How to Get to Horseshoe Bend

Directions to Horseshoe Bend from Page, AZ

From Page, AZ drive south on Highway 89 to between mileposts 544 & 545. Look for the exit lane and on the west side of the road which you can drive a short distance on to the parking area.

Click for a pdf of the page area map

How to get to Page, AZ

Most people will start their journey from Las Vegas or Phoenix as part of a multi-day trip. Drive time for both these cities is between 4.5 and 5 hours. Roads can be extremely dark at night and requires extra vigilance. We highly recommend downloading the map onto your phone before you leave. Reception can be spotty for long stretches of the trip.

Page is also serviced by regional commuter flights through Contour Airlines. They have flights from Phoenix and Las Vegas starting at $29 each way. You can then rent a car from the only car rental business at the airport, Avis.

Daytrips to Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon

You can save money by renting a car and driving yourself to Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon if you have more than two people, but solo travelers and maybe couples would probably want to at least take a look at a tour from Las Vegas.

The whole trip can be done in a day, with pick-up from your hotel, flight over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam,Vermillion Cliffs, then landing in Page, walking to Horseshoe Bend, taking a tour of Antelope Canyon. Flight back to Vegas and you’re in your hotel same night.

Definitely a solid option for solo travelers, couples, and people on a short time frame or don’t want to drive 9 hours r/t. Check out the tour here.

468 Responses

  1. Hi,

    Traveling to GC and Page this weekend and would love your input.

    Day 1: Arrive to Phoenix airport by 10am. Head to GC (South Rim). What’s the best route? Maps is showing two routes that are about the same time and distance. One is passing Sedona/Flagstaff and the other is passing Prescott. Do you recommend making a quick stop for lunch at Williams or should I head straight to the GC and grab food there? I’d love to catch sunset at the GC on this day and get acquainted with the area. Best place to see sunset? (Staying in Tusayan for days 1&2)
    Day 2: Hike Bright Angel trail (~7mi total). Starting before sunrise to be done early. Free rest of the day. Recs on other view points to visit?
    Day 3: Head to Page by 4-4:30am. Do you recommend driving at this time? Best route to get to Page from GC? Need to make it to Antelope by 9:30am for a tour, which might get cancelled. Thinking of doing Horseshoe bend after the tour or for sunset. Still need to figure out what else to do, do you recommend lake Powell? Any other recs? Not interested in kayaking. (Staying in Page)
    Day 4: Head to Sedona by 4-4:30am. Would like to do a short hike once I get there. Trails I want to do are: Cathedral, Boynton, Soldier Pass, or Birthing Cave. Which 3 must I do? Will be in Sedona for 3 days. Saving long hike for full day in Sedona.

    I am getting a Corolla, will this car be fine or do a need a 4×4?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Liz,
      A Toyota Corolla should be fine for your vacation. All roads between parks are fully paved and well-traveled.
      Where you’re potentially going wrong is planning to “head to Page, Sedona, etc.” at 4:00-4:30 PM. All driving should be done during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged due to local roads being very dimly lit, and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other wildlife (or livestock) that can ratchet up your risk of a car accident. Believe me, that’s not something you want to risk in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, 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. Sunrise occurs at about 6:00 AM at this time of year, so if you must depart in the morning, it’s safest to do so just as the sun’s coming up.
      As for some of your other questions, the best route from PHX to Grand Canyon South Rim is via I-17 to US180 through the San Francisco Peaks, then hit AZ64 North. Since many Grand Canyon National Park restaurants are closed due to COVID-19, grabbing lunch in Williams, or Flagstaff would be a good idea. Flag (that’s what we call it around here) would probably have more choices of open restaurants. Another option would be to pick up a small cooler and buy snacks, sandwich fixings, etc., so you can save money on restaurant meals in the park.
      The best place(s) to see sunset at the Grand Canyon is basically anywhere on the rim. Hopi Point is a popular spot, but it’s always crowded, plus you have to take the Hermit Road Shuttle to get there, you cannot drive there. My personal favorite spot (one of them, anyway, LOL) is Grandview Point. It’s a little “off the beaten path,” ~12 miles East of Grand Canyon Village. What I like about it, aside from the fact that you can drive your own vehicle there, is that it’s typically not as crowded as viewpoints in the Village, and it’s one of a handful of viewpoints where you can actually see all the way down to the Colorado River. Forward to the 1:08 mark on this video to get a “sneak preview” of what it looks like. FYI, the video promotes a tour, but again, you can drive your own vehicle there.
      RE: your plan on Day 2, where you ask about “other viewpoints to visit,” after a 7 mile hike on the Bright Angel Trail, you will most likely be tired and sore! Visiting other viewpoints will probably be the last thing on your mind. Having hiked that trail myself in blazing hot weather, I can tell you that dinner and bed will probably ping first on your radar! If you are feeling up to more activities after your hike on Bright Angel, you might hop on the free Hermit’s Rest Shuttle and visit some of the overlooks there, or head back to Tusayan, and see the very cool IMAX movie, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.”
      On Day 3, again, I don’t recommend hitting the road as early as you propose, but you might scoot your departure time back to ~5:30 AM so you have a little daylight to work with. That way, you could enjoy a couple of viewpoint stops on the East Rim Drive without risking arriving late to your Antelope Canyon tour. Wheels turning, no stops, the drive to Page, AZ, takes ~2.5 hours. Since that rarely happens, 3-3.5 hours might be more realistic to plan for. As for what you do afterward, you could certainly hit Horseshoe Bend. Allot anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours to park, walk to the rim, take photos, then walk back to your vehicle. Other hikes that are very enjoyable in the immediate vicinity include but aren’t limited to the Hanging Garden Trail and the New Wave/Radio Tower Rock Loop. These are located near the Glen Canyon Dam in Page, AZ, so they are relatively easy to find, and don’t charge admission to enter (yet). If you want to go to Lake Powell, you will need to enter the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which is a $30/vehicle entrance fee, good for one week’s time. The National Park Pass also works.
      In Sedona, there is no such thing as a “must do” trail, let alone 3! There is no shortage of beautiful hikes you can enjoy in Sedona, and if you have 3 days, that’s awesome. Cathedral Rock is definitely worthwhile. I personally am fond of the West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon. Not only is the scenery exquisite, a river runs through it, and at this time of year, the opportunity to get wet and cool off is definitely welcome. For more suggestions, visit http://www.HikeSedona.com, or simply inquire at your hotel or nearby visitors center. The locals are bound to have some personal recommendations of their own!
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  2. Hello, my husband and I are currently I’m scottsdale and driving to sedona, the grand canyon, also the horse shoe bend . As someone afraid of heights and cliffs and driving through mountains in general, I wanted to know how bad the 4 hour drive is ! I drove to Sedona yesterday and some of the twists and turns made me quite nervous.

    1. Hi Anj!
      The drive through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona, AZ, can be quite the white-knuckle experience. Fortunately, the drive to Page, AZ, Horseshoe Bend, and Antelope Canyon isn’t nearly as twisty or cliffy (if that’s a proper word LOL), with the notable exception of one section: the road from Bitter Springs, AZ, to what’s known locally as “The Cut.” It travels up the side of the Echo Cliffs, and the view from it might be a bit much for you to handle, or you might fall in love with it, one of the two! Forward to the 1:00 mark on this video to see what I’m referring to; FYI, the video depicts the drive from Page, AZ, through the Cut, down the Echo Cliffs, so, in reverse order of what you’d be doing.
      If you decide that driving this section of highway would have a negative impact on the quality of your experience, there is an alternative: US89T from The Gap, AZ, to Page, AZ. It skirts the Echo Cliffs on the East side, is also very scenic, but doesn’t traverse any major cliffs or mountainsides. It would also shave a few minutes off your drive time from Sedona. Map
      BTW, if you preferred not to go through Oak Creek Canyon again, you could take AZ179 through the Village of Oak Creek to I-17, which is not as treacherous, but would add a few minutes to your drive.
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hello. We are planning to go on vacation from Nov 24 to 27th to Zion park then see Horseshoe bend in AZ. We live in Los Angeles, so what is the best way to go from and to. Where is the best place to stay. Do you think we can squeeze in Sedona or Williams AZ?
        And also, I have a heart problem, do you think hiking to see the horseshoe bend will be a problem.Thank you

        1. Hi Judith!
          With 3 days to work with, Zion National Park and Horseshoe Bend is really all you’ll have time to do. What with Sedona, AZ, and Williams, AZ, being ~a 3-hour drive from Page, AZ, you’d need to add a couple more days minimum to your trip. Sedona alone deserves 3-5 days to fully enjoy and explore!
          Another important consideration at the time of year you’re traveling is daylength, or more specifically, lack thereof. Any driving you do should be during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the US due to local roads being very dimly lit, and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other wildlife (or even livestock) that can ratchet up your risk of a car accident. Believe me, that’s not something you want to risk in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold (nighttime temps are getting pretty chilly in November), 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 late November, sunrise occurs just after 7:00 AM, and sunset takes place around 5:00 PM.
          Regarding hiking to Horseshoe Bend with a heart problem, only you and your physician can determine if this is an appropriate activity for you. I can tell you that the trail is .7 miles in length, one way, and was graded and partially paved a couple years ago to be flatter than it was in years past. Still, what with the length and the fact that you’ll be at an elevation above 4,000′ above sea level, you may with to give this walk a miss. Watch this video to get a sense of the Horseshoe Bend Overlook trail. If you decide that’s not the thing for you, another way to see Horseshoe Bend with minimal physical exertion is to fly over it. Fixed wing airplanes and helicopters depart from the Page Municipal Airport (PGA), weather permitting, and possibly contingent on a certain number of passengers traveling. At the time of year you’re traveling, weather can be cold, and you may encounter rain or light snow, so start monitoring local weather ~2 weeks before you set out.
          Hope that helps! If you have further questions, feel free to contact me directly at [email protected]
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  3. Hello! My husband and I are traveling in early September northern AZ then Utah (the 5 national parks), then into CO to St Louis and have. What other slot canyons would you recommend other than Antelope that are still beautiful and free or not so pricey? Not sure we want to pay $100 for a rushed, crowded hour trip at upper antelope. Also do you have any other suggestions (hikes, sites, activities, etc) for Zion, Bryce, Grand Escalante, capital Reef and Arches? Any suggestions would be appreciated!! Thank You!

    1. Hi Lisa,
      If you want to save money and still experience one of the area’s beautiful slot canyons, I would recommend Wire Pass Canyon. Wire Pass is situated between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, and while not quite free, it’s pretty darn close to it: it requires a $6.00 per person day use fee, which can be prepaid via Recreation.gov. It’s a fairly easy hike, too, with the exception of an 8-10′ drop-off, which you can go around if desired, but that will add more time onto your hike. If you wish, you can also venture a short distance into the Buckskin Gulch to make a nice full day out of it. The only caveat is that the access road to the trail head, the House Rock Valley Road, is unpaved. While it is passable for 2WD vehicles most of the time, if recent weather has brought any precipitation, a red clay slip-n-slide is what you’ll encounter, in which case, you should give it a miss unless a very expensive tow bill somehow appeals.
      Another option to make a nice day out of a hike to Wire Pass and/or Buckskin would be to dove-tail that onto the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos Trail, which is relatively close by, and again, another easy, scenic (and free!) hike.
      As for Zion, Bryce, Grand Staircase/Escalante, and the rest of the parks you plan to visit, there is no shortage of fun to be had on local trails! Which ones you choose to explore depends on your physical fitness level, timeframe, whether you’re traveling with kids or seniors, and other factors. Not knowing that makes it kinda hard to make recommendations, but you might start with this: The Best Hikes at Each of Utah’s Mighty 5 or The Mighty 5: The Ultimate Journey
      I hope that helps. If you have further questions, please contact me directly at [email protected]
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Mary,
      It’s still there. Due to the fact that it’s unmaintained, and you would encounter several potentially dangerous obstacles, we don’t recommend you attempt to use it.
      Alley 🙂

  4. Hello! I am going to be driving from Phoenix to Horshoe bend in a few weeks. I am worried about making the drive due to having a Honda Civic and not really wanting to drive it through the mountains. Is there a way to get to horshoe bend from Phoenix without having to do that?

    Thanks

    1. Hey Sebastian,
      The drive from Phoenix to Page, AZ, is pretty straightforward, and very scenic. Most of the uphill inclines are gradual, with the exception of the section of US89 that goes up the side of the Echo Cliffs just as you make the turn-off from Bitter Springs, AZ, before going through “The Cut.” Still, lots of folks in Honda Civics make that drive without a problem. If you want to play it safer, you have the option of skipping the afore-mentioned section of US89 and instead taking US89T from The Gap to Page, AZ. While that section of the road is a bit flatter, it still has some mild uphill grades. To see photos of it, visit USRoute89.com: Getting to Page AZ on US89T
      If you really don’t trust your car to make the 5-hour drive from Phoenix to Page, AZ, you can always fly up on Contour Airlines.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  5. HI,
    First of all thats a lot for this wonderful website, its really helpful.
    I will be driving to Page on 7/31.
    Are you aware of any open tour operators for Antelope Canyon that will allow a 5 year old and a 15 month old along with me and my wife.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Abhishek,
      Children younger than 5 are welcome on Upper Antelope Canyon tours. You should be aware, however, that tours of Upper Antelope Canyon are now one-way through the canyon and not out-and-back as has been the case in years past. It is now required for all participants to navigate a half-mile long network of stairs and walkways up over a ridge and back down to the truck parking area. While this does not involve an excess of uphill walking (but a good amount of downhill), the walkways are completely exposed, and weather in July is very hot. This may not be terribly comfortable for those carrying infants or toddlers. Strollers are not allowed on the tours, but some soft-sided models of infant carriers are.
      How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  6. Hi. We’re driving from Phoenix to Lake Powell this week. I’m petrified of heights and highway dropp-offs. How scary is this drive? All driving will be done during the day. Thank you.

    1. Hey Mary!
      The only part of the drive from Phoenix to Lake Powell that may be problematic for you is the section of US89 leading from Bitter Springs up to Manson Mesa, where the town of Page, AZ, is situated. It has a few switchbacks that ascend the Echo Cliffs, which fortunately, don’t last too long. If someone else is doing the driving, you’ll be on the passenger side on the drive up. If you’d like to skip that altogether, however, one option is to take US89T, also known as Navajo Route 20, which starts at a small community called The Gap and enters Page, AZ, from the South via Coppermine Road. It also shortens the drive slightly. About the only disadvantage, if you can call it that, is that US89T bypasses Horseshoe Bend, so if you wanted to visit that, you’d have to double back a short distance down US89. Driving to Page, AZ, on US89T
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  7. My family and I are planning a trip to see Vegas, Arizona and Utah. I was wondering if you could let me know if we are cramming too many things to see during this trip and let me know if all this would be possible. Any tips and recommendations would be greatly appreciated. We are going to be flying into Vegas on Sunday evening 8/22 and renting a car. The plan is to spend Sunday evening and Monday in Vegas and then drive to Page Arizona Monday night. Would you recommend Horseshoe Bend or Antelope Canyon as far as Kayaking goes or both. Then we would like to see Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, Slot Canyons, Canyonlands and Zion. We will have to drive back to IL to make it home for Sunday morning. Thanks!

    1. Hi Justyna,
      So, am I assuming correctly that you won’t be driving back to Las Vegas, and flying home, but driving your rental car all the way back to IL? If so, you need to figure on 2-3 days to drive from Moab, UT. So if you spend Monday 08/23 in Page, AZ, you’ll have until Thursday, 8/26 for sightseeing, and that’s not much time at all.
      It takes ~5 hours to drive from Las Vegas to Page, AZ. If you wanted to do a kayak activity, stick with one. The Antelope Canyon kayak tour has grown exponentially in popularity, to the point that there’s a daily “flotilla” going out there every day. If that doesn’t appeal, then the Horseshoe Bend Kayak tour might be a better option. On that one, you’d drive down to Lees Ferry (~1 hour from Page), rent a kayak, get backhauled to the base of the Glen Canyon Dam, then paddle the 15-mile stretch of the Colorado River through Horseshoe Bend back to the Ferry. Although the kayak portion is unguided, lots of first-time kayakers do it and have a great time. There several companies that offer this service, but the one we’re most familiar with is Kayak Horseshoe Bend.
      After doing that, you could drive to Bryce (~3 hours from Page, AZ), spend the night in that area, then head to Moab, UT, the following day with a pop-by through Capitol Reef if desired. Honestly, though, a quick overnight in Moab, UT, won’t be nearly enough to fully enjoy and explore that area. Moab, UT really deserves at least 4-5 days to do it justice.
      If I’ve misinterpreted your comment, please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected]
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  8. Alley. Super excited was able to book Antelope last night with Dixie tours. Can you recommend the best time of day for visit? She was the only site booking tours…reservation open, right? This is legit? Thanks! Dawn

    1. Hi Dawn,
      Congrats on booking your Antelope Canyon tour! Yes, Dixie Ellis tours is completely legit, one of two authorized Lower Antelope Canyon tour operators. As for the best time of day to visit Antelope Canyon, most regard mid-day as the “golden hour” because the sun is directly overhead, brightly illuminating the canyon walls. Honestly, though, take whatever time slot you can get. With all the tour operators having to operate at limited capacity, tickets will be hard to come by this summer, so be grateful for what you got, enjoy it, and be sure to tip your tour guide generously. It will certainly be appreciated!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Definitely will do. What amount is customary? Also we can visit horseshoe on our own, correct? Don’t need to buy another tour? Doing monument valley tour tomorrow afternoon. Can’t wait. Thanks for sharing all your info!!

  9. Hello Alley, thank you for taking the time out to answer all the questions they are very helpful. Me and my fiancé are planning a 5/6 day vacation to the Grand Canyon in August-October (whichever we can find the cheapest flights for) and I have quite a few questions if you don’t mind answering, we are flying from Virginia. Ours sights we are visiting for are the Grand Canyon, preferably the South Rim, Horseshoe Bend and Sedona State Park to do some hiking.

    First Question: We were originally looking to stay at Grand Canyon Inn since it wasn’t that far from the Grand Canyon and we didn’t want to spend a whole lot on lodging since we don’t plan on staying in the room a lot, but after doing a little more research I see Horseshoe Bend is 3 hrs away. We were really hoping to get there early morning to see the views, so is there a middle part town or place you recommend us staying at so we don’t have to drive 3 hrs in the early morning?

    Second Question: Which airport would you recommend us flying into? We were thinking Flagstaff/Pulliam since it wasn’t far from the Grand Canyon but we weren’t sure.

