.com
          To be placed on a priority e-mail list notifying people when/if the Antelope Canyons do open, visit our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: Closure Alert
          Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  64. Hi! My family and I are planning to visit Horseshoe Bend and, on your recommendation in some of the comments, Peek A Boo Canyon, since Antelope Valley is still closed. Could you recommend other sights to see appropriate for a 7 year old in between those 2 locations? Also, where would you say would be the best location to stay that is most accessible to all the sights? We’re planning to stay end of Sept for about 3 nights (9/25-9/28). Thank you for all your help!

    1. Hi Nina,
      This is a great question! For optimal convenience visiting Horseshoe Bend and Peek-A-Boo Canyon, the best place to look for hotels would be Page, AZ, or Kanab, UT. As for sights in between the two towns that would appeal to a 7-year-old, you’ll have no shortage of fun! ~15 minutes from Page, AZ, on US89, you’ll find the town of Big Water, UT, which has a wonderful visitors center featuring paleontology displays and dinosaur bones excavated locally. Almost smack dead center between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, at mile marker 19 on the Utah side of US89, is the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstools Hoodoos Trail. This hike, rated easy to moderate, offers up cool rock formations and classic desert scenery. If you’re wanting to take a swim, The Chains area on the Eastern flank of the Glen Canyon Dam is a good area, although it’s a bit of a hike to get back up to the parking lot from the water line. If that doesn’t appeal, Lone Rock Beach on the Arizona/Utah border is nice, just don’t drive your vehicle too far onto the sand — believe me, you don’t want to get stuck there! Another cool hike near the Glen Canyon Dam is the “New” Wave and Radio Tower Rock. It’s a relatively short, easy trail that leads to a small but interesting cluster of rock formations. It also happens to be near a small campground, so be sure you don’t impede on anyone’s privacy (or sleep!) while exploring this area. Also, watch how far you drive in so you don’t get stuck in the sand.
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

        1. Hey Courtney!
          The trail to Horseshoe Bend is now more accommodating for those with wheelchairs and strollers, but a testimonial from a recent visitor indicates that it’s not all smooth sailing. He reports:

          I would definitely NOT recommend this as being “wheelchair accessible” despite what is claimed. I took my wife there today who is in a wheelchair. The walkway to the Horseshoe is NOT smooth. The path is full of rocks and sand and is very uneven. We nearly broke the wheels on the wheelchair several times due to the rocks, holes and sand on the trail. I nearly dumped my poor wife numerous times! The hill is also quite steep both on the way TO the Horseshoe and on the way back to the parking lot. I don’t think I would have made it were it not for another man helping me. I’m in decent shape, so it’s not that I am so weak that I could not make the hills. Anyhow, I hope they improve this for wheelchair access. The view was spectacular, but we barely made it back!

          So, feel free to bring your stroller, but be very aware of the terrain you’re on, and be prepared to carry your kiddo, or have him/her walk part of the way. If you get a minute after your visit, report back and let us know how things went for you!
          Alley 🙂

  65. Hi,

    We are super excited to visit horseshoe bend, lower antelope, grand staircase, and Vermilion Cliff in the end of September.
    We will be heading that way from Arches national park, can you please provide the address that we can put on the GPS?
    Which parking lot can we park? And with the whole pandemic, its there anything we should be prepare for? Its all the park are open now?
    We are hoping to do stand up paddle board or kayaking if that is open.

    Looking forward to your suggestion.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Sasikarn,
      The GPS coordinates for Horseshoe Bend are 36.8792° N, 111.5104° W, but frankly, you don’t need these to find it. The overlook is very clearly signed and easy to find, on US89 about 5 miles South of Page, AZ. The parking lot is also very large and easily found. The parking fee is $10 per vehicle for standard passenger cars and motorhomes. Social distancing and personal hygiene protocols should be followed as normal.
      Some of the National Parks in the American Southwest have had to modify some operations due to COVID-19, such as Zion National Park now taking reservations for the Zion Canyon Shuttle. The best way to get current information on what facilities may be open (or closed) at the parks you wish to visit is to go to http://www.NPS.gov, which is the official website of the National Park Service. You can then search for a particular park from there. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is administered by the Bureau of Land Management, as is the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument.
      One piece of potentially bad news that I do have for you is that by order of the Navajo Indian Tribe, the Antelope Canyons are closed and are expected to remain closed for quite awhile. You should start thinking alternatives for slot canyon tours, and the most easily accessible slot canyon that is not subject to the closure of the Navajo Indian Reservation is Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon near Kanab, Utah, ~90 minutes from Page, AZ. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features classic slot canyon scenery (including the occasional light beams in the summertime), as well as some unique features such as ancient “moqui” steps, and “Shaman’s Needle,” a pencil-thin stone column located in a small sub-drainage near the canyon’s entrance. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we recommend that you take one anyway. While the hike through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there can be. 4WD vehicles with adequate clearance are a definite must, with tire pressure lowered to accommodate potentially deep sand. Even then, people still get stuck. If you’re driving a rental car, forget it! You will void your insurance the minute your tires part with the pavement, which means you’d be on the hook for a very expensive rescue, should you need one, and have to foot the bill for any damage you’d sustain. To explore Peek-A-Boo in safety and comfort, contact any one of these reputable tour companies to choose from in Kanab, UT:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      For stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking, you have several options. The first decision to make is whether you want to do this activity on Lake Powell or the Colorado River. If Lake Powell is where you’d like to explore, visit http://www.LakePowellPaddleboards.com If you’d prefer to kayak or SUP on the Colorado River, contact http://www.KayakHorseshoeBend.com
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  66. We are looking to hike near Horseshoe Bend in October. We were wanting to do some slot hikes as well. I know that Antelope Canyon is closed. Are Rattlesnake Canyon and Mountain Sheep Canyon closed as well? Or is there any other slot canyons available for hiking at this time?

    1. Hi Kevin,
      That’s a really good question! Rattlesnake Canyon and Mountain Sheep Canyon are part of the Antelope Canyon drainage. Therefore, if the Antelope Canyons remain closed in October, so will Mountain Sheep and Rattlesnake.
      The good news is there are other slot canyons in the semi-immediate vicinity of Page, AZ, that are not beholden to the restrictions on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands. For most visitors, we recommend Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon near Kanab, UT, ~90 minutes from Page. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features classic slot canyon scenery (including the occasional light beams in the summertime), as well as some unique features such as ancient “moqui” steps, and “Shaman’s Needle,” a pencil-thin stone column located in a small sub-drainage near the canyon’s entrance. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we recommend that you take one anyway. While the hike through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there can be. 4WD vehicles with adequate clearance are a definite must, with tire pressure lowered to accommodate potentially deep sand. Even then, people still get stuck. If you’re driving a rental car, forget it! You will void your insurance the minute your tires part with the pavement, which means you’d be on the hook for a very expensive rescue, should you need one, and have to foot the bill for any damage you’d sustain. To explore Peek-A-Boo in safety and comfort, contact any one of these reputable tour companies to choose from in Kanab, UT:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      If you’re looking for something a little more rugged, try Wire Pass Canyon. Wire Pass Canyon is a photogenic two-part slot canyon that is short enough for intermediate-level hikers to enjoy, yet offers the option to delve further into Buckskin Gulch for those wanting more of a challenge. The walk to the entrance of the initial slot is via a typically dry streambed, which may feature deep sand. An 8-10’ drop a short distance into the slot canyon is one reason why Wire Pass Canyon may not be appropriate for those traveling with young children, the elderly, or individuals afraid of heights. As the canyon walls become higher and closer together, they suddenly open up as the second slot connects with the Buckskin Gulch. If you’ve had enough at this point, you can simply turn around and head back to your vehicle. If you’d like to explore further, you can easily make a half-day hike out of the immediate area around the confluence with the Buckskin. Look for some bighorn sheep petroglyphs dating back hundreds, maybe thousands of years! Access to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch is off US89 between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, on the House Rock Valley Road. Hikers are required to pay a self-permitting fee at the kiosk by the trailhead. Fair warning: the House Rock Valley Road is unpaved! While it is accessible to 2WD vehicles much of the time, if recent weather has brought any moisture whatsoever, the HRVR can turn into a muddy, impassable mess. Parties in rental cars should think twice about attempting this road since off-road driving is strictly prohibited by most rental car companies. A guided tour will get your family to Wire Pass Canyon and back in one piece, and turn you onto features you might have missed trying to find your own way. Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT based companies offering guided tours to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch include:
      – Detours American West, 480-633-9013, http://www.detoursamericanwest.com
      – Paria Outpost & Outfitters, 928-691-1047, http://www.paria.com
      – Grand Staircase Discovery Tours, 928-614-4099, http://www.grandstaircasediscoverytours.com
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  67. I’m planning on going to Horseshoe Bend in an RV with my dogs. Are dogs allowed? What are the nearest RV parks?

    1. Hi Gabriela,
      Dogs are welcome at Horseshoe Bend as long as they are leashed at all times. Also, since it’s a desert environment, be sure to bring adequate water for yourself, your pet, and all members of your traveling party.
      If you are visiting during the summer months, remember that sugar sand can get VERY hot. Therefore, we recommend investing in a set of protective booties to keep your dog’s paws nice and cool.
      Regarding RV parks located near Horseshoe Bend, the closest one is Page/Lake Powell Campground, ~7 miles from Horseshoe Bend, in the town of Page, AZ. Another RV park worth considering is the Wahweap Campground, ~20 minutes from Horseshoe Bend, in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (entrance fees apply, not included in RV park rate). The afore-mentioned are developed campgrounds and have amenities such as full hook-ups, etc. There are other areas where people in RV’s can camp, but you may not have access to electrical hook-ups, which IMO you’d definitely want to have if traveling during the heat of summer, or dead of winter. If you agree, and prefer to stay in an RV park with hook-ups, advance reservations are strongly recommended. If you’re OK with more primitive/undeveloped areas, there’s no shortage of these either.
      For more information on the full range of possibilities, visit our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: Camping & RV Options
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  68. Hello,

    I have a trip scheduled to Arizona and was pretty upset that the antelope canyon is closed. From reading previous comments I’ve seen that the horseshoe bend is open, correct? If so, would you happen to know the address to the horseshoe bend where we can park the car and hike up to it? If you could let me know please. Thank you!

