The main reason I wanted to visit Page was Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. Seeing hundreds of photos of those place, I was dreaming of taking photos at Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon myself and witness nature’s beauty first hand. The little town Page didn’t impress me to be honest and I would not come back again, at least not because of Page. But there are some really nice places that you can visit while staying in Page. In this blogpost I will list the best places to see near Page Arizona.
How to get there?
The closest airport to Page is in Phoenix. We flew in to Phoenix and visited Sedona first and then made our way to Page.
The WAVE and “The NEW Wave”
Not sure it you heard about the WAVE in Utah . Since Page it bordering Utah a lot of people choose Page as their base and visit the WAVE from there. But let me tell you, while the WAVE is a cool place to visit, it is not as easy as it sounds. The Wave is a 6.3 mile hike heavily located near Kanab, Utah that features beautiful red sandstone formations that look like waves. Located in the heart of the Vermilion Cliff National Monument it is one of the few accessible hikes that you need a permit for. So far so good, right? Due to the overwhelming popularity of the site, foot traffic is limited to 20 people/day. Yup, you heard right – daily ONLY 20 people are allowed access to the site, thus preserving the integrity and beauty of The Wave.
How to get a permit?
There are two ways to get tickets for the WAVE:
- Online Lottery: You can apply for the online lottery four months in advance to try for a permit on a certain day (you can choose up to 3 dates)
- Walk-in Lottery: Or go to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in Kanab on the day you hope to hike and enter the lottery for walk-in permits.
Twenty permits for Coyote Buttes North are issued each day, and the max group capacity is six people. Only one person from each group can enter the lottery. Half of the daily permits are issued online, and the other half are issued in person. So you can imagine how hard it is to actually get a permit and how lucky you have to be. Permits are non-transferable and non-refundable.
There is a $5.00 non-refundable application fee for The Wave permits. If your party is drawn in the lottery, each person pays $7.00 for their permit. Dogs are permitted, at $7.00 per pup.
Alternative to THE WAVE is THE NEW WAVE
A good alternative to the Wave is the NEW WAVE that is only 5 minutes by car from Page and it is completely for free. It is a super short hike but offers plenty of cool photo opportunities. In case you do not get the permit for the wave, do not worry, just visit the NEW WAVE.
Another great spot that you should not miss out on is Horseshoes Bend. I know a lot of people think that this spot is overrated, but I personally think that this spot is famous for a reason – The view is EPIC and worth visiting. You do not have to get a permit but need to get a parking ticket per vehicle that costs 10$. From the parking lot it is a 10-20 minute walk to the viewpoints.
Although the place gets crowded easily it is still easy to find a quite and nice photo opportunity. Be careful though, especially when walking or standing close to the edge. There is no fence or anything so make sure to be safe. The viewpoint is amazing but also dangerous in my eyes. I am afraid of heights and taking pictures here was not easy since I was so scared of falling. We went here for sunset and can recommend that. Sunrise is probably way more quiet, but as mentioned before, we did not had issues to find a spot.
Monument Valley Road – Forest Gump Hill
Another place that we visited while staying in Page was the Forest Gump Hill at Monument Valley. It is a 2 hours drive from Page but I really wanted to visit so I convinced Johannes to drive there and spend the day in this area. Unfortunately Monument Valley was closed due to COVID, so we could not enter the Monument Valley Tribal park. Monument Valley is a red-sand desert region on the Arizona-Utah border and it is known for the towering sandstone buttes. The famous Forest Gump Hill is a good photo spot though which is why we went there. It is just a road but so scenic! Again, be careful with the cars, when taking road shots.
Valley of Gods
Another spot that you can visit while being in this area is the Valley of Gods. Valley of the Gods is a Scenic backcountry area near Monument Valley with isolated buttes, towering pinnacles and wide open spaces. Since we were already in the area, we made our way to the valley, drove around for a bit, had lunch and took the opportunity to take some photos there. Another cool spot close to the Valley of the Gods is the sandstone formation “Mexican Hat”. Make sure to snap a photo!
Hikes to do while in Page
There are several hikes you can do while staying in Page. Not all hikes were open or accessible with our car while we were there, but I am going to list the ones we did and the ones we were not able to do but are on our list for next time!
Buckskin Gulch via Wirepass
Many people rate Buckskin Gulch as their all-time favorite hike. It is widely known as the longest slot canyon in the world. The route goes through a beautiful slot that runs continuously for about 15 miles. It is a narrow and deep hike, with plenty of obstacles to make it fun. Buckskin Gulch is located along the Utah/Arizona border, near Kanab. We did the Buckskin Gulch hike that connected to the Wire Pass hike (a part of the Buckskin Gulch hike). We really enjoyed hiking the slot canyon, it was also our first one and left us speechless.
Length: 10 miles roundtrip (we did 7 miles but the hike itself is way longer)
Difficulty: easy (can be difficult when it gets super hot)
Elevation Gain: depending on length
Fee/Permit: $6 per person per day, payable via an envelope kiosk at the trailhead
Hours: 24 hours
Located in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the Toadstools are for sure worth a stop while you are your way to your next adventure. We probably spend about an hour there, so it is just an “add on” stop and not a place you plan a day trip to visit. The hike is super easy except for the heat. Try avoid coming during noon. The landscape of hoodoos, alcoves, and balanced rocks is super fascinating and picturesque.
Length: 1.6 miles roundtrip
Difficulty: easy (but no shade, so can get hot)
Elevation Gain: none
Hours: 24 hours
Kayak Powell & Antelope Canyon
One of the highlights of our trip besides the Horseshoe Bend was probably kayaking across Lake Powell and hiking Antelope Canyon. Yup, you heard right, you can visit Antelope canyon without a tour and avoid the crowds. You just kayak or paddle board to the world famous Antelope Canyon Depending on your fitness level it will take you about 1-1.5 h one way to kayak to the trailhead and start the hike from there. While you won’t visit the upper section of the canyon where the large groups go, the areas you’ll visit are stunning and the solitude makes the experience much more enjoyable.
You can either book a tour or do it yourself. We did it ourselves and it was super easy to find. There is really no way you could get lost finding your way to the trailhead. The water was also very calm and there was no current so even kayaking or paddle boarding is not very challenging. Apparently, there are some days, especially during the weekend, when there are a lot of boats around that create waves which makes the kayaking more exhausting. Luckily, we did not experience that.
White Pocket Hike
We were so excited to this hike after reading about it on The Next Trips Blog but unfortunately we did not had a car that would allow us to get there. The road is only accessible by a 4×4 vehicle and we did not want to risk it. If you want to get more information on that trail and how to access it check out my friends blog post.
Length: 1.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Hours: 24 hours