"Can We Still Visit Horseshoe Bend During the Goverment Shutdown?"

Many travelers with pre-existing plans to visit Northern Arizona are rightfully concerned about whether their desired attractions will be open during the government shutdown. In the case of Horseshoe Bend, we are happy to report that the answer is “yes.”

The State of Arizona has allocated emergency funds to keep several National Parks open during the government shutdown, including the Grand Canyon, and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the latter of which encompasses the Horseshoe Bend Overlook. Additionally, some Navajo Nation residents are helping to accommodate visitor and/or parking overload by allowing access to Tribal lands which flank Horseshoe Bend to the South.

Even though the overlook itself remains accessible, some facilities and services will not be available. Visitors are asked to do their part to ensure that “closure under duress” isn’t necessitated, as it was recently at California’s Joshua Tree National Park. Use restroom facilities at your hotel or elsewhere as the toilets at Horseshoe Bend, which are under National Park Service management, may be closed. Please pack out all trash, and do not vandalize, remove, or disturb any rock formations, structures, or plants. 

The parking lot at Horseshoe Bend is patrolled by officers from the Page Police Department, and parking regulations are strictly enforced. If the “official” Horseshoe Bend parking lot is full, you will be asked to return to the overlook at a later time, or utilize alternate means of getting to the overlook, such as shuttles from the town of Page, AZ, or from alternate but sanctioned parking areas nearby. Parking on the side of US89 is not only unsafe, it is illegal, and punishable by fines upwards of $300. 

Other means of including Horseshoe Bend in your trip plans without the parking hassles are: 

Advance reservations are strongly recommended for all of the above activities.

Tour operators offering van transport services to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook are: 

105 Responses

  1. Alley!!
    First off, I am so thrilled to have come across you and your knowledge. My family and I (5 of us) are staying in Page, AZ from June 12-15, 2021. Thanks to you, Buckskin Gulch is something that has made the itinerary of things we must do. We have little time and want to pack in as much as possible. We’ve only made it as far as wanting to see some of both north and south rims, buckskin gulch, and the skywalk bridge. HELP! I don’t know the best way to go about this, where specifically to drive and park, and how realistic it is to do all this in only 4 days. Any and all recommendations welcome. Thank you Alley.

    1. Hi Zolan,
      First off, I would suggest taking the Grand Canyon Skywalk off the table. For one, it’s too far away from Page, AZ, to be realistic to do as a day trip (it’s ~a 6-hour drive, one way, from Page, AZ). Also, summer is the worst possible time to visit Grand Canyon West, the Native American Tribal Park where the Skywalk is located. It’s a “true desert” area, with Las Vegas, NV, being the closest major city, which means it’s HOT HOT HOT. Save it for another trip when you’re using Las Vegas, NV, as your base, and visiting at a cooler time of year.
      Visiting Grand Canyon North and South Rim as day trips from Page, AZ, is more realistic since each place is ~a 2.5 hour drive, one way, from Page, AZ. You’ll need to allot two separate days to visit them, and get an early start on each. On the drive from Page, AZ, to Grand Canyon North Rim, travel down to Bitter Springs, AZ, then take US89A through the Marble Canyon/Lees Ferry area. Be sure to stop at Navajo Bridge, where you might see a few California Condors sunning themselves on the struts below. If you haven’t had breakfast yet, Cliff Dweller’s Lodge has great food and a great view! Stop at the Jacob Lake Inn to grab a bag (or two!) of their world-famous home-made cookies for dessert later, or to snack on throughout the day. Upon arrival in the park, get your bearings either at the Visitors Center or the Grand Canyon Lodge, then drive to the main viewpoints for photographs and such: Bright Angel Point and/or Angel’s window, Point Imperial, and Cape Royal. Whatever you end up doing, be sure to start the drive back to Page, AZ, so that you’re not doing any of it after sunset. Nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit and their tendency to attract deer, elk, and other wildlife that can hike up your risk of a collision. 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. At the time of year you’re visiting, sunset occurs at around 7:50 PM, so 5:30-5:45 PM is the latest you should be back on the road.
      Same rule applies to your South Rim day, do all your driving during daylight hours. Though the driving distance from Page, AZ, to the South Rim is ~140 miles, here again, don’t be surprised if it takes longer than 2.5 hours to make the trip. Get an early start on this day as well. If you haven’t hit Horseshoe Bend by this point, stop there for sunrise, then make your way down to Grand Canyon South Rim via US89 South. If you’ve already visited Horseshoe, then bypass it using US89T, which is also a scenic drive, but with less traffic. Stop at the Cameron Trading Post for a leg stretch, bathroom break, etc. then take AZ64 West into the park. They also have a good restaurant there, which makes a killer breakfast Navajo Taco, but at the same time, the Navajo Tribe is presently discouraging unnecessary contact between outsiders and reservation residents, so that’s kind of a Catch-22. You might just bring a light breakfast snack with you to enjoy in the car. Between Desert View Point and Grand Canyon Village, there are over half-a-dozen named Grand Canyon Viewpoints, all with varying geological features and perspectives on the canyon. Stopping at each of them, you could easily make the drive to the South Rim from Page, AZ, a leisurely 4-hour trip. Upon arriving in Grand Canyon Village, park your vehicle wherever you can find a spot, and make your way to the Grand Canyon Village Historic District. Walking the easy, paved Rim Trail, you can pop in and out of the beautiful old buildings in that area, such as Verkamp’s Ranger Station, the Hopi House, El Tovar Hotel, Bright Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio, and Kolb Studio. Time/energy permitting, you might also walk a short way down the Bright Angel Trail, which actually goes all the way to the bottom of the canyon, but you definitely shouldn’t to attempt that in your limited timeframe, that’s an overnight trip bare minimum! Maybe as far as the First Tunnel and back this time around. If you do decide to do any hiking/walking, carry water and a few snacks with you. Remember, you’re in the desert at the hottest time of the year. You don’t want to wreck your visit by getting dehydrated! Another option would be to visit some of the viewpoints on the Hermit’s Rest/West Rim Drive. That is closed to private vehicles, but is served by a free hop-on/hop-off shuttle. Here again, get rolling back to Page, AZ, by 5:30-5:45 PM at the latest so you’re assured of making it back to town when it’s still light out.
      If all that driving, planning, etc., doesn’t appeal for some reason, another way you can see a lot of the Grand Canyon without a herculean effort is to fly over it. Fixed-wing airplanes depart from the Page Municipal Airport daily, weather permitting, and contingent on a certain number of passengers flying. Although the planes don’t land at the park, a Grand Canyon air tour still makes for an excellent way to cover a lot of amazing scenery in just 90 minutes airtime.
      Hope that helps! I know it’s a lot to process, so feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] if you have further questions.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  2. I would like to visit the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend 10/4-10/5 of this year. From what I understand Antelope Canyon will probably not be open. Are the other locations available to visit? Do I need to book with a tour company or can I visit on my own?
    Any and all information/suggestions will be appreciated.

    1. Hey Linda,
      October is a great time to be here!
      First thing to be aware of is that the Grand Canyon and Page, AZ (Antelope Canyon/Horseshoe Bend) are two separate areas, with about 140 road miles and about 3 hours’ driving between the two. You should plan on staying overnight at the Grand Canyon, then moving on to Page, AZ, for another night.
      The Grand Canyon can be visited on your own, in fact, you’ll do a lot of your sightseeing of the Grand Canyon on the way to Page, AZ (or vice versa). The trip will take you along the Desert View/East Rim Drive of the park, where there are over half a dozen named Grand Canyon viewpoints you can stop at. You can hit Horseshoe Bend on the way into town, then the following morning, consider either kayaking into the waterside of Antelope Canyon, where you can walk a little ways into the pre-slot portion of the lower canyon (that’s on Federal and not Tribal land), or perhaps making the ~1 hour drive from Page, AZ, into Utah and hiking Wire Pass Canyon and/or Buckskin Gulch. The Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos Trail is another fun hike you can easily piggy-back onto Wire Pass Canyon. For kayaking into Antelope Canyon, you can do a kayak rental and self-guide, or take a tour. Ditto for Wire Pass/Buckskin. The biggest caveat about Wire Pass/Buckskin is that you have do drive a short way down an unpaved road (the House Rock Valley Road) to get to the trailhead. It is usually passable for 2WD and other standard passenger vehicles, but if recent weather has been wet, that road turns into a red clay slip-n-slide.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  3. Hi Alley,
    Your input on everything is fantastic! My sister and I are flying into Phoenix in June for a week girls trip — we plan on two nights out at Under Canvas Grand Canyon, two in Sedona and two in Scottsdale to finish off. Unsure if sometime while in Grand Canyon/Sedona we should try to drive up to Horseshoe Bend and the kayak tours at Antelope Canyon? (So bummed it is closed for walking tours!) Any advice on must do in the area? We are from Florida, and have never been to Arizona before! Thanks for such an informative travel source!

