Just a couple hours north of the Grand Canyon lies the city of Page, Arizona which encompasses the Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Recreation areas. The drive to page had many remarkable views along the way. As you arrive in page you begin to see large power lines along the road. This area is also home to the Glen Canyon Dam which is a major hydroelectric power source for this region of Arizona and Utah.
Coming into page we didn’t have lodging set up yet. While we ate lunch, I found one Campground that had a reservation available for the next few days so we booked that. Many of the campgrounds here are first come first serve so we had a list of places to check for openings. The first place we stopped was at Lone Rock Campground which is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This area is maintained by BLM and dispersed camping is available right on the beach of Lake Powell. The camping here is $7 per night for seniors or people with access passes, and $14 regular price. As we drove down, the dirt road gets a little rough, but even with our low clearance we were able to make it with no issues at all. We found our spot on the beach right across from the huge Rock known as Lone Rock. The campsite does have restrooms available, but no showers or electric. The sunset was one of the most beautiful we’ve seen so far on this trip. Keep in mind, this campground is about a mile into Utah so the time zone changes. Most activities you will do here will be in Arizona, so make sure you plan accordingly. Phones often get confused in this are so we suggest keeping your vehicle clock on Arizona time. Fortunately, the Navajo tour companies seem to use Arizona time to avoid confusion even though their reservation is on a whole other time zone!
The next morning, after a gorgeous sunrise on the beach, we headed to lower Antelope Canyon for our guided tour with Ken's Tours. Antelope Canyon is one of the most toured slot canyons in the world. While some people prefer the lighting of the upper Canyon, the Lower Canyon offers smaller crowds, more affordable tours, a longer tour, and if you can catch the 10am tour, the lighting was also very good. We saw several sunbeams pierce through the canyon for some beautiful photo opportunities.
Our tour guide was Sylvan and he was friendly, professional, knowledgeable, and he made sure we had plenty of time to get the photos we all wanted. Sylvan not only pointed out great places for photos, but also took the time to take pictures each of us in a few key spots and even gave us photo tips. Our group of 15 was able to get through the canyon in about 45 minutes. Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon and floods quickly in heavy rains, sometimes all the way to the top. Many people have died hiking these canyons which is why the Navajo now require a guided tour. These tours book up fast so book it early, especially if you want the key times when sunlight is t it’s best. We cannot say enough about this Bucket List stop other than we think everyone should see the beauty of this canyon. Every turn was just jaw dropping beautiful. Nature is constantly amazing us.
After the canyon, we headed to Horseshoe Bend. This scenic spot is a National Monument and is only a few minutes from Antelope Canyon. Parking and entry are free and there is about a 15 minute hike to the canyon to see the bend. The hike is not paved and there is a hill to climb, but is fairly easy. The bend is where the Colorado River bend around the canyon en route to the Grand Canyon. Boat tours are available to go around the bend, but once again, they book up fast so you need to plan in advance. The last stop for the day was at the Glen Canyon Dam Overlook. This area has a great view of the dam and the river, and the rocks here have thin layers and had interesting patterns.
We checked into our new camp at Wahweap, which is in Glen Canyon National Rec Center, just up the street from Lone Rock. This is now run by Aramark, a private company and approved vendor in the park. Entrance into the park is $25 if you don't have an access pass, and they do not honor the half of price for camping to access pass holders, even though it's a campground in the National Park system. They gave us a AAA discount, which brought our camping down to $27 per night. The site did not have electric, showers were pay showers, and the 4G here was not very good (4G at Lone Rock was excellent). There really was nothing about this campground that justified paying $20 more per night so we canceled the other two nights and decided we would stay in Lone Rock those nights. Tip: If you do have an access pass, or you pay for a pass at Lone Rock, you can enter Wahweap for free and use the showers there since Lone Rock has none.
Our last day in Lake Powell we rented a kayak from Lake Powell Paddleboards. They were friendly, affordable, and gave us great advice on kayaks and bikes. Brock even put the kayak up and strapped it down for us. They recommend the Antelope Canyon paddle, which is a flooded part of the canyon, but it was more than we were looking to do that day, so we opted for the Lone Rock Canyon tour our camping neighbors told us about. It’s about a 60-90 minute paddle and then we explored the lake some more. The canyon is also a slot canyon and was very narrow in spots. The white rock can be seen beneath the clear green river and makes some cool formations underneath. The water slowly pulls you through the canyon for a fairly easy paddle. The return paddle was just as easy. It's a perfect paddle if you are just looking for an easy or short paddle, but if you want to be out for the day, definitely take the Antelope Canyon paddle with the recommended hike. When we return, and we will, we will be renting from them again for the Antelope paddle.
As awesome as the Grand Canyon is, we would recommend driving to Lake Powell and spending more time exploring this area. There are so many things to see and to do here. You could easily spend an entire week here and not run out of things to do. It's definitely a destination worth checking out.