    Third Question: How much time would you give us to be able to fully enjoy the Grand Canyon views and the Horseshoe Bend?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Crystal,
      Your inquiry shows that you sent it in on May 10th?!?! I sure hope that’s not the case, because I try to answer questions within 24-48 hours of posting! If yours slipped through the cracks I am so sorry!
      If you’re able to pick and choose when to visit, October is awesome. Temperatures are nearly perfect, and even though it’s still busy, it’s mostly just adults out traveling.
      You are correct that Horseshoe Bend is approximately a 3 hour drive from Grand Canyon South Rim. It might even take you longer because there are over half-a-dozen named Grand Canyon Viewpoints, all with varying geological features and perspectives on the canyon, between Grand Canyon Village and Desert View Point. Stopping at each of them, you could easily make the drive to the South Rim from Page, AZ, a leisurely 4-hour trip. If you want to get to Horseshoe Bend early in the morning, it would be best to stay overnight at Page, AZ. The only ‘midway’ point between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page would be Cameron, AZ, but that would still put you ~90 minutes away from Horseshoe Bend.
      As for the best airport to fly into, Flagstaff/Pulliam would certainly be a good option, it is centrally located between Grand Canyon South Rim (~90 minutes away), Page (~2.5 hours), and Sedona (~1 hour). However, you should be aware that there are very few direct flights into that airport. Most of the time, you’d end up having to connect through PHX anyway. After all’s said and done, you wouldn’t save much time, and probably wouldn’t save any money. For these and other reasons, most people opt to fly into one of the majors, such as Phoenix/Sky Harbor (~4.5 hours from Page and GC South Rim, ~2 hours from Sedona) or Las Vegas/McCarran (~4.5 hours from Sedona, GC, or Page).
      Regarding how much time to spend at the Grand Canyon, 1-2 days is enough for most visitors, ditto for Page, AZ to visit Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon (they are reopening Monday 7/12!). For Sedona, you should definitely allot ~3 days, and if possible, place it last on your itinerary. Sedona is a great place to chill and “decompress” before heading back to reality!
      I sure hope that helps, and that it didn’t really come over 2 months late.
      Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] if you have further questions.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  10. Hello, we are a group of 8 adults and driving from Sedona to Grand Canyon on May 27th. After seeing the Grand Canyon is it possible to drive out to Horseshoe Bend and spend some time there and drive back to Sedona. Since Antelope Canyon is closed we thought instead spending a separate day driving all the way to Horseshoe bend would waste a day. So we are thinking of combining the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe bend in 1 day.
    Our itinerary is below:
    May 25th – fly in to PHX and then drive to our hotel Hilton in Sedona.
    May 26th – look at local sights, vortexes, chapel, Devils bridge, village, meteor site and local restaurants
    May 27th – Grand Canyon day trip, village and then possibly do Horseshoe bend
    May 28th – Early morning hot air balloon ride in Sedona, local lunch, 4pm Pink Jeep tour, evening local dinner and town trolley ride
    May 29th – Open – maybe relax in the hotel, enjoy the spa etc
    May 30th fly back

    1. Hey Mark,
      Sorry, friend, visiting both the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend as a day trip out of Sedona, AZ, isn’t realistic.
      It takes ~2.5 hours, one way, to drive from Sedona, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim. It then takes upwards of 2.5 hours to drive from Grand Canyon Village to Page, AZ, where Horseshoe Bend is located. It would then take ~3 hours to drive back to Sedona, AZ, after visiting Horseshoe Bend. So, that’s roughly 8 hours driving, bare minimum, to fit all that into the course of a single day. For visiting Grand Canyon South Rim, you should allow for 3-4 hours to wait in line at the entrance gate, find a place to park, do some cursory exploration around the GC Village area (the main commerce area of the park), and maybe grab lunch somewhere. The trip from Grand Canyon Village to Page, AZ, although only ~130 miles, can easily take longer than the 2.5 hours I initially quoted because it’s a very scenic drive, with speed limits varying from 25-45 miles per hour, and you’ll no doubt be tempted to stop at over half-a-dozen named Grand Canyon viewpoints before exiting the park and entering the Navajo Indian Reservation. So this 2.5-hour drive can easily turn into 3.5-4 hours if you aren’t careful. You would then want to allot ~90 minutes-2 hours to visit Horseshoe Bend, including parking your vehicle, walking to the rim, taking photos, then walking back to your vehicle. Then you’re facing another 3 hours on the road? Sorry, not my idea of a vacation!
      If you can’t spare a separate day to visit Page, AZ, and Horseshoe Bend, save it for another trip when you can spend 2-3 days in Page, AZ, and really enjoy it, hopefully when the Antelope Canyons reopen for tours!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  11. Hi, we are traveling to the Grand Canyon (south rim) on May 27th from Scottsdale. We are staying in Grand Canyon Village on the 27th and plan to drive to see Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell (Navajo Canyon boat tour from Antelope Point Marina) on the 28th. Then drive down to Sedona and stay there from 28th – June 1st. Do you think we are trying to pack too much into 2 days to see the Grand Canyon on the 27th and Page on the 28th and still have time to get back to Sedona before it gets too late. We have a tour at 1PM from Antelope Point Marina, so we were thinking of leaving the Grand Canyon by 10:30AM. We were hoping to see Horseshoe Bend after the 2 hour boat tour, but not sure if time will permit. Do you have any advice on driving routes to take from Grand Canyon to Page? I have heard about detours, so am concerned about not making the 1PM tour. Also, what is the best route from Page to Sedona and what is the latest we should leave Page to have a safe trip to Sedona the night of the 28th?

    1. Hi Patricia,
      “Do I think you are trying to pack too much into 2 days to see the Grand Canyon on the 27th and Page on the 28th and still have time to get back to Sedona before it gets too late?”
      Yes.
      The drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ — wheels turning, no stops, traveling via the shortest route — typically takes ~3 hours. However, it is a very scenic drive, with opportunities to stop at over half a dozen named viewpoints of the Grand Canyon on the way, plus points of interest in the Navajo Reservation (when it is open to tourism). You can easily turn that into a 4-5 hour drive if inclined to do so. If your boat tour departs at 1:00 PM, they’ll probably want you there to check in at 12:30 PM, meaning you’d have to leave the Grand Canyon no later than 9:30 AM.
      90 minutes to 2 hours should be allotted to visit Horseshoe Bend, including the time it takes to park your vehicle, walk out to the rim, take photos, then walk back to your vehicle.
      Then you’re facing a 3-hour drive to Sedona, which all of which should be done during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is not encouraged in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit, and possibly having deer, elk, and other animals around. A collision with a large animal is not something you want to risk in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, 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. The stretch of road between Flagstaff, AZ, and Sedona, AZ, through Oak Creek Canyon is especially narrow and windy. I’ve driven it in the dark and let’s just say I’ll never do it again 😉 Sunset on May 28th occurs at ~7:30 PM, meaning you’d have to leave Page, AZ, at 4:30-4:45 PM at the latest.
      I am not sure how long you have in Sedona, AZ, but if more than 2-3 days, I’d suggest overnighting in Page, AZ, on the 28th. If that’s not feasible, as much as I hate to suggest it, I’d recommend taking the boat tour off the table. It would still be possible to visit the lake, but having anything time sensitive scheduled for a day where you have so much driving to do is not my idea of a vacation.
      Right now all roads are open and passable. If any detour are to come into play at all, it would most likely be AZ64 East from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ. When that was in place, it became necessary for people traveling from GC South Rim to Page, AZ, to detour all the way to Flagstaff, which adds another 90 minutes to 2 hours onto an already long drive. For the current status of that road, I’d recommend monitoring the official website of Grand Canyon National Park for public health updates.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  12. Hi Alley, thank you so much for taking your time to reply to each and every one of us! My friend and I want to visit the Horseshoe Bend on 4/24, but also want to visit the Lower East Waterhole Canyons to see the Great Wall. I read that we need a general admission and a backpacking permit. Where can we get those? The official website wasn’t very descriptive and the visitor center is temporarily closed on Google Maps.

    Thanks again for all the help that you’ve provided in the past.

    1. Hi Ethan,
      I am so sorry I did not see your inquiry in time for your visit!
      Unfortunately, you would have found that the Waterholes Canyons are closed along with the Antelope Canyons, and all other slot canyons and tourist attractions on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands. We hope you were able to find your way around, and get suggestions of other slot canyons to explore, such as Wire Pass Canyon and Buckskin Gulch near Paria, UT, and/or Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon, near Kanab, UT.
      Hope you had a good trip.
      Alley 🙂

  13. Hi! We are traveling to Lake Powell at the end of June and then heading to Antelope Canyon and on to the North Rim Grand Canyon. I’m know the Navajo highways are closed but can we get to the North Rim from Antelope Canyon straight? Confused which roads are exactly closed right now.

    1. Hi Nicole,
      I’m happy to report that all roads, including AZ64 East from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ, are open and passable, including those that traverse the Navajo Indian Reservation. The Navajo Tribe is still discouraging contact between outsiders and reservation residents, so make sure your vehicle is fully fueled and that you are carrying adequate water and snacks anytime you pass through Navajo Indian Land. You want to avoid stopping if at all possible.
      Because the land-side segments of Antelope Canyon are on Navajo Tribal Land, they may be closed to tours at the time of your visit. Should that remain the case, it is still possible to kayak into the waterside of Antelope Canyon on Lake Powell, then hike into the pre-slot portion of the lower canyon, which is on Federal and not Tribal Land.
      When you drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon North Rim, no part of the drive is closed, but you’ll be passing through Navajo land between the area just South of Horseshoe Bend, down to Bitter Springs, AZ, where you turn off on US89A, and part of Marble Canyon. The rest of the way to the North Rim, you’ll be on mostly Federal land. Map
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Alley, your responses are fantastic and I would love more info about accessing antelope canyon through the water side. This will be my first trip and I’m curious about how to best go about kayaking into the water side of the canyon and the hike into the lower canyon. I’ve seen many ads for kayak tours, but I’m guessing it would be better to just rent kayaks for this type of access? We will be going to the horseshoe bend overlook in the morning, and then hoping to grab some kayaks and make it in the back way of antelope canyon. Where would be the best place/area to rent from, Im guessing the back haul will make a difference in how to go about it. Sorry, I wish I had more knowledge of this area, this will be my first visit to Arizona

        1. Hey Paul!
          This is an excellent question. Fortunately, if you prefer to rent your own kayak and guide yourself into the waterside of Lower Antelope, you are perfectly welcome to do so! Several companies in Page, AZ, including kayak tour companies, offer kayak rentals, such as:
          – Lake Powell Paddleboard & Kayak, (928) 645-4017, http://www.lakepowellpaddleboards.com
          – WazSUP Kayak Rental, (602) 233-2847, http://www.wazsupkayaks.com
          – Hidden Canyon Kayak, (928) 660-1836, http://www.lakepowellhiddencanyonkayak.com
          – Lake Powell Rentals & Retail, (928) 614-8573, http://www.lakepowellvacations.com
          – Kayak Lake Powell, (928) 660-0778, http://www.kayakpowell.com
          – Paddle Lake Powell, (928) 660-2182, http://www.paddlelakepowell.com
          As for any backhauling being involved, in the case of Antelope Canyon, there is none. You simply launch out of Antelope Point Marina and go into the canyon from there. It’s pretty self-explanatory, and your kayak rental outlet will supply you with maps, roof mounting equipment, etc.
          The only instance in which you would have to factor in time/logistics of a backhaul is if you wanted to paddle through Horseshoe Bend in Glen Canyon. In that case, you would have to drive down to Lees Ferry, rent a kayak, get backhauled to the base of the Glen Canyon Dam, then paddle the 15-mile stretch of the Colorado River back to Lees Ferry.
          BTW, kayaking to Antelope Canyon is best done in the earlier morning hours for lack of wind and minimal chop from larger boat wakes. So, do your kayak trip in the morning, then visit Horseshoe Bend Overlook instead of the other way around.
          Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  14. Hi my wife and I are driving into Page on Saturday, June 5th in the evening. We would like to see Horseshoe Bend bright and early for sunrise on Sunday, and then go to Antelope Marina to kayak and then hike through parts of Antelope Canyon. What time does the parking lot open for Horseshoe Bend, and do you think we will find a spot at sunrise? Additionally, do you know how long the hike from the parking lot to Horseshoe Canyon is? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Daniel!
      Sunrise is a great time to visit Horseshoe Bend. Crowds are typically smaller, making it easier to find a parking space, and temperatures are cooler, a very important consideration at the time of year you’re visiting. In early June, sunrise occurs at around 5:00 AM. The parking lot usually opens right then, maybe shortly after.
      The hike from the parking lot to the rim is .7 miles, one way. The trail, partially paved and partially graded, is fairly even, with a couple of mild dips and hills. Be sure you carry enough water for yourself and any other members of your traveling party. If you decide that the hike is more than you can manage, another way to see Horseshoe Bend is to fly over it. Fixed wing airplanes and helicopters depart out of the Page Municipal Airport daily, weather permitting, and usually contingent on a certain number of passengers traveling. While neither aircraft will actually land at the Bend, they will still show you a ton of amazing scenery, in addition to Horseshoe Bend, in just a few minutes time in the air!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  15. Hi Alley,

    We are planning on visiting the grand canyon on april 29th from vegas. We are a couple, so just 2 people.
    Q1) What is the best option for us, to take a tour or to rent a car and go by ourselves? we don’t want to sleep over, we want to go bas to Vegas same day.
    Q2) What is the must see spots over there? We don’t want a lot of hiking.
    Q3) We wanted to see the Antelope canyon but from what we hear it’s closed to visitor. Is there a way to still see it? and if yes does it require a lot of hiking?
    Q4) Is it worth taking a helicopter tour ?

    Thank you for your help 🙂

    1. Hi Lara!
      Thanks for your very clear and concise inquiry 🙂
      Q1) The most cost-effective option, offering the most freedom and flexibility is to self-drive. All roads between Las Vegas and Grand Canyon South Rim are fully-paved and well-traveled, so there’s no getting lost! The drive will take ~4.5 hours each way, so get an early start on the day, especially if you want to stop over at Hoover Dam, Route 66, etc.
      Q2) The “must-see” spots at Grand Canyon South Rim can be seen from the Grand Canyon Village Historic District by walking the easy, paved Rim Trail, and maybe utilizing the Hermit’s Rest Shuttle to visit some of the viewpoints West of the Village. Bring a picnic lunch with you, or plan on getting to one of the rimside restaurants by 11:00 AM for lunch. The Grand Canyon Railway pulls in between 11:15-11:30, and once that happens, it will be almost impossible to get a table.
      Q3) Forget about Antelope Canyon this time around. For one, the popular walking tours are closed due to COVID-19, and Page, AZ, the nearest town to the canyons, is ~a 3-hour drive from GC South Rim. You would then be facing a 4.5-5 hour drive back to Las Vegas. Plan a return visit when this COVID-19 mess has been resolved.
      Q4) A helicopter tour would be a wonderful addition to your trip! It would enable you to see areas of the Grand Canyon inaccessible to even the fittest of hikers. These depart from the Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCN) just outside the park. Flights range from 25-45 minutes. If possible, spring for the longer Grand Kingdom flight on the Eco-Star EC130 helicopter. Whatever you do, be sure to book your Grand Canyon air tour ASAP.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  16. Hi Alley love your responses!! I need some advice! Me and my brother are wanting to travel from Tampa, Florida early may. We’re thinking 5-7 days. We want to either fly into Arizona or Utah but have no idea how to start. We know we want to see the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend/Antelope Canyon, Zion, Sedona – Birthing Cave/Seven Sacred Pools, Devils Bridge, and anything else. If you have an advice on easy/short hikes (we are beginners). We plan on renting a car but want the shortest distances between each place. Where should we stay, what route should we take, etc. Please let me know we are lost lol!

    1. Hi Brenda,
      First of all, since your trip is right around the corner, where you should stay is anywhere you can find availability. Hotels in the areas you wish to visit typically book out in advance, so don’t be too particular about accommodations. You’re probably too late to stay inside the various parks, but the gateway communities may still have availability. Bottom line: book lodging ASAP!
      As to where you should fly into, most people use Las Vegas, NV, as their staging city, seconded by Phoenix, AZ. Another popular option is to fly into LAS and out of PHX if rental car prices are reasonable. If you are able to manage the latter option, you could do something like this:
      Day 1: Early flight to LAS, get rental car, drive to Zion National Park (~3 hours), optional detour through Valley of Fire State Park, overnight in Springdale, UT, or Kanab, UT
      Day 2: 2nd day/night in Zion – lots of easy hikes in Zion Canyon, but you have to use the Zion Canyon Shuttle to get to the trailheads, which requires an advance ticket purchase
      Day 3: Drive to Bryce Canyon (~2 hours from Bryce), overnight in Bryce area
      Day 4: Drive to Page, AZ (~3 hours), optional stop to hike Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos Trail (mile marker 19 of US89 between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT), overnight in Page
      Day 5: Kayak Antelope Canyon (if landside tours are not yet open), visit Horseshoe Bend, drive to Grand Canyon South Rim in afternoon, overnight in Grand Canyon area
      Day 6: Drive to Sedona, AZ (~2.5 hours from GC), overnight in Sedona ***BTW Birthing Cave is rated as a ‘moderate’ hike, 7 Sacred Pools is rated easier, but parking might be difficult to find*** Easiest Hikes in Sedona, AZ
      Day 7: 2nd day/night in Sedona, or drive to PHX (~2 hours)
      Custom trip map
      If you find that you get a better deal flying into/out of Vegas, the drive from Sedona, AZ, to Vegas would be ~4.5 hours.
      If room availability dictates, flip-flopping this itinerary might be necessary.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  17. Hi Alley,

    What are the viewing hours for Horseshoe Bend if there are any? Me and a couple friends are doing the Angels Landing Hike on May 14, 2021 around 8AM and plan on leaving before 3pm to drive towards Horseshoe Bend. Will we make it to see the Sunset?

    1. Hey Kenneth!
      Horseshoe Bend is open from sunrise to sunset. In mid-May, sunset in Page, AZ, occurs at around 7:30 PM local time (Utah is one hour ahead of AZ). It takes ~90 minutes-2 hours to drive from Zion to Page, so if you were to leave Zion by 3:00 PM, you should make it to Horseshoe Bend in time for sunset. However, we don’t advise driving back to Zion from Page, AZ, after sunset. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in the more rural areas of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah due to local roads being very dimly lit, and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other wildlife that can ratchet up your risk of a car accident. Believe me, that’s not something you want to risk in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, 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. Best to stay overnight in Page, AZ, for a more comfortable and safer experience.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  18. Hi Alley
    We are travelling by rented car on April 29th from Yavapai Lodge Grand Canyon to Springhill Suites Marriot, Springdale, UT ( Zion) with the stop in Page to see the Horseshoe Bend. GPS is showing we have to go south via Flagstaff and then North to Page.
    QQ1) Is there a way to avoid Flagstaff to go from GC to Page or Zion? How long will the drive take to Page/Horseshoe Bend and then to Zion?
    QQ2) If we drive early AM, say 5AM, is it safe to drive or is it dark and should push drive time to say 7AM?
    QQ3) Are there Gas stations on the road to fill gas or we need to carry 1or more gas cans?

    1. Hi Rajesh,
      Thank you for your well-organized and timely inquiry.
      I will attempt to answer in kind 😉
      QQ1) Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid the detour through Flagstaff in order to travel from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ. The drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Horseshoe Bend and Page, AZ, will take roughly 4-5 hours, then the drive from Page, AZ, to Zion will take ~2 hours.
      QQ2) It depends on which state you’re in. On April 29th, sunrise in Arizona, which is on Mountain Standard Time, occurs at around 5:30 AM, with “twilight” beginning at 5:04 AM. In Utah, which is on Mountain Daylight Time, sunrise on 04/29 occurs at 6:37 AM with twilight period beginning at 6:09 AM.
      QQ3) You shouldn’t have a problem finding gas stations along your proposed route. The area you want to avoid stopping in is between Flagstaff, AZ, and Page, AZ, which is Navajo Indian Land. The Tribal leadership is discouraging outsiders from having contact with reservation residents, so make sure your vehicle’s tank is fully fueled, and that you have some water and snacks to tide you over until you arrive in Page, AZ.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  19. Hi my name is Julia
    I’m going to Las Vegas 04/03 until 07. After I will go to Los Angeles
    But my dreams is explore the Grand Canyon. I don’t know about the park or what park is more near that 2 cities. Do you can help me ? I saw beautiful pick in the park lol

    1. Hi Julia,
      The Grand Canyon is in the State of Arizona, East of Las Vegas, NV.
      The South Rim is where first-time visitors are recommended to go as it has more square mileage of the canyon that can be explored by private vehicles, and offers more in the way of visitor services (hotels, restaurants, etc.).
      The drive from Las Vegas, NV, to Grand Canyon South Rim takes approximately 4.5 hours, one way. While that is doable as a day trip, weather permitting, we recommend, if at all possible, that you plan to at least spend one night there. That would make for a nicer experience all the way around. Grand Canyon hotels
      Upon arrival in Las Vegas, you will find certain Grand Canyon tours being aggressively marketed to folks like yourself who are not familiar with the park. Know that these tours go to Grand Canyon West, which is a Native American Tribal Park, and not part of the National Park. Grand Canyon West is closer to Las Vegas (~2.5 hours drive), which is advantageous in its own way, and offers experiences not available in the National Park, such as helicopter flights to the canyon floor, the Grand Canyon Skywalk, etc. Should you opt for one of these tours, you’ll still have a good time, but do plan for a return visit when you can give Grand Canyon National Park the time it deserves.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  20. Planning a trip from San Diego to Horse shoe bend and Antelope which best route to drive? Any other tour destination to visit within the area, any suggestions? Thank you 😊 Stay safe

    1. Hi Leticia,
      The best route to travel from San Diego, CA, to Page, AZ (nearest town to Horseshoe Bend), is to get on I-15, take that as far as St. George, UT, then take secondary roads as directed from St. George, UT, to Page, AZ. All totaled, that’s about a 10-hour drive, so you might want to break it up in Las Vegas, NV. That’s about the mid-way point between SD and Page.
      BTW, the Antelope Canyons have not yet reopened to tours due to COVID-19. Right now, the best alternative is to kayak into the waterside of Antelope Canyon on Lake Powell, then hike into the pre-slot portion of the Lower canyon, which is on Federal and not Tribal Land.
      As for “other tour destinations” in the area, that’s literally a loaded question! Page, AZ, is part of a popular 7-day tour itinerary called the “Best Of The Grand Circle,” which includes the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, and Sedona. Due to the Navajo Tribal Land closure, you’d have to take Monument Valley out of the itinerary, but you’d still have a great trip!
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  21. Hello I am going to the Grand Canyon with a group of friends on Saturday. How early should we get there? We’re not trying to catch the sunrise but trying to get there before it gets packed.