    1. Hi Manassa,
      You are correct in that the Antelope Canyons are closed at this time. Trust us, we feel your pain on that issue! They are expected to reopen “soon,” but when exactly that will be remains uncertain.
      The good news is that Horseshoe Bend is one of a few attractions in the area that never closed. The address is Mile Marker 545 of US89, Page, Arizona, 86040. Frankly, you don’t really need an address or GPS coordinates because the parking lot is quite large and very clearly signed. You literally can’t miss it!
      If Antelope Canyon happens to remain closed at the time of your visit, there are alternative slot canyons in the semi-immediate vicinity of Page, AZ, that are not subject to the closure of Navajo Indian Tribal Lands. For more information, visit our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: “Help! My Antelope Canyon Tour Got Cancelled”
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  69. Hey Alley,
    I have a question about Horseshoe Bend, do you need a tour to see it, or can you go on your own? Also how far is it from the parking lot/ is it easy to find? Thanks so much 🙂

    Also, I see Antelope Canyon is closed 🙁 do you have any other suggestions besides Horseshoe bend for us to see while we are out in Page? Thank you!!!
    -Justine

    1. Hi Justine!
      Horseshoe Bend does not not require a guided tour to visit, you may simply go at your convenience while the parking lot is open (from sunrise to sunset). Parking is $10 for most passenger vehicles. It is very easy to find, very clearly signed near mile marker 545 of US89, about 5 miles South of the town of Page, Arizona.
      You are correct in that the Antelope Canyons are closed right now. Fortunately, there are plenty of other wonderful sightseeing opportunities in the semi-immediate vicinity of Page, AZ, that you can enjoy.
      After visiting Horseshoe Bend first thing in the morning to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds, you can walk across the steel arch bridge at the Glen Canyon Dam (the visitors center is closed due to COVID-19). If you’d like to take a refreshing dip in the water, head down to The Chains. It is a bit of a hike to get back up from the waterline, but if you’re in decent health, you can probably manage it. If you’re feeling peppy after a swim at the Chains, you might also take a short hike to the Hanging Gardens area. The springs are probably dry right now, but this is a neat little area, very unexpected to find in the desert.
      A short distance away, across the Glen Canyon Dam bridge, the “New” Wave and Radio Tower Rock is a small but interesting cluster of rock formations, some of which resemble the Wave, but don’t require a permit to visit. Just bear in mind that there is also a campground in this area, so be sure that you don’t accidentally impede on someone’s space or privacy.
      If a slot canyon tour is still on the “must-do” list, take the short drive up US89 to Kanab, UT, and tour Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. It’s a beautiful slot canyon that, like Upper Antelope Canyon, is easy walking, and features twists and turns on par with its more famous counterpart in Page, AZ. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you take one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there can be. 4WD vehicles with adequate clearance are a definite must, with tire pressure lowered to accommodate potentially deep sand. If you’re driving a rental car, forget it! You will void your insurance the minute your tires part with the pavement, which means you’d be on the hook for a very expensive rescue, should you need one, and have to foot the bill for any damage you’d sustain. There are several reputable companies to choose from in Kanab, UT, including:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Ally,
        This was super helpful as we plan a family trip done their to page this weekend. It is a true bummer that Antelope Canyon is currently closed. I was wondering about Lake Powell. Is there a beach access down to the lake, where we can sort of relax, picnic etc. I heard about Lone Rock campground but is that the only access? If so, is there a fee or reservation that I must do? Any advise would be greatly appreciated!!

        1. Hi Omar,
          There are several areas on Lake Powell where you can, as you put, relax, picnic, etc.!
          The easiest one to access is The Chains, on the Eastern flank of the Glen Canyon Dam. It is a bit of a hike to get down to the waterline, and even more of a hike to get back up to the parking area, but if your family are all relatively healthy, you should be able to manage it. There are no picnic tables in this area, so you’d have to improvise a bit on that front, but lots of folks do, plus there’s a neat little hike you can piggy-back onto a visit here called the Hanging Gardens. The springs are probably dry, but it’s still an unexpected find in the desert! The nice thing about this area, too, is that you don’t have to pay an entrance fee to get in.
          Another area you might consider visiting is the Wahweap Swim Beach. This area is within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, so you would have to pay the entrance fee (which is good for 1 week), but it has a developed picnic area with tables, grills, and shade canopies, which is nice to have access to on a hot day! Here again, it’s a bit of a walk to the waterline, but in this case, mostly flat. Lone Rock Beach is another good option, but it tends to be quite crowded with campers, boaters, etc. Lone Rock is also within the Glen Canyon NRA, so an entrance fee is required. If you decide to visit both it and the Wahweap Swim Beach, simply keep your entrance fee receipt as it is good for 7 days.
          Hope that helps!
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

      1. Is floating open? Is horseshoe bend the wave and antelope canyon open? What’s the cost to park and go in to these? Also for floating? If not open, when will they open?

        1. Hi Stephanie,
          Thank you for your clear, concise inquiry!
          The Horseshoe Bend Rafting Trip is unfortunately cancelled for the remainder of the season due to COVID-19 🙁 If your visit to the Page, AZ, area is scheduled for sometime in 2020, a good alternative would be to drive to Lees Ferry, rent a kayak, get backhauled to the base of the Glen Canyon Dam, and paddle the 15 mile stretch of the Colorado River back to Lees Ferry. There are several companies that offer this alternative tour, but the one we’re most familiar with is Kayak Horseshoe Bend. Visit that website for more information about cost, schedules, etc.
          Horseshoe Bend, we are happy to report, is one of the few attractions that never closed through all this. It may be visited at one’s leisure, between sunrise and sunset. The parking fee for standard passenger cars is $10. We recommend visiting just after sunrise to enjoy cooler temperatures and smaller crowds.
          Antelope Canyon, unfortunately, remains closed for the time being. When it will reopen, is anybody’s guess. To be placed on a priority e-mail list to be notified of when it reopens, visit our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ. Should the Antelope Canyons remain closed at the time of your visit, a good alternative would be Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon, near Kanab, UT. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features classic slot canyon scenery (including the occasional light beams in the summertime), as well as some unique features such as ancient “moqui” steps, and “Shaman’s Needle,” a pencil-thin stone column located in a small sub-drainage near the canyon’s entrance. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you take one. While the hike through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there can be. 4WD vehicles with adequate clearance are a definite must, with tire pressure lowered to accommodate potentially deep sand. Even then, people still get stuck, and if you’re driving a rental car, forget it! You will void your insurance the minute your tires part with the pavement, which means you’d be on the hook for a very expensive rescue, should you need one, and have to foot the bill for any damage you’d sustain. Reputable tour companies in Kanab, UT, are:
          – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
          – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
          – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
          – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
          – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
          Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  70. Hi Alley!
    You seem to be very knowledgeable about all things AZ, so Im hoping you can help me out!
    My friends and I are venturing out to Arizona and Utah this Wednesday! I am curious to know if there have been any changes such as new openings or closing. We are really interested in Monument Valley, the Four Corners, and Antelope Canyon. Even if you could direct me to a website as to which attractions are open to visitors I would greatly appreciate it (:

    1. Hey Morgan,
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Navajo Nation Tribal Parks are slated to remain closed, optimistically, through the end of August, pesimistically, “until further notice.”
      A site to monitor for any change in status would be http://www.NavajoNationParks.org A couple of “saving graces,” if you can call it that, is that highway US163 from Kayenta through Monument Valley remains open since it is a pretty important shipping corridor. You can still get good views of Monument Valley on a “drive-by” basis, plus historic Goulding’s Lodge has managed to remain open with modified services. If you do visit this area, be sure to wear a mask and practice personal hygiene measures as prescribed by the CDC and WHO.
      As for the Antelope Canyons and Four Corners, they’re a no go 🙁 Fortunately, however, there are several beautiful slot canyons in the semi-immediate vicinity of Antelope Canyon that are not subject to the closure of Navajo Indian Tribal Parks. We recommend Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon, near Kanab, UT, if you’re looking for a family-friendly experience. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you take one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there can be. 4WD vehicles with adequate clearance are a definite must, with tire pressure lowered to accommodate potentially deep sand. If you’re driving a rental car, forget it! You will void your insurance the minute your tires part with the pavement, which means you’d be on the hook for a very expensive rescue, should you need one, and have to foot the bill for any damage you’d sustain. There are several reputable companies to choose from in Kanab, UT, including:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      If you’re wanting something more adventurous, Wire Pass Canyon is a photogenic two-part slot canyon that is short enough for intermediate-level hikers to enjoy, yet offers the option to delve further into Buckskin Gulch for those wanting more of a challenge. The walk to the entrance of the initial slot is via a typically dry streambed, which may feature deep sand. An 8-10’ drop a short distance into the slot canyon is one reason why Wire Pass Canyon may not be appropriate for those traveling with young children, the elderly, or individuals afraid of heights. As the canyon walls become higher and closer together, they suddenly open up as the second slot connects with the Buckskin Gulch. If you’ve had enough at this point, you can simply turn around and head back to your vehicle. If you’d like to explore further, you can easily make a half-day hike out of the immediate area around the confluence with the Buckskin. Look for some bighorn sheep petroglyphs dating back hundreds, maybe thousands of years! Access to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch is off US89 between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, on the House Rock Valley Road. Hikers are required to pay a self-permitting fee at the kiosk by the trailhead. Fair warning: the House Rock Valley Road is unpaved! While it is accessible to 2WD vehicles much of the time, if recent weather has brought any moisture whatsoever, the HRVR can turn into a muddy, impassable mess. Parties in rental cars should think twice about attempting this road since off-road driving is strictly prohibited by most rental car companies. A guided tour will get your family to Wire Pass Canyon and back in one piece, and turn you onto features you might have missed trying to find your own way. Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT based companies offering guided tours to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch include:
      – Detours American West, 480-633-9013, http://www.detoursamericanwest.com
      – Paria Outpost & Outfitters, 928-691-1047, http://www.paria.com
      – Grand Staircase Discovery Tours, 928-614-4099, http://www.grandstaircasediscoverytours.com
      Hope that helps! To get notified immediately if/when the Antelope Canyons reopen, visit our companion site to get on a priority e-mail list at http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  71. Hi Alley

    I am planning on bringing my wife and kids (16 and 14) on trip to Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Las Vegas, The Narrows and the Grand Canyon in March of 2021.
    I was wonder if you can give as much info as possible? I will be at Horseshoe Bend and Antelope for 2 days of our trip. How is the weather normally, where should I stay for the 2 nights, what time of the day should we go, what tour guide should we use for the Antelope Canyon tour? And of course any other info would be greatly appreciative. How intense or how far is the hike?