    1. Hi Andy!
      First thing to know is that Horseshoe Bend is near the town of Page, AZ, which is ~a 3-hour drive, one way, from either the Grand Canyon or Sedona. For this reason alone, it is best to schedule an overnight visit to Page, AZ, so you can have a more relaxed experience. Another consideration, too, is that the Antelope Canyon Kayak tour is an activity best done first thing in the morning so you can take advantage of conditions with less wind and chop from larger boat wakes.
      To pull that off, I’d recommend dropping a night at the Grand Canyon. I know that sounds crazy, but you can actually do a large chunk of your sightseeing of the Grand Canyon on the drive to Page, AZ. The most logical travel route from GC to Page takes you along the East Rim Drive of the Grand Canyon, where there are over half a dozen named Grand Canyon viewpoints, all with varying features and perspectives of the canyon. You can hit Horseshoe Bend on the way into town, overnight in Page, AZ (they’re just opened a new Under Canvas location up there!), do the kayak tour next morning before heading down to Sedona, AZ.
      Hope that helps — good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  4. Hi there, I was trying to read all of these comments but there’s just too many + i thought it’d be better to ask specific to the dates I’ll be going. A friend and I are doing a long road trip and were thinking of going to the south rim of the Grand Canyon (coming from Sedona) around June 14th. I’m aware that antelope canyon is closed. We were wanting to visit horse shoe bend coming from the south rim and then head to Bryce Canyon. I wanted to know if horseback riding tours at horseshoe bend are still happening through the pandemic? If you have any recommendations on campsites (we are also open to cool native inspired sites/ houses). I was also wondering if east entrance to the Grand Canyon will be open by then & if that affects the drive there/ how long do you think it would take? Is the east entrance any better than the south entrance? We are going more for sight seeing and shorter hikes. Thank you so much for your time! This site is so helpful.

    1. Hi Tammy!
      Bad news first: the Horseshoe Bend Trail Rides have been closed since the pandemic hit, and will remain so as long as the Navajo Tribe sees fit to close off Tribal Park attractions to outsiders. I wouldn’t count on it being available in time for your trip. I would recommend doing horseback riding in Bryce Canyon. More on that in a minute 😉
      Now some good news: the East entrance to Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim) has reopened, so you are welcome to use it to enter and/or exit the park. Coming from Sedona, AZ, get an early start on the drive, and plan on entering through the South Entrance. Try and get there before 8:00 AM to avoid the busier times of day at the entrance gate! If you have a National Park Pass, you can enter through the pre-paid lane. Exit the park via the East Rim/Desert View Drive, where you can stop at over half a dozen named viewpoints of the canyon, all with varying perspectives and features.
      I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, though. Since the drive from Sedona to Grand Canyon South Rim is ~2.5 hours, and the drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Bryce Canyon is ~5 hours, I would recommend strongly that you stay overnight at the Grand Canyon. Then, head up to Bryce Canyon with a stopover in Page, AZ, to visit Horseshoe Bend. The Antelope Canyons are closed, and expected to remain so, but a good alternative, which is conveniently located between Page, AZ, and Bryce, would be Wire Pass Canyon/Buckskin Gulch. It’s between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, near the town of Paria, UT. It’s a relatively easy hike that doesn’t require a permit or guided tour (just pre-payment of a day use fee via Recreation.gov). The only potentially hard part about it is the access road to the trailhead, the House Rock Valley Road, is unpaved, and if recent weather has brought any moisture at all, it will turn into a red clay slip-n-slide. Fortunately, June weather tends to be quite dry, so that should work in your favor.
      In Bryce Canyon, horseback riding is amazing, quite reasonably priced, and doesn’t require previous riding experience. Rides vary from 2-4 hours in length, and should be reserved in advance.
      As for camping at “cool native inspired sites/houses,” you don’t really have the luxury of picking and choosing at this point in time, just grab what’s available. At Grand Canyon South Rim, Mather Campground is the only campground located inside the park that takes reservations. You also reserve that through Recreation.gov There is a campground at Desert View, but it’s closed at the moment. Should it reopen, it’s first-come/first-serve, so I wouldn’t count on it being an option. Outside the park, Grand Canyon Camper Village in Tusayan, AZ, might still have availability. At Bryce Canyon, there are two campgrounds inside the park, North and Sunset. Sunset takes reservations (through Recreation.gov), North is FCFS. There are also some privately run RV campgrounds outside Bryce Canyon who typically offer a limited number of tent campers.
      Should you wish to stop over in Page, AZ, the Wahweap Campground inside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is closest to Lake Powell. Page/Lake Powell Campground, in the town of Page, AZ, is closest to Horseshoe Bend. RV & Camping Options near Antelope Canyon
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  5. We are leaving The View Hotel at Monument Valley on June 30th to do a Horseshoe Bend 1/2 day tour with Wilderness River Adventure that same morning. We are wondering if you can suggest any quick places to pick up breakfast along the way, or in Page? We need to be at the tour office at 9:30am.

    1. Hi Kim,
      It takes 2 hours minimum to drive from Monument Valley to Page, AZ. The only places I can think of to pick up a quick breakfast on the way over would be Burger King or McDonald’s in Kayenta, AZ, or the local Basha’s grocery store. There’s also a Chevron station there with a limited selection of hot foods, but honestly, I would recommend picking up some items the night before that you can munch on in the car. That way, you can get right on the road and not waste any of your valuable time deciding where/what to eat.
      Remember that the Navajo Indian Reservation DOES observe Daylight Savings Time, whereas Page, AZ, does not, so Monument Valley will be one hour ahead of Page, AZ.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  6. Hi Alley, my husband found this link and there is a lot of helpful info. I will be going with my family in July 🥵. We will be 3 days in Glendale UT and 2 days in AZ – I would like your opinion on what we should do each day. Definitely want to do the Zion narrows and Lower Antelope because upper is closed. But would like your recommendations of what to go see. Thank you for all the information!

    1. Hey Wendy,
      Well I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but Lower Antelope Canyon walking tours are still closed along with Upper Antelope and all the other land-side branches of Antelope Canyon. The good news is that it’s still possible to kayak into the waterside of Antelope Canyon, then hike into the “pre-slot” portion of the Lower canyon, which is on Lake Powell, and therefore is Federal Land and not Tribal Land.
      If that activity does not appeal, there are still land-based slot canyons you can tour near Kanab, UT, including Wire Pass Canyon/Buckskin Gulch and Red Canyon aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. While guided tours are not required to get to these, they are strongly recommended since the access roads are unpaved. Peek-A-Boo in particular is accessed by a very sandy road that should not be attempted by those without prior 4WD experience, or parties in rental cars. For more information, visit “Help! My Tour Got Cancelled” on our companion site, AntelopeCanyon.AZ
      The Narrows may also be a no-go as that section of the river tends to develop cyanobacteria (toxic algae) blooms during the warmer times of the year. Should that happen, don’t fret, there are tons of other good hikes you can enjoy in Zion. However, to access the Zion Canyon area (the main sightseeing area), you’ll need to use the Zion Canyon Shuttle, which requires advance purchase of tickets.
      Between Kanab, UT, and Page, AZ, is an easy but fun hike you should take the opportunity to make, that’s the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos Trail. The trailhead is at mile marker 19 on US89.
      Another possibility: making a day trip to Grand Canyon’s North Rim. From Glendale, UT, the drive to the North Rim is a bit on the long side, ~2 hours each way, but since your days in July are long, that’s one of the few times of year you can pull it off. Just make sure you time your return trip so that you’re back to your base by nightfall. Driving after sunset is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit, and the possibility of deer, elk, and other wildlife being present. 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.
      A day should also be set aside to visit Bryce Canyon and at hike the Mossy Cave, Fairyland Loop, or Queen’s Garden Trails.
      Since you’re traveling in July, you should plan on scheduling all “labor-intensive” activities for the early morning hours. Whenever you hike, be sure that you’re wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen, and that you’re carrying plenty of water.
      Hope that helps — good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  7. I came across your sight through a google search. I love all the information that you give! Thank you. My husband and I booked flights to fly into Phoenix on 9/3/21 and we plan to drive up to Page to hopefully see Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe bend and Lake Powell. I was wondering if you thought driving to four corners would be too much? We’ve seen the south rim of the Grand Canyon via Las Vegas about 10 years ago. I’d like to visit the north rim if time permits. Are my plans too much? We leave on Monday the 6th.