    1. Hi- thanks for all your help! I’m heading west in May. Here is the packed itinerary. I’m wondering if the drive between each of these places is easy or if we should consider shuttles or even splurge for a driver for any leg that may be more challenging.
      Sedona-Grand Canyon- horseshoe bend and antlelope canyon (I hope the kayaking will be ok for beginners)- Bryce and Vegas. Is Valley or afire worth a quick stop? Thanks again!

      1. Hey Colleen,
        You’re right that your itinerary is packed, and I hope you have at least 9-10 days to do all of it. Otherwise, you’ll have to trim back your wish list a bit.
        Self-driving is the best way to go to ensure maximum freedom and flexibility. One piece of information I wish I had is your exact travel dates. That is the key to advising you on how best to visit the Grand Can, and which side you should visit.
        Assuming you are flying in and out of Las Vegas, you could do something like this:
        Day 1: early flight to Las Vegas, drive to Zion National Park (~3 hours), with optional detour through Valley of Fire State Park, overnight in Springdale, UT, or Kanab, UT
        Day 2: sightseeing in Zion on the Zion Canyon Shuttle, or visit trailheads accessible on Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway (UT9), 2nd night in Springdale, UT, or Kanab, UT
        Day 3: drive to Bryce Canyon (~2-2.5 hours, depending on where you stayed at the night before), overnight in Bryce Canyon, OR spend 3rd night in Kanab, UT
        Day 4: Drive to Page, AZ (~90 minutes from Kanab, ~2 hours from Springdale), optional stop to hike Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos trail, overnight in Page, AZ
        Day 5: First thing in AM, kayak Antelope Canyon (guided tours are OK for first-time kayakers), visit Horseshoe Bend, then drive to Grand Canyon South Rim ***depending on the closure status of AZ64 East from Cameron to Desert View, this drive could take anywhere from 3-5 hours; if it remains closed, you’ll have to detour down to Flagstaff to get to Grand Canyon South Rim*** overnight at Grand Canyon South Rim
        Day 6: 2nd day/night at Grand Canyon South Rim
        Day 7: Drive to Sedona, AZ (~2.5 hours), possible activities: Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour, Chapel of the Holy Cross, Tlaquepaque, Cathedral or Bell Rock Trails
        Day 8: 2nd day/night in Sedona
        Day 9: Drive back to Las Vegas (~4 hours from Sedona), optional stop at Hoover Dam, fly home or overnight in Vegas before flying home next morning
        Should your visit be scheduled for anytime after May 15th, another option would be to visit Grand Canyon North Rim. Finding lodging there is next to impossible, so you would be best off visiting as a day trip from Kanab, UT, or perhaps flying over it out of Page, AZ. Fixed-wing airplanes depart from the Page, AZ, Municipal Airport daily, weather permitting and possibly contingent on a certain number of passengers flying. Flights don’t land at the North Rim, but would show you a lot of beautiful scenery in addition to the Grand Canyon! Westwind Air Service Page-Grand Canyon Air Tours
        Hope that helps, I know it’s a lot to process! If you need to bounce more ideas off us, feel free to contact us directly at [email protected]
        Good luck and safe travels,
        Alley 🙂

  22. Hello – I’m so happy I came across this site! Ok, here is my question. I’m traveling from Sedona (Enchantment Resort) to Horseshoe Bend next week. The route google maps is showing me is: Follow Boynton Pass Rd, Dry Creek Rd and AZ-89A N to N State Rte 89A in Sedona19 min (8.4 mi); Follow N State Rte 89A and US-89 N to your destination in Page (2 hr 45 min (159 mi)). Does this mean that I don’t have to get delayed by detouring through Flagstaff? Second question: I have read that you can see Horseshoe bend in 1-2 hours. I’m traveling with kids 9 and 12, is it possible on our own? And lastly, what’s another easy to access park near Horseshoe that we can visit (Lake Powell)? Thank you

    1. Hey Miami!
      Google Maps has indeed steered you in the right direction, and you might also notice it has steered you through Flagstaff, AZ. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you’ll get delayed by a detour. Coming from Sedona to Horseshoe Bend, you have to pass through there anyway. The “detour through Flag” (that’s what we call it around here) I’ve been referring to applies to those traveling from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, or vice versa. Since AZ64 East from Desert View to Cameron, AZ, is closed, folks have to travel all the way down to Flag then bounce back up North to get to their destination. But again, it doesn’t apply to you if you’re just traveling to/from Sedona.
      In answer to your other queries, yes, you absolutely can visit Horseshoe Bend on your own. The parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset, and you simply go visit at your leisure. I would recommend allowing closer to 2 hours to park, walk out to the rim, take pictures, then walk back to your vehicle.
      If you wish to get your feet wet in Lake Powell, without paying the $30/vehicle entrance fee, it is possible to do this at The Chains on the Eastern flank of Glen Canyon Dam. Fair warning, it’s a bit of a hike down to the waterline, and back up, but you can easily dovetail this activity onto a hike to the Hanging Gardens. Here’s a video of a young family visiting both places (Horseshoe Bend, Hanging Gardens) from back in December.
      Now, if you are planning on doing this as a day trip from Sedona, AZ, bear in mind that the drive from Sedona, AZ, to Page, AZ, takes about 3 hours, each way. Your days at this time of year are still relatively short, with sunrise occurring at about 6:20 AM and sunset taking place just before 7:00 PM. That’s ~12.5 hours of daylight, and you’re already proposing to use up half of that behind the wheel. I’m not saying that it can’t be done, but just keep an eye on the time so that you’re not doing any of the drive back to Sedona at night, especially the section between Flag and Sedona on US89A. It’s very narrow and windy, and pretty scary to navigate in the dark. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in the more rural parts of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, due to roads in these areas being very dimly lit, and populated by deer, elk, and other wildlife that can elevate your risk of a collision. That’s definitely not something you want to chance in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black and cold, where cell service is going to be spotty (if you can get any bars at all) and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. Be sure that you are back on the road to Sedona, AZ, by 3:45 PM at the latest, or better yet, spend the night in Page, AZ, so you don’t have to rush getting back.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  23. Hi Alley! Your responses to questions are fantastic, so I’m hoping you can help us plan our 4 day upcoming trip at the end of March. We’re driving from Murrieta CA and we’d like to make stops at Williams AZ, Grand Canyon South Rim, Horseshoe Bend, & Vegas. Not sure if we’d be able to squeeze in Sedona or not. We’d prefer to have Vegas be our last stop, but we’re open to the best options. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

    1. Hey Sheri,
      Honest opinion? You should either a. save Sedona, AZ, for another trip or b. be prepared to do A LOT of driving. Personally, I would recommend option “A” (visit Sedona at another time). Not that Sedona isn’t beautiful, it is, incredibly so, and is also a big area with lots to see and do. It really deserves 3-4 days to fully enjoy and explore. Even then, visitors often report feeling as though they’d only scratched the surface of all the area has to offer!
      Another thing to keep in mind: end of March is the transitional period between winter and spring. You can reasonably expect days that are sunny and brisk, but should also be prepared for Old Man Winter to attempt to send one last snowstorm through just for giggles and grins. Pack a jacket, gloves, and a few pieces of warmer clothing, just in case, and should you encounter a snowstorm in your travels, the safest approach is to wait it out, not try to power through it. Hotels are usually very understanding about guests having to cancel/reschedule under those circumstances.
      So assuming that your 4 days don’t include travel from/back to Murrieta, you could do something like this:
      Day 1: Drive from Murietta, CA, to Sedona (~7 hours), overnight in Sedona
      Day 2: Full day in Sedona, 2nd night; possible activities: Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour, visiting Chapel of the Holy Cross, Tlaquepaque, Palatki Heritage site, hike Cathedral or Bell Rock Trails One Day Itinerary in Sedona
      Day 3: Drive to Grand Canyon South Rim (~3 hours from Sedona), stop in Williams, AZ, overnight at Grand Canyon
      Day 4: Drive to Page, AZ/Horseshoe Bend — due to the closure of AZ64 East from Desert View to Cameron, AZ (COVID-19), it will be necessary to detour through Flagstaff, AZ, then proceed North on US89 to Page, AZ; this has turned what used to be a 3 hour drive into a 5-hour drive. Overnight in Page, AZ
      Day 5: Drive to Las Vegas, NV (~5 hours from Page, AZ), overnight in Las Vegas
      Day 6: Drive back to Murietta, CA (~5 hours from Las Vegas)
      Custom trip map
      If those 4 days included your travel to/from Murietta, CA, you’ll have to trim down your wish list even further. Take Sedona, AZ, off the table, maybe hit Las Vegas, NV, and Page, AZ, then save Grand Canyon South Rim for another time when the normal travel route is reopened. Should you take us up on that suggestion, there might still be a way you can see the Grand Canyon without all that time on the road: fly over it. Fixed-wing airplanes operate out of the Page Municipal Airport daily, weather permitting, and possibly contingent on a certain number of passengers traveling. A Page-Grand Canyon air tour would last ~1.5 hours, and show you a ton of other beautiful scenery in addition to the Grand Canyon.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  24. Hey, I was reading the comments, and I love the way you help people with their trips,
    we are three girls who are planning a day trip in April to horseshoe bend from las vegas, could you give us advice, and what other places we can visit on the way there, do you think we can do it? we have a flight from Las Vegas the same day at 11 pm to come back.

    1. Hi Yudy,
      A day trip from Las Vegas to Horseshoe Bend can be done, but it’s not ideal.
      First off, it takes approximately 4.5 hours, each way, to drive from Las Vegas to Page, AZ, and back. So that’s 9-10 hours you’ll be spending behind the wheel on a day when you have about 13 hours of daylight to work with. In mid-April, sunrise occurs just before 6:00 AM and sunset takes place at at about 7:00 PM. Why is this information important? Because you want to be very careful about driving at night, especially in the more rural areas of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. Roads in these areas are very dimly lit, plus they are populated by deer, elk, and other wildlife that can elevate your risk of a collision. That’s definitely not something you want to chance in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, where cell service is going to be spotty (if you can get any bars at all) and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      Assuming your flight leaves Las Vegas at 11:00 PM, I assume you’ll need to check in anywhere from 1-2 hours ahead? So, assuming you must be at the airport at 9:00 PM at the latest, after dropping off your rental car, I would recommend shooting for an 8:00 PM arrival time in Las Vegas. This means you’ll need to leave Page, AZ, at 3:30 PM, maybe 4:00 PM at the latest. You’ll need at least 2 hours to visit Horseshoe Bend, including the time it takes to park your vehicle, pay the entrance fee ($10 for standard passenger vehicles, $35 for light commercial vehicles), walk out to the rim, take photos, then walk back to your vehicle. If you were to leave Las Vegas, NV, by 6:00 AM, you’d arrive in Page, AZ, at about 11:00 AM, so that would give you enough time to visit Horseshoe Bend and maybe a couple of other sites before getting back on the road.
      As for “other places you can visit on the way there,” I wouldn’t even attempt it seeing as though your time is going to be so limited. If at all possible, try to free up enough time to spend the night in Page, AZ. That will make for a much more relaxed and enjoyable experience. Plus if you do that, that would enable you to visit Valley of Fire State Park and perhaps drive through Zion National Park on the way to or from Page, AZ. Doing it as a day trip, you just don’t have enough time for all that.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thank you for all the great information.
        How long does it take to go from South Rim of Grand Canyon to Hurricane, UT? What is there to do in Williams, AZ that you’d recommend?
        Are the Walnut Canyon Cliff Dwellers open?
        THank you!

        1. Hi Jodi,
          Wowzer, that trip from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to Hurricane, UT, is going to be quite a haul, along the lines of ~6-7 hours. Adding insult to injury, it is presently necessary to detour all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then proceed North on US89 toward Page, AZ, and Hurricane, UT. This is due to the closure of a critical component of the shortest travel route on Navajo Indian land being closed due to COVID-19. If the prospect of making such a long drive in one go doesn’t appeal, you might consider breaking up the drive by staying overnight in Page, AZ, so you can visit Horseshoe Bend. The trip from the South Rim to Page, AZ, is ~4.5 hours (again, you have to do that detour); the trip to Hurricane, UT, would then be ~2.5 hours.
          In Williams, AZ, the Grand Canyon Railway is generally regarded as the #1 activity, but it takes an awfully long time to make a trip that would only take you ~1 hour each way by car. Train vs. drive to the Grand Canyon? Other popular activities/attractions are Bearizona Wildlife Park, the Grand Canyon Deer Farm, Route 66 kitsch, and Sycamore Falls, just to name a few. Things To Do In Williams, AZ
          As for the cliff dwellings in Walnut Canyon National Monument, they are open, but know that to get to that area you must descend and ascend a lot of stairs. Also, the Monument is operating on limited hours due to COVID-19 (9:00 AM-4:00 PM IIRC).
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

    2. Hello Yudy!
      We’re planning to go to Horseshoe bend and other sites in April. What is a better route to drive from? From Vegas or Phoenix! Also we’ll be with out 1/2 yr old child. Thank you in advance.

      1. Hi Keila,
        Yudy may have already traveled and as such, is not likely to be monitoring this website, but I am happy to answer your question!
        Whether you drive from Las Vegas, NV or Phoenix, AZ, to Horseshoe Bend won’t make much of a difference time-wise. Either route will take ~4-4.5 hours. The trip from Phoenix to Horseshoe Bend, IMO, is more scenic as it will take you from the desert to the mountains and back to the desert. The saguaro cactus forest between Phoenix and Verde Valley is just stunning, as are the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff. Forward to the 3:17 mark on this video to see some of what I’m talking about; the footage is a little dated, but the scenery hasn’t changed much.
        Should you be able to get a better deal on flights in to Las Vegas, that drive has its own merits, such as the opportunity to detour through Valley of Fire State Park, and the scenery of the Virgin River Gorge. Any detour, though, will add more time onto an already long drive, which may be pushing the endurance limits of a 6-year-old, so direct may be the better way to go this time around. Definitely plan a return visit when your kiddo is older so you can fully enjoy all that Page, AZ, has to offer!
        Good luck and safe travels,
        Alley 🙂

  25. Gooooooood Morning! I am road tripping with a few of my friends from Oklahoma! We are leaving this coming Saturday and will be in Flagstaff, AZ by Sunday! I have tried to go through your comments on here and get some tips but figured why not just make another post lol I saw that the South Entrance is the only one open and saw you mention 89A through Oak Creek Canyon. We will be staying in Flagstaff and visiting Grand Canyon and Horseshoe bend. We planned 4 days to visit numerous sights in AZ, but the canyon is our #1 stop. Any tips for us okies??

    1. Goooooooood morning Hannah!
      Apologies for not responding to your query earlier, I gather you have already traveled and hope your trip went well.
      You did deduce correctly that the South entrance to Grand Canyon National Park is the only one open at the moment. I hope that you planned for separate days to visit the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend using Flagstaff, AZ, as a base. Due to the East entrance/exit being closed, it’s now necessary to detour through Flagstaff, then proceed North via US89 to get to Horseshoe Bend, which is near the town of Page, AZ. This has turned what is normally about a 3-hour drive into more along the lines of 5 hours. On the other hand, if you were to leave out of Flagstaff, AZ, the drive to Page, AZ, would be more like 2.5 hours each way. The drive from Flagstaff, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim is ~90 minutes each way; from Flag (that’s what we call it around here) to Sedona is ~1 hour each way.
      Recent weather has been cold, so hopefully you’ve packed jackets, gloves, and some warmer pieces of clothing. Should you encounter a snowstorm, your best bet is to stay put and wait for it to clear rather than plow through it. Road conditions can be obtained at http://www.az511.gov or via the NPS website for Grand Canyon.
      Last tip: be sure you plan on doing any and 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 possibility of encountering deer, elk, or other wildlife that could hike up your risk of a car accident. Trust me, that’s not something you want to chance in an 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! Sunrise occurs at 6:35 AM and sunset takes place around 6:35 PM. Keep an eye on the clock each day as you’re sightseeing so you’re certain to time your return trip to Flagstaff so that you’ll arrive by nightfall.
      Hope that covers any questions you might have had. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  26. Alley, thank you for taking your time and answering everyone’s questions with so much detail! My friend and I are planning to
    go in Mid April, Friday – Monday trip. We would like to visit the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Imperial Valley Sand Dunes. What would be the best place for us to stay so we can visit these places and any others if time permits. Any additional tips greatly appreciated! Thank you so much in advance

    1. Hey Jeni,
      First of all, I think you are referring to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes and not the Imperial Valley Sand Dunes. The Imperial Sand Dunes are located in far Southern California, which would be a really long drive from the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. The Coral Pink Sand Dunes, on the other hand, are located near Kanab, UT, which is 1 hour and change from Horseshoe Bend 🙂 Page, AZ, is a good place to stay for visiting these attractions. Other areas you might visit between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, are Wire Pass Canyon and the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos.
      For the best experience at Grand Canyon South Rim, your best option is to stay either at Grand Canyon Village or Tusayan, AZ, the small community just outside the park. Here is where you need to be aware of a road closure that will significantly impact your trip: normally, the drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim takes ~3 hours, but due to COVID-19, a critical component of the shortest travel route has been closed by order of the Navajo Indian Tribe. This means that you’ll have to drive all the way South to Flagstaff, AZ, then back up North to the Grand Canyon via US180/AZ64N or I-40/AZ64N. This has turned a 3-hour drive into more along the lines of 4-5 hours. One “silver lining” though is that you could take the opportunity to take the scenic Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monument Loop just North of Flagstaff. This will add more time to the drive, but IMO it’s time well spent; very educational.
      Whatever you decide, be sure that you’re doing all your 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 deer, elk, and other wildlife that could hike up your risk of a collision. That’s not something you want to chance in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, cold (nighttime temperatures can still be nippy in April), 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-April, sunrise occurs just before 6:00 AM, sunset takes place around 7:00 PM — that’s Arizona time, Utah will be 1 hour ahead.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  27. What is the best thing to use for directions? GPS? Map? I know cell service will be spotty at best, and just want to make sure I’m prepared.

    Thanks – Erica

    1. Hi Erica,
      GPS does work in much of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, but we recommend carrying a paper map as a back-up just in case.
      Just remember not to venture down any unpaved roads if signage directs you to stay off it, or if you’re driving a rental car, or recent weather has been wet.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  28. HI! We are looking for some help with an itinerary! We are flying into Phoenix the afternoon of Wednesday, May 19 and fly out the morning of Sunday, May 23. We are a couple late 30’s from the East Coast and this will be our first time in Arizona. At first, we were going to spend the whole trip in Sedona and now we are thinking about trying to tie in either the grand canyon or horeshoe bend… We will really only have 3 full days. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thank you so much in advance!

    1. Hi John!
      With 3 days to work with, your time is indeed limited. If you have never been to the Grand Canyon, you should prioritize that over anything else. It takes approximately 3 hours, one way, to drive to Grand Canyon South Rim from Sedona. Normally, we don’t recommend attempting to visit the Grand Canyon from Sedona as a day trip, but late May is one of the few times of year you can pull it off, with an early start and an eye on the time. Sunrise occurs just before 5:15 AM and sunset takes place at around 7:30 PM.
      Assuming you’re “wheels up” at 6:00 AM, and carry some snacks in the car to tide you over until lunchtime, that would put you at the park at about 9:00 AM. Park your vehicle wherever you can find a spot at the South Rim, preferably in the Grand Canyon Village Historic District area, so you can walk around and explore the old hotels, gift shops, and museums in the main commerce area. Plan on grabbing lunch right at 11:00 AM if you wish to dine in any of the rimside restaurants. The Grand Canyon Railway pulls in at around 11:15 AM and once those passengers disembark, they’ll make a beeline to the El Tovar Dining Room, Arizona Room, or the Harvey House Cafe (assuming all are open; some South Rim restaurants are closed or on reduced operations due to COVID-19). Once that happens, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a table. If you don’t have your heart set on having lunch on the rim, then the Maswik Cafeteria, 1/4 mile South of the Bright Angel Lodge, would be a good alternative, or you can bring your own sandwich fixins and beverages and dine “al fresco” wherever you choose! You could then utilize the free shuttles to ride out to some of the viewpoints on the Hermit’s Rest/West Rim Drive, or hike a short way down the Bright Angel Trail into the Inner Canyon. If you do that, just remember that 1 hour down = 2 hours back up. Food and water must be carried if you plan on spending any more than 1 hour’s time, or hiking more than a mile round-trip.
      The main priority is to be back on the road by 4:30 PM at the very latest. 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 can ratchet up your risk of an auto accident. The section of US89A from Flagstaff, AZ, down through Oak Creek Canyon in particular is very narrow and windy. I’ve personally driven it at night, and let’s just say I’ll never do it again!
      Should you find that you have time to spare after sightseeing at the South Rim, you might head back to Tusayan, the small community just outside the park gates, and see the short but exciting IMAX movie presentation “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.”
      If at all possible, try to carve out enough time to stay overnight at Grand Canyon South Rim. This will make for a much more relaxed experience for you, and enable you to see sunset and/or sunrise from the best vantage point possible: right on the canyon rim!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  29. Hello. My two boys and I are taking a road trip and would like to add Horseshoe bend to the agenda. Is the hike Wheelchair accessible? One of my son’s is special needs, not that it stops us from traveling but want to see if we could get the little guy to the scenic part of Horseshoe Bend? I saw in an earlier post there was going to be some improvements made to make it ADA friendly.
    TIA!