    1. Hey Chris,
      Visiting in March, you should be aware that this is in the transitional period between winter and spring. You could encounter days that are sunny and brisk, or you could run into a blizzard, it just depends! Of course, it’s too soon to call, but the main point is to be prepared for anything weather-wise. Start monitoring the weather about 2 weeks before you get set to travel. That will give you the best idea of what kind of clothing to pack.
      Due to the high probability of cold weather, The Narrows in Zion may not happen for you seeing as though that trip has you walking through water. If that’s the case, don’t fret too much over it; there are plenty of good hikes to enjoy in Zion. If your family is relatively fit, which it sounds as though you are, you might look at Angel’s Landing. Along with The Narrows, it is considered the “holy grail” of Zion hikes.
      As for your time at Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ, is where you should stay for that leg of your trip; that’s the gateway community for both attractions, as well as Lake Powell. Regarding which tour company to go with, all advertised guide services are well-rated and licensed by the Navajo Indian Tribe. Tours are virtually identical, right down to the footstep, and comparable in price. For more information, visit our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon Difficulty and/or intensity of the hike depends on which branch of the canyon you tour. Upper Antelope is an easy, flat 100 yard out-and-back walk. Lower Antelope is ~1 mile and involves navigating some stairs, ladders, and small boulders. Alternate sections of the Antelope Canyon are usually comparable to Lower Antelope, or slightly more difficult. Mid-day is generally regarded as the best time to tour Antelope Canyon for lighting and photography, but other times of day offer their own advantages. Long story short, there’s no such thing as a bad time to go; simply book a tour at a time that works for you!
      When you go to the Grand Canyon, you should try to stay inside the park at Grand Canyon Village if possible. If that area is already sold out (which is a very real possibility at this point), then Tusayan, AZ, 7 miles outside the park, is your next best alternative. Grand Canyon hotels
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  72. Any ETA on the reopening of Antelope Canyon. We are visiting September 14 for 3 days and I am officially sad, when I discovered they are closed.

    1. Hey Lisa,
      We, too, are sad that the Antelope Canyons will remain closed for the rest of the summer 🙁
      As to whether they will reopen by the time you get here, that remains uncertain. If they are still closed at the time of your vacation, the good news is that there are other slot canyons in the area that are not subject to the closure of the Navajo Nation.
      We recommend Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon, near Kanab, UT, if you’re looking for a family-friendly experience. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you take one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there can be. 4WD vehicles with adequate clearance are a definite must, with tire pressure lowered to accommodate potentially deep sand. If you’re driving a rental car, forget it! You will void your insurance the minute your tires part with the pavement, which means you’d be on the hook for a very expensive rescue, should you need one, and have to foot the bill for any damage you’d sustain. There are several reputable companies to choose from in Kanab, UT, including:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      If you’re wanting something more adventurous, Wire Pass Canyon is a photogenic two-part slot canyon that is short enough for intermediate-level hikers to enjoy, yet offers the option to delve further into Buckskin Gulch for those wanting more of a challenge. The walk to the entrance of the initial slot is via a typically dry streambed, which may feature deep sand. An 8-10’ drop a short distance into the slot canyon is one reason why Wire Pass Canyon may not be appropriate for those traveling with young children, the elderly, or individuals afraid of heights. As the canyon walls become higher and closer together, they suddenly open up as the second slot connects with the Buckskin Gulch. If you’ve had enough at this point, you can simply turn around and head back to your vehicle. If you’d like to explore further, you can easily make a half-day hike out of the immediate area around the confluence with the Buckskin. Look for some bighorn sheep petroglyphs dating back hundreds, maybe thousands of years! Access to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch is off US89 between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, on the House Rock Valley Road. Hikers are required to pay a self-permitting fee at the kiosk by the trailhead. Fair warning: the House Rock Valley Road is unpaved! While it is accessible to 2WD vehicles much of the time, if recent weather has brought any moisture whatsoever, the HRVR can turn into a muddy, impassable mess. Parties in rental cars should think twice about attempting this road since off-road driving is strictly prohibited by most rental car companies. A guided tour will get your family to Wire Pass Canyon and back in one piece, and turn you onto features you might have missed trying to find your own way. Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT based companies offering guided tours to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch include:
      – Detours American West, 480-633-9013, http://www.detoursamericanwest.com
      – Paria Outpost & Outfitters, 928-691-1047, http://www.paria.com
      – Grand Staircase Discovery Tours, 928-614-4099, http://www.grandstaircasediscoverytours.com
      Hope that helps! To get notified immediately if/when the Antelope Canyons reopen, visit our companion site to get on a priority e-mail list at http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  73. Is there clear signage on the road leading you to horshoebend in case I lose service and will my sedan be okay or do I need a 4WD car? Also are there any free campsites accessible in the area? Also can I access Lake Powell through a walk near horseshoe bend? Or rent a kayak?

    1. Hi Zee!
      The Horseshoe Bend Overlook is extremely easy to find, approximately 5 miles south of the town of Page, AZ, on US Highway 89 North. Signage is very clear and prominent, and the main access road into the parking lot is paved, so no need for a 4WD vehicle. The pedestrian trail to the canyon rim is ~.7 miles one-way and mostly flat, but it is almost completely exposed, so during the summer months, it will be very hot. Be sure to wear/bring adequate sun protection and water, and wear appropriate shoes for walking.
      There is no access to Lake Powell or the Colorado River from Horseshoe Bend. To get to Lake Powell, you would have to drive ~10 minutes from Horseshoe Bend to either Wahweap Marina or Antelope Point Marina. Kayaks can be rented from several outlets in Page, AZ, or you can take a guided tour if you prefer. To kayak through Horseshoe Bend, you’d have to drive down to Lees Ferry, rent a kayak, get backhauled to the base of the Glen Canyon Dam, then paddle back to Lees Ferry. For more information on this activity, visit http://www.KayakHorseshoeBend.com
      As for free camping, there is none in the immediate area of Horseshoe Bend or Page, AZ. Prices for tent or RV camping sites in Page, AZ, vary from place to place, but one word of caution re: tent camping at this time of year — it’s HOT. Nighttime low temperatures aren’t getting too far below 75 degrees at this time of year, which can make tent camping VERY uncomfortable. Best to spring for an RV site with electrical hook-ups or a hotel room in Page, AZ, so you can have access to reliable air conditioning!
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Gregg, and thanks for your compliments!
      Whether to visit Horseshoe Bend at sunrise or sunset is one of those 6-of-one/half-a-dozen-of-another conundrums. Both timeframes have their pros and cons. Just after sunrise, for example, the Colorado River will be in shadow the sun gets higher overhead until mid-morning. At sunset, you have the sun in your eyes since the overlook faces due West, but that’s when you can potentially capture the elusive “starburst” that occurs just before the sun disappears over the horizon.
      Honestly, though, I’m the worst photographer ever, so you shouldn’t take my word as gospel. A few years ago, a photographer named Brian Klimowski took the time to photograph Horseshoe Bend from sunrise to sunset and every time in between! To see the results of his work, and his patience, check out our “Horseshoe Bend Sunrise to Sunset Photo Series
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  74. My wife and I are planning to visit horseshoe bend next weekend. Is there a cost to bike riders at the Horseshoe bend parking lot? Are there bike racks where we can lock them? Can we take them on the trail?
    Thanks for being a great resource,
    Scott

    1. Hi Scott, and thank you for this excellent question!
      Bikes are subject to a $5/person parking fee. There are no bike racks on-site, but you can probably find a parking pole or something similar to lock your bikes down to. Bikes are not allowed on the trail, only wheelchairs.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  75. Hi Alley,

    You’ve got a very helpful website, thanks for that! We plan to visit Horseshoe Bend with an RV and a dog. Is there a special RV parking space and is it possible to hike from there (with the dog) to the Horseshoe Bend? Also, how early should you get there to get a spot, what would you recommend? We will probably arrive in the afternoon and think about trying to get directly to the Horseshoe Bend before checking in at a nearby campground.

    Thanks you in advance!
    Elena

    1. Hi Elena,
      The new Horseshoe Bend Parking Lot does have special spaces designated for RV’s, and you are welcome to visit with dogs as long as they are leashed at all times. You should also bring enough water for yourself and your pet, and if you’re visiting during the summer months, we strongly recommend outfitting him/her with a set of protective booties so they don’t burn their paws on the hot sand.
      We actually recommend visiting Horseshoe Bend in the hours just after sunrise so you can take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. In August, sunrise takes place at around 5:45 AM.
      Hope that helps, and that you have reservations for your chosen campground.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hey Alley, I am wondering if you could help me find the GPS Coordinates to Horseshoe Bend? I’m having a hard time finding it based on no real address. I was married here and we are trying to get the GPS coordinates printed. Could you help?