    1. Hey Deanne,
      Whether or not you can see Four Corners depends on whether the Navajo Tribe decides to open attractions on their lands by then. Even if it does, though, I wouldn’t recommend you try and visit it on a quick weekend trip to Page, AZ. It’s ~a 3-hour drive, each way, from Page, AZ, to Teec Nos Pos, AZ, and quite frankly, most people find it 4 Corners a bit of a let-down. Your day would be better spent exploring the many sights in Page, AZ, and the surrounding area.
      A day trip to Grand Canyon North Rim would also involve a lot of time on the road — ~2.5 hours each way — but the payoff IMO would be much better. The route from Page, AZ, to the North Rim would also give you the opportunity to explore Lees Ferry and the Lonely Dell Ranch Historic District, Navajo Bridge, and the Balanced Rock Garden between Marble Canyon and Cliff Dwellers. Cliff Dwellers would make a good spot for a late breakfast or early dinner — their food is amazing, but they don’t do lunch, unfortunately. Be sure to also stop at the Jacob Lake Inn for some of their delicious and world-famous home-made cookies! If desired, you could come back to Page, AZ, through Kanab, UT, and stop off at Pipe Springs National Monument. At the North Rim, the Grand Canyon Lodge, Bright Angel Point, and Point Imperial are the must-sees. The key is to make sure that you time your return trip so that you get back to Page, AZ, by sunset, which occurs just before 7:00 PM in early September. The reason this is so important is because roads around here are very dimly lit, and the stretch of road from GC North Rim to Page, AZ, is often populated by deer, elk, and other wildlife that raise your risk of a collision. Not something you want to risk in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, possibly cold (at 8,000′ ASL, North Rim overnight lows are already inching close to freezing in autumn), where cell service is spotty, and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive.
      If all that doesn’t appeal, another way you could see the North Rim would be to fly over it out of Page. Fixed-wing airplanes depart out of the Page Municipal Airport daily, weather permitting, and possibly contingent on a certain number of passengers traveling. Scenic flights would not land at the North Rim, but they would should you a ton of amazing scenery in the space of just 90 minutes! Page-Grand Canyon Air Tours
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  8. Hi Alley,

    We are planning to visit Grand Canyon and Antelope canyon next week , Match 5th . Since I have my daughter and my mom with us and they can’t kayaking I’m thinking to rent a boat . What do you think? Is there any boat there to rent ? I appreciate any advice.
    Thanks

    1. Hey Alex!
      Boat rentals are indeed available on Lake Powell. There are two marinas located near Page, AZ: Lake Powell Resort (formerly known as “Wahweap”) and Antelope Point Marina. Both facilities offer a wide selection of power boats, house boats, fishing boats, and personal watercraft. Antelope Point Marina Lake Powell Resorts
      Another option worth considering would be to charter a boat, with a licensed captain, exclusively for your family. That way, you can just relax and enjoy the scenery and let your captain take care of the rest! For more information on this service, contact the Page-Lake Powell Hub, the local visitors center, at (928) 608-5749. If you talk to Gordon, tell him Alley said “hi!”
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  9. Hi Alley! Your ideas and information here are amazing! My husband and I are traveling to Phoenix – coming in at 8:30 am on Friday and driving to Page to stay for 3 nights. We have booked kayaks from your recommended list in another comment for Saturday morning. We will have our warm layers and are looking forward to the adventure and scenery. We plan to hike in the pre slot area as well on Saturday and will add what we can later in the day, possibly in the national park. We will visit as many of your recommended places possible on Sunday, starting with Horseshoe canyon early. What else should we plan for Sunday? We were considering a jeep tour or something Monday morning or another hike before heading back to Phoenix later in the day. We like some hiking and adventure. Any suggestions for us?

    1. Hey Jenni,
      That’s way cool that you’re planning on spending 3 night in Page, AZ. I guarantee you won’t have any trouble filling up your days with fun! When you say that you’re arriving on “Friday,” I take that to mean today? If so, today’s weather is expected to be kind of drizzly, but the next couple of days should be sunny and pleasant. Page, AZ, weather
      A jeep tour on Monday morning would be fun, there are several options to choose from. Page, AZ, Jeep & UTV Tours
      If you have the time/inclination to venture a short distance into Utah, about 20 minutes from Page, AZ, a couple of cool stops are the Big Water Visitor Center & Dinosaur Museum, and a bit further up the road, the Paria Rimrocks/Toadstool Hoodoos Trail.
      Time/desire permitting on the way back to Phoenix, you might make the slight detour to Lees Ferry and Marble Canyon. At Lees Ferry, you can explore the Lonely Dell Ranch Historic District and walk up to the banks of the Colorado River. The Marble Canyon Bridge is fun to walk across, and you might even spot some California Condors hanging out among the bridge struts. The balanced rock formations along this stretch of US89A are amazing, too — they’ve been deftly defying gravity for who knows how long? If you’re in the area around breakfast or dinnertime, Cliff Dweller’s Restaurant has fantastic food, surprisingly sophisticated for a little hole in the wall out in the middle of nowhere!
      One very important priority is to make sure that all of your driving is timed for daylight hours. Nighttime driving is best avoided in this part of the country due to local roads being very dimly lit, and the possibility of encountering deer, elk, and other wildlife that have a penchant for darting onto the road. A collision with a large animal is not something you want to risk in an unfamiliar area that’s pitch black, freezing cold, where cell service is spotty (if you can get any bars at all), and help will be a long time coming, not to mention VERY expensive. This weekend, sunrise takes place at around 6:15 AM and sunset occurs at 6:45 PM; that’s Arizona time. Utah is one hour ahead of AZ. Driving back to Phoenix, AZ, it’s not as time-sensitive since there is a good sized light dome between Camp Verde and PHX. The drive between Page, AZ, and Flagstaff, AZ, you definitely want to do while it’s still light out.
      Ooh, that reminds me: between Page, AZ, and Flagstaff, AZ, you have another opportunity to take another very interesting detour: The Wupatki/Sunset Crater National Monument Loop Drive. It’s just North of Flagstaff, AZ, and will show you an ancient Sinagua Indian Pueblo complex (a rather sophisticated one at that!), and a dormant volcano. That will add a couple of hours onto an already long drive (typically takes ~4.5 hours to drive from Page to PHX), but the option is there for you.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  10. Hi Alley! My SO and I are planning a trip to AZ for this May and we were wondering if there are any slot canyon tours that are open or will be open by then. We definitely want to check out Horseshoe bend but also do and see as much as we can! Where can we find out more information on kayaks and paddle boarding options as well? We’re coming from the east coast so any ideas to make the most of our trip would be awesome!!

    1. Hi Courtney,
      As to when the Antelope Canyons might reopen, we don’t know. Recently, April was being floated as a possible reopening date, but that is now looking to be somewhat premature. A kayak or SUP tour into the waterside of Antelope Canyon would be a nice alternative at the time of year you’re visiting! These typically include some hiking into the pre-slot portion of the Lower canyon, which is on Federal and not Tribal land. For more information on kayak and SUP tours, visit the Page/Lake Powell Tourism Hub: Paddling Tours They can also help with activities such as jeep/4×4 tours, good local hikes, and other sightseeing recommendations.
      Bear in mind that in May, daytime highs are already getting quite warm in the lower desert areas, such as Page, AZ, but nighttime lows in higher elevations such as Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon can still dip down into the 40’s. Pack a light jacket for comfortable evening sightseeing in those areas.
      Not sure how much time total you have for your visit, but for suggestions on how to plan a memorable one-week stay in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, visit our companion site AntelopeCanyon.AZ: The Ultimate 7-Day Itinerary Note that any sites on the Navajo Reservation (such as Monument Valley or the Antelope Canyons) will not be an option due to continued closure of Tribal lands due to COVID-19.
      Hope that helps! If you need further guidance, please contact me directly at [email protected]
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  11. Hi Ally! Thank you so much for this. Any road closures happening now between Sedona and Bryce after the snow storm? And will Horseshoe Bend be affected?