    1. Hey Francesca,
      There have indeed been recent improvements made to render the trail to Horseshoe Bend more accessible to wheelchairs, but actual reports vary as to whether that’s true or not. A visitor to our site last year made this observation:

      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!

      This video, however, asserts that the trail is wheelchair accessible, even depicting it being traversed by a wheelchair user. Finley Holiday Films Whether you risk it or not, is totally up to you, but you should pretty count on having to push your son’s wheelchair the entire time. Should you decide against attempting the walk, another means of seeing Horseshoe Bend that’s not as labor-intensive is flying over it. Fixed wing airplanes and helicopters depart out of the Page Municipal Airport daily, weather permitting, and contingent on a certain number of passengers booking. Horseshoe Bend Air Tour
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  30. HI- We will be staying near Lee’s Ferry (Marblemount) dry camping in our RV. We will also have E mountain bikes. I looked at the map and it seems only drivable route to get from Marblemount to Page is a very roundabout U shape (have to drive from Marblemount all the way down south to Bitter Springs and then up north towards Page). Do you know if we would be able to take a shortcut using our ebikes? I don’t see any roads, but just thinking some way to cut across that vehicles can’t? Would prefer to not have to drive RV. We also have standard non motorized mountain bikes as well. Thanks!

    1. Hey Nicole!
      First thing I need to point out is that “Marblemount” is actually called Marble Canyon 😉
      As for “shortcuts” from that area to the town of Page, AZ, there are none. You have to take that “roundabout U-shape” route down to Bitter Springs, then back up to Page, AZ.
      Marble Canyon is a lovely area, and you’d find plenty to see and do there, such as exploring the Lonely Dell Ranch Area near Lees Ferry, taking a hike on the Spencer Trail (which is quite steep, you need to be in shape for that), walking across the Navajo Bridge, enjoying a meal at Cliff Dweller’s Lodge. Another fun activity that camping at Marble Canyon will place you well to do is to rent a kayak at Lees Ferry, get backhauled to the base of the Glen Canyon Dam, then paddle the 15-mile stretch of the Colorado River through Horseshoe Bend back to Lees Ferry. 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/
      Long story short, there is no shortage of activities that can keep you busy for a couple days’ time at Marble Canyon, but to enjoy the activities that Page, AZ, has to offer, such as Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, etc., it’s best to stay in Page, AZ. RV & Camping Options Near Antelope Canyon The Page Rim View Trail is a good mountain biking trail, ~10 miles total, that encircles Manson Mesa on which the townsite is situated.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  31. Hi- we are new to the area but we are making a 5 day trip next week.
    Mon- Would it be possible to drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon South Rim – stay overnight near Flagstaff then drive to Horseshoe bend the next morning- visit a few hours then head back to Tues- Vegas for flight out the next morning

    1. Hi Karen, thanks for visiting today!
      Possible? Yes, with a close eye on the time, and the willingness to make an early start each morning. More on that in a minute…
      It takes approximately 5 hours to drive from Las Vegas, NV to Grand Canyon South Rim. It would then take ~90 minutes to drive down to Flagstaff. Sunrise in Las Vegas, NV, in early February occurs at around 6:30 AM local time; sunset in Arizona will take place just before 6:00 PM local time. The reason this information is important is because nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. This is due to the fact that local roads are very dimly lit, and deer, elk, and other wildlife like to move about at night, which increases your risk of a car 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. Therefore, you’ll need to leave Grand Canyon South Rim by 4:30 PM, 5:00 PM at the latest in order to make it to Flagstaff, AZ, by sundown.
      The next morning, it will take approximately 2.5 hours to drive from Flagstaff, AZ, to Page, AZ. Bear in mind that much of US89 between Flagstaff, AZ, and Page, AZ is on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands, and they currently discourage outsiders from stopping anywhere on the reservation due to COVID-19. Make sure your vehicle is fully fueled before leaving Flag (that’s what we call it around here), and carry water and a few snacks to tide you over until you reach Page, AZ. Allow approximately 2 hours to visit Horseshoe Bend, including time to park, walk to the rim, take photos, then walk back to your vehicle. The drive to Las Vegas will then take ~4.5 hours. Sunset in Las Vegas occurs at ~5:15 PM in the early part of February, but on that day, it’s not as critical to time your drive to get back to Vegas before sunset. From St. George, UT, on, you have several good-size urban light domes, plus that stretch of I-15 freeway is fairly well-lit. I’d recommend getting to St. George, UT, which is ~2.5 miles from Page, AZ, by sunset.
      If this is sounding like a lot of driving in to days’ time, frankly, it is. If you can possibly free up another day so you can spend the night at the Grand Canyon, then your 2nd night in Page, AZ, then drive back to Vegas on day 3, that might make things a bit more comfortable for you, plus you could see sunset and/or sunrise at the Grand Canyon without worrying about hitting a deer on the way to Flagstaff. Granted you would still need to drive all the way back to Flag in order to get from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, due to the Navajo Reservation closure, but 5 hours of driving per day sure sounds a lot better than 7-8~!
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Alley,
        We live in Peoria, AZ and would like to visit Horseshoe Bend this weekend (Feb. 6th, 2021). Can you please confirm this attraction is open to the public? I read Antelope Canyon is closed and there is no indication when it will be open.
        All additional information you can share with us about Horseshoe Bend or any other attractions nearby will be greatly appreciated.
        Thank you.

        1. Hi Enrique,
          I’m happy to report that Horseshoe Bend is open; not to much to report that the Antelope Canyons are still closed 🙁
          Fortunately, there’s still a surprising amount to see and do in Page, AZ, even with the Antelope Canyons off the table. Attractions that are still open and accessible 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
          Gunfighter Canyon
          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, UT, Visitors Center & Dinosaur Museum
          Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos Trail (between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT)
          Good luck and safe travels!
          Alley 🙂

  32. Hi there! Your recommendations are so great. Thank you in advance for sharing all your knowledge.

    I am planning a round trip from SoCal:
    Haul to Las Vegas for a night.
    LV to Coral Pink Sand Dunes, night in Page.
    Horseshoe Bend to Grand Canyon South.

    Question… due to the Navajo COVID restrictions, do you know if AZ-64 westbound is open? According to Google Maps, 64 east seems closed but it does allow 64 west.

    Any insight would be extremely appreciated! Thanks again!

    1. Hi James, thanks for your compliments!
      Unfortunately, AZ64 from Cameron, AZ, to Desert View Point on the South Rim, is closed to through traffic in both directions. This means that to get from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim, you have to drive all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then proceed back North via 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, during which time you should avoid stopping on Navajo Reservation lands and interacting with tribe members. Be sure you plan accordingly, and that your vehicle is fully fueled and that you carry adequate water and snacks to tide you over between Page and the Grand Canyon.
      Depending on the time of year you are visiting, and how early a start you get on the drive to Coral Pink Sand Dunes, you might make a detour through the Valley of Fire State Park, just Northeast of Las Vegas. That’s a stunning area, and if you’re visiting during the winter or spring months, it’s not too ghastly hot.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

  33. I saw in a previous reply that the parking lot closes at sunset. Is there another area or access to do some night time photography of Horseshoe bend? Like an hour of time max? Thank you.

    1. Hi Justin,
      This is a really good question, unfortunately, I don’t have a definitive answer. Judging from the number of nighttime photos of Horseshoe Bend circulating on social media, the parking lot staff don’t kick people out at sundown, but then again, I know of no formally established timeline for allowing people to linger after sunset. That is the sort of question you might pose to the City of Page, whose staff oversee the Horseshoe Bend parking lot and collect the fees. Their phone number is 928-645-8861.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  34. We want to visit Horseshoe bend but need a few other things to do. What is open during Covid? We only have about 8 hours daylight to spend in Page.

    1. Hello Krista and Happy Boxing Day to our Canadian and UK friends!
      Your visit to Horseshoe Bend will take up anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours including parking, walking out to the overlook, taking photos, then walking back to your vehicle.
      Due to COVID-19, some visitors centers and attractions like Antelope Canyon are closed, but you’ll find plenty to see and do to occupy the rest of your time! Open/accessible sites 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)
      Big Water Visitors Center & Dinosaur Museum **scroll down to the bottom of the linked page** (in Big Water, Utah, ~20 minutes West of Page, AZ, on US89)
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hey Alley – I’m planning on driving to Page from Santa Fe or Albuquerque in early feb to see Horseshoe Bend and saw your comments about the road closures through Navajo Nation. I couldn’t find any information on the NN admin or parks sites about road closures. Is there a route you recommend? Thank you for all of the great info in these responses as well!

        1. Hey Kari,
          Thank you for this excellent question! The road closure I refer to in most of these comments is AZ64 from Desert View Point at Grand Canyon South Rim to Cameron, AZ. This primarily affects people traveling between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ, Zion National Park, and other points North (see map).
          In your case, you wouldn’t encounter any closed roads per se, but Google maps would automatically route you up through Farmington, NM, Teec Nos Pos, Kayenta, etc. These towns are all situated on a large swath of the Navajo Indian Reservation, whose Tribal Council is discouraging outsiders from traveling through their lands and interacting with residents. If travel through the reservation is absolutely necessary, you should make sure your vehicle is fully fueled and that you carry food or snacks to tide you over until you get to your destination so you avoid stopping at Navajo businesses.
          For these reasons, I would strongly encourage you to take the alternate route via I-40 West through Flagstaff, then proceed up US89 North to Page, AZ. Trip map This would only add about 30 minutes to your drive time, and is a very well-travelled route. Some of it also goes through the Navajo Reservation, so once you get to Flagstaff, AZ, fill up your car, pick up some drinks and snacks and make a beeline for Page, Arizona!
          Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  35. I am trying to plan a trip on January 15th. It’s a Friday. I have rented an RV. Will the $10 parking fee cover that as well? Or will I need to pay a separate RV fee?

    1. Hey Jarred —
      It depends on the size of the RV. If it’s a truck camper or smaller model, then the $10 fee usually applies. If the RV is a larger motorhome (Class A) or could be considered a “light commercial van or truck,” the parking fee is $35 for those types of vehicles.
      One thing I do have to express some concern over is that weather at this time of year is cold in Northern Arizona, so you’ll definitely want access to reliable heat to ensure a good night’s sleep! Look for RV parks with electrical hook-ups, although they may have turned off water/sewer for the season. Developed RV parks in Page, AZ, are the Page/Lake Powell Campground in the town of Page, AZ, and the Lake Powell Marina/Wahweap RV Park. If you are prepared to rough it, visit this article on our companion site, AntelopeCanyon.AZ for a list of RV parks and campgrounds, both dry and developed, near Page, AZ.
      Your rental RV may also be winterized, so you probably won’t be able to use the water lines. Be prepared to haul your own water, and use facilities on-site (if operating) for toilets, showers/baths, etc.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Merry Christmas!
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Aarohi,
      Yes, Horseshoe Bend will be open, barring circumstances such as extremely bad weather, etc.
      The parking lot is open from sunrise (7:35 AM) to sunset (5:15 PM). A one-time parking fee of $10 will be assessed at the entrance fee booth.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  36. Hi, I have been reading the replies and I would appreciate some advice for my trip. I land in phoenix on Dec 12 at 9 am. I leave phoenix Dec 14 at 8 am (plane leaves at 8 am). It is a very short trip but I would like to visit either the horseshoe bend or grand canyon or both. I know driving at night is not recommend. What do you advise the best plan would be? I will have a car too and it is just my boyfriend and I traveling.

    1. Hi Karolina,
      In light of the fact that you will only have one day for sightseeing, visiting both Horseshoe Bend and the Grand Canyon this time around won’t be too practical.
      It will take you approximately 5 hours to drive from Phoenix, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim. Assuming that your flight gets in on time, you’re still looking at about 90 minutes-2 hours more on the ground to collect any checked baggage, get your rental car, then make your way out of town. Optimistically, you might be able to get on the road in earnest at ~10:00-10:30 AM, which would get you to Grand Canyon South Rim at ~3:00-3:30 PM. While that may not sound so bad at first, you must bear in mind that at the time of year you’re traveling, days are very short, with sunset taking place shortly after 5:00 PM on average.
      With a late afternoon arrival, that won’t give you much time for sightseeing. Therefore, you should plan to spend part of the following day taking in the sights you weren’t able to hit the day before. This won’t leave you enough time to visit Horseshoe Bend. Under normal circumstances, it takes ~3 hours to drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Horseshoe Bend. However, due to COVID-19, a critical component of the normal travel route has been closed by order of the Navajo Indian Tribe. Therefore, a very long detour down through Flagstaff, then back up North via US89 is required to get from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ, turning what used to be a 3-hour drive into a 5-hour drive. With an 8:00 AM departure on December 14th, you should plan on being back to Phoenix by the evening if December 13th. IMO, attempting to travel from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, then back to Phoenix that night would turn that day into more like a “death march” of constant driving (10-11 hours behind the wheel), which doesn’t sound like my idea of a vacation at all!
      If you’re thinking that you’ll just do some of the driving at night, you should rethink that as well. 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 you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, prioritize it this time around. Spend the night either inside the park or in Tusayan, just 7 miles outside the park for optimal comfort. Grand Canyon hotels
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  37. Hello! I will be traveling from Las Vegas to Horseshoe bend In early November, the trip is about 4 hours and 30 minutes. I was wondering if COVID has impacted anything in relation to the canyon? Can we still hike up? And how much does it cost to park/the entire experience? I would hate to make the trip only to realize it has been closed off or has restrictions. Any other tips or rules or ideas you have for my inexperienced group I would greatly appreciate it!! Thank you Very much!

    1. Hey Angie!
      You’ll be glad to know that Horseshoe Bend is open. It is one of a few attractions that never closed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset, you pay a one-time $10/vehicle parking fee, and we recommend allowing up to 2 hours to park, walk up to the rim, take photos, and walk back. There is some construction going on in the area that may delay your arrival slightly, but not by much.
      One thing I must point out is that in early November, days are starting to get quite short. Sunrise (in Las Vegas) occurs at around 6:45 AM, sunset takes place just after 6:00 PM. This gives you less than 12 hours of daylight to work with if you’re proposing to make a day trip of this. You want to avoid doing any driving in Northern Arizona or Southern Utah after dark 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. Between St. George, UT, and Las Vegas, NV, it’s not too bad because you have relatively sizeable city light domes along that section of I-15.
      In light (pardon the pun) of those considerations, I would advise leaving Page, AZ, no later than 3:00 PM local time. Or better yet, spend the night in Page, AZ, so you can enjoy more sights around the area. The most significant closure due to COVID-19 is the Antelope Canyons. Boat tours will probably not be available either since most companies cease operations for the season in October.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hello Alley.
        We are planning a Family trip (10 people) for the 50th anniversary of my wife. Our intention is to stay in Flagstaff on November 21st until 24th.
        We are looking to go to the horseshoe, antelope and also Sedona during those 2 full days. Is that doable?
        From your note, it seems that going to the Antelope might be a challenge since most of the tour companies will be closed by then.
        Is there any way in which we can visit the antelope during those days? is the antelope park closed even if we get a private tour that can do the tour for us?
        I’m not so sure if the same questions will apply to the horseshoe.
        I know it is going to be cold during November and that is the reason why we want to stay in Flagstaff and drive from there to these attractions during the day.
        Any other suggestions or places that we should include?
        Thank you very much for your help and assistance….Cheers

        1. Hey Nick, and congratulations on your upcoming anniversary!
          Well, let’s get the bad news out of the way first: Antelope Canyon is not going to happen. The fact that the tour companies are closed is only part of the picture: per orders of the Navajo Tribe, all attractions on reservations lands are closed through the end of 2020 (at the earliest). That means Monument Valley, the Antelope Canyons, Canyon de Chelly campground, the Four Corners, and the Little Colorado River Overlook are off-limits to outsiders, period. Trying to get there either on your own or with someone offering a “private tour” constitutes trespassing, and all that that implies.
          The good news: Horseshoe Bend is open. It is one of the few attractions in this area that never closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is open from sunrise to sunset, and you pay a one-time $10 parking fee. Allow at least 2 hours to park, walk out to the rim, take photos, and walk back. The trail is ~1.5 miles round-trip. Heads up, there is a construction project going on nearby that could tack some extra time onto your arrival and/or departure. Time and/or inclination permitting, you could also walk across the Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge, hike the “New” Wave area, visit the John Wesley Powell/Glen Canyon Conservancy Museum, or view Lake Powell from the Grandview Overlook Park (you can’t actually get to the lake from there, but the view is awesome!).
          It will take you ~2.5 hours hours, one way, to drive from Flagstaff, AZ, to Page, AZ. It is very important that you do any and all driving during daylight hours. This is due to the fact that roads are very dimly lit in this part of the U.S., which is a deliberate move in some cases to preserve the natural quality of the night sky. Another potential hazard is the presence of deer, elk, and free-range livestock such as cattle, horses, sheep, and goats. You don’t want to risk a collision with one in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold (nighttime temps can dip down pretty low in late November), where cell service is spotty or non-existent, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. At the time of year you’re visiting, sunrise takes place at ~7:15 AM and sunset occurs around 5:15 PM. You should plan on leaving Page, AZ, at 3:00 PM at the very latest.
          If seeing a slot canyon remains on your “wish list” — and we wouldn’t blame you a bit if it was! — you’ll need to rethink your plan by spending one night in Page, AZ, or Kanab, UT, so you can 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
          Other areas you might visit include Sedona, AZ, as you’ve mentioned, but fair warning: going there as a day trip will leave you wanting! Sedona is the type of place that you could spend 3-4 days in and still feel as though you’d only “scratched the surface.” It takes ~1 hour, one way, to drive there from Flagstaff, AZ. Here again, be sure you head out of town well before sunset, especially the section of US89A from Sedona to Flagstaff through Oak Creek Canyon. It’s very twisty, and can be quite scary to drive at night. Things to do in Sedona, AZ
          I notice that the Grand Canyon is conspicuously absent from your inquiry. If you’ve never been there, you should definitely set aside a day to visit. It will take you about 1.5 hours, one way, to drive from Flagtaff to Grand Canyon South Rim. Upon arrival, park your vehicle as close to Grand Canyon Village as you can, then use the shuttles to get around to some of the overlooks on the West Rim/Hermit’s Rest Road. If you’ve already been, or maybe plan to save a visit there for another time, you might instead use that day to visit Meteor Crater and Petrified Forest/Painted Desert National Monument, East of Flagstaff, AZ, on I-40. It takes ~2 hours one way (not factoring in stops) to get to Petrified Forest. Meteor Crater is on the way. If you take us up on this, be sure to include a stop in Winslow, AZ, so you can take a selfie at “Standin’ On The Corner in Winslow, Arizona” park, and stop into the La Posada Hotel, maybe enjoy a meal in the Turquoise Room.
          Or, you can just stick around the immediate vicinity of Flagstaff AZ, and visit such places as the Museum of Northern Arizona, Riordan Mansion, Walnut Canyon National Monument, or Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monument. If it’s snowing, maybe you might go up to Snow Bowl, the local ski resort. One day itinerary for Flagstaff, AZ
          Whatever you decide, be sure to book all hotels and guided tours ASAP; now would not be too soon to start making reservations!
          Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

          1. Hi Alley
            We were wanting to visit on Christmas day, we are coming from Dallas and that day is open.
            Thanks for your input

          2. Hi Aarohi,
            Yes, Horseshoe Bend will be open, barring circumstances such as extremely bad weather, etc.
            The parking lot is open from sunrise (7:35 AM) to sunset (5:15 PM). A one-time parking fee of $10 will be assessed at the entrance fee booth.
            Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
            Alley 🙂

  38. Hello, we are planning a trip to Horseshoe Bend from Santa Clarita (LA county) We are planning to drive directly to Page, AZ. (long drive but we had all day and will be stoping) stay the night. Saturday morning visit some key highlights in Page in the early morning, then head to the Grand Canyon mid-afternoon stay in William, AZ… Sunday, drive to Sedona and visit some main highlights then drive back to William az and spend the night. Monday coming back home. Is there any road closures that would affect our trip? Thank you so much in advance.