      2. Alley,

        Do you know of a kayak tour or boat tour you can take to see Antelope Canyons? Which would you recommend?

        Thanks
        JD

        1. Hi JD,
          There are several companies that offer Antelope Canyon boat tours or kayak tours of Antelope Canyon. All are authorized by the National Park Service and have excellent safety and service records, so you really can’t go wrong with any one of them.
          For kayak tours:
          – Hidden Canyon Kayak (928) 660-1836 http://www.lakepowellhiddencanyonkayak.com/
          – Kayak Lake Powell (928) 660-0778 http://www.kayakpowell.com/
          – Lake Powell Paddleboards & Kayaks (928) 645-4017 http://www.lakepowellpaddleboards.com/
          – Lake Powell Adventure Company (928) 660-9683 https://www.lakepowelladventure.com/
          For boat tours:
          – Lake Powell Resort & Marina (888) 896-3829 https://www.lakepowell.com/marinas/boat-tours/
          – Antelope Point Marina (928) 645-5900 https://grandcanyon.com/tours/east-tours/antelope-canyon-boat-tours/
          Of course, you should be sure to verify that the above-referenced businesses are even open or operating at reduced capacity due to COVID-19.
          Good luck and safe travels!
          Alley 🙂

  76. Hello Alley,

    We are planning a last minute trip to Horseshoe bend this weekend. I would like to take my two dogs. Do you recommend it? i see that the weather will be at mid 90’s. Also, can you inform me of nearby places where we can go for a swim- possibly dog friendly too?
    thank you,

    blessing,
    Nancy

    1. Hi Nancy,
      It is indeed hot at Horseshoe Bend these days. That’s why we recommend, if at all possible, that you try and visit in the hours just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. Dogs must be leashed at all times, and you must be sure to carry enough water for yourselves and your pets. We also recommend investing in protective booties for your dog’s feet as surfaces tend to get very hot at this time of year. We certainly wouldn’t want to hear about your dog’s feet getting burned!
      As for places where you and your dogs might enjoy a swim, The Chains area, on the Eastern flank of the Glen Canyon Dam, is popular with locals because you don’t have to pay the park entrance fee to access it. Last I heard, dogs were allowed, I took my own dogs there when I lived in Page, AZ. One word of caution, though, is that it is quite a schlep to get back up from the waterline, depending on where you hike down to. Another good spot you might take them to is Lone Rock Beach. It is ~15-20 minutes from Page, AZ, located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (entrance fee required) and a popular spot with campers, so you won’t be alone there by any means. The walk to the waterline is pretty straightforward, although you might encounter deep sand in some spots.
      Wherever you decide to go, be sure your dog is leashed at all times, and again, carry water because you are in the desert in the middle of summer!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  77. We’re planning to come visit in late October. What will the temperatures be like here at that time of year ? Do you recommend any certain time of day to visit that are better for photos and more vibrant rock colors ?

    1. Hi Christina!
      Late October is a wonderful time to visit the American Southwest. Temperatures in the lower elevation areas, such as Page, AZ, Kanab, UT, etc., are just about perfect, ranging from the mid-60’s to low-70’s. In the higher country, such as Grand Canyon North Rim and Bryce Canyon, they are borderline cold, in the 40’s-50’s or thereabouts.
      As for a good time of day to visit Horseshoe Bend for photography, there’s no such thing as a “bad” time, but mid-morning or early-afternoon tend to be when the river is not in shadow, yet there is some nice shadow play on the canyon walls. For the sake of practicality, though, the timeframe just after sunrise when the parking lot first opens affords the benefits of smaller crowds. Although Glen Canyon is in shadow at that time, we’ve never had any complaints from people who took a bad photo!
      For more suggestions, check out “The Best Time To Visit Horseshoe Bend.”
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley Keosheyan 🙂

    2. I was just at Horseshoe Bend this morning and was trying to balance getting there before the crowds and when the light would be good, with not waking my kids (ages 6-18) too early. We got there about 90 minutes after sunrise and it was tricky because the top half of the rock was lit but the bottom half and the river were still in shadow. It would have been better for all one or the other. It was only about half a mile from the parking lot, so I wish I would have just gone as soon as the parking lot opened by myself for photos and gone back later with my kids.

      1. Hi Corinne,
        Thank you for sharing your insight into the photographic and logistical nuances of visiting Horseshoe Bend!
        Alley 🙂

  78. Hi Alley! First, I want to give you a shoutout for being the real MVP and responding to all of these comments. Second, I’m planning to run an independent virtual marathon this year and I am hoping to do so in the Navajo Nation. Would Horseshoe Bend be a good place? If not, would you have any suggestions? I’m planning to do this in October or early November at the latest.

    1. O O O, thank you so much for your kind compliments!
      Your virtual marathon sounds like an interesting endeavor. If any of it should physically take place on Navajo Indian Tribal Land, however, a special use permit, or some manner of written permission, from the tribe would be a must. Complicating matters is that due to COVID-19, all Navajo Indian Tribal Lands and attractions are closed to outsiders. Horseshoe Bend has shared jurisdiction by the National Park Service, the City of Page (they run the parking lot), and the Navajo Tribe, whose lands flank the overlook on its South side. If you think it sounds complicated, it is. As for whether restrictions will be lifted by October or November is anyone’s guess.
      If you like to run, you might consider taking part in the upcoming Lake Powell Half Marathon, which is taking place IRL Saturday October 10th of this year.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe running,
      Alley 🙂

  79. Hi Alley, Just wanted to say how helpful reading this comment strand has been as I plan for my upcoming visit. Thank you so much for all of this important and up-to-date tips and advice.

    1. Kay,
      Thank you for taking the time to let us know our advice helped!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Carlos,
      If by “overland” you mean camp, in a tent or RV, no, it is not allowed at Horseshoe Bend. For more information on campgrounds in the vicinity of Horseshoe Bend, read this piece on our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: RV & Camping Options Near Antelope Canyon
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hello Alley,

        We really would like a guide showing us and our two kids around.
        Do you think there are guides available on Sunday 26th?

        Thank a lot for the info on this site.

        1. Dear Rolf,
          Sorry to reply to your query after the fact. Hopefully you were able to find out that a guide isn’t really necessary to have a fulfilling visit to Page, AZ, and Horseshoe Bend.
          Take care,
          Alley 🙂

          1. Hi Earlon,
            Horseshoe Bend is one of a few attractions in Northern Arizona that never closed. The Antelope Canyons, however, remain closed through August 16th by executive order of the Navajo Indian Tribe. For suggestions of other slot canyons you can still tour, read this piece on our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: “Help! My Antelope Canyon Tour Got Cancelled”
            We are not the “official” website, but like to think we’re pretty darn close 😉 The Horseshoe Bend Overlook is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, but the Horseshoe Bend parking lot is administered by the City of Page, AZ. The land on the Southern flank of the overlook is administered by the Navajo Indian Tribe.
            Hope that makes sense. Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Chanel,
      Yes, there is a fee to park at Horseshoe Bend. The rates are as follows:
      – Motorcycle: $5
      – Car or RV: $10
      – Commercial Van/Bus: (Passenger Capacity up to 14) $35
      – Commercial Bus: (Passenger Capacity 15-35) $70
      – Commercial Bus: (Passenger Capacity over 35) $140
      Entrance fees are based on the passenger capacity of the vehicle, not the number of passengers being carried at time of entry.
      Advance reservations are not required to visit anytime between sunrise and sunset.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  80. Hello is horshoebend open as of right now
    If so are there any limitations I’m visiting tomorrow.

    1. Maresa,
      Yes, Horseshoe Bend is open. The parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset 🙂
      Alley

        1. No – it’s the desert, very dry area, so anything combustible that could start a fire is strongly discouraged.

      1. Hello, I was wondering what the distance is to the viewpoint for horseshoe bend? Is it considered a difficult hike?

        1. Hi LeAla,
          The hike to Horseshoe Bend is .7 miles 1 way, 1.4 miles round-trip. It’s relatively flat, considered moderate for most individuals. Nowadays, the biggest obstacle for most visitors is the heat. It’s getting up above 110 degrees Fahrenheit in Page, AZ, of late, and here is little to no shade along the trail (save for a small covered pavillion) to Horseshoe Bend. You must bring enough water for all members of your party, and wear sun protection.
          In light of these considerations, we recommend visiting Horseshoe Bend in the hours just after sunrise to enjoy cooler temperatures and smaller crowds.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  81. hey? is there any waterfalls around horseshoe bend or close to havasu falls that you can hike with no special permit? we are coming from las vegas so anything that may be on the way is fine! because i know now the havasu falls is close? thank you for your time!

    1. Hey Albert,
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news here, but there are no waterfalls that are that easily accessible out here. Havasu Falls, which requires a very hard-to-obtain permit, is closed until further notice due to COVID-19.
      The place which will have the most easily accessible waterfalls is Zion National Park, which is ~90 minutes – 2 hours from Horseshoe Bend. The easiest to access would probably be the Emerald Pools, seconded by Mystery Falls in the Narrows. The downside (one of several) is that this year, Zion National Park’s shuttle service requires advance reservations due to COVID-19. Also, they’re discouraging people from hiking in the Virgin River due to an algae bloom. If you wish to visit the park, I recommend you get there early. For more information, visit National Park Service: Zion National Park
      I’m not sure where else you might be traveling to, but Lower Calf Creek Falls is a beautiful waterfall with a refreshing pool at its foot. It’s a long way from Page, AZ, ~ a 4-hour drive, and a long but easy hike, ~5.5 miles round-trip.
      Kanarra Falls is another one you might consider, it’s located near Cedar City, UT, ~3 hours from Page, AZ. That’s a neat hike, moderately difficult, with a few tree limbs and ladders to navigate, but it goes through a slot canyon with water in it. Advance reservations are required to visit. For more information, visit http://www.KanarraFalls.com
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

        1. Yasmin,
          Yes, Horseshoe Bend is open. The parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset 🙂
          Alley

    1. Hi Callie,
      Both Horseshoe Bend and Grand Canyon National Park are open. However, if you’re planning on going to the South Rim, take note: the East entrance to Grand Canyon South Rim at Desert View Point is closed due to the section of the highway leading up to it being on Navajo Tribal Land, which is partially closed due to COVID-19. Therefore, you’d have to drive from Horseshoe Bend to Flagstaff, AZ, then get on US180 to AZ64 heading up to the park. This diversion means that a 2.5-3 hour drive is now a 4-5 hour drive. Grand Canyon North Rim is ~2.5-3 hours from Page, AZ, and is now open for visitation, so it may be the better option to visit at this time. For more information, visit GrandCanyon.com: North Rim Planning
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi, I was planning to make the drive to horseshoe bend this afternoon and I saw on the all trails app something about a trail reroute which started July 2020. I couldn’t find any other information about this though so could you let me know if that’s true and if so what the situation is and where to park/ where the trailhead starts?

