The town of Page has THE MOST envious location as the stopover between Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon – almost as if Mother Nature (Colorado River) was simply bored one day, practicing the art of erosion at the Grand Canyon, before suddenly mastering the techniques to paint a Mona Lisa of the natural world in Antelope Canyon. Put bluntly, if you were about to die and asked me for a bucket-list destination, then this would be it!
ONE DAY IN PAGE ITINERARY
Horseshoe Bend: Horseshoe Bend is on the way from the Grand Canyon to Page, and to appreciate the full saturation of its reddy rock hues juxtaposed between the green-blue of the Colorado River, then late morning is the best time. Not a sleeping-in type of person on holidays, we also came for sunset and sunrise, because watching the desert sky change colours during these times is like watching Leonardo Da Vinci mix his art palette in the sky 🙂
The hike to horseshoe bend is not too long, but quite steep at some points. There are NO RAILING in the best photo-vantage points of the bend so PLEASE be careful – people die every year here from slipping down. The gusts of wind are strong and unpredictable (mum nearly had a heart attack seeing some of the enthusiastic “delinquents” posing for selfies in some spots)
Lower Antelope Canyon: My current favourite place on EARTH. Antelope Canyon is on the land of the Navajo tribe, so it’s not considered part of the USA NPS, but rather, an area that can only be accessed via proper guided tours. Both upper and lower canyons are slot canyons, formed through flash flooding which erodes the Navajo sandstone away into the sensational grooves and edges that they are today.
Apart from the metres of sandstone towering over you in different angles at every turn, the canyons (especially Upper Canyon) are famous for the reflected light beams that travel through the slots in the sky when the sun is high up at midday, especially during summer. These fantastical light beams helped create the most expensive photograph ever sold in the world, at $6.5 million (more millions than the Grand Canyon ;)), called Phantom, by Peter Lik – which you can see here.
The upper canyon is on ground level, making it the more popular destination, but we opted for Lower Antelope Canyon, for the thrill of hiking down the incredibly steep metal stairs, and less tourists! There are only 2 tours that operate here, Dixie Ellis and Ken’s Tours – both are about 40 minutes ~ 1 hour long, and all the guides are super knowledgeable about the history of the canyon, and offer to take photos for you in the best spots!
40 minutes was just NOT even close to enough time of Antelope Canyon because I would HAPPILY sit in the sand just in one spot for a day, staring up into the slits of blue sky, gaping at the jugged waves of sandstone around me. My dream one day is to come back during summer, brave the 40+ degree weather, on a 2 ~ 3 hour photography tour and capture the light beams 🙂
DRIVE FROM ANTELOPE CANYON TO MOAB
Monument Valley: As Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon don’t take that much time, we drove off to Moab after our Lower Antelope Canyon tour. A long, but incredibly scenic route, with stop offs at Monument Valley State Park (https://utah.com/monument-valley) – you can drive in for an extra entry fee because its an Utah State Park, not NPS, and spend a day stopping at each of the rocks and doing the hikes up.
Forrest Gump Point: Seeing Monument Valley from a distance was really unique too – and the stop at Forrest Gump point on highway 163 (Google Maps knows it) is also really fun! It’s when Forrest, with his huge beard and long mane of hair, stopped running in the movie and the iconic shapes of Monument Valley are behind him.
Mexican Hat: Last stop, definitely don’t forget to check out Mexican Hat! There is a small part of the road leading into it that’s gravel (careful with rental cars) but it’s not tricky and after driving through an entire town DEDICATED to this uniquely balanced rock (seriously the town is called Mexican Hat), you can’t miss it. I think I’ve convinced you enough that the drive from Page to Moab is yet another unmissable US drive!
MY TRIP TO MOAB COMING SOON!!