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Last Updated on January 24, 2023
Inside: We explored the are to provide you with what to do in Page Arizona. Our list of what to see (& why it’s the perfect base for visiting Northern AZ!)
We ended up spending 4 days in Page, and we were so glad we did. Its location makes it an excellent base for exploring this scenic section of northern Arizona.
We’ll share proximity what do to in Page Arizona, as well as the interesting sights nearby.
What is famous about Page Arizona?
The city of Page is the gateway to Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell, which makes it an excellent base for exploring this scenic section of northern Arizona.
The city of Page is not a particularly old community, in fact, it’s one of the youngest communities in the United States. This Arizona small town was established in 1957 when the federal government began construction on Glen Canyon Dam. The dam was built to retain water from the upper Colorado River, producing hydroelectric power for the region. In the process, Lake Powell was created along the border of Arizona and Utah. The dam opened in 1966, and in 1972 the government dedicated the 1.25 million acres surrounding Lake Powell and Glen Canyon as a National Recreation Area.
The Dam and the city of Page sit at the edge of the Navajo Reservation, where there are multiple areas of both cultural and natural interest to explore. Between Glen Canyon Dam, the Navajo sights and the National Recreation Area, we discovered plenty of interesting things to do in Page AZ.
What to do in Page, Az for Free
The good news is there are a lot of great free things to do in Page AZ-Yay! You could spend your entire time here just exploring the scenery, going on hikes and never spend a dime.
We suggest starting your visit by checking out a couple of the areas stunning viewpoints to get your bearings. Then you can focus in on areas that interest you most (and where you might want to splurge for a tour or outing).
Get your bearings with the Glen Canyon Conservancy 3-D Model
Glen Canyon Conservancy (GCC) is the non-profit organization that works in conjunction with the National Park Service and other municipal organizations in the area to ensure the best visitor experience at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Powell. They oversee interpretive centers throughout what they call “Powell Country.” Their administrative headquarters and “flagship store” are located in the town of Page. It’s a great place to begin your exploration of all that Page and its environs has to offer.
There are a few basic displays about the history of the area, along with some informational brochures. But the real reason to visit is the 3-dimensional terrain model of Powell Country that’s huge: roughly the size of a small motor home! The model gives you a bird’s-eye-view of the region, and helpful assistants point out sights of interest using a laser pointer.
The shop sells a nice selection of history books and specialty guidebooks about the area, as well as maps, simple hiking gear and a few souvenirs. A visit to Glen Canyon Conservancy will help you decide which things to do in Page AZ will interest you the most.
Horseshoe Bend Overlook, the “MUST DO” in Page
For many people a visit to Horseshoe Bend is their first priority of things to do in Page AZ. This view of a U-shaped bend in the Colorado River is certainly an Instagram darling. Although it’s technically free to visit (it’s within the boundaries of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area), it’s difficult to access without a long hike.
The easiest way to see it is to use the Horseshoe Bend parking lot, built by the city of Page. For $10 you can park your car and walk a well-paved (and accessible) 1/2-mile trail to the Horseshoe Bend overlook. There are railings and plenty of good viewing spots (there are also plenty of people).
*Please avoid the temptation to climb out on the edge of the rocks for that “perfect Insta shot”– it’s a 1,000-foot drop and the red sandstone on the cliffs is very crumbly! 😱
Glen Canyon Dam Overlook: Stunning views and totally free!
For those looking for a similar, but less crowded, view high above the Colorado River in Glen Canyon, we recommend the Glen Canyon Dam Overlook, a quiet spot just west of town. It’s free to visit, with a fun short hike over irregular sandstone to reach the viewing point (there are railings!).
You also get 2-for-1 views: looking south you’ll see a view of the much like Horseshoe Bend (but without the curve); looking north you get a fantastic view of Glen Canyon Dam, superimposed by the Glen Canyon Dam Bridge. This is one of the lesser-known things to do in Page AZ, but it’s well worth the trip.
Hike to the Hanging Gardens Arizona
The rocky terrain around Page, Glen Canyon and Lake Powell is pretty stunning, but there’s not a lot of natural greenery. For a refreshing change, take a short hike on the Hanging Garden Trail to the amazing Hanging Gardens Arizona.