        1. Hi Sophia!
          So sorry that I’m late in responding to your inquiry, I hope you found your way to Horseshoe Bend OK.
          For those wondering about similar issues, the trail to the rim of Glen Canyon at Horseshoe Bend was flattened, graded, and rerouted slightly, so it is a trifle longer than the “social” trail carved out in years past. This means that the walk to the overlook is now .7 miles one-way vs .6 miles, but it is now wheelchair accessible. The parking area is very clearly signed, about 5 miles South of the town of Page, AZ, where a one-time fee of $10/passenger vehicle or RV or $35/light commercial vehicle is collected. Horseshoe Bend Parking Lot Reopens, Implements Fees
          Good luck and safe travels to all,
          Alley 🙂

  82. Hi, we are planning on going to Horseshoe Bend in the morning and then to Lake Powell for swimming after that. Where is the best place to go near the water so the kids can climb on the rocks and cliff jump into the water?

    1. Hi again, Divora!
      After visiting Horseshoe Bend, there are several good swim beaches you can visit! Before I make any recommendations, though, I have to tell you that cliff diving is a practice that is illegal here at Lake Powell, and for good reason. I personally am/was acquainted with one person who died, and another who became permanently disabled while doing so! That said, there are plenty of opportunities to climb on some rocks and jump in the water from safer heights.
      The place closest to Horseshoe Bend is The Chains, on the Eastern flank of the Glen Canyon Steel Arch Bridge. You have to hike down a ways to the water’s edge, which means you also have to hike back up, but the cool thing about The Chains is that you don’t have to pay the park entrance fee to get in. Also, you can easily piggy-back a visit to The Chains with a hike to the Hanging Gardens if desired.
      If you’re OK with paying the Glen Canyon Park Entrance Fee, then you might visit the Wahweap Swim Beach just across the road from the Wahweap Campground. It has shades, picnic tables, and BBQ grills. Just a short distance West of there is an area called The Coves, but that may not be as accessible as it was in years past due to lower lake levels. Here again, if paying the Glen Canyon Park Entrance Fee isn’t a problem (it’s good for a week’s time), Lone Rock Beach is another popular swimming spot, although you must be prepared to share it with a lot of boats, jet skis, etc., which can make the water quite choppy. Also, be sure you don’t drive too far into the sand, or you might get stuck.
      Hope that helps — good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  83. what is the latest you can enter and the earliest you can enter to hike horseshoe bend at the end of July? Thank you!

    1. Hi Angelica,
      The Horseshoe Bend Overlook is open from sunrise to sunset daily. In late July, sunrise occurs at about 5:30 AM and sunset takes place at around 7:30 PM.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  84. Do you know what is opened for older kids near horseshoe bend to go swimming or where I can find information on what’s around there. We decided a last minute trip to page but have no idea what’s around. Last minute sucks, but our other plans got canceled due to covid-19 🤦‍♀️ do you know if lake Powell is doing their fireworks?

    1. Hi Brittany,
      Addressing your questions in reverse order, Page, AZ’s 4th of July fireworks are scheduled to go on as planned. The best vantage points are in and around the Lake Powell Golf Course, so mask up and bring a lawn chair!
      As for swimming areas, you have several choices. The easiest to access is The Chains, on the Eastern flank of the Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge. It’s a bit of a hike to and from the water line, but since you mention you have older kids, they should be able to handle it. If you want, you can easily piggy-back a visit there onto a neat little hike to a place called the Hanging Gardens. The springs there are probably dry, but it’s a nice easy walk. The Chains & Hanging Gardens Hike Entrance to The Chains is free since it is outside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area boundary.
      If you don’t mind paying the Glen Canyon Park Entrance Fee, a couple of other swimming areas worth considering are the Wahweap Swim Beach and Lone Rock Beach. The former has picnic tables, restrooms, and BBQ grills nearby. The latter is very sandy, so if you’re not in a vehicle with 4WD, don’t drive too far onto the beach and risk getting stuck! Also, be prepared to share it with campers and boaters.
      Hope that helps!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  85. Is hiking horseshoe bend still available during this COVID restricted time? Looking to get away from my house this weekend

    1. Hi Ashlee,
      Yes, Horseshoe Bend is open. It is one of the few attractions in the area that never closed.
      Parking lot hours are from sunrise to sunset. We strongly encourage visiting in the hours just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. Although the overlook remains open, you should still practice social distancing and personal guidelines protocols as recommended by the CDC, WHO, and the National Park Service:
      – Wear a mask.
      – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
      – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
      – Practicing social distancing and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
      – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
      – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
      – Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  86. Hi there,

    We are in an RV at the campground nearby. Would we be able to park our RV in your parking lot or do we need to ride our bikes over (we don’t have any other vehicles)?

    Thanks so much,
    Gen

    1. Hi Gen,
      This is a great question!
      The Horseshoe Bend parking lot does have sufficient space to accommodate RV’s, but you may wish to ride your bicycles over for the exercise.
      If you’re staying at the Page/Lake Powell Campground in Page, AZ, Horseshoe Bend is ~5 miles (one way) away, approximately a 30-45 minute ride as estimated by Google Maps.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hey Selena —
      Nope, Horseshoe Bend is open 7 days a week, from sunrise to sunset!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hello! We are from Tennessee.
        Me and my family are planning to go this coming Sunday, I would like to know if is open, how much is the entrance and if is dangerous for my baby 18 months because of the hot weather, and I want to to if I can wear sandals.
        Please let me know, we are in Phoenix and before we go I want to make sure that we are safe. 🙂

        Thanks!

        Thanks!

        Is our first time.
        Please let me know.

        1. Hi Diana,
          Apologies for not getting to your inquiry sooner, I, too was traveling this weekend!
          Hopefully you found your way to Horseshoe Bend without much difficulty and discovered that the parking fee is $10/standard passenger vehicle or $35/light commercial vehicle.
          For those wanting to travel to the area in the near future, yes, it is very hot right now, which can be dangerous for infants and young children IF they are not propertly hydrated and protected from the sun. Be sure to wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, and to bring enough water for yourself and all members of your traveling parties.
          Regarding footwear, you can do whatever you want, the City of Page and/or the National Park Service assume no responsibility for injury or inconvenience you might sustain during your visit, but to be 100% honest, sandals are not recommended at this time of year. The trail to Horseshoe Bend may pass through deep “sugar” sand, which gets very hot during the summer months. Closed-toed shoes will protect you better and ensure that you don’t burn your feet.
          Good luck and safe travels to all,
          Alley 🙂

        1. Hi Vitul,
          Yes, Horseshoe Bend is open. It is one of the few attractions in the area that never closed.
          Parking lot hours are from sunrise to sunset. We strongly encourage visiting in the hours just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. Although the overlook remains open, you should still practice social distancing and personal guidelines protocols as recommended by the CDC, WHO, and the National Park Service:
          – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
          – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
          – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
          – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
          – Practicing social distancing and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
          – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
          – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
          – Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Meg,
      I sure wish I knew where you saw this, because it is not correct.
      Horseshoe Bend is open; it is one of the few attractions in Northern Arizona that never closed, so come on up!
      Remember that the parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset, also that summertime temperatures are VERY hot. If at all possible, try to time your visit for the hours just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. Please remember also to practice social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines as prescribed by the CDC:
      – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
      – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
      – Practicing social distancing and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
      – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
      – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
      – Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

        1. Hi Jodie,
          Happy to say that that’s not the case! Horseshoe Bend remains one of the few attractions in Northern Arizona that never closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, so come on up.
          Remember that the parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset, also that summertime temperatures are VERY hot. If at all possible, try to time your visit for the hours just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. Be sure to bring enough water for yourself and your traveling party. Please remember also to practice social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines as prescribed by the CDC:
          – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
          – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
          – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
          – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
          – Practicing social distancing and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
          – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
          – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
          – Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

        1. Hi Nick,
          Dogs are welcome at Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell as long as they are leashed, and you pick up after them. Since the trail and surrounding grounds consist of potentially deep sand, which gets very hot during the summer months, we also recommend that you provide protective booties for your dog (such as these), and enough water for yourself, your traveling party, and your dog.
          If you should be traveling during the warmer months of summer, you might consider timing your visit for the hours just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Viviana,
      Horseshoe Bend is one of a few attractions in Northern Arizona that never closed, so come on up! Remember that the parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset, and please remember to practice social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines as prescribed by the CDC:
      – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
      – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
      – Practicing social distancing and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
      – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
      – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
      – Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  87. As you’re standing and looking at Horseshoe Bend, there is the sandstone rock to the right to climb. How high are you climbing to get to the top of it?