    1. Hi Michele,
      You are correct in that it’s going to be a long trip from Santa Clarita, CA, to Page, AZ: ~9-10 hours factoring in bathroom breaks, meal stops, gas, etc. If that sounds like too much, Las Vegas, NV, would be a good place to break up the drive.
      As for the rest of your trip, there is a key road closure that will affect your trip, namely, the stretch of AZ64 West from Cameron, AZ, to Desert View Point. This means that to drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim, you must go all the way down to Flagstaff, then head to the park via US180/AZ64 or I-40/AZ64. This means that what is normally a ~3-hour drive, has turned into more like a ~5 hour drive. The drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Williams, AZ, is ~1 hour. The trip from Williams, AZ, to Sedona is ~2 hours. The trip back to Santa Clarita will then be ~8-9 hours. Map of the trip
      In light of the road closure on the Eastern side of the canyon, and the limitations on your time, you may want to whittle down your “wish list” a bit, and as much as I hate to say it, Page, AZ, would probably be the best candidate for elimination, especially if you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the “Big Three” American National Parks, and as such, should take priority over everything else.
      Sorry, I know it’s a hard choice.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Alley! I’m hoping you can assist me with answering some questions about a possible day trip to Horseshoe Bend. My husband and I will be flying into Phoenix and then we plan to stay in Sedona for two nights, and fly out of Flagstaff. We would like to go to Horseshoe Bend for a day trip on a Sunday. How far of a drive would it be from Sedona to Horseshoe Bend? Would it be worth the trip? I hear Antelope Canyon is closed due to COVID. Any tips/information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

        1. Hi Dana!
          I don’t recall seeing when you were planning to travel, but I assume it’s sometime in the immediate to near future.
          If so, you might want to re-think visiting Horseshoe Bend as a day trip out of Sedona. For one thing, it takes ~3 hours, one way, to drive from Sedona, AZ, to Page, AZ, where Horseshoe Bend is located. Another consideration: days are rapidly shortening at this time of year. Assuming you’re traveling in early November, sunrise takes place at around 7:00 AM and sunset occurs just before 5:30 PM. That’s ~10.5 hours of daylight, and you’re proposing to eat up 6 of those hours in the car already. You should allot at least 2 hours to visit Horseshoe Bend.
          In this part of the U.S., any and all driving should be done during daylight hours. This is because local roads are very dimly lit; in some areas, this is a deliberate move to preserve the natural quality of the night sky. Plus, there’s the possibility of having a “close encounter of the worst kind” with a large animal, such as deer, elk, free range cows, even wild horses. You don’t want to risk having an animal vs. vehicle accident in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, possibly cold (nighttime temps are dipping down around freezing in some areas), where cell service is spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
          Even though the Antelope Canyons are closed, there are still other sights and attractions in Page, AZ, that are open, and would be worthwhile to explore. These include but are not limited to the Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge, the Hanging Garden Trail, the John Wesley Powell/Glen Canyon Conservancy Museum, Grandview Overlook Park, just to name a few. However, with 6 hours of your day taken up by driving, and 2 hours gone after visiting Horseshoe Bend, that only leaves you a couple of hours. At some point, you’ll want to grab something to eat and fuel up your vehicle before heading back to Sedona.
          Long story short: a day trip out of Sedona is doable, push comes to shove. But if you can somehow modify your schedule so you can spend the night in Page, AZ, you’d have a much better time!
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  39. Hello. We’re planning a road trip for my niece’s 8th b’day that includes Phoenix, Grand Canyon, possibly Horseshoe Ben, Sky Walk and then Vegas between 11/5-11/9.

    We’re thinking of driving to Phoenix and stay the night. Now my wife wants to go see Horseshoe Ben from Phoenix and then head towards the South Rim where we would stay the night. Next day spent the day at South Rim and maybe drive towards Sky Walk to be closer. Then check out Sky Walk and head to Vegas and see the Hoover Dam. All this would be done between Friday through Monday(11/6-11/9). Is this even possible to do with 3 adults and 4 kids?

    Also, what would be your recommendation on how I should plan the trip? Does Horseshoe Bend seem to be a stretch? What are the road conditions around the area(s) we will driving to?

    Thanks Amit

    1. Hi Amit,
      Happy birthday to your young niece! Which makes me all the more sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your trip plans are a bit too ambitious, even under ideal conditions.
      Normally it would take you ~5 hours to drive from Phoenix to Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim. Normally, it would then take ~3 hours (one way) to drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim. However, because of COVID-19, an integral component of the shortest travel route between the two places has been closed to through traffic, which means you have to take a rather long detour from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim through Flagstaff, AZ. This has turned a 3-hour drive into more like a 5-hour drive. You would then be facing a 5-hour drive to Las Vegas, and a 2.5-3 hour drive to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.
      The Grand Canyon Skywalk is approximately a 4.5 hour drive from Grand Canyon South Rim, and there is no lodging in the immediate area of the tribal park (the closest is Kingman, AZ, 1.5 hours South of Grand Canyon West). It is then a 2.5-3 hour drive from Grand Canyon West to Las Vegas.
      With 3 days to work with, and in light of the road closures in effect, you’re going to have to take one of these attractions off the table. If your plan to fly into Phoenix and out of Las Vegas is firm, as much as I hate to say it, it makes the most sense to take Horseshoe Bend and Page, AZ out of the mix.
      Plan on spending 1-2 nights at the Grand Canyon, then either go direct to Las Vegas (~5 hours from Grand Canyon South Rim) and take a Grand Canyon Skywalk tour from there, or set aside a day to self-drive to Grand Canyon West and the Skywalk. Be aware that a trip to Grand Canyon West and the Skywalk will be an expensive proposition for 7 people. For more information on ticket prices, visit http://www.GrandCanyonWest.com
      Roads along this route are fully paved and well-travelled, so no problem finding your way and staying on it.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  40. Hi Alley,
    I have been reading your replies and they are so informative. Thank you!
    My family is planning for a RV trip from San Francisco to Zion area this Thanksgiving (Nov 20-29). We were planning to stop at Death Valley, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Grand Canyon. Just found out that we planned too late (RV camping sites are not available in Grand Canyon park) and shuttle from Tusayan is currently closed due to COVID. November is probably not a good time for a RV trip in this area either (no shuttles in Bryce). Since you are so knowledgeable about this area, I hope you can give us some advice.
    1. Are we better off not renting a RV, but a trailer so that we can drive the SUV, which can be more accessible?
    2. Can we (easily) drive and park the RV in Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon national park?
    3. From Zion to Bryce, is No. 9 road easy to drive, especially for RV? I saw people recommending take 59/389/89 instead.
    4. Is it an easy drive from Bryce to Horseshoe Bend?
    5. Any recommendations on where we can spend more time and it’s accessible by RV in this area?
    Thank you in advance!
    Yan

    1. Hi Yan, and thanks for your compliments.
      At the time of year you’re visiting, I’d forego the RV trip idea. That time of year is in the transitional period between fall and winter, and in the higher elevations, such as Grand Canyon South Rim (7,000′ above sea level) and Bryce (8,000′ above sea level), it’s going to be cold. You may even encounter snow. Besides, by that point in time, many RV parks are closed for the season, and if you were wanting to rent an RV, many rental outlets are already winterizing their fleet, which means you wouldn’t be able to use any water fixtures. Even if you decide to go the SUV/trailer route, you would most likely run into the same issues. Since nighttime temperatures are dipping down below freezing in many areas, you’d want access to reliable heat. Long story short, best to go the hotel/motel route. Grand Canyon hotels
      As for whether you can easily drive and park an RV in Zion, Bryce, and the Grand Canyon, there are ample parking spaces designated for RV’s, buses and larger vehicles in most National Parks. During peak season, the key is to get to the parks early, as in before 9:00 AM. Since November is considered “shoulder” season, it won’t be as busy as it would be during the summer months, but an early arrival will allow you to get the most of your sightseeing day.
      For driving to Zion, vehicles of certain dimensions are required to have an escort through the Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel. Otherwise, UT9 from Zion to Bryce is driveable by RV’s or vehicles pulling trailers. It’s just a bit narrow. The other route you describe would take you quite a ways out of your way, but it’s a wider road if that makes you more comfortable.
      The drive from Bryce Canyon to Horseshoe Bend takes ~3 hours, driving direct, without stopping. Since it was recently announced that the Antelope Canyons will remain closed through the end of this year, you might want to stop in Kanab, UT, to tour Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. Otherwise, it’s all on paved highways and a relatively straightforward trip.
      Again, I strongly recommend you either a. don’t do this trip in an RV or trailer at this time of year or b. if you must go the RV or trailer route, reschedule your trip for a time of year when the weather is warmer and more conducive to traveling in that manner.
      For more suggestions on how to get the most out of your visit, check out “The Ultimate 7-Day Itinerary in Northern Arizona & Southern Utah” on our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ Bear in mind that this itinerary suggests visiting some attractions on the Navajo Indian Reservation, which is closed to travel at this time due to COVID-19.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  41. Hello,

    From tomorrow, we are starting our first long road trip from Chicago to Horse Shoe Band via Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado and planning to spend 1-2 days in Page to visit the as many places as possible. I read lots of comments on this page where it is mentioned that Antelope Canyon is closed due to COVID-19.We were also thinking of covering Monument Valley but looks like it is also closed due to current COVID situation.

    We have two options in mind 1) reach Las Vegas from Sand Dunes National park and then travel to Page. 2) Reach Page direct from Sand Dunes National park and travel to Las Vegas after spending 1-2 days in Page.

    Can you suggest us the best option to reach Page and list of must do activities in Page (and around Page) which can be easily covered in a day or two? It would be a great help if you can suggest places for budget accommodations as well.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Gagan,
      I hope you get this message since it sounds like you’re already on the road!
      I would strongly recommend that you go to Page, AZ, from Great Sand Dunes National Monument. It’s a long drive, 8+ hours, but from Great Sand Dunes to Las Vegas is even longer, ~12-13 hours. You pretty much have to drive through Page, AZ, anyway to get from GSD to Las Vegas. Map
      If you wanted to break up the drive between Great Sand Dunes and Page, AZ, I’d suggest doing that in Bluff, Utah. The next morning, you could hit Forrest Gump Hill near Monument Valley, and/or maybe Goosenecks State Park near Mexican Hat, UT, but don’t stop anywhere else on the Navajo Reservation. Due to COVID-19, they are discouraging outsiders from traveling on their lands if at all possible, so make sure your car is gassed up and that you have some food packed to tide you over until you get to Page, AZ.
      As for what you can do in Page, AZ, the Antelope Canyons are unfortunately not an option, but a popular alternate activity lately has been to kayak into the waterside of Lower Antelope Canyon and hiking a short distance into the mouth of the slot canyon (the areas described are on Federal land, not Indian land). For more information on this tour, visit our companion site http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ: Lake Powell Hidden Canyon Kayak Antelope Canyon Tour Other popular activities in the area are Horseshoe Bend (open sunrise to sunset), walking across the Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge, Wahweap Swim Beach, and the Big Water Visitors Center… just to name a few.
      If seeing a slot canyon is still on your “must do” list, on your way from Page, AZ, to Las Vegas, you might stop in Kanab, UT, to tour Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. 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
      If you’re up for something more rugged, 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. Located off US89 between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, on the House Rock Valley Road, the walk to the entrance of the initial slot is via a typically dry streambed, which may be composed of rather 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 Hikers are required to pay a self-permitting fee at the kiosk by the trailhead. Since the House Rock Valley Road is also unpaved, and any moisture whatsoever can render it a muddy, impassable mess, a guided tour is recommended for getting your party there and back without incident. 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
      Since touring either of these slot canyons would take at least half the day (~4-5 hours), I’d recommend staying overnight in Kanab, UT, or St. George, UT, instead of driving all the way to Las Vegas afterward.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  42. Hello Alley Keosheyan,

    Can you give advice and recommendations on day trip from Las Vegas to the horseshoe bend for 4 ladies, 2 sets of mother and daughters? We are up for anything! Is there places to rent a boat to ride the river or boat tours?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Tina,
      Here’s the deal about doing this as a day trip from Las Vegas: it takes approximately 5 hours, one way, to drive from Las Vegas to the town of Page, Arizona, where Horseshoe Bend is located. You should then allot approximately 2 hours to park your vehicle, walk the .7 miles to the rim, take photos, then walk back. Another factor in play right now is a construction project near Horseshoe Bend (on a much-needed, long overdue dedicated turn lane on the Northbound side of the highway). Traffic is being reduced to a single lane in both directions of traffic, so visitors should expect moderate delays around the construction zone. Then you’re facing a 5-hour drive back to Las Vegas.
      Antelope Canyon tours, Boat tours and raft trips are unfortunately on temporary suspension due to COVID-19, and a boat rental would probably not be a realistic option due to time constraints. If your visit is planned for the near future, you might not have time for much else besides visiting Horseshoe Bend. In mid-October, sunrise in Page, AZ, takes place at approximately 6:30 AM and sunset occurs just before 6:00 PM. That gives you ~12-12.5 hours of daylight to work with, and you want to do the majority of your driving in daylight, especially in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. Roads in this part of the U.S. are very dimly lit, which is a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky. Another potential hazard to nighttime driving is the possible presence of deer, elk, and other large animals such as free range cattle and even wild horses. You don’t want to risk a collision with any of them in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, possibly cold, 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 light dome between St. George, UT, and Las Vegas, NV, is fairly large, so if you end up driving that section of I-15 at night, it’s not that big a deal. Just be sure you’re out of the more rural areas — Page, AZ, Kanab, UT, Fredonia, AZ, Colorado City, AZ — well before nightfall.
      Long story short, if you do anything else besides visit Horseshoe Bend, it should be kept brief. I’d recommend walking across the Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge, and maybe stopping at Wahweap Swim Beach or Lone Rock Beach if you wanted to say you at least got down to the water. The afore-mentioned areas are within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, so an entrance fee would be required. If everyone in your party is in decent physical shape, you might opt instead to go to The Chains, which is a popular swimming area on the Eastern flank of the Glen Canyon Dam Steel Arch Bridge, outside the NRA. That means no fee, but it’s a bit of a hike to get down to the waterline, and back up. If you’re OK with this, and time permitting, you might also visit the Hanging Garden Area nearby. The springs are most likely dry, but it’s an easy enough hike, and quite a surprise to find in the desert.
      So…. any way you could alter your plans and stay overnight in Page, AZ? That would allow you to enjoy all the area has to offer at a much more relaxed pace.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  43. Hello! I’m planning a *very* quick visit in October of both the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend in one day on our way from Phoenix to Zion. Is this possible? If so, what so you recommend to make the most of of quick stops at both locations? We’re leaving about 1-2 hours for each. Also, are there road closures to Horseshoe Bend (coming from Grand Canyon) that could make this a much longer trip than planned? Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Jess,
      Sorry to be blunt here, but this is NOT happening.
      Several reasons for this:
      1. The drive from Phoenix to Zion National Park is ~7-8 hours realistically. I know Google maps gives the time frame at ~6 hours, but that’s wheels turning, no stops. That rarely happens because the drive is very scenic and you will be stopping to take pictures, not to mention stopping for gas, meals, etc.
      2. Assuming that you were wanting to do a quick “pop by” of Grand Canyon South Rim, this is also not realistic, mainly due to the fact that an integral component of the most logical travel route — AZ64 from Desert View to Cameron, AZ — is closed due to COVID-19. That means you’d have to drive from Phoenix to Grand Canyon South Rim via Flagstaff, AZ — which takes ~5 hours — then go all the way back to Flagstaff before heading North on US89 to to 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.
      3. You need at least 2 hours at Horseshoe Bend, and a construction project is taking place in that area that could potentially tack on ~30 minutes to your drive time. If you’ve already gone to the South Rim, and taken the detour through Flagstaff to get to Page, AZ, you’re already burning daylight. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to roads being very dimly lit; that’s a deliberate move in most cases to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky. Another safety factor is the possible presence of deer, elk, and other animals such as free range cows, sheep, and goats, and even the occasional wild horse. Trust me, you don’t want to risk a collision with one in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, extremely cold (temps in some areas of Northern Arizona will be dipping down below freezing in October), where cell service is spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. In October, sunrise occurs at ~6:30 AM, sunset takes place around 6:00 PM, Arizona time. Utah will still be on Mountain Daylight Time, meaning they’ll be one hour ahead of Arizona. Best case scenario, you’re looking at ~10 hours of driving. Map If you’re thinking, “well, I’ll just go to the North Rim,” that won’t improve things much either. The drive from Phoenix to Page, AZ, takes ~5 hours; then, you’re looking at ~2.5 hours from Page, AZ, to the North Rim, then another 2 hours to get to Zion. Map
      Long story short, your plan is not feasible. Your best bet is to get to Zion as quickly as you can, maybe make a stopover at Horseshoe Bend since you have to pass through there anyway. Then, try to set aside another day to visit Grand Canyon North Rim, provided your trip is occurring before October 18th; that’s the day that all visitor services will close for the season.
      Sorry to be the bearer of possibly bad news. Just don’t want you to be unpleasantly surprised with the realities of the drive times, time zone changes, and road closures due to COVID-19.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. This was immensely helpful! Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such a thorough response. I guess our ambitious plan became ridiculous pretty quickly🤣 We’ll rework our plan and probably just come by Horseshoe Bend. Am I understanding correctly that after 10/18, we wouldn’t even be able to get to the viewpoints at GC?

        1. Hey again, Jess!
          If you’re referring to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, all visitor services will close for the season on October 18th. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the park will close: if good weather holds out after the closure of the lodge, restaurant, etc., you could still get into the park for sightseeing. You just wouldn’t be able to get any food or drinks or use any public facilities, so keep an eye on the weather, pack a picnic lunch (be sure to stop at Jacob Lake Inn to get some cookies!), and enjoy a day visit to the North Rim.
          If weather forces the closure of the North Rim in lockstep with the visitor facilities (which I’ve seen happen), then plan a visit to Grand Canyon South Rim.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  44. Hi! I’m planning to visit HB as I’m on the way to the North Rim. Due to Navajo road closures, would I be able to take 89 all the way West to the North Rim or do I need to go all the way down to Flagstaff and back up? Just trying to have the route planned before getting there!

    1. Hi Olivia,
      Assuming that you’re coming from Grand Canyon South Rim, you’ll have to detour back down to Flagstaff, then proceed North via US89 to Page, AZ, to visit Horseshoe Bend. This detour has turned what is normally a 3-hour drive into a 4.5-5 hour drive.
      From Page, AZ, you’ll then need to head back South on US89 to Bitter Springs, AZ, then get on US89A West through the Marble Canyon/Lees Ferry/Vermillion Cliffs area. If you’re hungry by this point in time, Cliff Dweller’s Restaurant is an excellent place to stop for a meal. The view and the food will knock your socks off! Save room for dessert though: you’ll want to grab that at the Jacob Lake Inn, in the form of delicious home-baked cookies.
      The trip from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon North Rim will take anywhere from 2.5-3 hours, so you’re looking at a long drive. Map For your safety, get an early start on the day, but avoid driving at night. Roads in this part of the U.S. are very dimly lit, and are usually populated by deer, elk, and other large animals, which can hike up your chance of an accident. Not something you want to risk in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold (nighttime temperatures at the North Rim are dipping down into the 30’s already!), where cell service is spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  45. Hi,
    Does the parking lot at Horseshoe Bend accommodate motorhomes? If not, what suggestions do you have for getting there from Page? With Antelope Canyon closed what else would you recommend be on our “to see” list in the area? We will only have a motorhome for transportation.

