Page, a small town in Arizona inhabited by a few thousand people, is actually a key point of any West Coast travel. It has the great fortune to be located near the edge of Glen Canyon (carved out by the Colorado River) and is surrounded by many treasures, too many and too beautiful for the time usually available to visit Page.
In our opinion, to fully enjoy the many natural wonders, it would take at least 2 full days and – pay attention – perhaps it would not be enough. However, based on experience and statistics, we can say that most travelers exploring a series of parks starting from Las Vegas cannot devote more than one day and one night to the Page area.
So what are the things to do in Page in such a limited time frame? What would you miss if we decide to neglect this lucky town in favor of other tourist destinations?
We have already talked about this magical place in Arizona multiple times (and also about the phenomenon of the time zone in Arizona) but now we want to briefly tell you about the things to see, attractions and places of interest in the surrounding area in order to provide as complete a guide as possible to the area.
- Where is it located, how to get there, and distances
- Page, Arizona: A Brief History of the City
- Climate in Page: Best time to visit.
- What to Do in Page: Best Places to See
- Best Places to Eat in Page
- Where to Stay in Page
Where is it located, how to get there, and distances
Page is located in Coconino County, in northern Arizona, in the southern desert area of the Colorado Plateau. It is not far from the Utah border and sits close to the Colorado River, which is home to some of the main attractions in the area, such as Horseshoe Bend, Glen Canyon, and Marble Canyon. The city covers an area of 38.33 sq mi at an elevation of 4,118 ft and has a population of approximately 7,500 inhabitants (as of the 2019 United States Census).
Due to its particularly favorable natural location, this town has earned the nickname “The Center of Canyon Country.” Although the city has its small municipal airport (Page Municipal Airport), most tourists reach Page by car after landing in Las Vegas, Nevada (the closest major city), Phoenix, Arizona, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, California.
Page is usually included as part of a larger American parks tour, either as the next stop after Bryce Canyon or as an intermediate stop between Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon. Here are the driving distances from these destinations:
- Page – Bryce Canyon: 153 miles, approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes
- Page – Grand Canyon South Rim (East Entrance): 114 miles, approximately 2 hours
- Page – Monument Valley: 125 miles, approximately 2 hours
Page, Arizona: A Brief History of the City
Page is a relatively new city, founded in 1957, and its establishment was driven by the need to create a residential community for the workers of the Glen Canyon Dam. The area where the city is located was acquired by the U.S. government through a land exchange with the Navajo Nation.
Originally, the city was named Government Camp, but it was later renamed after John C. Page, the commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. agency responsible for managing water resources and dams. The construction of the dam was completed in 1966, and on March 1, 1975, Page was officially incorporated as a city.
Page quickly became a base for exploring the nearby attractions of Glen Canyon and Lake Powell, thanks to its convenient access from U.S. Route 89 and Arizona State Route 98, as well as the construction of the bridge over Glen Canyon. The opening of Antelope Canyon to tourism in 1997 and the growing popularity of Horseshoe Bend further increased the number of tourists in the area, contributing to the city’s growth and its hospitality infrastructure.
In addition to the famous dam, Page was home to another significant energy resource for the country, the Navajo Generating Station. However, the power plant was demolished in 2019, much to the delight of many residents and tourists. The plant’s three smokestacks were considered eyesores and had a negative impact on the landscape and the environment.
Climate in Page: Best time to visit.
Page has an arid climate with low precipitation, typical of the desert area where it is located. As a result, summers are very hot, with highs ranging from 90 to 95 degrees in the months of June, July, and August, while winters are not particularly cold, with occasional snowfall.
In terms of temperatures, the best time to visit Page and its surroundings can be identified in two periods: spring and early autumn, due to the more pleasant and not overly hot climate. However, due to vacation schedules, it is often not possible to travel to Page during these periods, and as a result, many tourists choose to visit the area during the summer, not being discouraged by the high temperatures.
If you prefer to avoid the busiest periods, the season with fewer tourists is from November to March, before the peak season and tourist influx begin. However, keep in mind that the best time to enjoy the rays of light that penetrate the cracks of Antelope Canyon usually falls between mid-March and the first week of October.
What to Do in Page: Best Places to See
You’ll have so many choices that you won’t even know where to start. It’s really difficult to rank Page’s attractions according to their “beauty”. Here is a map with the main places of interest:
As the title of this article suggests, it’s very likely that you’re looking for information on Page because you want to visit Antelope Canyon, the most famous slot canyon in the Southwest, as well as the reason why Page is one of the best-known cities in all of Arizona. We talked about this natural gem in our article about Antelope Canyon, in which you’ll find information about the unbelievable geology of the canyon, but above all, tips for how to visit it and what to expect.