    1. Hi Sandra,
      The “climb” is not far, maybe 3 meters or so? While it is manageable for most healthy people, a close eye should be kept on young children so they don’t fall and hurt themselves.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Ana,
      The trail to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook is ~1.4 miles round-trip. We recommend setting aside 90 minutes to 2 hours to walk to the rim, take photos, and walk back to the parking lot. If your visit is taking place within the next few weeks, please bear in mind that it’s very hot here and the trail is completely exposed. There is a small shade pavillion near the rim, but you must carry enough water for your hiking party, and wear/bring sun protection such as hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

        1. Hi Jessica!
          It depends who you ask.
          The walk from the parking lot to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook is ~.7 miles, one way. While the trail has been recently graded and is much more even and wide than the previously-used “social” trail, it may still be a bit challenging for young children, the elderly, or those with mobility issues to handle. I recommend you watch this recent video of the hike to Horseshoe Bend to judge for yourself. The narration is in Vietnamese, but there are some English language titles with good tips for visitors. If you determine that the walk might be a bit too much for yourself or anyone else in your party to handle, check out these alternate means of visiting Horseshoe Bend: “Help! I Can’t Do The Hike To Horseshoe Bend” Please note that Horseshoe Bend Tours may not be operating at the time of your visit due to the closure of Navajo Indian Tribal Lands due to COVID-19.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  88. Hello everyone,
    I am confused because when I write Horseshoe Bend or Horseshoe Canyon, they are two different places and far away from each other on google maps so to know which one I d like to see, I click both names on google images and come the same pictures…which one is The one to visit?

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Sophie,
      Surprise, there are many places called “Horseshoe Bend” located throughout the U.S. Unfortunately, Google still gets some of them mixed up. The iconic, instagrammable Horseshoe Bend — THE one to visi — is located near the town Page, AZ.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  89. Hello, my friends and I are driving from Phoenix and we were wondering if the access to horseshoe bend closes and when ? we were thinking of arriving around 5 pm to avoid the sun being very strong during the day. Do you think that would be a good idea ?

    1. Hi Dalal,
      The Horseshoe Bend overlook and parking lot are open between sunrise and sunset, so technically, you could get there at 5:00 PM if you wished.
      However, if you want to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds, we recommend visiting during the hours just after sunrise. Hopefully you plan on spending the night in Page, AZ, so you can easily do this!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

        1. Dear Youngsoo,
          Barring anything unforeseen, the Horseshoe Bend Overlook will be open for visitation from sunrise to sunset on June 21st! During the hot days of summer, we recommend visiting just after sunrise to enjoy cooler temperatures and smaller crowds!
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  90. Hello!

    I am planning on going to Horseshoe Bend in a week and a half. I was wondering if you could give me any tips/advice? How is parking? Do I need to make a reservation to enter the park? Anything would help, thanks!

    1. Hi Thao,
      The parking situation at Horseshoe Bend tends to vary throughout the day. We can tell you that the overlook is busiest between the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, when the day trippers from Phoenix, Las Vegas, Flagstaff, and other gateway communities are rolling in. Another consideration, though, is that your visit is occurring during one of the hottest times of the year. Daytime high temperatures can (and frequently do) inch up over 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the mid-day hours. That’s why we strongly recommend visiting in the hours just after sunrise (~5:00 AM) to enjoy cooler temperatures, and smaller crowds.
      Reservations are not required to visit Horseshoe Bend. You simply pay the parking fee of $10/standard passenger vehicle or $35/light commercial vehicle and go!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Jen,
      You’ll be pleased to know that the Horseshoe Bend Overlook was one of a few attractions in Northern Arizona that never closed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, so come on up! Just be sure to observe social distancing and personal hygiene protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO.
      The parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset. In June, the weather is hot, so we strongly recommend timing your visit for the timeframe just after sunrise (~5:00 AM) to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  91. I will be visiting AZ in July. I would like to see the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Antelope Canyon. Are dogs allowed to accompany my hikes in these places?

    1. Hi Sophia!
      This is a really good question 😉 The answer: let’s just say two out of three ain’t bad.
      Dogs are welcome in Grand Canyon National Park as long as they are on a leash and remain on paved trails. They can’t go with you on any inner canyon trails such as the Bright Angel or Kaibab Trails. They can also accompany you to Horseshoe Bend, as long as they are leashed and remain on established trails. One thing about the time of year you’re traveling is it’s HOT, which means surfaces like asphalt and sand can be very hard on your dog’s paws. You might want to invest in a set of booties for your fur baby. Also, be sure and bring enough water for your hiking party, and your pet, and be sure to pick up after them at all times.
      The Antelope Canyons do not allow dogs, due to the ruggedness of the terrain, and the fact that these slot canyons are on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands. There are a few dog boarding and day care facilities in Page, AZ that you might utilize when you visit Antelope Canyon. Another option would be to visit a slot canyon that is not situated on Indian Reservation land, such as Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch. These beautiful slot canyons are located between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, on BLM land. They do not require a guided tour to visit, and dogs (on leash) are allowed. However, these canyons are in a very remote area, and the trailhead located on a dirt road (the House Rock Valley Road), which can be rendered impassable when wet. Plus, if you’re in a rental car, you would void your insurance the moment your wheels leave the pavement, which would put you on the hook for any damage you might sustain.
      Hope this helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley

          1. Hi! Roughly how long is the hike described above from the parking lot to the vantage point? With the raft tours shut down, trying to figure out if my kids could make the hike. Thanks so much!

          2. Hi Catherine,
            The trail from the parking lot to the overlook is .7 miles one-way. It is partially paved, the other half is graded, and is somewhat more even and flatter than the previously-used “social” trail. Kids can and do make the hike every day, but only you can determine if your kids should attempt it. If you determine that they can’t, you may consider flying over it by airplane or helicopter. Horseshoe Bend Air Tours
            BTW, the Horseshoe Bend Raft Trip floats down the Colorado River through Horseshoe Bend. There is no way to walk from the overlook to the river, just so you know.
            Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

    2. According to the website, Antelope Canyon is closed due to COVID until further notice 🙁

      1. Hi Danielle,
        Unfortunately you are correct: the Antelope Canyons are indeed closed until further notice.
        However, there are other slot canyons near Page, AZ, that offer beautiful scenery and unforgettable adventure, but are not bound by the closures of Navajo Indian Land. Red Canyon aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon (not to be confused with Peek-A-Boo Canyon near Escalante, UT!) would be the one I’d recommend to most visitors. This beautiful slot canyon, with twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, is located near Kanab, UT, ~1 hour from Page, AZ. It’s a short but fun walk featuring classic slot canyon scenery (including the occasional light beams in the summertime), as well as some unique features such as ancient “moqui” steps, and “Shaman’s Needle,” a pencil-thin stone column located in a small sub-drainage near the canyon’s entrance. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you utiize one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there can be. There are several reputable companies to choose from in Kanab, UT, including:
        – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
        – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
        – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
        – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
        – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermillioncliffs.net
        Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
        Alley 🙂

  92. Good day to you. My question is about accessibility. I am handicapped and walk with a cane….very, very slowly. Is the hike to the bend possible for someone like me? I can bring my walker for rest stops if that is even feasible. I take a long time to cover the same ground as a fully functional whippersnapper but I get there! Are there well worn paths or is it pretty much out of the question? Any brutally honest response and/or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
    Most Kind Regards,
    R. Raymond

    1. Hi Rebekah!
      You’ll be happy to know that you’re not the first, and certainly won’t be the last person to take the Horseshoe Bend walk at a slower pace. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all; as you’ve hopefully gathered from the article you read, it shouldn’t be about how fast you get there! In recent months, the trail to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook was partially paved and graded. While it’s now slightly longer than in years past (~1.4 miles round-trip vs 1.2 in its former state), it’s flatter, so individuals with a walker or cane should have an easier time navigating it. Plus, there are several strategically placed benches where you can take a rest or water break if desired. IMO the biggest issue you should be concerned about is shade, or lack thereof. Horseshoe Bend is very exposed, and during the summer months, daytime temperatures can soar up and over 110 degrees (F). Incidents of heat stroke, a few that have ended in fatalities, have occurred. Therefore, we recommend that summertime visitors, especially those with mobility or health concerns, visit during the cooler hours just after sunrise. Another benefit of getting there early: fewer people to contend with!
      If, after considering all that, you feel the walk will be too much for you, visit “Help! I Can’t Do The Hike To Horseshoe Bend” for suggestions on other ways to see it with less effort.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  93. Hi Alley,
    We are planning to take a family trip to the Glen Canyon area which including the Upper/Lower Antelop, Horse Bend, etc. We will be driving from Texas and this will be our first time to visit this area so hopefully you can give us some guidances for this trip during the reopening of the country.
    Do we need to make a reservation for any of this place?
    Are there any specific requirements like face mask, limited number of people per group?
    Can we driving straight to these places, our must take tours?
    Any other nice places such as waterfalls, sightseeing around this area?
    Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Cong,
      Since I have family in Austin, TX, I’ve made the drive you’re proposing to take several times myself. Since it takes anywhere from 16-20 hours, it is best to break up the drive into two or three days, depending on which part of TX you’re coming from. Our go-to spots for this are Clovis, NM, since we have family there as well, but you might opt to stop in Carlsbad, NM, to visit the Carlsbad Caverns, or Albuquerque, NM, to visit the Acoma Pueblo, Petroglyph National Monument, Bandelier National Monument or any number of attractions in that area.
      You should definitely make reservations for hotels along your route, and for any guided tours you might wish to take. For the Antelope Canyons, a guided tour is required to visit, provided that they are open. Residents of the Navajo Reservation, where Page, AZ, slot canyons are situated, has been affected in disproportionately high numbers by COVID-19. Last I heard they were shooting for a reopen date of June 7th, but this may not happen. Should they extend the closure of their lands to visitors, that doesn’t mean you have to or should cancel your trip, you’ll just need to look to alternatives.
      Fortunately, the Horseshoe Bend overlook remains open (it never closed), and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area/Lake Powell is reopening gradually. Face masks and other social distancing guidelines may be observed at one’s discretion. Passenger capacity on tours may indeed be reduced, which is why advance reservations remain crucial. Should the Antelope Canyons remain closed at the time of your arrival, other slot canyons in the area you might consider visiting include but are not limited to Wire Pass Canyon and/or the Buckskin Gulch near Paria, UT and Red Canyon aka Peek-a-Boo Canyon near Kanab, UT. While these do not require a guided tour, per se, it is recommended that you take one since the roads to these formations can be hazardous, and difficult to navigate for those unaccustomed to off-road driving. If you’re in a rental car, you are forbidden from driving off-road anyway.
      Waterfalls, as a general rule, tend to be kind of hard to get to. If you are planning to visit Zion National Park (which you should if at all possible!), the Upper Emerald Pools is a family-friendly hike that takes you to a three-tiered formation of waterfalls and natural ponds (unfortunately swimming is not allowed). The Weeping Rock Trail is also easy, but I’ve heard that it is closed this season due to damage from a rock slide. If you’re planning on going to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Lower Calf Creek Falls is spectacular, but the hike to get there is kind of long (5.5 miles round-trip) and might not be suitable for young kids.
      Hope that helps! Feel free to write in again if you need to bounce more ideas off us 🙂
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley

        1. Hi Ann!
          Although camping is prohibited at Horseshoe Bend itself, you’ll be happy to know there are several places to camp nearby. The closest campground is the Page/Lake Powell Campground, about 10 minutes away from Horseshoe Bend, in the town of Page, AZ. A bit further away is the Arrowhead Campground at Mystical Antelope Canyon Tours, where you can “camp” in a covered wagon, traditional Navajo hogan, or a tipi! One caveat: Arrowhead Campground is located on the Navajo Indian Reservation, which is closed to tourists until July 6th due to COVID-19, so if your visit is taking place between now and 07/06, this won’t be an option Near the entrance to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, you’ll find the Beehives, a small first-come/first-serve campground. Within the Recreation Area, there’s Wahpweap Campground and also Lone Rock Beach, both on the shores of Lake Powell! Wahweap Campground is administered by ARAMARK/Lake Powell Resorts. Lone Rock Beach and the Beehives are operated by the National Park Service. For more information on camping in Glen Canyon, visit the National Park Service website for this area.
          I don’t recall seeing when you were planning to visit, or whether you were traveling by RV or wanting to tent camp. If you are traveling during the summer months, you might want to rethink tent camping. Summers in Page, AZ, are very hot, with daytime highs occasionally reaching over 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Nights don’t cool down much either, making tent camping a very uncomfortable proposition. If you’re RV’ing, you’ll want to choose a camping area with electrical hook-ups so you can have access to air conditioning. The Page/Lake Powell Campground and Wahweap Campground are both developed with full electrical and water hook-ups.
          If you don’t have an RV and are now re-thinking tent camping, you’ll find a diverse assortment of hotels, motels, and vacation rentals that would be much more comfortable.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  94. Hi Alley!

    I’m planning to visit the Lake Powell area, and want to check out Horseshoe Bend (while ALSO remaining safe due to the current state of the world!)
    That being said– I’m not an avid hiker, but I really want to see Horseshoe Bend from this point of view. I’ve seen mixed reviews on the hike, but it seems fairly attainable. I was wondering how long it seems to take to ‘hike’? And if there are any other sort of trails at Horseshoe Bend aside from the one pictured above?

    Also, do you have any advice on kayaking Horseshoe Bend? I’ve never kayaked before, but would be going with a friend who has. She seems very interested in the idea, as am I… but would love to hear your insight! 🙂 Thanks so much for all of this information. I’m looking forward to seeing this beautiful site in person!

    P.S.

    Do you have any recommendations for swimming holes or hikes specifically in the Lake Powell/Page/Horseshoe Bend area? <3

    1. Hi Lindsey,
      First off, you do not need to be an “avid” hiker to enjoy the trip to Horseshoe Bend. If you’re in relatively good health, you should be able to manage it. Just be sure to bring appropriate closed-toed shoes, ample sun protection, and water for yourself and your hiking party. If after considering the pros and cons, you surmise that you won’t be able to make the walk, there are other ways to see it that are less physical, although more pricey. For more information on these, visit “Help! I Can’t Make The Hike To Horseshoe Bend
      As for kayaking through Horseshoe Bend, it is possible by utilizing what’s known as a backhaul service from Lees Ferry. You can either bring your own kayak, or rent one from one of several local outfitters. You would then be motored to the base of the Glen Canyon Dam, where you would transfer to your kayak and paddle down the river 15 miles back to Lees Ferry. For more information on this activity, visit http://www.kayakthecolorado.com or http://www.kayakhorseshoebend.com
      On the subject of swimming holes, you’ve got the grand-daddy of all swimming holes just minutes from Horseshoe Bend: Lake Powell! There are several nice swim beaches in the area, including The Chains, which is easily dovetailed with a hike to the Hanging Gardens area. The Wahweap Swim Beach and Lone Rock Beach are fun, too; these are both inside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, meaning you have to pay an entrance fee.
      Hope that helps — good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  95. Hi,
    Can we do picnic in the horseshoe bend area? Where will be the best place we can picnic with the kids?

    1. Hi Udi,
      Theoretically, you can picnic at the Horseshoe Bend Overlook, but to be honest, it may not be the best place for that. There are no picnic tables out there, and very little shade, and right now, daytime temperatures are starting to ratchet up above 90 degrees.
      A better place for a picnic would be near the Stateline Launch Ramp at Lake Powell. Just across the road from the Wahweap Campground is a nice picnic area, with tables and shade. And if you get hot, Lake Powell is just a short walk away for a refreshing dip. Since it is located within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, an entrance fee is required to utilize this area. If that does not appeal, the Wahweap Overlook on U.S. 89 boasts a nice view of Lake Powell (but no lake access), picnic tables and shade, and no entrance fee.
      Hope that helps!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  96. What time if day gets the sun in right place so you can get the picture above? Thank you!
    Also, can Antelope Canyon be done in the same day?

    1. Hi Meghan!
      These photos were most likely taken during the mid-day hours during winter and early spring. Depending on the time of year you’re visiting, however, you may not want to be at Horseshoe Bend at that time. If you’re coming during the hot months of summer, for example, you’ll want to be at the overlook just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. Though the Colorado River may be shadowed, you will still be able to take beautiful photos!
      As to whether it’s possible to tour Antelope Canyon the same day you visit Horseshoe Bend, yes, you can — usually. Right now, the Antelope Canyons and other attractions on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands are closed due to COVID-19. They are shooting for a reopening date of mid-June, last we heard, but that could get pushed back since COVID-19 cases are occurring in disproportionately high numbers on the reservation.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Miss alley i can still go through monument valley (just to see the view)main highway to get to fourcorners right?! Looks like some if my iptuon for camping are open but im going to call them to make sure I will be leaving sunday for roadtrip to colorado utah 4 corners and new mexico! I will be in horseshoe bend as well!

        1. Hi Connie,
          Although the road through Monument Valley remains accessible, the Navajo Nation asks that any visitors from outside the reservation avoid stopping in this area. To that end, all campgrounds, hotels, and other tourist-oriented businesses are closed. This includes the Four Corners Monument. The Navajo Tribe’s residents have been affected in disproportionately high numbers by COVID-19 and cannot risk accidental exposure by tourists. If for any reason you must get out of your car on reservation lands, you will be asked to wear a mask, especially if you have to patronize a business such as a gas station or convenience store. But again, with careful planning, you can avoid this.
          You are correct in that some campgrounds in the American Southwest are reopening, but others are not. Be sure to verify the status of all campgrounds you plan to stay at before assuming you’ll be able to get a space.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Shelly —
      Yes, Horseshoe Bend is open. It is one of the few attractions in the Page, AZ, area that remained open throughout the COVID-19 shutdown period. Other nearby attractions on Navajo Tribal Land such as the Antelope Canyons and Monument Valley are closed, but are shooting for a re-open date of mid-June. To be put on an e-mail list to be notified as to when that happens, visit our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ
      Glen Canyon/Lake Powell is in the midst of a “phased” reopening of facilities and activities and *fingers crossed* will be back in full swing by the time you visit!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  97. Hello! I have a few questions.
    1. What are the hours of operation?
    2. Do we buy the tickets online? If so, where and how much per person?
    3. Can we still access the river to swim?

    1. Hi Valeska,
      1. The Horseshoe Bend Overlook is open from sunrise to sunset
      2. Parking fees of $10/passenger vehicle or $35/light commercial vehicle are paid on arrival; they may not be purchased in advance
      3. You can access the Colorado River to swim at Lees Ferry, or at several access points on Lake Powell. For specific information on these, visit http://www.NPS.gov: Glen Canyon
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Simply go to Google Maps and do a search on “Horseshoe Bend, Page, AZ.”
      Horseshoe Bend is located at mile marker 545 on US89. The parking lot is very well-signed and easy to find!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  98. Hello, is this trail easily done by an elderly person that usually needs a cane or walker to assist them?

    1. Hi Mark,
      The Horseshoe Bend Overlook trail is approximately .7 miles one way, therefore, you’re looking at just shy of 1.5 miles round-trip. That might be a little much for someone with mobility issues to handle.
      Sorry to be the bearer of potentially bad news on that front. Depending on when your visit is scheduled for, namely, a few months from now, you might consider one of several alternate means of visiting Horseshoe Bend that don’t involve so much physical activity. However, many of these options are on temporary hiatus due to COVID-19. For more information, check out “Help! I Can’t Do the Hike to Horseshoe Bend
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

        1. Hi Any,
          As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area/Lake Powell will also begin a phased reopening of facilities such as lodging, restaurants, and activities as outlined on the official National Park Service website.
          Nevertheless, there are a few things you should keep in mind before committing to your trip: the Antelope Canyons, another popular attraction in Page, AZ, are closed and expect to remain so until June. There are also over 3,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including several dozen fatalities) in Northern Arizona, and the Navajo Reservation has been hit particularly hard. They are asking that travelers avoid that area altogether if possible. In addition, many other popular attractions in the area such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, and Monument Valley may be partially or completely closed. With all that in mind, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time.
          If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and personal hygiene protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
          – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
          – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
          – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
          – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
          – Practicing social distancing (stay at least 6′ away from other people) and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
          – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
          – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
          – Most importantly, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

          1. Will there be roadblocks by the Navajo nation police? Are we able to drive there Friday for one day trip and leave? departing be fore 2pm.