    1. Hi Tim,
      The parking lot at Horseshoe Bend does have spaces set aside for motorhomes, buses, and other large vehicles.
      You are correct in that the Antelope Canyons are closed indefinitely, and we have no idea when that situation will change. If seeing a slot canyon is on your “to-do” list, there’s a really pretty one in Kanab, UT, you might consider visiting. It’s called Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. It offers twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons in a short but memorable 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 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 motorhome, 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
      Many other popular activities and attractions in Page, AZ, are open, with some operational modifications in place due to COVID-19.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Alley:

        I’m a novice taking a road trip and I was wondering if there is a way to see Horseshoe Bend either on the way or way back from Arizona to Zion National? I plan to see Bryce as well from Zion but I would be leaving from Zion heading back to Arizona (to see Horseshoe). On the way up to Zion, I am going through Vegas to meet a friend and continue on to Zion; I can’t seem to figure it out haha. If there is no way on the direct path to or from, how far would Horseshoe be in an opposite direction leaving from Laverkin, UT? Thanks in advance for your help.

        1. Hi Alvenia,
          So, if I understand correctly, you’re driving through Las Vegas en route to Zion, then heading up to Bryce Canyon, then ending up in LaVerkin, Utah?
          If so, Horseshoe Bend is going to be a bit of a swing out of your way, but it can be done with a bit of careful planning and a tolerance for potentially long drives.
          Horseshoe Bend is located approximately 5 miles South of the town of Page, Arizona. From Zion National Park, it’s ~2 hours Southeast; then to get up to Bryce, you’re looking at a 2.5-3 hour drive Northwest.
          From LaVerkin, UT, Horseshoe Bend is ~2.5 hours (mind you, all these figures are ONE WAY, not round-trip!) SouthEast. If you were to return to Las Vegas after visiting Horseshoe Bend, you’d then be facing a 5 hour drive. On the return trip, you could swing through Marble Canyon and Lees Ferry to avoid some backtracking.
          Map
          Hope that helps you sort it out.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

          1. Oh my goodness, I thought you never responded and I couldn’t find a thread haha. I went to Zion and Bryce and it was incredible. I am planning a trip to Horseshoe Bend/Antelope Canyon so I’ll hopefully get to see it soon. Thank you so much for your assistance.

          2. Hi again Alvenia,
            Glad you had a good time! Unfortunately, Antelope Canyons are set to remain closed at least through the end of 2020. Hope you’re able to plan a visit for the future when the danger from COVID-19 has passed.
            Take care and Happy Holidays,
            Alley 🙂

  46. Hi Alley,

    I am coming to Sedona for the first time with my cousin in about 10 days. We really want to go see Horseshoe Bend, Kayak Lake Powell, and see Antelope Canyon. I understand that Antelope Canyon is in Navajo Nation, and since that area is closed, the Canyon is closed also. I also saw that the road (89) travels through Navajo Nation from Sedona to Horseshoe Bend. Do you know if we will have any problems getting to Horseshoe Bend, due to the closure of Navajo Nation? Also, is it possible to kayak near the entrance of Antelope Canyon? Any advice you can provide will be appreciated.

    1. Hi Ralhan!
      You are correct that the Antelope Canyons remain closed to ground tours at this time. However, US89 between Sedona and Page, AZ, is fully open. Closure of this road was not an option since it is an essential shipping and travel corridor. Horseshoe Bend is open 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset. And yes, it absolutely is possible to kayak through the waterside of Antelope Canyon, and due to the dry summer we had, you can even hike a short distance into the beginning of the slot canyon section! Due to the closure of the land-side of Antelope Canyon, these tours have become insanely popular, so be sure you make reservations ASAP! For more information, visit our companion site, AntelopeCanyon.AZ and check out Lake Powell Hidden Canyon Kayak Tours.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  47. Hi Alley,

    Thanks for being a wealth of information!

    I plan on flying in on 9/30 to Las Vegas, and staying the night. My fiancé and I plan on driving super early Thursday morning towards the Grand Canyon and exploring all day Thursday and Friday. We would be getting a hotel for Thursday and Friday night, checking out Saturday morning. We would be open to exploring half a day Saturday if we’re not burned out :). We were thinking about staying at the best western in Grand Canyon, AZ 86023.

    We both have never been and would truly appreciate your advice on how we can maximize our Thursday and Friday and potentially half of Saturday.

    Thank you in advance 😀

    1. Hi Alexis!
      Two full days is plenty of time to have a fulfilling visit to Grand Canyon National Park.
      If you and your fiance like to take nice long walks, you could use one of your days to walk along the canyon rim on the Hermit’s Rest/West Rim Drive. When you’ve had enough, you can simply hop on a shuttle bus to come back to Grand Canyon Village. Keep in mind that shuttle capacity is limited to 15 people per car due to COVID-19 and you must wear a mask while riding.
      As for your other full day, use that to drive to the overlooks along the Desert View/East Rim Drive. Here again, due to COVID-19, you’ll only be able to go as far as Navajo Point, the next to last stop on the rim, then you’d have to turn around to come back to the Village, but the accessible views are still beautiful and you will still have a wonderful day of sightseeing
      To make your visit extra-special, consider making dinner reservations at El Tovar on one of your evenings.
      The Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn is a perfectly good place to stay, it’s actually outside the park in Tusayan, AZ. On that final morning before heading back to Las Vegas, you could walk down to the National Geographic Visitors Center to catch the awesome IMAX movie, “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.” Another fun activity would be to take a Grand Canyon air tour by fixed wing airplane or helicopter. Morning is optimal time to fly for best light and least wind.
      If neither of these activities appeal to you, you could still get an early start back to Las Vegas and take a detour of one of the last remaining intact stretches of Route 66 from Seligman, AZ, to Kingman, AZ. If you’ve ever seen the original “Cars” movie, some of the sights there will definitely look familiar. This will turn a 4.5 hour drive into more of a 6.5 hour drive, but in that extra two hours, you’ll take a fun and memorable trip back in time!
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  48. Hello! I am thinking about eloping at horseshoe bend next September. It would just be myself, my fiancé, the photographer, and officiant. Nothing crazy, just saying vows (5-10 minutes) and then taking pictures. This will be on a Tuesday in the middle of the day. I have read several places that I will need to get a permit but is that for more large scale wedding and events? Also, how long of a walk is it from the parking area to the bend?

    Thanks in advance!
    Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah, and congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!
      As a general rule, anything that constitutes an outside-of-the-norm usage of Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and other areas requires a special use permit. This also depends on whether the location you’re looking to elope at is on Federal Land or Native American Land. In the case of Horseshoe Bend, it could go either way. If you think that sounds kind of complicated, it can be for those unfamiliar with the area. That’s why we recommend working with a professional wedding and event planning service with the connections and knowledge to make the process as seamless as possible. We recommend Monumental Arizona Weddings because they have extensive experience helping people like yourself plan unforgettable weddings throughtout Arizona, and we know the owners personally. For more information, visit http://www.HorseshoeBendWedding.com
      Regarding the distance to the rim, here again, it depends on whether you access Horseshoe Bend from the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, or the Navajo Reservation (should the reservation be open by then): the Glen Canyon trail (with the very clearly signed parking area) is .7 miles one way; the Navajo Reservation access point requires a walk of only ~200-300 yards.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and have a beautiful wedding!
      Alley 🙂

  49. Hi Alley,

    Me and My Husband are planning a trip to Zion National park on September 30th. We wanted to Visit Horse Shoe Bend on Oct,2nd and 3rd. Due to COVID, I heard that there are restriction to visit Antelope. But, Is there a route we can take from Zion or Bryce National park to visit Horse Bend avoiding road closures? Can you Please suggest things we can do in Horse shoe Bend with many places closed at this Time?

    1. Hi Jo,
      You’ll be happy to know that there are no road closures affecting travel between Zion National Park, Horseshoe Bend, and Bryce Canyon. You have, however, heard correctly that the Antelope Canyons are closed, and might remain so at the time of your visit. (Want to be notified the minute Antelope Canyon reopens? Get on our priority e-mail list on http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ) Should this be the case, and if you still want to visit a slot canyon, you have the perfect opportunity to do so in Kanab, UT, which happens to be right on the way between Zion and Bryce. Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon offers twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons in a short but memorable 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 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 Horseshoe Bend, you’ll need to travel to Page, Arizona, ~70 minutes from Kanab, UT. The parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset. We recommend allowing ~2 hours to park, walk out to the rim, take photos and walk back to your vehicle. The drive from Page, AZ, to Bryce Canyon takes ~3 hours. With that in mind, you should probably plan on spending a night in Page, AZ, then driving on to Bryce the next day. As for “so many places being closed” in Page, the truth is, there is more open and accessible than you might think, such as Wahweap Marina, Antelope Point Marina, The Chains, Lone Rock Beach, Page Rim View Trail, Grandview Overlook Park, jeep tours, air tours, kayak and paddleboard rentals, just to name a few.
      Whatever you decide, be sure to make hotel reservations ASAP. October is a great time to be here!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thank you Alley for replying. It is a huge relief to hear that there is no road closures from Zion to Horse Shoe bend. As your suggestion, we booked our accommodation in Page for overnight stay. We will also be exploring few places in page. Thank you once again.

        1. You are welcome, Jo. Hope you have a wonderful trip. If you get a minute when you return home, let us know how it went!

  50. Hi Alley,
    I have a undercanvas Grand Canyon trip booked for Oct 1-4 . I am leaving the 1st at 7am from North Hollywood, LA.
    I want to visit Horseshoe Bend, what do you recommend? Should I do a day trip from GC to HB and back to GC? Or on the last day should I drive up to HB from GC and circle back home? What do you recommend I do?
    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hey Karen!
      I don’t recommend you do either, mainly because the Navajo Tribe has closed a key component of the shortest travel route from Grand Canyon South Rim to Horseshoe Bend due to COVID-19. Horseshoe Bend is located near the town of Page, Arizona. Under normal circumstances, the trip from Grand Canyon to Page would take 2.5-3 hours. With the closure of AZ64 from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ, you now are forced to drive all the way back to Flagstaff, AZ, then head North to Page, AZ, on US89. This turns a 2.5-3 hour trip into a drive of 4.5 hours or longer.
      That’s not to say that the closure of AZ64 might not be lifted by the time you visit, but another important consideration is daylength. In early October, it’s shortening. Sunrise occurs at around 6:30 AM, sunset takes place just before 6:00 PM. That gives you less than 10 hours of daylight to work with, a 5-hour round-trip drive — optimistically speaking — and only enough time to see Horseshoe Bend and not much else. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit, and the possibility of colliding with a large mammal such as a deer, elk, free range cow, or even a wild horse. That’s not something you want to chance in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold (nights are starting to dip down pretty low at that time of year), where cell service may be spotty if you can get any bars at all, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. Should the closure of AZ64 East remain in effect at the time of your trip, forget about making a day trip to Page, AZ, to visit Horseshoe Bend. Ditto for doing a quick “pop-by” on the way back home from Grand Canyon South Rim.
      Long story short, a better plan would be to take one of the nights you have allotted to Grand Canyon Under Canvas and spend the night in Page, AZ. That way, you can visit Horseshoe Bend and not be so crunched for time. The drive from Page, AZ, back to LA would be slightly longer than the drive from GC to LA, but only by about 90 minutes.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hello Alley,

        This is definitely very helpful! I had no idea the route was closed so I am so glad I asked. I will look into rearranging some things around or will definitely have to plan a second trip to visit Page and see more of the beauty in that area! Huge thank you!

      2. Hi Alley,

        Your response was super helpful! I have a few questions I would love if you could give me some clarity on.
        We are planning a road trip from Los Angeles throughout the South West in mid-October and were planning to stop in Page, AZ to visit Horseshoe Bend for 2 nights/1 day on the way from Las Vegas to Santa Fe.

        Is 1 day enough to visit HB and are there any guided tours we can do of the site that are not aerial? We will likely do an aerial option but are wanting a full day experience, not only a 30 minute flight. Do we need to do a guided tour? Also, do you think it’s worth the visit considering Antelope Canyon is closed?

        Essentially, we are trying to break up the drive and HB seemed like a great place to stop for a visit but I want to make sure we get the most out of the experience and it’s worth our while. Any direction or recommendations you could give me would be greatly appreciated!

        Thanks,
        Sarita

        1. Hi Sarita,
          Mid-October is a great time to be here! Since Horseshoe Bend can be visited by private vehicle, a guided tour is not necessary. The parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset, and we recommend allowing 90 minutes-2 hours to park, walk to the rim, take photos, then walk back to your vehicle. Another recommendation is to hit Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and fewer crowds.
          If you’re looking for a half-day or all-day tour of some sort, there are several we can heartily recommend!
          White Pocket: a stunning geological area near The Wave that doesn’t require a permit or any hard-core hiking, but should be explored with a guided tour due to the difficult nature of the road leading to it. There are several tour companies that offer
          – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
          – Paria Outpost & Outfitters, (928) 691-1047, http://www.paria.com
          – 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
          – Vermilion Adventures, (928) 645-9102, https://www.antelopecanyon.com/vermilion-adventures/
          Alstrom Point: a knock-your-socks off panoramic view of Lake Powell, only visited by a small percentage of visitors due to the rugged nature of the road. Tour companies that can get you to this area include:
          – Horseshoe Bend Tours, (435) 275-4594, https://www.alstrompointtour.com
          – Lake Powell Adventures, 928-660-9683, https://lakepowelladventure.com/
          – Action Photo Tours, (435)767-0222, https://actionphototours.com/alstrom-point-2/
          – Big Orange Jeep Tours, 928-288-0685, https://bigorangejeeps.com/
          – Lake Powell Scenic Tours, 928-316-6060, https://lakepowellscenictours.com/
          Kayak/Hiking combination tours of Lone Rock or Antelope Canyon waterside: does not offer the “classic” slot canyon scenery of Upper or Lower Antelope, but is a fun experience regardless! Tour companies that can help you out with that are:
          – Kayak Lake Powell, 928-660-0778, http://www.kayakpowell.com
          – Lake Powell Hidden Canyon Kayak, (928) 660-1836, http://www.lakepowellhiddencanyonkayak.com
          – Lake Powell Adventure Company, 928-660-9683, http://www.lakepowelladventure.com
          – Lake Powell Paddleboards & Kayaks, 928-645-4017, http://www.lakepowellpaddleboards.com
          Hope that helps! Feel free to write in again if we can be of further guidance,
          Alley 🙂

  51. Hi, we are planning to go Horseshoe bend on Sep 6th. Following your advise we are staying in Page so we can be early there. Just my husband and I, no kids. What recommendations can you provide me for one day trip.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Marcia,
      Under normal circumstances, our recommendations for a 24-hour stay in Page, AZ, would include an Antelope Canyon tour and perhaps a Lake Powell Boat Tour or Horseshoe Bend Raft Trip, but these aren’t normal circumstances, unfortunately 🙁
      After visiting Horseshoe Bend first thing in the morning, you’ll still find other ways to enjoy the scenery and geology of the area. For exampke, 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 enjoy 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 enjoy the short hike to the Hanging Gardens area. The springs are probably dry, 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. Hey Alley,
        I’ll be lodging in Page, AZ with my mom and sister and we will like to visit horseshow band, antelope canyon, and lake powell. Would 2 days be enough? How long does it take to hike Horseshoe band to the top and how long would it take?

        1. Hi Carolina,
          48 hours in Page, AZ, is usually sufficient to check off all the items on your “to do” list, depending on how much of Lake Powell you want to see. Lake Powell is huge, the 2nd largest reservoir in the U.S., so one could spend a day just scratching the surface, or weeks on a houseboat delving into the complexity of her 100+ side canyons! Since I assume that your Lake Powell sightseeing plans are not as in-depth as a multi-day houseboat trip, you should be able to have a wonderful time seeing the parts of Lake Powell visible from US89 and the scenic Lake Shore Drive.
          Right now, the item that could potentially throw the biggest wrench into your plans is the Antelope Canyons. At the moment, they are closed due to COVID-19. They are expected to reopen this fall, but when/if that will happen remains uncertain. More on that in a minute…
          In answer to your question about how long it takes to hike to Horseshoe Bend, the trail is .7 miles long, one-way. We recommend allotting 2 hours to park, hike to the rim, take photos, then hike back. The parking lot is open from sunrise to sunset. If you are visiting in the near future, try to hit the overlook right after sunrise to enjoy cooler temperatures and smaller crowds.
          Back on the subject of the Antelope Canyons, should they remain closed by the time you get here, 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
          Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  52. Hi Alley,

    We are planning a trip in early November – Flying into Flagstaff around 1 p.m. on Thursday and having that as “home base” until we depart at 2 p.m. on Sunday. We want to see the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Lower Antelope Canyon (if it’s open). We’d like to see Sedona as well, but don’t imagine we’d have enough time. Also, Many have mentioned the ‘pink jeep tours’… thoughts?

    Can you suggest a good itinerary for the weekend which would accommodate seeing all the above listed places?

    Thanks

    1. Dear M D,
      In November, I would not recommend using Flagstaff as a “base camp” from which to visit the more popular attractions in Northern Arizona, except maybe for Sedona.
      The main reason for this is because in November, your days are getting very short: sunrise occurs at around 7:00 AM, and sunset takes place just before 5:30 PM. That gives you only 10-10.5 hours of daylight to work with. The drive from Flagstaff, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim takes ~1.5 hours, each way, so right there, you have 3 hours of your day gone. The trip from Flagstaff to Page, AZ, where Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon are located, takes 2.5 hours one way, so the driving basically eats up half of your usable daylight. Nighttime driving is not recommended in this part of the U.S. due to area roads being very dimly lit, and the possible presence of deer, elk, free range cattle, feral horses, and other wildlife that could ratchet up your risk of a collision. Trust me, you don’t want that to happen in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold (nighttime lows are starting to hover around the freezing point), where cell service may be spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      A better plan would be something like this:
      Thursday: Fly into Flagstaff, drive to Grand Canyon South Rim, overnight at the Grand Canyon
      Friday: Drive to Page, AZ and tour Antelope Canyon. ***Depending on the status of COVID-19 on the Navajo Reservation, and whether or not AZ64 from Desert View to Cameron is open, the drive could take at least 2.5 hours, or at most 5 hours*** Overnight in Page, AZ
      Saturday: Visit Horseshoe Bend at sunrise, then drive to Sedona (~3 hour drive) for Pink Jeep Tour in afternoon, overnight in Flagstaff, AZ (~1 hour from Sedona, AZ)
      Sunday: Fly home
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  53. Hi,

    We are aiming to visit around Thanksgiving this year and will have a 7 year old in tow. I’s love to visit Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, is that doable in one day? We are pressed for time, sadly, and may have to choose between the two.

    1. Hi Nicole,
      Provided the Antelope Canyons are open by the time you are set to travel (they are currently closed due to COVID-19), visiting both Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon is perfectly doable in a day. The two attractions are located 10-15 minutes’ drive away from one another. A guided tour is required, which should be booked in advance since the Thanksgiving holiday is a popular time to travel. How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  54. Hi there, we are planning to watch the sunrise this week at Horseshoe Bend. What time should we arrive, 5am? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Mackenzie!
      Sunrise occurs at approximately 5:15-5:20 AM this week, so arriving at 5:00 AM is a good plan. You may have to wait a few minutes for the gate to open, but you’ll be positioned to find a good parking spot.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hello James,
      The trail to Horseshoe Bend is ~.7 miles one way, is partially paved, and relatively even. Most people in good physical health can handle it, including children. A couple of cautionary points: if you’re planning to visit during the summer, keep in mind that daytime high temperatures are very hot, sometimes around and upwards of 110 degrees (F), and the Horseshoe Bend Overlook is almost completely exposed save for a small shade pavillion. For that reason, water must be carried for all members of your party, and sun protection such as hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, and close-toed shoes are strongly recommended. The summer heat is also a good reason for timing your visit for the hours just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds.
      If for some reason you determine that any or all members of your family cannot make the walk to Horseshoe Bend, you might look into alternate means of viewing it, such as flying over it in an airplane or helicopter — which might be fun regardless!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Nelly,
      This is a good question.
      The answer depends on a couple of things: how far along you are in your pregnancy, and what time of year you’re planning on visiting. If you’re in the late second or third trimester of pregnancy, the walk — which is actually ~1.4 mile round-trip — might be a little much for you, particularly if you’re visiting during the summer months. Daytime temperatures get VERY hot up here, sometimes upwards of 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and the trail to Horseshoe Bend has virtually no shade save for a small structure on the rim. If your trip is timed for the summer, plan to hit the Overlook just after sunrise, when temperatures are cooler.
      If you decide that you might be better off sitting things out, you might contact Horseshoe Bend Tours as they go to the overlook via a private entrance where the walk is only ~200 yards.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Kim,
      Good question, to which the short answer is “yes!”
      The long-ish answer: the Horseshoe Bend Overlook is open from sunrise to sunset. We recommend timing your visit for just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  55. Please help, I lost my camera bag, full of camera equipment at the Horseshoe Bend lookout parking on 3/12/2020. It has my name, Sara Bartlett marked clearly on the camera and other items. If found, please call me at (407) 920-8472.