An unusual configuration in the otherwise unrelenting red rocks allows water to collect, giving ferns and wild orchids just enough moisture and shade to flourish. After the sun and heat of all those red rocks, its almost thirst-quenching to view. (And the temperature is literally cooler there too!) It’s truly one of the unique things to do in Page, Arizona. And it’s totally free!
Tour Glen Canyon Dam & Bridge
When considering things to do in Page AZ, it makes sense to visit the site that caused the creation of the town in the first place: Glen Canyon Dam. At The 710 feet high this massive concrete structure is just a teensy bit smaller (16 feet) than Hoover Dam. The damming of the Colorado River, which created Lake Powell, generates hydroelectric power for much of northern Arizona.
Because there were no rail lines to this remote canyon, Glen Canyon Bridge was built just south of the future dam site to facilitate transport of construction materials. When completed in 1959, it was the highest arch bridge in the world, rising 700 feet above the Colorado River.
Visitors are welcome to take free guided tours of the dam and the power plant. Sign up at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center, where there are exhibits about the Dam’s construction along with a panoramic interior viewing platform of both the dam and the bridge. Outside, there are multiple viewpoints of the bridge, and an excellent view of the dam from a walkway on the Glen Canyon Bridge itself.
NOTE: Tours of the Glen Canyon Dam are closed until further notice, however you can learn (and see) a lot by exploring the Carl Hayden Visitor Center and the multiple outdoor viewpoints that are accessible.
Open Thursday thru Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. year-round (closed Tuesday & Wednesday). The visitor center is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day and Independence Day (July 4). Tour hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are limited to 20 persons each tour.
John Wesley Powell Museum
When exploring things to do in and around Page AZ, don’t forget to check out what’s in the town itself. The Powell Museum celebrates the life and achievements of Major John Wesley Powell, who is credited with leading the first group of white men through the Grand Canyon in 1869.
The museum is housed in a building was originally built by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as a concrete testing lab for the construction of Glen Canyon Dam. Today, the collections, archives, and exhibits illustrate the history of Powells expeditions, as well as providing information about visiting Page and the surrounding Colorado Plateau.
Note: The Powell Museum is currently closed for renovations (as of 1/1/23). Check the website listed above prior to visiting
View Lake Powell from Several Scenic Overlooks
There are endless vistas on this high Colorado Plateau and one of the fun things to do in Page Az is to see them is from a series of overlooks near the Lake Powell Marina. Each provides terrific photo ops.
Each of these viewing spots are accessible from US Highway 89, just a few miles north of Glen Canyon Dam.
- Wahweap Overlook is free to access and offers a 360-degree panorama of the whole region.
- Wahweap Viewpoint (not to be confused with the “overlook” of the same name) provides a terrific view eastward over lake powell and the many buttes in the distance
- Navajo Mountain Viewpoint, as the name implies, also faces east toward Navajo Mountain in the distance, with awesome Tower Butte in the distance.
- NOTE: These latter Viewpoints are within the fee area of the Lake Powell Marina and Campground.)
What to do in Page Arizona: Tours and Paid Activities
Tour Antelope Canyon
Those photos of swirly red rocks in narrow slot canyons? Yep-that’s Antelope Canyon. Thanks to Instagram, it’s the most visited-and photographed-slot canyon in the American Southwest. The canyon was formed over 100 million years ago as water eroded the layers of red sandstone.
The canyon is divided into two sections: the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons. Each have their own unique beauty. Upper Canyon is like following a dried up stream as it snakes through a tunnel of rocks. Lower Canyon has more spiral, corkscrew-y configurations.
Because it is located on Navajo Tribal Lands, taking a tour is mandatory to view either of the canyons. The number of visitors is limited, so it’s best to book a tour ahead of time through one of the approved operators listed on the Navajo Tribal Parks website. It’s one of the top Page AZ things to do.
PRO TIP: Space is limited on Antelope Canyon tours, so be sure to book ahead
Float down the Colorado River
Here’s a unique way to see Horseshoe Bend: looking UP from the river! Sign up for a tour that takes you down from just below Glen Canyon Dam, 15 miles downstream to Lees Ferry. There are kayaking tours, or multi-person raft excursions if you’d just like to float along.