          2. Hi Jennifer,
            This is a really good question.
            While roads through the Navajo Nation are not closed to through traffic — after all, trucks still have to get through to deliver supplies — the local police may require you to stop at any time. You may be asked to wear face masks while traveling through reservation lands, and discouraged from stopping at gas stations, trading posts, anywhere you could risk exposing local residents to COVID-19.
            We thank you in advance for complying with these guidelines. The Navajo Nation has been hit especially hard by COVID-19 and needs time and space to heal.
            Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

          1. Ross,
            Apologies for the delay in response to your inquiry. Hopefully you found Horseshoe Bend still open, as indicated in previous replies, and enjoyed it!
            Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

        1. Hi Jasmin!
          For updates on other attractions reopening (or choosing not to), visit http://www.NPS.gov and search for your desired park by state or by name.
          From what we have been told, Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim) will reopen on a very limited basis for Memorial Day weekend.
          Glen Canyon National Recreation Area/Lake Powell also plans a phased reopening of activities and facilities, as do Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in Utah.
          The Navajo Indian Tribe, who manage popular attractions such as the Antelope Canyons and Monument Valley, have opted to keep their reservation lands closed to visitors until further notice. They have been hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19, so we support this decision 100%.
          Hope this helps. Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  99. Is this open and if so do i have to pay?

    I am going to be driving from San Diego.

    What are the hours and will there be people there?

    1. Dear Adam,
      As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants. Collection of the usual $10/vehicle parking fee has also been temporarily suspended. The overlook is open from sunrise to sunset. People are coming to visit, but in fewer numbers than they had in the past.
      Assuming that you are planning to visit in the near future, there are a few things you should keep in mind: the Antelope Canyons, another popular attraction in Page, AZ, are closed until further notice. There are also over 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including several dozen fatalities) in Northern Arizona. In addition, many other popular attractions in the area such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, and Monument Valley are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
      If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and personal hygiene protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
      – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
      – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
      – Practicing social distancing (stay at least 6′ away from other people) and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
      – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
      – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
      – Most importantly, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley

      1. Hi.. I wanted to come up this Sunday. I was wondering if you think that Mother’s day would be really busy?
        Wanted to stay with rules and guidelines and not be in crowded areas. We are driving up from Phoenix area and packing lunch to have in car and not planing on making any stops. Just going straight there and straight back. Thank you.

        1. Hi Cecilia,
          The Horseshoe Bend Overlook should be open on Mother’s Day.
          As for whether it will be busy, that remains to be seen. Nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon and the Antelope Canyons remain closed, as do other popular National and State Parks, which will begin reopening in the days and weeks after your visit.
          Another consideration is that your trip route will take you right through the Navajo Indian Reservation, whose residents have been hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19. Thus they are asking that travelers avoid that area if at all possible; if you must travel through, please don’t stop and risk exposing anyone you might meet. Bear in mind it’s also a 5-hour drive from Phoenix to Page, AZ. That’s a lot of time on the road just to go to one overlook. Don’t get me wrong, Horseshoe Bend is beautiful, and we’d love to have you visit, but perhaps another time would be better.
          If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and personal hygiene protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
          – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
          – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
          – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
          – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
          – Practicing social distancing (stay at least 6′ away from other people) and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
          – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
          – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
          – Most importantly, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley

          1. Hi Austin,
            Yes, the trail to Horseshoe Bend remains open. It’s one of a few attractions in Northern Arizona that never closed through the COVID-19 lockdown! Still, we ask that you observe social distancing and personal hygiene protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
            * Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
            * Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
            * Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
            * When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
            * Practicing social distancing and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
            * Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
            * Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
            * Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
            Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

  100. Hello, I know as of recent someone asked if the bend is still open to the public. I am curious if that is still in effect?

    1. Dear Danielle,
      As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants.
      In light of the fact that there are over 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including several dozen fatalities) in Northern Arizona, and that many nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, and the Antelope Canyons are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
      If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
      – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
      – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
      – Practicing social distancing (stay at least 6′ away from other people) and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
      – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
      – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
      – Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley

          1. Hi Maria,
            As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants. However, the Antelope Canyons are closed until further notice. In light of that fact, plus considering that there are over 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including several dozen fatalities) in Northern Arizona, and many popular nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, and Monument Valley are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
            If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
            – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
            – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
            – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
            – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
            – Practicing social distancing (stay at least 6′ away from other people) and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
            – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
            – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
            – Most importantly, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
            Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley

        1. Dear Brooke,
          As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants. However, the nearby Antelope Canyons are closed until further notice. In light of that fact, plus considering that there are over 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including several dozen fatalities) in Northern Arizona, and many other popular attractions in the area such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, and Monument Valley are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
          If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
          – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
          – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
          – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
          – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
          – Practicing social distancing (stay at least 6′ away from other people) and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
          – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
          – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
          – Most importantly, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley

      1. Hi Brittney,
        As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants.
        In light of the fact that there are over 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including several dozen fatalities) in Northern Arizona, and that many nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, and the Antelope Canyons are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
        If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
        – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
        – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
        – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
        – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
        – Practicing social distancing (stay at least 6′ away from other people) and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
        – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
        – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
        – Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
        Good luck and safe travels,
        Alley

    1. Dear Megan,
      As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants.
      In light of the fact that there are over 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including several dozen fatalities) in Northern Arizona, and that many nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, and the Antelope Canyons are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
      If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
      – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
      – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
      – Practicing social distancing (stay at least 6′ away from other people) and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
      – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
      – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
      – Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley

    1. Hello Trinity,
      At the present time, Horseshoe Bend remains open to visitation. However, that status could change without notice rather quickly under the present circumstances. The one point about your inquiry that really jumps out at me, however, is your mention of camping. Camping has never been allowed at Horseshoe Bend, nor will it ever be in the foreseeable future.
      Nevertheless, we strongly encourage you to consider whether your visit is 100% necessary. What with many popular camping areas being closed to the public, the fact that there are over 400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including some fatalities) in Northern Arizona, plus the fact that many nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon and the Antelope Canyons are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very limited medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their respective capacities.
      If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
      – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
      – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
      – Practicing social distancing (stay at least 6′ away from other people) and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
      – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
      – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
      – Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley

      1. Hello does it cost to park and walk to see the Horseshoe bend? Also is this something you can type in a gps or find or where could I find an exact location?

        1. Dear Tiffany,
          As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants. Parking fees are $10 per standard passenger vehicle, $35 for light commercial vehicles. GPS coordinates are 36.8792° N, 111.5104° W
          In light of the fact that there are over 400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including some fatalities) in Northern Arizona, and that many nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon and the Antelope Canyons are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
          If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
          – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
          – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
          – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
          – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
          – Practicing social distancing (stay at least 6′ away from other people) and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
          – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
          – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
          – Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley

    1. Hello Emily,
      As of Monday, March 30th, Horseshoe Bend remains open for visitation. However, in light of the fact that there are several confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Page, AZ, and limited medical facilities that are already stretched thin, we strongly recommend considering whether your visit is 100% necessary. If you decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
      – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
      – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
      – Practicing social distancing and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of
      infection.
      – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
      – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
      – Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

        1. Dear Emily,
          As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open. However, in light of the fact that there are several confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including 2 fatalities) in Page, AZ, and many more in the Navajo Indian Reservation, which abuts the town of Page, AZ, we strongly recommend considering whether your visit is 100% necessary. Bear in mind that both areas have very limited medical capabilities that have already been stretched beyond their respective capacities.
          If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
          – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
          – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
          – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
          – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
          – Practicing social distancing and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of
          infection.
          – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
          – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
          – Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

      1. Hello Eddie,
        If you’re referring to right this minute, Horseshoe Bend remains open and visited, but not in the numbers we typically see at this time of year for obvious reasons.
        As for weather conditions, right now, the temperature is 52 degrees Fahrenheit under partly cloudy skies; later today, we’re expecting a high of 73 degrees and continued partly cloudy conditions. Page, AZ, and the East Grand Canyon vacation planning
        Good luck and safe travels,
        Alley 🙂

  101. I’m planinng to go this week is horse she bend still open ? An advice and what yours to do while we there ?

    1. Hi Jesus,
      At the present time, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that could change if determined necessary by the City of Page or the National Park Service. In the meantime, we urge you to please practice basic common-sense measures as advised by the CDC and WHO: wash your hands frequently, stay at least 6′ away from other people, avoid touching your face, especially after touching hand-rails, credit card machines, and other surfaces that get touched frequently, and last but not least, stay home or at your hotel if you feel the least bit sick.
      As for what else you might do while visiting Page, AZ, not a lot of activities are running due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Still, there are opportunities for self-guided sightseeing, such as hiking along the Rim View Trail, and visiting the White House or Wahweap Overlooks. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area technically remains open, but services available will be extremely limited. No hotels, restuarants, stores, etc. If you do visit this area, be prepared to bring your own food and drinks.
      Better yet, as much as I hate to say it, stay home. Page, AZ, is a rural community with very limited health care services. We would hate to see you fall ill and not get the quality of care you may get at home, or worse yet, to have you unknowingly give the virus to people who live here.
      Good luck and safe travels, I know it’s a hard choice.
      Alley 🙂

  102. I was just informed the Page terminal is closing, where I had a tour booked. Will the bend also be closed? I don’t want to make the drive to find that both are not open.

    Thanks!