    1. Hi Sara,
      So sorry that you lost your camera bag! We would encourage you to call the City of Page at 928-645-8861 or the Page, AZ, police department at 928-645-2463.
      Hope you find it,
      Alley

      1. Hi Alley,

        Is the observation point of Horseshoe Bend still open with everything going on right now? We are heading there today and were hoping to get to walk to the rim.
        Thanks for any advice,
        Amy

        1. Hello Amy,
          Sorry to be late in response to your inquiry.
          For those asking the same question, at this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open for visitation. For your health and safety, and that of your families, 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.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  56. Hi Alley,

    It’s an unusual post, I’m sure, but I just wanted to bring your attention to the fact Horseshoe Bend site in Google Maps has the wrong description (in Overview and About): “Historic park along the Tallapoosa River known for hiking, boating & Andrew Jackson’s Creek War win.” On the map itself it also shows as “Historic park with hiking trails & river”.

    Obviously this is wrong. Being a Google Local Guide, I tried to submit an edit to Google but was denied twice, probably because there is no appropriate place for this edit to be submitted (no corresponding field for this particular change – which I also let Google know about).

    So Google is silent and this incorrect description continues to confuse people. Thought I’d let you know.

    Thanks,
    Michael

    1. Hi Michael,
      Feel your pain, brother. I, too, am a Level 7 Local Guide for Google, and have tried numerous times to get this description changed! It chaps my hide every time I see that description, but if there’s a “magic bullet” to get it changed, I have yet to find it.
      Will keep trying,
      Alley 🙂

    2. Hi Alley,

      I am also a local guide (level 9) and will definitely come to visit this beautiful location around the 16th / 17th of May this year.
      I posted this challenge in the local guides connect forum, where I received 2 answers within an hour.
      First of all, it seams that the foot note is used from the Horseshoe Bend in Alabama as a default…..
      But the best thing you can do, is claiming the Google Maps location and change the text in Google My Business.

      See also the current thread that I have set up:
      https://www.localguidesconnect.com/t5/General-Discussion/How-to-Change-the-foot-note-under-a-location/m-p/2278692#M747163

      CU, Kees Henzen, Netherlands

      1. Hi Kees,
        Wow, Level 9? That’s amazing!
        Thank you so much for posting this in the local guides forum, which I had heretofore not known about! Hopefully we’ll make some headway now.
        Hope you have a wonderful time in Page, AZ!
        Good luck and safe travels,
        Alley 🙂

  57. Hi, we recently went last year and we fell in love with the beautiful view and we enjoyed going out there, my fiance and I will be getting married next month and I’m not sure how this works but we would like to get married in front on this beautiful view do you think that would be possible? Our date would be 04/18/2020 around 2 pm. It would be about 20 or less people it wouldn’t be long we just want to experience the amazing view on our special day. Hope to hear from you soon thank you!

    1. Hi Aurora and congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!
      To get married at Horseshoe Bend — at the main public overlook, anyway — can be rather complicated. Even a small wedding party would require a Special Use Permit from the National Park Service, and they usually require a longer turnaround time than a month. You’d probably have better luck obtaining the necessary permission from the Navajo Tribe, whose Tribal land flanks the overlook from the South. There’s also the matter of obtaining an officiant, marriage license from the county, photographer, etc. I know of a local company that would be able to help you with all those arrangements and make the necessary contacts, whether you get married on the National Park side or Navajo Tribal side of Horseshoe Bend. They’re called Monumental Arizona Weddings, and can be reached online at http://www.HorseshoeBendWedding.com or by phone at 480-980-8121.
      Good luck and best wishes for a beautiful wedding!
      Alley 🙂

  58. Hi, thanks for the wonderful description. We are planning on renting a boat when we come, is it possible to go to horseshoe bay on our own or are only tour boats allowed?
    Thanks!
    Vera

    1. Hi Vera,
      This is an excellent question!
      First off, “Horseshoe Bay” is actually “Horseshoe Bend.” When you say that you are planning to rent a boat on your vacation, it’s a relatively safe assumption that you’ll be spending your time on Lake Powell, whose waters are above (in back of) the Glen Canyon Dam. Horseshoe Bend is actually a stretch of the Colorado River located below (in front of) the Glen Canyon Dam. So, we’re talking about two separate areas. However, it is possible to take one’s own boat through Horseshoe Bend by utilizing what’s known as a backhaul service. This is where someone would tow you and your craft from Lees Ferry to the base of Glen Canyon Dam, then let you float or motor down the river at your leisure. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), this service is limited to paddle watercraft, such as kayaks, canoes, inflatable rafts, or stand-up paddleboards. Motorized watercraft or jet-skis are not permitted.
      If still interested in floating through Horeseshoe Bend, consider the Horseshoe Bend/Glen Canyon Rafting Experience, or doing a kayak/canoe rental with backhaul service from one of several local outfitters, such as Kayak Horseshoe Bend, Lees Ferry On The Fly, or Kelly Outfitters.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  59. Hi Alley,
    In a previous post, you had stated that “you need to be sure that any and all driving around here is done during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to lack of artificial lighting on local roads ” (with regard to the drive from Page to Sedona). Is this also true on the way to Bryce, along 89? We plan to leave well before sunset to hopefully take advantage of some sightseeing along the way, but that might mean the last hour or so until Bryce will be at night. Do you think that’s ok?

    1. Hi DJ,
      The route between Page, AZ, and Bryce Canyon, UT, also goes through some very remote territory, which means local roads will be quite dimly lit. This is actually a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky, and Bryce Canyon is a certified International Dark Sky Park.
      Naturally, there is no legal prohibition of nighttime driving anywhere in the U.S., but we caution against it out here for valid reasons, namely, the higher risk of a collision due to poor lighting, visitors’ lack of familiarity with the route, and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other wildlife. If your arrival at Bryce Canyon does take place after sunset, we would simply advise you to obey posted speed limits, be very vigilant of potential hazards (since Bryce Canyon is 8,000′ above sea level, it can snow quite late in the season), and know that the National Park Service, Utah Department of Transportation, and other local agencies assume no responsibility for your safety. It’s all on you!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  60. My wife and I are planning to visit the Grand Canyon April 9-12
    April 8 We land in Phoenix and rent a car. Drive to Williams that day and sleep there
    April 9 – take the train to the Grand Canyon and return in the afternoon
    That evening we drive to Flagstaff and sleep there
    April 10 – visit horse shoe bend and antelope canyon. That evening drive to Sedona and sleep there
    April 11- spend the day in Sedona and surroundings. that evening drive to Phoenix and sleep there
    April 12- fly back home

    questions
    1) Is the trip reasonable
    2) Are we seeing most of the important places
    3) Can we get in a tour at the antelope canyon site? I understand that you cant do it by your-self

    1. Hi Mike and thank you for visiting.
      Your trip plan looks pretty fun, except for April 10 when you plan on driving from Flagstaff to Page, AZ, then to Sedona for the night. The drives will take longer than you think, especially going from Flagstaff to Page. I know that Google maps gives the drive time as 2.5 hours, but that’s wheels turning, no stops. That rarely happens because it’s a very scenic drive and you will be stopping to take pictures more often than you realize. Plus you should take advantage of the opportunity to visit the Cameron Trading Post, if not for breakfast/brunch, at least for a quick leg stretch/bathroom break or a little souvenir shopping. Another opportunity available just North of Flagstaff is the Sunset Crater Volcano/Wupatki Ruins Scenic Loop Drive. That would add another 2-3 hours onto the trip, but again, it’s a very picturesuqe and educational area. It would be a shame to pass it up because you’re racing against the clock to get to Page, AZ, then to Sedona by nightfall.
      Which brings me to another important consideration: you need to be sure that any and all driving around here is done during daylight hours. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to lack of artificial lighting on local roads (a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky), and the possible presence of deer, elk, free range cattle, feral horses, and other animals. Believe me, you don’t want to risk a collision with a large animal in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold (nighttime temperatures in April are still dipping down pretty low in some areas), where cell phone service is spotty to non-existent, and a tow truck will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. The stretch of road from Flagstaff to Sedona through Oak Creek Canyon is especially narrow and twisty, which can be very disconcerting in the dark. A better plan would be to stay overnight in Page, AZ, on April 10, then drive to Sedona on April 11, spend that night in Sedona, then drive back to Phoenix the next morning. In early April, sunrise occurs at about 6:00 AM and sunset takes place at around 7:00 PM.
      As to your other queries, “are you seeing the most important places?” Yes, for now anyway. I would definitely encourage you to plan a return visit when you can spend more time and maybe hit Utah’s “Mighty 5.” For suggestions, check out “14 Days in the Grand Circle.”
      Regarding Antelope Canyon, you are correct in that you cannot visit it unaccompanied. A guided tour is an absolute necessity, as is an advance reservation. For more information, visit our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ and read “How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  61. Hi Alley!

    My in-laws and I are heading out west the last week of March. Our itinerary is below – are we crazy? I look at it and don’t think it is too ambitious but I am now second-guessing. I would greatly appreciate any help 🙂

    Saturday: land in Vegas, spend the night at Caesars Palace
    Sunday: up early and off to Zion for hiking; spend the night in Hurricane
    Monday: up early and off to Lower Antelope (tour at 11 am) then to Horseshoe Bend, then to Grand Canyon South Rim; spend the night at El Tovar
    Tuesday: Grand Canyon day hiking; spend the night at El Tovar
    Wednesday: Day trip to Sedona; spend the night at El Tovar
    Thursday: Grand Canyon day hiking; spend the night at El Tovar
    Friday: drive back to Vegas via Hoover Dam, stop for Hoover Dam tour en route, fly home on the red-eye

    Thanks!!
    Emily

    1. Hi Emily,
      Wow, 4 nights at El Tovar? That’s quite a score! Nevertheless, and crazy as this might sound, I think it’s too much time at the Grand Canyon. Most people spend 1-2 nights, tops. Of those families who book 3-4 nights, the majority end up shortening their stays because they find they’ve had a wonderful and fulfilling visit in less time. I know, I worked at the El Tovar myself! In your case, also, you’re going to do a good chunk of your Grand Canyon sightseeing on the drive down from Page, AZ, since the route will take you along the East Rim/Desert View Drive.
      First thing I’d recommend: give another day to Zion. It’s a huge park with lots to hiking opportunities. You’ll definitely be glad for the extra time.
      Second change: instead of visiting Sedona as a day trip from Grand Canyon South Rim, do your last night there, then drive on to Vegas the next morning. The main reason I suggest this is because:
      1. Sedona is a stunning area that warrants more than just a quick in-and-out visit.
      2. In March, your days are still quite short and it’s about 3-hour drive, each way, from Grand Canyon South Rim to Sedona. You don’t want to chance having to make any of the return drive to the South Rim in the dark, especially in the narrow, twisty confines of Oak Creek Canyon. Roads in Northern Arizona are very dimly lit, and deer, elk, and other wildlife tend to be nocturnal, which further ratchets up your risk of an auto accident.
      The drive time from Sedona to Las Vegas is ~4.5 hours, so, changing your last night to an overnight in Sedona won’t make much of a difference in terms of time spent on the road.
      Of course, I realize that at this late date, it may be too late to make any changes to your trip plans. If you find that to be the case, don’t worry too much about it. You’ll still have a great time, but I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be planning a return trip to the American Southwest to hit the attractions you missed!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  62. Hello Alley,
    My fiance and I are considering a trip to Utah/Arizona for our honeymoon. We are thinking it will be around the end of November/beginning of December. We are unsure of how much time we need to plan for some of our activities and were hoping you could give us some guidance. We are considering trying to go travel from Zion National Park to Page to visit Horseshoe Bend & Lower Antelope Canyon, then continue on passing through Monument Valley to get to Arches National Park in one day. We know that this is probably a bit unrealistic, but wondered if you have any suggestions about ways that we could maybe make this work or alternative options? We greatly appreciate any help and insight that you can provide.
    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Sarah, and congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!
      Your first instinct is spot on. This plan is unrealistic, and I’ll tell you why:
      It takes anywhere from 2-2.5 hours to drive from Zion National Park to Page, AZ, depending on where you stay the night before (Springdale, UT, and Kanab, UT, are the most popular gateway communities for Zion). It then takes ~2-2.5 hours to tour Antelope Canyon; that’s factoring in advance check-in time, etc. Another 2-2.5 hours should be allowed for visiting Horseshoe Bend, which takes into account the 20-30 minutes time it takes to drive from your Antelope Canyon tour company’s staging area to the Horseshoe Bend parking lot, pay your entrance fee, find a place to park (which might be a bit difficult during busy mid-day hours), then walk out to the overlook, take some photos, then come back back. Stick an hour for lunch in there somewhere, then another 5 hours to drive from Page, AZ, to Moab, UT? No thanks. Besides, you’re not giving yourselves time to visit Monument Valley, which would be a shame to skip because you’re racing against the clock to get to your next destination.
      Another thing working against you at the time of year you’re visiting is daylength: in late November/early December, it’s short, with sunrise occurring at around 7:15 AM, and sunset taking place shortly after 5:00 PM. That’s 10 hours of daylight when you’re planning activities and travel that potentially require anywhere from 12-13 hours of it. Driving at night is strongly discouraged in this part of the US due to roads being very dimly lit, a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky. Plus deer and elk tend to congregate near the highway shoulders after dark, and on the Navajo Reservation (which you’d pass through a part of), you have to contend with animals such as free range cattle, sheep, goats, and even wild horses. Trust me, you don’t want to chance a collision with one in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold, where cell service is spotty (if you can find a signal at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      A better plan would be to stay overnight in Page, AZ, then head for Moab, UT, the next morning when you’re fresh, and you can see what’s ahead of you. Or, you might try and make it as far as Monument Valley, which is ~a 2 hour drive from Page, AZ, then continue on to Moab, UT. Though it is beautiful, one disadvantage to Monument Valley is the lack of hotel rooms. They don’t have much to work with in the first place, so be sure to check hotel availability before committing to this plan.
      Sorry to be the bearer of potentially bad news, but I hope it helps. Please feel free to write in again if you need further guidance.
      Good luck, safe travels, and have a wonderful honeymoon!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Alley,
        We have reservations next September for 4 nights at Grand Canyon North Rim then 4 nights in Springdale and 2 near Bryce. We may extend the trip as well a couple more days. We plan to hike at least a couple days in GC and Zion , maybe one in Bryce, and would love advice on a couple of day trips from each- Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Grand Staircase, Monument Valley, or anything else that would be worth it. Thank you so much for any advice!

        1. Hi Anne,
          That’s wonderful that you had the ability and foresight to book a nice leisurely trip to the American Southwest, but if you’re up for a few more days of adventure, that’s even better!
          You can visit Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend as a day trip from Springdale, Grand Canyon North Rim, or Bryce Canyon, but being a 2.5 hour drive each way from either of those locations, it would make for a more comfortable experience if you were to book at least 1 night in Page, AZ. Besides, Page makes for a better starting point for a day trip to Monument Valley. At the time of year you’re visiting, sunrise occurs shortly after 6:00 AM (Page time) and sunset takes place at around 6:30 PM. It is a 2-hour drive each way, so you’ll need to be wheels up at the crack of dawn, plus Monument Valley does observe Daylight Savings Time, whereas Page does not. That means MV will be one hour “ahead” of Page. You’ll need to factor that in if your plans include a backcountry tour of the valley or other time-sensitive activities. You’ll need to be sure to start the drive back to Page, AZ, no later than 5:00 PM according to Monument Valley time so you are sure to arrive back in Page, AZ, before dark. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to roads that are very dimly lit, and the possible presence of animals like deer, elk, free range cattle, wild horses, sheep, and goats.
          From Springdale, UT, some good day trips would be Snow Canyon State Park (aka “Little” Zion), Grafton Ghost Town, Quail Creek Reservoir, Yant Flats (aka the “Candy Cliffs,” a “Wave” lookalike that presently requires no permit), or Kanarraville Falls.
          From Bryce, a drive to Duck Creek Village, Cedar Breaks National Monument (aka “Little Bryce Canyon”), and Brian Head Ski Resort would be a nice way to spend a day. You could also make a day of hitting sites in the Grand Staircase-Escalante area such as Kodachrome Basin State Park, and Calf Creek Falls.
          As you can see, you’ll find no shortage of things to see and do in this beautiful area of the US!
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  63. Please, my three friends and I are plainning to visit horseshoe and Antilope Canyon in march. We really want to rent a RV to do so. My question is if can I get there driving that really big vehicle?
    Furthermore, if you could send me some adivices or information about this trip, I’ll appreciate it.

    Best regards,

    Stephanie

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      March would not be the best time to visit Northern Arizona and Southern Utah in an RV. The main reason for this is because March falls into the transitional period between winter and spring, and temperatures can still be quite cool. Nighttime temperatures particularly can get below freezing. Many rental outlets keep their RV’s winterized at this time, which means you may not have access to running water in your motorhome, and other potential complications.
      If you go ahead with an RV rental, you should have no trouble driving to Page, AZ, but you’d be best off visiting Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise when the parking lot opens. That will give you the best chance of finding a pull-through parking spot. Backing up a large RV can be off-putting, especially if you have no prior experience driving such a vehicle.
      Long story short, I recommend staying in hotels, motels, or AirB&B’s this time around. Be sure to book your Antelope Canyon tour well in advance of your arrival.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  64. Thanks for such a quick and thorough response! I wish we had seen your website before making any plans!! We already have reservations on the North Rim for day 3 and 4 that are non refundable. (We heard that filled up fast so we scheduled that first.) We also scheduled the Antelope tour on day 3 before heading to the North Rim. We reserved a room on the South rim on day 5 so those days are pretty well set.
    I guess we need to rethink our first 2 days. It’s hard not to cram too much into our schedule… with so many beautiful things to see we want to see them all! I think we will need to skip Monument Valley this trip and drive from Phoenix to Page on Day 1.
    On Day 3 we have a tour of Antelope Canyon scheduled at 10:30 and planned to stop at Vermillion Cliffs on the way to the North Rim. 1.Is this realistic? 2.Do you have any suggestions of other places to include while we are in Page? 3.Where is the best place to park for Horseshoe Bend?

    1. Hi again, Pattie!
      Thanks for further clarification of your plans. If you already have reservations at the North Rim, hang onto them. They are highly coveted, and your visit coincides with when the autumn foliage is peaking in color — usually, anyway 😉
      Assuming your 10:30 AM Antelope Canyon tour starts and ends on time, you should be able to make it to the North Rim by sunset (6:30 PM), even with a stop in the Vermilion Cliffs area. I highly recommend Cliff Dweller’s Lodge for lunch, and a stop at the Jacob Lake Inn to pick up some their world-famous home-made cookies.
      As for other places and activities you might enjoy whilst in Page, the Glen Canyon Dam is a definite must; you might even take a tour of the facility time/inclination permitting. The Hanging Gardens hike nearby is also fun, and relatively easy. The ‘New’ Wave, aka the Beehives is another easily accessible hike to a small cluster of interesting rock formations near the Glen Canyon Dam, some of which resemble “The Wave” that’s notoriously hard to get a permit for.
      The best place to park for Horseshoe Bend is obvious: you literally can’t miss it, it’s very large and well-signed. The overlook is a .6 mile walk from the parking lot.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thanks for all your info! It is so helpful!!! I know it has helped us and reading others questions and answers have been insightful, too.