    1. Hi Mina,
      I am not aware of any weather-related road closures in Northern Arizona or Southern Utah, but do check http://www.az511.gov for Arizona, or udot.utah.gov/ for Utah. Horseshoe Bend remains open during usual hours, from sunrise to sunset.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  12. Hi Alley, Is Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend open for visitors now? I saw some stuff online that suggested it might be closed to visits due to COVID. Thanks!

      1. Hi Alley,
        We will be visiting Horseshoe Bend/Page next week, and will be coming in from the Grand Canyon. I heard the East entrance to the Grand Canyon is closed… Does that affect how we we get to Page? What would you recommend? Thank you!

        1. Hi Megan,
          Sorry to report that the closure of the East entrance of the Grand Canyon will affect your travels between the South Rim and Page, AZ. It is necessary to drive all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then back up North to Page, AZ, via US89. This has turned what is normally about a 3-hour drive into more along the lines of 5-hours. Trip map
          Sorry to be the bearer of bad news on that front.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

        2. Hey Megan!
          Sorry to say that your drive will be affected by a COVID-19 related closure 🙁
          Due to the closure of AZ64 East from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ, it is necessary to drive all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then continue North on US89 to get to Page, AZ. This has turned what is normally ~a 3-hour drive into more along the lines of a 5-hour trip.
          If you’re of a mind to “make lemonade out of lemons,” you could take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the Wupatki/Sunset Crater Loop Drive, just North of Flagstaff, AZ, which will take you by a Sinaguan Indian dwelling complex (a rather sophisticated one at that) and a dormant volcano. Naturally, this will add more time to your trip, but the option is there for you 😉
          Trip map
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

    1. Planning a trip in July and really want to see antelope canyon… do you think it will be open than??

      1. Hey Bobbi,
        Sorry to say, but we don’t know. The decision is entirely up to the Navajo Tribe, who have opted to err far on the side of caution to protect their citizens.
        I would suggest visiting our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ, to be placed on a priority e-mail list to be notified the minute the canyons reopen.
        Another option would be to start looking at “Plan B” options, such as those outlined in “Help! My Antelope Canyon Tour Got Cancelled“, also on our companion site.
        Good luck and safe travels,
        Alley 🙂

  13. Hi Alley,

    Really appreciate your effort answering all these questions.

    My family of 8 (all adults) are planning to go to Las Vegas from Southern CA for 3 days and hope to explore Horseshoebend for another 3 days this March. I am looking at reserving hotel rooms or airbnb in Page,AZ. I just want to be sure that our direction to Page,AZ from Las Vegas then back to SoCal are open. Aside from Horseshoebend,what can you suggest that do not require a lot of hiking as I am with my parents in their 60s & 70s. Thank you.

    1. Hi Joahna,
      You might encounter some road construction on I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge between Mesquite, NV, and St. George, UT.
      The only road closure that might affect your family significantly is between Page, AZ, and Grand Canyon South Rim. Normally, the drive takes approximately 3 hours, but due to COVID-19, a critical component of the shortest travel route between Page, AZ, and Grand Canyon Village (AZ64 East from Cameron, AZ, to Desert View Point) is closed. This will require you to drive all the way down to Flagstaff, AZ, then back up North via US180/AZ64N or I-40/AZ64N. This has turned a 3-hour drive into more along the lines of 5 hours. If you are not going to the Grand Canyon, you should be good, but if you’ve never been there, you should at least set aside a day to go there. Everyone should at least once in their lifetime!
      As for activities in the Page, AZ, area that don’t require a lot of high-intensity hiking, there’s
      Glen Canyon Dam/Steel Arch Bridge
      Hanging Garden Trail (~1 mile, relatively flat)
      Grand View Overlook Park
      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)
      Glen Canyon Conservancy Museum
      Big Water Visitors Center & Dinosaur Museum
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  14. Hi,

    I live in the Valley, I would like to plan a visit for whole day. What do you recommend the best way for two adults?

    1. Hi Cesar,
      If by “the Valley,” you mean the Phoenix, AZ, area, you can visit Horseshoe Bend as a day trip, but it would make for a very long day, mostly spent driving.
      It takes approximately 4.5 hours, one way, to drive from Phoenix, AZ, to Page, AZ. Visiting Horseshoe Bend will take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours, which includes parking (you pay a one-time $10/vehicle fee), walking out to the rim (.7 miles one way), taking photos, then walking back to your vehicle. Other activities you might partake of while in town include but aren’t 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)
      Visiting Page, AZ, as a day trip from Phoenix, however, won’t give you much time to explore these other locations if you want to make it out of town by dark. For optimal safety and comfort, plan on spending the night in Page, AZ, so you can take your time and really enjoy it.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

      1. What is the best place to view online to determine closures. It seems like some sites contradict or aren’t updated. We are wondering if SUP or kayak tours will be available in early March at Horseshoe.

        1. Hey JB,
          Unfortunately, there isn’t one central place that posts updates on COVID-19 closures. For land-side tours of the Antelope Canyons, which are on Navajo Indian Reservation land, I’d recommend monitoring the Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation website.
          Kayak tours of the waterside of Antelope Canyon should resume as scheduled in March, as should backhaul service from Lees Ferry to Glen Canyon Dam, then paddling or SUPing through Horseshoe Bend.
          That said, things could change at the drop of a hat if COVID-19 cases suddenly increase and travel and/or mask mandates be reinstated, along with capacity limitations at dine-in restaurants. Naturally, we’re crossing fingers and toes for that not to happen.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

          1. is there anything around horseshoe bend open that you can recommend? We are planning to visit horseshoe bend at the end of March driving from Flagstaff. Since it is almost 2 hours driving from Flagstaff, we don’t wanna just look at horseshoe bend and drive back.

          2. Hi Seiji,
            Don’t blame you a bit for wanting to get the most out of your visit to Page, AZ. I agree it’s kind of silly to drive 2 hours each way just to hit one viewpoint and nothing else! 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 aka “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 (~20 minutes from Page, AZ, over the AZ/UT border)
            Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

  15. I’ve really enjoyed seeing your responses to others Alley, and hope you might be able to steer us in the right direction as well. We are planning to fly into Flagstaff the morning of Wednesday November 11th and fly out Monday November 16th. We know we are ambitious with the trip but hoping to spend a few days in Sedona and then get up to the Grand Canyon and to Page. We saw that Antelope Canyons are still closed and the route from GC to Page needs to go through Flagstaff so it is going to take more time out of our trip but we are hoping there is still enough open around Page to make it worth the trip. I know Horseshoe bend is still open but are there other sites you would recommend if only spending roughly 3 days in the GC/Flagstaff/Page area?

    1. Hi Alyssa,
      Thankfully, you’ve gleaned the most important pieces of information regarding travel in this area in the age of COVID-19, namely, the closure of the Antelope Canyons and the need for more time to make the journey from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page, AZ. For the latter reason, we strongly recommend that you book overnight stays in Grand Canyon, AZ, and Page, AZ and not try to visit both places in one day.
      As for other attractions open in the Page, AZ, area, you’ll find plenty of ways to occupy an overnight stay up there besides Horseshoe Bend. Horseshoe Bend itself requires at least 90 minutes-2 hours time to park ($10 one-time fee), walk out to the rim, take photos and walk back. Afterwards, you could drive down to the Glen Canyon Dam/Steel Arch Bridge and walk across that to get a nice view of Glen Canyon. Be sure to park your vehicle on the Eastern flank of the bridge so you can also hit the Hanging Garden Trail if you want. In the town of Page, AZ, itself, the John Wesley Powell/Glen Canyon Conservancy Museum is open and the displays in there are very illuminating and informative. Although water-based activiies are on seasonal hiatus, you can still go down to the shoreline of Lake Powell by entering the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (if you’re OK with paying the $30/vehicle entrance fee; the National Park Pass also works). The Wahpweap Swim Beach and Lone Rock Beach both have great views, and actual access to the water, although the water is too cold for swimming at the time of year you’re visiting. Airplane tours and helicopter tours are also operating, weather permitting, and contingent on a certain number of passengers traveling. Time permitting, you could also take the short drive over the border of Utah to the town of Big Water to view award-winning dinosaur displays.
      As you can see, there is still plenty to see and do in the immediate vicinity of Page, AZ. However, if seeing a slot canyon was still on your “wish list,” you should allot an extra day to make the trip to Kanab, UT (~70 minutes from Page, AZ), to visit Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. This short but memorable walk features scenery comparable to the Antelope Canyons, and some attributes that are unique to it. Although the slot canyon walk isn’t that difficult, the drive to get there is, so we recommend again 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
      Guided tours to Peek-A-Boo Canyonn take approximately 4 hours.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Hi Alley,
        We are coming this April. So is it definite that to go from GC Trailer Village to Horseshoe that you can’t take Hwy 64? That adds a couple hours to the drive. We were planning a Horseshoe/Antelop Canyon tour from Page but their recording says they’re closed now. Is that due to covid or time of year? Are there other tours/things to do that you recommend in Page? We are usually big planners and getting a little frustrated. Thanks