As you know, it is not possible to enter the canyon on your own. Instead, you can only visit it on a tour organized by the Navajo, whose tour agencies are all located along the main streets of Page. From here, the jeeps depart and within half an hour they will take you to the entrance of the canyon via a dirt road in the desert.
We should also remember the distinction between Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon. The most visited is Upper Antelope Canyon, while Lower Antelope Canyon is less chaotic and not as simple to explore (there are steps to do on the stairs). Finally, a little further away from Page, there is also Antelope Canyon X, an even lesser-known section of the canyon, less frequented and therefore suitable for those who want to enjoy the unique features of the slot canyon without being surrounded by tourists.
Tours to visit Lower Antelope start directly at the entrance to the canyon, which can be reached by car (10 minutes from Page) and is located on the main road near the turn that leads to Upper Antelope Canyon.
We talked about this marvel carved by the force of the Colorado River’s waters in our in-depth article entitled “Horseshoe Bend: Discover This Miracle of Nature”. By now everybody knows of this spectacular bend in the Colorado River… and to think that until a few years ago some tourist guides used to ignore it! We believe that it is second only to Antelope Canyon and is definitely worth a visit.
It can be reached on foot. You can park the car in a parking lot located along Highway 89 heading southwest. It is a 10-minute drive from the center of Page. As of 2019, you must pay $10 to park the car. From the parking lot you will have to walk along a trail that will take you to a scenic terrace from where you can view the entire area.
If you’re coming from Las Vegas, you’ll see Lake Powell on your left before you get to Page, and you won’t be able to resist the urge to stop and take a look. Lake Powell is a huge reservoir that has given rise to a splendid water labyrinth of red rock canyons, narrow navigable bends, pristine, solitary beaches, and natural arches, for example, the famous Rainbow Bridge National Monument. You can settle for a quick visit to Wahweap Marina, or the elevated views from Wahweap Overlook, or you can decide to hop on a boat to the harbor and take a cruise on Lake Powell.
- Book a Lake Powell cruise
- Book a lake cruise which includes an excursion to the Rainbow Bridge National Monument
There are also air tours departing from Page, which are ideal for those who want to enjoy views of the lake that otherwise would be impossible to see. Many of them also fly over Horseshoe Bend, a natural wonder that certainly is best viewed when observed aboard a helicopter or plane. To find out more about the tours, click on the link below.
Glen Canyon Dam
The lake is located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and nearby is the large dam that created it, known as the Glen Canyon Dam. The city of Page was founded in 1959 as a real “company town” where the workers who built the dam stayed.
Glen Canyon Dam, which you will drive by as you head to Page, offers some really impressive views. You can visit inside the dam at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center, one of the most beautiful structures seen in national parks.
If you are not interested in visiting Glen Canyon Dam, you can reach some overlooks that allow you to see the deep canyon carved out by the Colorado River and the imposing barrier of the dam. We recommend the Glen Canyon Dam Overlook, which is located on Scenic View Road, off of Highway 89 about a mile after crossing the dam. You can take a very short trail to a scenic terrace overlooking the canyon and the dam.
Stud Horse Point & Skylight Arch
If you have a 4×4 car, you can drive to the Ferry Swale area, where you will find Stud Horse Point. Expect a surreal landscape of hoodoos, butte and balanced rock atop a mesa that offers a sensational viewpoint over the desert and Lake Powell.
Continuing on the same (very bad!) dirt road for a few miles, you will find the Skylight Arch trail. The Skylight Arch is a very unusual arch on top of a mesa, where you can enjoy beautiful views of Utah and Arizona lands.
Vermillion Cliffs and Paria Canyon
You might be asking yourself what else is there to see around Page if you have decided to stay here for 2-3 days to discover the mysterious nature of Arizona. One possible option is to visit Vermillion Cliffs, the remote natural park known for The Wave, a surreal place that we talked about in our article dedicated to attractions in Vermillion Cliffs.
Click the link to read the article with all the information you need to visit this park. We would also like to remind you that visiting Vermillion Cliffs and Paria Canyon requires a lot of time, adequate transportation and aptitude for the most adventurous excursions.
The New Wave
The New Wave is quite similar to The Wave, but easier to visit. Also, it is very close to Page. In the surroundings, you will also find a very fascinating and dangerous trail that leads to the Colorado River bank. For all the information on these hikes, read our article about The New Wave in Page.