  65. Hi Alley,
    We are planning a trip to Arizona in mid Sesptember. My husband is a photographer and I know that things always take longer to see in order to get the right light and the right shot. Would you let me know if my itenerary sounds reasonable or if you think we should make changes? We appreciate any advice you can give about must see destinations or changes to our schedule.
    Day 1-Drive from Phoenix to Monument Valley and then to Page; possible evening photos of Horseshoe Bend
    Day 2- Explore Page area, Evening photos of Horsehoe Bend
    Day 3- Antelope Canyon, Vermillion Cliffs, drive to North Rim
    Day 4- Grand Canyon North Rim
    Day 5 – Drive to South Rim
    Day 6- Drive to Sedona for 4 nights
    Thanks for all your help! Pattie

    1. Hi Pattie and thank you for contacting us.
      Mid-September is a great time to be here, so good call on that. Unfortunately, your itinerary is in need of a couple of “reality checks” before you finalize your arrangements.
      Day 1 especially is quite unrealistic. It takes at least 5 hours to drive from Phoenix to Monument Valley. That’s wheels turning, no stops save for a short bathroom break. That rarely happens since the drive is very scenic and you will be stoppint to take photos more often than you realize. You should then take a backcountry tour of Monument Valley for the best photo ops, which can range from 2-6 hours. Then, you’re facing another 2-hour drive to Page, AZ? No thanks. Besides, you’d run the risk of doing all or part of the drive to Page, AZ, in the dark, which is something you want to avoid in this part of the U.S. Roads are very dimly lit on the Navajo Reservation, and animals such as deer, elk, free range cattle, wild horses, sheep, and goats like to wander about at night. Trust me, you don’t want to risk a collision with a large animal in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, where cell service is virtually non-existent, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention very expensive.
      Another thing: the North Rim may be somewhat problematic at this point in time, unless you have your lodging already reserved. Mid-September is when the fall foliage is peaking. That’s also prime time for hiking “rim to rim.” As a result, Grand Canyon North Rim hotels, which are fewer in number and smaller in scale to begin with, tend to book up a year or more in advance. In all likelihood, you won’t be able to include it as an overnight, but there’s a way you may still be able to see it. More on that in a minute.
      I would recommend restructuring your itinerary as follows:
      Day 1: Drive from Phoenix to Page, AZ (~5 hours), overnight in Page, AZ
      Day 2: Visit Horseshoe Bend at sunrise, tour Antelope Canyon, perhaps take a short boat tour on Lake Powell, 2nd night in Page, AZ
      Day 3: Drive from Page, AZ, to Monument Valley (~2 hours), take Monument Valley backcountry tour, overnight in Monument Valley **in the very likely event lodging is booked up in Monument Valley, you can visit as a day trip from Page, AZ; just remember that Monument Valley time is 1 hour ahead of Page, AZ, and that you should start the trip back to Page at least 2.5 hours before sunset, which occurs at ~6:30 PM Page, AZ, time. Another option would be to take a flight over Monument Valley by fixed-wing airplane**
      Day 4: Drive from Monument Valley to Grand Canyon South Rim (~4-5 hour drive factoring in stops, meal at Cameron Trading Post), or Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon South Rim (~3.5-4 hours factoring in photo and meal stops), overnight at Grand Canyon South Rim
      Day 5: Take early morning helicopter flight over Grand Canyon North Rim, return to park for more sightseeing on Hermit’s Rest/West Rim Road using free shuttles, 2nd night at Grand Canyon South Rim
      Day 6: Drive to Sedona (~3 hours) for 4 nights (sweet!)
      If you have your hearts set on seeing Grand Canyon North Rim from a “boots on the ground” perspective (which I don’t blame you one bit for!), and you cannot find available lodging, here again, you can visit it as a day trip from Page, AZ. It’s ~a 2.5 hour drive, each way, so an eye on your watch is crucial so you time the return trip for daylight hours, but it can be done. I know, I’ve done many North Rim day trips from Page 😉
      Hope that helps. Feel free to hit us up again if we can offer further assistance.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  66. Hi , My cousin and I book a trip to Arizona! We are very excited and would like to visit the grand canyon, Antelope Canyon and the Horseshoe Bend. We are staying in phoenix and will be renting a car to travel to each destination. Do you have any tips on how we can accomplish all three locations ? Is there a specific location for the Horseshoe Bend ?

    1. Hi Shannon and thank you for your visit today!
      To fully enjoy and explore the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend, you should plan on spending at least two days/3 nights. It takes approximately 5 hours — each way — to drive from Phoenix to Grand Canyon South Rim and/or from Phoenix to Page, AZ (the gateway community for both Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend). It then takes approximately 3.5-4 hours to drive to/from Grand Canyon South Rim to/from Page, AZ. For the latter trip leg, Google Maps gives the drive time as 2.5 hours, but that’s wheels turning, no stops. That rarely happens because the drive is very scenic and you will be stopping often to take photos, especially between Desert View Point (the Easternmost border of the park) and Grand Canyon Village (the main commerce area at the South Rim).
      As to which place you should visit first, that depends largely on availability of Antelope Canyon tours, hotels in Page, AZ, and Grand Canyon lodging. Line out those three key elements before setting out, and the rest of your trip should fall into place nicely.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  67. Thank you so much for posting this. I think this really puts things into a different light. I mean, I have read about this stuff before but the way you write just makes it clearer. If that makes sense lol

  68. I plan to visit Horseshoe Bend without a car. The tours I have seen are rather expensive for a short visit. Is it possible to walk from town take a reasonable taxi there from Page?

    1. Hi Robert!
      This is an excellent question; unfortunately, the answer is less than ideal, but hopeful.
      First off, it’s not realistic to walk from Page, AZ, to Horseshoe Bend. The overlook is situated 5 miles South of town.
      The only taxi service in Page, AZ, gets mixed reviews. A Lyft operator has recently opened for business in town, and has gotten more favorable publicity so far. Be sure to download the Lyft app and use the promo code VAUGHN951070 to save some money. For more information, follow Page Lake Powell Lyft on Facebook.
      Now, here’s my question: how are you getting to Page, AZ, without a car?
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  69. This entire post absolutely ROCKS! Thank you Alley for all the hard work you put into it. It really shows.

  70. Hi There, we have booked an antelope canyon tour for January 2nd. at 9:30am and were thinking of seeing horseshoe bend afterwards. We are coming in from Flagstaff and were thinking of leaving the hotel by 7am. Is that early enough? What is traffic like around that time of day and year? Any tips on what to expect that time of year weather wise? Any other places you would suggest to visit? Any good places to eat? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      It takes approximately 2.5 hours to drive directly from Flagstaff, AZ, to Page, AZ. However, if your tour departs at 9:30 AM, your tour company will probably require that you check in anywhere between 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM, so you may need to leave earlier. Check whatever confirmation correspondence your tour company sent you to verify this.
      As for traffic on the road, vehicular traffic would probably be on the light side that early in the morning, but what you need to watch out for are deer, elk, and other animals such as free range cattle and even wild horses. Highways in Northern Arizona tend to be very dimly lit — a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky — and sunrise technically doesn’t occur until 7:35 AM. We normally advise against driving in the dark due to the lack of ambient lighting and potential danger of a collision with animals. If you can possibly rearrange your plans so that you can stay overnight in Page, AZ, the day prior to your Antelope Canyon tour, that would make for a safer and more relaxed experience for all concerned.
      Weather will be cold, with the possibility of rain and snow. At 7,000′ above sea level, Flagstaff tends to get the heaviest amounts of snow — another good reason to come up to Page, AZ, the day before — but it’s too soon to know for sure at this point. Start monitoring weather in both locations about 2-3 weeks before you get set to travel.
      Other sights to visit during your stay include, but are certainly not limited to, Horseshoe Bend, the Glen Canyon Dam, Antelope Point Marina, the Big Water Visitors Center, the “New” Wave, and the Glen Canyon Conservancy Museum, just to name a few. However, if you keep your original plans to make your visit to Page, AZ, a day trip, you’ll need to get back on the road to Flag (that’s what we call it around here) no later than 3:00 PM so you’re not doing any of the drive back in the dark.
      For restaurants, you have your choice of everything from McDonald’s and Denny’s to chicken and waffles, sushi, and even Pacific Island cuisine! Please note that some restaurants may be on seasonal hiatus or temporarily closed so the owners can enjoy the New Year’s holiday with their families. Best restaurants in Page, AZ according to TripAdvisor
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thank you so much for all the info Alley! Even though the thought of seeing all that wildlife sounds exciting, we will definitely stay in Page overnight!

  71. I love Arizona especially in fall and early spring. That pool looks grandiose. Dinner and show at Into the Grand sounds very interesting. I’ll check it out next time I’ll visit.

  72. I had the pleasure of visiting Horseshoe Bend last week! We saw the bend from above and also did a float trip with Wilderness River Adventures to experience the bend from the river. I was appalled at the number of tourists climbing the rocks beyond the protection of the overlook railing in order to take selfies. The sandstone cliff edges can easily crumble and are risky to stand on. I understand that selfie takers are taking crazy risks all around the world these days, but the Horseshoe Bend brochure shows a photo of selfie takers on rocks near the edge of the cliff. This irresponsible photo seems to condone, if not encourage risky photo taking at Horseshoe Bend. I recommend the brochure be revised to remove this photo and encourage tourists to take photos from overlooks with guard rails and/or safe distances from unstable cliff edges.

    1. Hi Lee and thank you for visiting.
      We totally agree, the things that some people do at the Horseshoe Bend Overlook give us the heebee-jeebies as well. The safety railing obviously has done nothing to deter people from taking crazy risks, as we predicted would be the case.
      Regarding the brochure you’re referring to with the precarious photo, unfortunately we did not publish that particular pamphlet. I would recommend looking on the backside of it to see who puts it out (Chamber of Commerce? National Park Service? Local tourism council?) and hopefully they will have the appropriate contact information for you.
      Thank you again and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

  73. Thank you! I was worried it was too much and didn’t know about the driving conditions. Monument Valley is a must (we have it on our bucket list and it’s one of the main reasons we are headed out that way). There’s a ride at Disney World called Soarin’ and our family bucket list is to see all the places that are featured in that ride. Mitten Buttes is one of them:)

    I’ll look into the plane rides. Thanks again!!

    1. Hi KC,
      You are welcome! Hope you have a wonderful time, and feel free to write back in and let us know how things went 🙂
      Take care and Happy Holidays,
      Alley 🙂

  74. Hi I am planning a trip with my family in March and need a little help with the timing. Worried I am cramming too much in. We definitely want to see the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley. Those are bucket list items. Horseshoe Bend looks beautiful and so does Zion. Can you let me know if this itinerary sounds reasonable? We are renting an RV.

    March 17th – Day 1 – Arrive in Vegas 230PM – plan to stay the night
    Day 2 – Leave Vegas by 11AM and drive to Hoover Dam. On road by 3PM drive to Grand Canyon South Rim (KOA campground) Stay night
    Day 3 -Drive to Grand Canyon Camper Village (about 2 hours from the KOA) and shuttle to south rim. See sights and stay night
    Day 4 – Drive to 4 corners monument then to Monument Valley (stay night at monument valley)
    Day 5 – Horseshoe Bend and Zion Park (stay night at Zion)
    Day 6 – Zion for Day (stay night)
    Day – Need to be back to Vegas for 1:30 flight. Drop off RV by 11 at the latest.

    1. Hi KC,
      Your suspicions are correct: you are attempting to cram too many destinations into too short a time frame. Also, some of your drive time estimates are a bit off.
      On Day 2, for example, where you propose to leave the Las Vegas area by 3:00 PM, that won’t work. The drive time from Hoover Dam to Grand Canyon South Rim is ~4 hours. Sunset in Arizona occurs at about 6:30 PM, and you want to be sure to do your driving in this area during daylight hours. Roads in Northern AZ and Southern UT are very dimly lit (a deliberate move to preserve the natural darkness of the night sky), and wildlife like deer, elk, eve free range cattle and wild horses, tend to move about at night, which jacks up your risk of having an accident. Not something you want to have happen in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, where cell service is spotty (or non-existent), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. Long story short, if you want to experience sunset on the canyon rim, you want to be on your way out of Las Vegas well before 3:00 PM, more like 12:00-1:00 PM. Also, Grand Canyon KOA is actually located in Williams, AZ, which is 1 hour South of the park. Williams is also 1 hour South of Grand Canyon Camper Village, not 2 hours.
      On Day 4, I’d recommend skipping 4 Corners and Monument Valley. Not that the area isn’t beautiful, but it’s a long swing out of your way, plus you’re shorting Page, AZ, which has more to offer. Besides, Monument Valley doesn’t have much to offer in the way of lodging, so I wouldn’t be surprised if everything is sold out already. Your trip coincides with Spring Break for many schools, so the area will be busy. If you really want to see Monument Valley, though, there might still be a way to work it in. More on that in a minute. So, day 4, instead of 4 Corners/MV, go directly to Page, AZ, to stay the night, maybe hit Horseshoe Bend on the way into town. The next day, tour Antelope Canyon, then either spend another night in Page, or drive on to Zion (~2-2.5 hours from Page), stay the night in Springdale, UT
      On your return day to Las Vegas, bear in mind that the drive might take a bit longer than you might expect due to a construction project on I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge. If you wish to drop your RV off at 11:00 AM at the latest, I’d recommend getting a bright and early start out of Springdale, or you might drive somewhere like Mesquite, NV, the night prior just to knock out the most difficult part of the drive first. If you do that (spend night 6 in Mesquite), you might head back to Vegas after making a detour to the stunning Valley of Fire State Park!

      Oh, regarding how you might still be able to check Monument Valley off your to-do list without actually going there: fly over it. Fixed wing airplanes depart from the Page Municipal Airport and take approximately 90 minutes to do an overflight of not only Monument Valley, but a ton of other amazing scenery, too! For more information visit Westwind Air Service Page, AZ
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  75. hello 🙂
    I will go to the horseshoe bend in september for my BDay by car, where can I park? is there any entrance fee? how long does it get from the point I can leave the car to the observation point of the horseshoe?
    and also is there any parking or traffic restriction in september? if I want to reach lake powell too, how does it work for car parking?
    thankyou in advance.
    francesca 🙂

    1. Hi Francesca,
      The Horseshoe Bend Overlook has a public parking area that is very easy to spot and very clearly signed. There is an entrance fee, which is $10 for a standard passenger car. The walk form the parking lot to the actual overlook is .6-7 miles one-way. At present, the trail is unpaved and can be quite sandy if recent weather has been dry.
      For visiting Lake Powell, it is in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which is administered separately from Horseshoe Bend. The entrance fee to both the Lake Powell Resort and Antelope Point Marina complex is $30, however, this is good for one week’s time, so you can visit these areas as often as you wish as long as you keep your original entrance fee receipt!
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  76. Hi, Need help in planning a trip. Here is my planned itinerary
    9/14 – arrive Las Vegas – spend the night
    9/15 – drive to South Rim via Hoover Dam – spend the night at SR
    9/16 – South Rim – spend the night
    9/17 – Drive to MV – spend the night
    9/18 – Drive to Page – Spend the night
    9/19 – Page – spend the night
    9/20 – Zion – spend the night
    9/21 – drive to Las Vegas back
    9/22 – Departure from Las vegas
    Please let me know what you think. I may drop Monument Valley and add a day to Zion – what do you think? I still need to plan the activities at the designated spots. I am traveling with handicapped wife – She cannot take long walks, so I have limited options on walks and tours.
    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Tapan

    1. Hi Tapan,
      You kind of read my mind – looking at your itinerary, my first thought was that you didn’t have enough time in Zion. I would recommend dropping the night in Monument Valley in order to accommodate a second night in Zion, but there still might be a way you can work Monument Valley in: fly over it. Fixed wing airplanes depart daily from the Page Municipal Airport, and Monument Valley overflights run about 90 minutes in length.
      Just so you’re aware, the ADA-compliant trail to Horseshoe Bend is still under construction. I would hope it would be complete by the time your trip takes place, but it might not be. Even if it was, the walk to Horseshoe Bend and back from the City-managed parking lot is still going to be ~1.5 miles. If your wife is limited in the distances she can manage, you might be better off planning to visit Horseshoe Bend with Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tours. They access Horseshoe Bend via private land holdings on the Navajo Reservation that flank the overlook on the South side. From there, the walk to the rim is only 200 yards.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Alley,
        Thanks for your suggestion. We will take Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tours, but with that due my wife’s situation do we need 2 days at Page? Also, due to my wife’s handicap, what can we do at Zion? Kolob looks like a good option and definitely one night there will be well spent. Appreciate your thoughts on what to do at South Rim, Page and Zion which will be suitable for a handicap person. I am open to taking guided tours if it is offered for persons with handicap.
        Please advise,
        Thanks,
        Tapan

        1. Hi again, Tapan,
          If you are able to spend 2 days in Page, AZ, you certainly won’t be disappointed in the scenery, or the opportunities.
          For ideas on what to do in each stop on your tour, I would recommend consulting the National Park Service Accessibility Guides for each park. Links are posted below:
          Zion National Park Accessibility Guide
          Grand Canyon National Park Accessibility Guide
          Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Page, AZ) Accessibility Guide
          Take care,
          Alley 🙂

  77. Please give info on traveling to Horseshoe Bend with dogs now that the shuttle runs from 7–7. Thank you!

    1. Hi Lorrey,
      If you are traveling with a dog and wish to visit Horseshoe Bend with them, the solution during the temporary lot closure period is to come before the parking lot closes at 7:00 AM, or to visit after it re-opens at 7:00 PM. FYI, the situation with the parking lot has been reported as being somewhat “fluid,” so the above-referenced times should be considered a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule.
      Another option if you prefer to visit Horseshoe Bend during the lot closure period is to board your dog for a couple of hours while you go sightseeing. Pet boarding providers in the Page, AZ, area are: Angie’s Grooming, 928-614-8586; Page Animal Hospital (who I’ve used personally), 928-323-0057; and Pampered Pets, who I’m not familiar with, but they are well-rated on Google, 928-640-6898.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  78. Maybe this isn’t the venue to vent, but after reading ALL of the comments and replies, I came to Horseshoe Bend today (traveling from Seattle) and waited ALL day til until my approach to the parking lot at 5:50-ish, thinking that I’d get in the parking lot at 6 like the mod instructed. I waited and waited until 6:15 in the huge line on the highway until I drove up and the security personnel said the hours have changed to 7am to 7pm NOT 10-6!!! It was a mess up there!!!! Someone is going to get into a serious accident over this cluster ****. Not a great finish to my already perfect day!!!

    1. Dear Jackie,
      No, this is a perfectly fine forum to vent! Obviously, the people on-site have changed things up again without informing us. We will update the site accordingly. I am so sorry about the cluster you encountered. Suffice it to say, we can’t wait until this project is over and done with.
      Alley

  79. Hello. I am planning to go to Horseshoe Bend on my own from Scottsdale in the beginning of April. What is the best easiest and cheapest way to get there without taking a tour bus. I am ok to take any transportation there without driving myself. I also understand that you need a guided tour person to enter the park. And that is ok. Also, how much that cost and how much the enterance fee. I think 370$ is a lot of money for me. Pls email me. Thanks

    1. Hi Angelika,
      Frankly, not being able to drive yourself is going to severely limit your options for visiting Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. A tour group may be your only realistic choice. Not all tour companies run their tours in large buses; many operate vans, mini-buses and other smaller vehicles for a more personalized experience. One such company is Vaughn’s Southwest Custom Tours. Another reputable company is Detours American West Tours . If the price tag of $370 is too much for you, then you’ll have to modify your expectations significantly. The least expensive package I’ve found out there is $350 with Tours4Fun, which caters primarily to the Chinese market.
      Sorry I don’t have better news for you.
      Best wishes for safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  80. We are planning on coming to horseshoe bend first week of April, wanted to confirm when the last shuttle from the bend to the parking lot will depart and also what our options are if we would like to stay past the final shuttle departure time? Is it a long walk back?

    1. Hi Ali,
      At this time, the temporary Horseshoe Bend shuttle is operating between the hours of 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM. The last shuttle from the overlook back to down departs at 6:00 AM. If you were to remain at the overlook beyond that time, the distance you’d have to walk back to town is ~2 miles. Map
      The nearest hotels, such as Days Inn, Hampton Inn, Comfort Inn, and Country Inn are 2 miles from Horseshoe Bend. Properties in the downtown area, such as the Hyatt Place, Holiday Inn Express, Best Western, and Travelodge are anywhere from a 4-6 mile walk from Horseshoe Bend.
      Long story short, I wouldn’t recommend staying past the last departure of the shuttle! Also, services such as Uber, Lyft, and taxis are questionable at best when it comes to reliability, so they are not a viable “fall-back” option.
      Hope that helps.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  81. Hello I will be in Page, AZ in a few weeks. I am trying to book a trip to antelope canyon and the horseshoe bend, if we park and hike do we need to pay for a tour or any permits to hike horseshoe bend?

    1. Hi Tia,
      At the present time, there is no charge for admission to Horseshoe Bend, IF you park in the parking lot managed by the National Park Service. If you park in one of the private lots within the borders of the Navajo Indian Reservation, they charge $20/person to park your vehicle and get shuttled to the overlook.
      For Antelope Canyon a guided tour is 100% required, and these should be booked in advance of your arrival. How To Book A Tour To Antelope Canyon
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