        1. Hi Cyndi,
          How long AZ64 from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ, will be closed remains uncertain. As of right now, that section of the drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Horseshoe Bend is closed. You should probably count on it still being closed at the time of your visit just to be on the safe side. Should it reopen by the time you travel, then you have a bonus: 2 extra hours for sightseeing.
          Horseshoe Bend is open and can be visited by private vehicle during regular operating hours between sunrise and sunset. The Antelope Canyons are closed due to COVID-19. When they will reopen, again, is uncertain. If seeing a slot canyon remains high on your priority list, then Red Canyon aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon near Kanab, UT (~70 minutes from Page, AZ), would probably be your best alternative. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features classic slot canyon scenery, as well as some unique geological features. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you take. The walk through the canyon itself is not difficult, but the drive to get there definitely is; people get stuck a lot, and if you’re driving a rental car, forget it! You will void your insurance the minute your tires part with the pavement, which means you’d be on the hook for a very expensive rescue, should you need one, and have to foot the bill for any damage you’d sustain. There are several reputable companies in Kanab, UT, to visit Peek-A-Boo Canyon with including:
          – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
          – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
          – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
          – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
          – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

          1. Hi Jojie,
            Yes, it is. It was one of the few attractions that never closed during the pandemic.
            Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
            Alley 🙂

  16. Hi Alley,

    I came across this article and see that you’ve done an amazing job in helping people along their travels. 1st what is your website that everyone has referred to? 2nd I’m planning a trip from Sept. 27th to Oct 1st (traveling with a 1.5 y/o toddler and two more adult family members).

    I fly into Vegas Sept. 27 and stay there for one night. Then heading to the GC Sept. 28th (how early do you suggest I leave to get the most out of the trip there and seeing the GC) also is GC a one day thing or is it possible to squeeze something else in that day? Do you recommend seeing the south rim or the north rim?

    Then….after GC plan on heading to LAKE Powell (evening of Sept. 28th) and staying there overnight and wake up the next morning to enjoy Lake Powell….. was going to try and hit Horseshoe Bend as well as Antelope Canyon the same day but I’m pretty sure that’s ambitious planning. Is Antelope Canyon still closed? what do you suggest or recommend doing at Lake Powell? Is there a good route to hike at Horseshoe (keeping in mind my toddler) so that we can get to see the Horseshoe attraction?

    Are there any on Canyons / Sites you suggest or recommend along the way? Or instead of what I have written above? This is my first ever road trip so I’m not versed on anything that pertains to it.

    1. Hi Pres, and thank you for your compliments!
      The company I represent has several websites that we own and operate to help tourists plan their vacations to the area. This one is http://www.HorseshoeBend.com, we also have http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ , http://www.TheWaveAZ.com , and http://www.AlstromPoint.com
      Let’s get the bad news out of the way: the Antelope Canyons are still closed, and are expected to remain so at the time of your visit. If touring a slot canyon is still something you want to experience, you’ll be somewhat limited in what you can do with a toddler in tow. In your situation, I recommend Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon in Kanab, UT, which is ~70 minutes from Page, AZ. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features classic slot canyon scenery (including the occasional light beams in the summertime), as well as some unique features such as ancient “moqui” steps, and “Shaman’s Needle,” a pencil-thin stone column located in a small sub-drainage near the canyon’s entrance. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we recommend that you take one anyway. While the hike through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there can be. 4WD vehicles with adequate clearance are a definite must, with tire pressure lowered to accommodate potentially deep sand. Even then, people still get stuck. If you’re driving a rental car, forget it! You will void your insurance the minute your tires part with the pavement, which means you’d be on the hook for a very expensive rescue, should you need one, and have to foot the bill for any damage you’d sustain. To explore Peek-A-Boo in safety and comfort, contact any one of these reputable tour companies to choose from in Kanab, UT:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      If you don’t have Grand Canyon hotel reservations already made, you’re going to have a tough time finding accommodations, especially at the North Rim. Besides, for families like yourselves, I recommend the South Rim anyway. There’s more in the way of visitor services (hotels, restaurants, etc.), and offers more of the Grand Canyon that can be seen by car. It takes ~5 hours to drive from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim, so best to get as early a start as possible, check into your hotel, do some sightseeing, then bed down for the night, preferably somewhere in the park or just outside in the community of Tusayan, AZ. Grand Canyon South Rim hotels
      Driving to Page, AZ, would normally take you ~3 hours. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Navajo Tribe has opted to close a critical component of that route to all traffic (AZ64 from Desert View to Cameron). As a result, all auto traffic is forced to detour down through Flagstaff, AZ, then head up North on US89 to Page, AZ. This turns a 3-hour drive into another 5-hour drive. Here again, get an early start on the day so you can maximize your sightseeing time during daylight hours. You want to be sure that you avoid nighttime driving in this part of the U.S. due to local roads being very dimly lit, and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other large animals such as free range cows and horses. Time permitting, you could hit Horseshoe Bend on your way into town, or visit just after sunrise the following morning. The latter option would allow you to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. RE: taking your toddler to Horseshoe Bend, the trail is ~.7 miles long, one-way. The trail is graded and partially paved, so you could take a stroller on part of it if you needed to, but would need to use caution on the unpaved section. A testimonial from a recent visitor indicates that it can get rough. He reports:

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

      So, feel free to bring a stroller, but be prepared to carry your kiddo or have him/her walk part of the way.
      Lake Powell/Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is open, for the most part. You might stop at the Lone Rock Beach on your way out of town in order to get down to the water. Just be ready to share the area with a lot of campers and boaters. If you prefer something more private, the Wahweap Swim Beach might be more to your liking. Both areas are within the boundaries of the National Recreation Area, so you would be required to pay an entrance fee.
      With 3 full days to work with for this trip, you really don’t have time to include much else in your itinerary. If you want, you could see about spending a night at Zion National Park, which is a short detour between Page, AZ, and Las Vegas. The best town to stay in would be Springdale, UT, on the Western border of the park, ~3.5 hours from Las Vegas. However, I can pretty much guarantee that this will leave you wanting: most visitors spend 3-4 days in the Zion National Park Area and still feel as though they’ve only “scratched the surface.” Another thing to be aware of: due to COVID-19, you must make advance reservations for the Zion Canyon Shuttle, which can be a pain. If there were any such thing as a “good time” to skip Zion, this might be it, in which case, simply give one more night to the Grand Canyon or Page. Whatever you do, you need to make hotel reservations ASAP! Then, plan a return trip when your little one is older and you can enjoy a longer trip in the American Southwest! Ultimate 7-Day Itinerary in Northern Arizona & Southern Utah
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  17. Hi, we had a reserved trip to Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon for August 27, 2020. We have been cancelled due to covid snd concern for the Navajo people. Can we see Horseshoe Bend on our own? If not could you recommend some other similar activities. We will be staying in Kanab for a few days. Thanks

    1. Hi Jeanne,
      So sorry to hear that COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into your travel plans, but all is not lost!
      Horseshoe Bend remains open, in fact, it was one of the few attractions in Northern Arizona that never closed through all this. You can visit anytime between sunrise and sunset, parking for standard passenger vehicles is $10. We recommend that you try and visit in the hours just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds.
      Since you are staying in Kanab, UT, you are perfectly poised to enjoy Antelope Canyon’s most popular “alternative alternative” tour: Red Canyon, aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features classic slot canyon scenery (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 🙂