Marble Canyon and Lees Ferry
Marble Canyon, which is 64 miles from Page, is one of the many canyons in the area carved out by secondary branches or the Colorado River itself, but it has one special feature, which is Lees Ferry, the only navigable point on the Colorado River for several dozen miles, and is considered to be the official starting point of the Grand Canyon.
In this quiet valley in the heart of the canyon you can go on some excursions by land and river, and walk in the footsteps of the gold diggers who made their fortune here. To find out how to get to Lees Ferry and what other natural treasures the canyon has in store, read our in-depth guide of Marble Canyon and Lees Ferry.
Grand Canyon Vista Point
To reach Lees Ferry, take US 89 (Highway 89) south of Page, descend from the mesa and drive towards Bitter Springs and then take US 89A, which then continues to Vermilion Cliffs and the Grand Canyon North Rim. Now pay attention, because 22 miles south of Page, just before a turn, you will find the Grand Canyon Vista Point, an overlook that will allow you to see the initial section of the legendary Grand Canyon from above! If you would like to buy some Native American handicrafts, here you will find a market with many vendors.
These are the precise coordinates of the viewpoint. As you can see from the map, if you are traveling from Page to Grand Canyon or vice versa, it will be practically along the way.
This is one of the lesser-known hikes in Page, and for this reason, it could be a particularly good option if you have some time left after visiting the main attractions. How do you get there, and what is it? Waterholes Canyon is a slot canyon that can only be visited through a guided tour provided by the authorized agency. The canyon is located on Highway 89 near a parking lot about 2 miles south of the aforementioned Horseshoe Bend parking lot.
Best Places to Eat in Page
I highly recommend you go eat at Big John’s Texas BBQ (153 S. Lake Powell Boulevard) if you want to have good American barbecue. You can eat indoors or outdoors at tables shared with other people, which is an opportunity to talk with other tourists or locals. When we came here for dinner, we had a nice chat with a family from Florida.
While enjoying exceptional grilled meat prepared in a smokehouse, you can enjoy a live country music concert, which creates an incredibly fun atmosphere. The staff is also very friendly and helpful. Given the restaurant’s popularity, be prepared to wait in a long line to get seated at a table or you can also arrive early.
Where to Stay in Page
You shouldn’t have any problem finding accommodations in Page. There are motels and hotels with a wide price range, as long as you book ahead of time, as the location – as you may have guessed – is very popular among travelers.ù
Page is very small, and when making your choice, you won’t have to worry about calculating the distance to the main attractions (Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon), since all the main places to stay are located in the center of town or the immediate surroundings. One important thing is to make sure that there is a swimming pool in the hotel you select, because it is really hot here, especially in the summer!
Here are some places I would recommend:
- Lake Powell Canyon Inn: For those looking for a motel near the tourist agencies for Antelope Canyon, this is one of Page’s best choices, also in terms of value. Since 2019 it has replaced the historic Page Boy Motel, which was a bit outdated (but the old sign with the mascot had its charm). The new structure still offers all essential amenities, including a swimming pool, a small playground for children and free parking.
- Best Western View of Lake Powell: those who have already traveled around the U.S. know that the Best Western is pretty reliable, so it is the perfect place for those who do not like bad surprises and do not want to take a chance on a motel after a long day on the road. In addition to all the classic amenities (swimming pool, spa, gym, convenience store, parking, hearty breakfast, etc.), this motel offers scenic views of Glen Canyon and Lake Powell.
- La Quinta Inn Suites Page: this property is where most of the motels and chain hotels in Page are located in a suburban area (so to speak, given the size of the city) south of Page. Why choose this place? You can go to the swimming pool with a spa are you will be in close proximity to the Colorado River, Horseshoe Bend and… Walmart.
- Lake Powell Resort: here is an interesting option that is a little different from the classic motel located just outside the city (practically on Wahweap Marina) and offers a remarkable view of Lake Powell. Because of its location on the lake, it also offers guests the opportunity to go on boat tours and dinner cruises. Of course, there is an outdoor swimming pool, various on-site dining options and rooms with many amenities.
- Hyatt Place Page: like the Lake Powell Resort, this hotel with a swimming pool is quite recent and distinguishes itself from chain motels because of the services offered and the style of rooms and common areas. The service that Hyatt hotels usually offers is not comparable to those of the resort, but they are still above average for Page. The view is a plus. Because it is located in an elevated position in a residential area, you can overlook the red rock formations that Page is famous for.
Below are all the other hotels and motels available in Page.