  18. Alley,
    Looking for advice on whether to keep our trip we planned pre-COVID or reschedule for another time.
    We are ambitious, arriving LAS at 11AM on 2 Oct and driving to Springdale, UT for 3 nights in Zion area seeing Kolob Canyon, Northgate Peaks and main Zion plus Canyon Overlook.
    Leaving 10AM on 5 Oct, driving to GC North Rim for 2 nights.
    Leaving ~10AM on 7 Oct, driving to Bryce Canyon for 2 nights.
    Leaving noon on 9 Oct, driving to Torrey for Capitol Reef visit.
    Leaving 1PM on 10 Oct, driving to Moab to see Arches and Canyonlands 11 -13 Oct.
    Leaving 8AM 14 Oct on drive to Page (Lake Powell) with various sightseeing stops along the way including Wilson’s Arch and Monument Valley.
    15-16 Oct plan was to view horseshoe bend, Canyon X (or similar), Glen Canyon Dam Overlook, Lake Powell and Rainbow Bridge tour, and another canyon in the afternoon (or other sights). Leave ~ 10AM 17 Oct, driving to GC South Rim.
    18 Oct all day GCSR.
    Leaving ~10AM 19 Oct, driving to Sedona and then on to Flagstaff to spend the night.
    20 Oct spend morning around Flagstaff and drive to Hoover Dam to take photos and drive to hotel by LAS. Flight home on 20 Oct.
    Is this trip viable with COVID impacts? Between sites for the parks, Arizona, Utah, CDC and such we can’t figure it out and would appreciate your thoughts.

    1. Hi Bill & Tricia!
      Your trip plan looks really fun, and very well-paced. You are also visiting at what most locals, present company included, would say is the best time of year to be here. As long as you’ve got your hotel reservations in place, I’d go ahead and keep things just the way they are!
      Nevertheless, there are a few spots where COVID-19 can or will put a damper on your plans, but those are still salvageable… more on that in a minute.
      You’re starting off with 3 nights in Zion, and that’s awesome. On your way over from Las Vegas, you might take the short detour through the spectacular Valley of Fire State Park. It’s a stunning area, you’ll be glad you took the extra time to visit, especially in October, when temperatures are more along the lines of balmy rather than ghastly hot.
      The Kolob Canyon area had been closed for awhile, but according to the National Park Service/Zion website, it’s back open for day use, yaaay! So you should be able to do the Northgate Peaks hike, no problem. On the off-chance that the area has to be re-closed by the time you visit, don’t fret: there are tons of other good hikes you can take in Zion, so your vacation will by no means be wrecked by that one (potential) little wrinkle.
      2 nights at the North Rim, again, if you’ve got the lodging in place, keep it. As for Bryce, most visitors find that one night at Bryce Canyon is sufficient for a fulfilling visit, but here again, if you’ve got it, keep it. You’ll find stuff to do, no problem. Be sure that you drive from Bryce to Capitol Reef via Scenic Byway 12, it’s one of the most amazing highways in the U.S. With an early start on the day, you might be able to do the hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls. It’s right on your way.
      3 days in Moab, UT — bravo! That gives you ample time to explore Arches and Canyonlands National Park, and maybe even Castle Valley, or a raft trip in Cataract Canyon.
      On the drive from Moab, UT, to Page, AZ, the Goosenecks of the San Juan is a good stop to make — kind of like a “double” Horseshoe Bend, but not nearly as crowded. In Monument Valley, you’ll probably want to avoid stopping, if the current COVID-19 restrictions by the Navajo Tribe remain in place. They presently ask that all outsiders refrain from stopping on Tribal lands and interracting with Reservation residents. One notable exception: Goulding’s Lodge. They have managed to remain open with modified/limited services, so if you wanted to make a stop on the ‘rez, that and Forrest Gump Point would probably be it. Make sure you gas up in Moab, UT, and pack snacks or a lunch so you don’t have to stop at any service stations between Moab and Page.
      In Page, AZ, the Antelope Canyons and Rainbow Bridge Boat Tours are currently closed due to COVID-19. If you find that to still be the case when you get here, you might consider flying over Rainbow Bridge. Fixed-wing airplanes and some helicopters are based at the Page Municipal Airport and fly tourists over that area (with advance reservations). Scenic flights don’t land at the Bridge, but you would get a spectacular bird’s eye view of not only Rainbow Bridge, but Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Dam. You could also include Horseshoe Bend in your flight route, but Horseshoe Bend Overlook remains open; it’s one of the few attractions in Northern Arizona that never closed. Should the Antelope Canyons remain closed when you get here, a good alternative is Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon near Kanab, UT. This beautiful, family-friendly slot canyon boasts twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons in a short but memorable walk featuring classic slot canyon scenery, as well as some unique features such as ancient “moqui” steps, and “Shaman’s Needle,” a pencil-thin stone column located in a small sub-drainage near the canyon’s entrance. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you take one, 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. Even then, people get stuck. There are several reputable companies to choose from in Kanab, UT, including:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      If you do end up touring Peek-A-Boo instead of Antelope Canyon, you could use your travel day from Zion to Bryce to hit that, or maybe do it as a day trip from Page, AZ.
      If you still want to do some type of water-based activity, you might consider driving down to Lees Ferry, renting a kayak, getting backhauled to the base of the Glen Canyon Dam, then paddling the gentle current of the Colorado River through Horseshoe Bend, back to Lees Ferry. There are several companies that operate this trip, but the one we’re most familiar with is http://www.KayakHorseshoeBend.com
      If you choose to see Horseshoe Bend “by land,” hit it just after sunrise on your way out of town. You’ll want to get an early start on the drive from Page, AZ, to the South Rim. Normally, this trip runs ~3-3.5 hours, but is currently running between 4.5-5 hours due to a critical component of that travel route being on the Navajo Reservation and closed off to outside traffic.
      On your final vacation day, where you propose to drive from GC South Rim to Sedona, then to Flagstaff, keep in mind that the drive from GC to Sedona is ~3 hours, and the drive from Sedona to Flagstaff is ~1 hour. Keep a close eye on the time so you’re not doing any of the drive to Flagstaff at night, especially if you take US89A through Oak Creek Canyon. It’s a very twisty but scenic drive, and one that shouldn’t be done in the dark due to the way being very dimly lit and the possible presence of deer, elk, and other large wildlife such as free range cattle and feral horses.
      For that matter, the “don’t drive at night” rule applies pretty much everywhere you’re proposing to go. Another consideration: Utah will be on Mountain DAYLIGHT Time, but Arizona will be on Mountain STANDARD Time, which means Utah will be one hour “ahead” of Arizona. Know which time zone you’re in while making your drive time calculations.
      *Whew* hope all that helps! Feel free to write in again if you need to bounce more ideas off us.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Alley,
        Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply!! It was just the booster that we needed. We are looking forward to exploring this section of the country. We know that will be great, just hoping that COVID calms down so that our travels from Florida via North Carolina won’t be an issue. Your web sites have also been of great help.
        Best regards,
        Tricia and Bill

  19. Hi Alley,
    I was planning to make a quick stop to horseshoe bend next Saturday 7/11, but since most areas seems to be closed, I was wondering if this also applies to horseshoe bend?
    If it is open, is there anything else that also remains open around the area?

    1. Hi Mar,
      You’ll be glad to know that Horseshoe Bend is open! In fact, it’s one of a few attractions in Northern Arizona that never closed.
      Unfortunately, another popular attraction in Page, AZ, is closed until further notice: the Antelope Canyons. Since touring a slot canyon tends to be on the “must-do” list for most visitors, we recommend you consider a couple of beautiful slot canyons that are not bordered by Navajo Indian Tribal Lands, and therefore, not affected by the recent extension of the closure: Wire Pass Canyon (between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT) and Red Canyon/aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon near Kanab, UT.
      Wire Pass Canyon is a photogenic two-part slot canyon that is short enough for intermediate-level hikers to enjoy, yet offers the option to delve further into Buckskin Gulch for those wanting more of a challenge. The walk to the entrance of the initial slot is via a typically dry streambed, which typically is through deep sand. An 8-10’ drop a short distance into the slot canyon is one reason why Wire Pass Canyon may not be appropriate for those traveling with young children, the elderly, or individuals afraid of heights. As the canyon walls become higher and closer together, they suddenly open up as the second slot connects with the Buckskin Gulch. If you’ve had enough at this point, you can simply turn around and head back to your vehicle. If you’d like to explore further, you can easily make a half-day hike out of the immediate area around the confluence with the Buckskin. Look for some bighorn sheep petroglyphs dating back hundreds, maybe thousands of years! Access to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch is off US89 between Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT, on the House Rock Valley Road. Hikers are required to pay a self-permitting fee at the kiosk by the trailhead. Fair warning: the House Rock Valley Road is unpaved! While it is accessible to 2WD vehicles much of the time, if recent weather has brought any moisture whatsoever, the HRVR can turn into a muddy, impassable mess. Parties in rental cars should think twice about attempting this road since off-road driving is strictly prohibited by most rental car companies. A guided tour will get your family to Wire Pass Canyon and back in one piece, and turn you onto features you might have missed trying to find your own way. Page, AZ, and Kanab, UT based companies offering guided tours to Wire Pass Canyon and the Buckskin Gulch include:
      – Detours American West, 480-633-9013, http://www.detoursamericanwest.com
      – Paria Outpost & Outfitters, 928-691-1047, http://www.paria.com
      – Grand Staircase Discovery Tours, 928-614-4099, http://www.grandstaircasediscoverytours.com
      Red Canyon aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon is a family-friendly slot canyon is located between Kanab and Mt. Carmel Junction, Utah, approximately 90 minutes from Page, AZ. With twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, this short but memorable walk features classic slot canyon scenery (including the occasional light beams in the summertime), as well as some unique features such as ancient “moqui” steps, and “Shaman’s Needle,” a pencil-thin stone column located in a small sub-drainage near the canyon’s entrance. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you consider taking one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there 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. For those who would prefer to explore Peek-A-Boo in the safety and comfort of a guided tour, there are several reputable companies to choose from in Kanab, UT, including:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermilioncliffs.net
      The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area/Lake Powell is, for the most part open, except for a few select facilities such as Antelope Point Marina, Antelope Point Public Launch Ramp,
      Antelope Point Marina Business Launch Ramp, overnight camping along the Beehive/Ferry Swale road network, National Park Service Headquarters, Carl Hayden Visitor Center, and tours of the Glen Canyon Dam. For more information on what is open and what isn’t, visit the official National Park Service web page for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  20. Alley,

    Your website is simply amazing, and provides the best information. I am currently working on my grand 5 Day July Itinerary for major spots in Arizona and Utah. I am a little concerned about the level of activity for Day 3 of my trip. Could you advise?

    -Hit the road no later than 7am from South Rim straight to Horseshoe Bend. (Are the restrooms at Horseshoe bend operational again?) (Also, would there be any use in carrying an outdoor blanket to find an area to sit down with a view?)
    -Allow for 1 to 1.5 hours at Horseshoe Bend for Hike.
    -Packed Lunch.
    -1.5 hour Antelope Canyon Tour at Antelope X @ 12:20. (I can modify the reservation if you recommend).
    -Head to Antelope Point Marina between 2pm and 4:30pm. (Allowing some leeway time here.)
    -Paddleboard to Navajo Canyon & Stay on Water until Sunset.
    -Head to Hotel in Evening and return overnight Paddleboard rentals in the morning.

    It feels so great to know I can receive quality advice from an expert. Greetings from Huntsville (Rocket City), Alabama!

    1. Hey Stephanie, and thank you for your compliments on our site!
      I sure wish I knew if your visit was planned for this July or next July, because that would make a world of difference. Assuming we’re talking about this July, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but some of this may not happen for you.
      The Antelope Canyons have been closed until further notice by order of the Navajo Tribal Council. Officially, they are supposed to reopen July 6th, but we are already hearing talk of the closures being extended due to new cases of COVID-19 cropping up in Arizona and elsewhere. The Navajo Indians have been hit disproportionately hard by this virus, so we don’t blame them one bit for erring on the side of caution! If our predictions come to fruition, you’ll need to formulate a “plan B.” If visiting a slot canyon is on your must-do list (and rightfully so!), Red Canyon aka Peek-A-Boo Canyon (not to be confused with Peek-A-Boo Canyon near Escalante, UT!) would be the one I’d recommend to most visitors. This beautiful slot canyon, with twists and turns on par with the Antelope Canyons, is located near Kanab, UT, ~1 hour from Page, AZ. It’s a short but fun walk featuring classic slot canyon scenery (including the occasional light beams in the summertime), as well as some unique features such as ancient “moqui” steps, and “Shaman’s Needle,” a pencil-thin stone column located in a small sub-drainage near the canyon’s entrance. While a guided tour is not required to get to Peek-A-Boo, we strongly recommend that you utiize one, because while the walk through the canyon itself is usually not difficult, the drive to get there can be. There are several reputable companies to choose from in Kanab, UT, including:
      – Dreamland Safari Tours, (435) 412-1790, http://www.dreamlandtours.net
      – TC Tours, (435) 668-5262, http://www.slotcanyontourskanab.com
      – Kanab Tour Company, (435) 644-5525, http://www.kanabtourcompany.com
      – Forever Adventure Tours, 435-644-5700, http://www.foreveradventuretours.com
      – Grand Circle Tours, (928) 691-0166, http://www.vermillioncliffs.net
      Even if, by some miracle, the Antelope Canyons reopen by the time you visit, the agenda you’ve planned out isn’t realistic, unfortunately. For one thing, the Navajo Tribe has opted to close AZ64 from Desert View Point to Cameron, AZ, which is an integral component of the shortest and most logical route between Grand Canyon South Rim and Page, AZ. As a result, you now have to drive all the way back to Flagstaff, AZ, then North on US89 to Page, AZ. This extends what should be a 2.5-3 hour drive to a 4-5 hour drive. That would cut it somewhat fine for a 12:20 PM Antelope Canyon X tour. You should probably plan on getting out of Grand Canyon a little earlier than 7:00 AM if at all possible. Antelope Point Marina also may not be open by the time you visit due to the fact that it is on Navajo Indian Tribal land. If doing a kayak tour is something you really want to do, which I don’t blame you one bit for, you might reconsider touring the waterside of Antelope Canyon and set your sights on Lone Rock Canyon. Granted, it’s less “slotty” than Antelope, but the variety of experiences you can have while exploring this area will more than make up for what it lacks in classic slot canyon scenery. Lake Powell is known for its many side canyons, some of which are so narrow, they can only be accessed by kayaks or SUP. Lone Rock Canyon is one such canyon. From world-famous Lone Rock Beach, even first-time kayakers or SUPers will have a blast paddling across Wahweap Bay and getting up close and personal with towering cliffs and massive rock formations. As you glide between sandstone walls that come closer and closer together, you feel as though you’re in your own world, leaving behind the commotion of the motor boats, jet skis, and other watercraft too big and noisy to enter this place. Water level permitting, you might beach your kayak or SUP and explore the land-side of the canyon on foot. You’ll treasure this unique experience, and remember it, in the words of one TripAdvisor reviewer, as the “cherry on top” of your trip to Page, AZ, and Lake Powell! In the right weather conditions, you can take a short climb up to a small but safe ledge and jump into the cool, clear water. Kayaks and SUPs can be rented from several outfitters in Page, AZ, for those who prefer the DIY approach. For optimal safety and educational opportunities, we recommend a guided kayak or SUP tour conducted by one of several licensed tour companies.
      – 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
      The next morning, plan on hitting Horseshoe Bend just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and fewer people, then run your paddleboards (if you go that route) back to your tour outfitter’s before heading on to your next destination.
      Hope that helps. Please feel free to write in again if you need to bounce other ideas off me. Maybe I’ll take advantage of your expertise if my travels take me to Huntsville!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  21. Dear Alley how are you ?
    my name is “9” from LA
    I have a question and need advise
    if today 5/I plane to visit horse shoe 5/8/20 Head out from LA around 12:00-12:30 Pm

    1. Dear 9,
      It takes approximately 9 hours to drive from LA to Horseshoe Bend. Departing from the LA area around noon would put you in Page, AZ, at night, so best to plan on getting a hotel here, then hitting the overlook the next morning. Page, AZ Hotels
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Dear Alley, is the horseshoe bend open at the moment? I don’t want to drive 7 hours if they have blocked off the entrance to the trailhead.

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

  22. Hello Alley, Ms-Know-it-All! You impressed me so much while searching up our family mini vac planning.
    I am planning a visit to Antelope Valley & Horseshoe Bend during Thanksgiving weekend, coming from L.A. Do parking lots on Horseshoe Band get crowded as well that time of the year? The booking price for the combined tours vary from 55 to 120. I don’t know what to trust. Thanks for your time in advance.

    1. Hi Hae!
      The parking lot at Horseshoe Bend was very crowded last Thanksgiving, so it’s reasonable to expect it to be this Thanksgiving as well. The good news is, the parking lot was expanded over the summer, so there are more spaces to work with, but it’s still a good idea to arrive relatively early in the day to avoid the day trippers out of Phoenix, Las Vegas, etc.
      As for the pricing of Antelope Canyon tours, not knowing which sites you searched, it’s difficult to account for the differences, but my best advice would be to book directly with the Antelope Canyon tour operators or AntelopeCanyonNow.com for tour bundles instead of third party resellers.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  23. Hi Alley

    We are impressed with the information shared. We are planning to cover Grand Canyon/Horseshoe Bend/Antelope. We will be driving from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon for our 1st stop. We plan to stay in Airbnb near Grand Canyon (maybe you can suggest some places for us 🙂 TQ) for 1 night and the next morning we will continue our journey to Horseshoe Bend and Antelope and drive back to Las Vegas in the same day. Is this possible?

    1. Hi Ristine,
      Unfortunately I can’t endorse your plan in full.
      Your plan for your first day is OK, but keep in mind that using Air B & B in areas like the Grand Canyon will automatically place you anywhere from 8 miles to 60 miles outside the park. It is best to stay inside Grand Canyon National Park, or at least in Tusayan, AZ, 7 miles outside the park so you are close enough to enjoy sunset and/or sunrise on the canyon rim without having to drive in the dark. Most roads in Northern Arizona are minimally lit, which is intentional to preserve the natural quality of the night sky. Plus deer, elk, free range cattle, and other wildlife are often present on the roads at night, ratcheting up the possibility of an auto accident.
      On day 2 is where your plan goes wrong. Traveling from the Grand Canyon South Rim to Las Vegas via Page is way too much driving for one day. First off, it will take 3.5-4 hours to drive from Grand Canyon South Rim to Page. I know Google Maps gives the drive time is 2.5 hours, but that’s wheels turning, no stops. That rarely happens since the drive is very scenic, and you’ll no doubt be stopping to take pictures on the East Rim drive of the Grand Canyon between Grand Canyon Village and Desert View, then in the Navajo Reservation before you get to Page. It then takes ~5-5.5 hours to drive from Page, AZ, to Las Vegas. Here again, the figure that Google maps gives does not reflect the stops you’ll invariably make for meals, restroom breaks, and photo ops, and the fact that there is construction taking place on a stretch of I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge. This will tack another 30-60 minutes onto an already long drive.
      My advice: free up another day so you can spend the night in Page, AZ. If this is not possible, focus on sightseeing at the Grand Canyon this time around, then save Page, AZ, as well as Monument Valley, Zion, and Bryce for another trip when you can give the area the time it deserves.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thank you Alley for being helpful and informative.
        After much discussion we plan to 1st drive straight to Page -to visit antelope and horseshoe bend and overnight in some airbnb. Next day- Start an early journey to reach GCNP by morning and stay at GC until sunset and will then overnight airbnb. Next morning we will drive straight to LV airport and catch a flight to Buffalo.
        Hope this plan will work better.

    1. Hey Ryan,
      No, overnight parking is not allowed at Horseshoe Bend. If you’re looking for a place to “boondock,” the parking lot of the local Wal-Mart usually allows overnight parking, but just for one night, but no campfires, grills, slide-outs, or levelers may be used.
      Hope that helps – good luck and safe traveling,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Mario,
      It depends on when you’re visiting. Now through late March/early April, the main parking lot for Horseshoe Bend will be temporarily closed between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. This is to enable construction crews to complete some long-overdue improvements and maintenance to parking areas and other facilities at the overlook. During the closure period, visitors will be required to park in an alternate lot and take a shuttle to the overlook for $5 per person. Prior to 9:00 AM and after 4:00 PM, the lot is open as usual and there is no fee to visit. However, if you find the parking lot full, you will be required to come back at another time when you can find an open and LEGAL parking space. Parking on the side of US89 will get you fined upwards of $300!
      For more tips on how to avoid parking hassles at Horseshoe Bend, check out “Help! There’s No Place To Park At Horseshoe Bend
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Ash,
      The parking lot to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook is very clearly marked, between mile markers 544 and 545, just South of Page, AZ. The walk to the overlook itself is ~3/4 of a mile each way. Just so you’re aware, parking at Horseshoe Bend can be very hard to come by during the mid-day hours, and again at sunset, so plan on visiting either just after sunrise, or using one of several alternate means of getting to Horseshoe Bend.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  24. Dear Alley, knower of all things Arazonian. I’m from Australia and will be staying in Page for the first three days of April. Was wondering if it’s possible (and practical) to get somewhere on the shores of Lake Powell where there isn’t quite so much boat activity. My goal would be to shoot a sunrise or sunset with some still water handy for reflections.
    Also curious whether Horseshoe is better shot at sunrise or sunset.
    Cheers, Ian

    1. Hi Ian, this is a great question!
      Unfortunately, areas of Lake Powell relatively devoid of boat activity tend to also be relatively devoid of access. One notable exception to this rule is Alstrom Point. This is a sweeping and stunning overlook of Lake Powell where this amazing panoramic view is literally laid at your feet. The downside? The road there is mostly dirt, can sometimes be hard to follow, and is in a very remote location. Cell phone service is spotty, if you can get any bars at all, and if you’re in a rental car, you’ve voided your insurance by driving on unpaved roads. The safest way to get there and back in one piece is to travel with a licensed tour company. For those staying in Page, AZ, Alstrom Point Tours, a division of Horseshoe Bend Tours, is the most logical choice. For more information, visit our companion site, http://www.AlstromPoint.com
      Another means of getting further away from “the fray” without expending too much time or effort would be to fly over the lake. Fixed-wing airplane and helicopters depart daily from the Page Municipal Airport over various parts of Lake Powell and surrounding areas, including Rainbow Bridge, Monument Valley, and Tower Butte. If you’d prefer to set your own course, you can also inquire about a custom “charter by the hour.”
      As for whether Horseshoe Bend is best shot at sunrise or sunset, opinions are all over the place about that, but the thing that will probably be the primary determining factor on when you go is parking, or more accurately, lack thereof. It’s become something of a mess of late, and improvements are in the works in hopes of remedying the situation. Still, between you, me, and the walls, it’s probably going to be a case of “too little, too late.” Most people find they have an easier time of it by visiting the overlook at sunrise. During the month of April, sunrise in Page, AZ, occurs between 5:45 AM and 6:15 AM.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  25. Hi do you have tips on how to see both Horsehoe Bend and Antelope Canyon if traveling by RV? We will be on our first RV adventure in March leaving South Rim of Grand Canyon with a couple days to spare before needing to be back in Scottsdale. i’m a bit overwhelmed by options.

    1. Hi Kim,
      Traveling in an RV, you might find parking difficult to come by. The parking area at Horseshoe Bend tends to become overwhelmed by ~9:00 AM, and spaces for RV’s are few and far between. Your best option is to take a shuttle from Page, AZ, which are offered by Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tours. Advance reservations are recommended for that service.
      As for Antelope Canyon, you have to take a guided tour to explore that area regardless. There are two companies that pick up in the town of Page, and two that pick up from the Tribal Park Entrance on US98. Advance reservations are a must since this attraction is very popular. How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon
      Another thing, at the time of year you’re traveling it’s a good idea to stay at an RV park with electrical hook-ups. March is in that transitional zone between winter and spring and nights are still quite cold. There is one improved RV park at the Grand Canyon, Trailer Village, and one outside the park ~7 miles called Grand Canyon Camper Village. In Page, there are two improved RV parks as well, Page/Lake Powell Campground, which is in town, and Wahweap Campground, which is near Lake Powell. The latter is inside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, so an entrance fee will be required.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

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