You’ll pass through the tunnel to the base of the Dam (very cool!), then gently float down the river, past ancient petroglyphs and around Horseshoe Bend, where you can wave to all the people at the Overlook 1,000 feet above you. Tours are about a half-day, including transportation to and from the river. Be sure to book ahead, as seating is limited.
Spend some time on Lake Powell
Lake Powell was created when the Glen Canyon Dam began to regulate the flow of the Colorado River in the 1960s. The National Recreation Area was opened in 1972 so everyone could enjoy the water in this otherwise dry area of the southwest. Water levels have dropped in recent years due to drought conditions, but there’s still a lot of Lake Powell to enjoy.
If all this exploring around Lake Powell has you itching to get out on the water itself you can do so at Wahweap Marina. No matter what type of water “toy” you’re looking for, you can rent it here-it’s one of the things to do in Page AZ.
Looking for a beach? Due to changing water levels, the beach locations have changed. Check online to find the latest location for the Wahweap Swim Beach.
From a houseboat for a multi-night stay on the water, to motor boats & jet skis, or kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, there are rentals available. Half-day boat tours and dinner cruises are also available in the summer months.
Day Trips from Page, AZ
Page makes a great base for exploring northern Arizona. There are multiple unique attractions within a few hours’ drive. Many of these have no hotels (or limited lodging options), which makes Page a great “base camp” for your adventures.
There are three National Parks that can be reached via a day trip from Page: Zion in Utah, as well as both the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon. (Technically the two rims of the Grand Canyon are part of one park, but they’re too far apart to visit in the same day 😲, so it’s really like two separate parks.)
Add in some of the fantastic National Monuments nearby, along with some historical curiosities, and you’ve got plenty to keep you busy during your stay in Page. Here are some day trips from Page, AZ:
Zion National Park (Utah): 105 miles northwest; 1 hour & 45 minutes
Page sits only a few miles south of the Utah border: Zion National Park is the closest. It’s also the only major Utah park that’s reachable for a day-trip from Page.
Zion is Utah’s oldest National Park, designated in 1919. Inside the park you’ll find stunning rock formations, soothing green canyons full of trees, a museum dedicated to the peoples who have occupied this land, and even a historic tunnel!
Enjoy hiking, cycling, rock-climbing, or just gawking at the magnificent views on one of the park’s scenic drives. (I’m a strong proponent of gawking! 🤩).
The (east/west) Zion-Mt. Carmel Scenic Highway is open to cars year-round. The (north/south) Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is only open to cars during the off-season. The remainder of the year (and most weekends) visitors must park their cars and take the free shuttle, which makes several stops on its 9-mile journey.
PRO TIP: Zion can get crowded in summer, and parking lots fill up early. Plan accordingly if you are visiting during peak times.
Historic Navajo Bridge: 39 miles west; 42 minutes
This bridge is credited with linking the northwest portion of Arizona–and the state of Utah, with the rest of the state. Before Navajo Bridge was completed in 1929, anyone traveling between Utah and Arizona had to travel 800 miles west around the Grand Canyon-yikes!
Building this bridge was a big deal–it now holds pride of place as a National Civil Engineering Historic Monument.
The bridge spans the Colorado River (yep, the one that runs through the Grand Canyon), just south of the twisty part that makes up Horseshoe Bend. Technically, you’re viewing the beginning of the Grand Canyon, only here it’s just a ravine, with the river about 470 feet below.
There are actually two bridges–the original and a more modern replacement, opened in 1995. Drive over the modern bridge; the original is now for pedestrians.
Shop for Navajo crafts on the eastern side (which is Navajo lands). The western side is the Navajo Bridge interpretive center, which has informational panels and small gift shop, along with a self-guided walking tour of historic points along the way.
Historic Lee’s Ferry: 45 miles west ; 52 minutes
Lonely Dell Ranch
Historically, Lee’s Ferry was the main crossing point of the Colorado River, before Navajo Bridge was built. It’s the site of the Lonely Dell Ranch, the homestead of John D. Lee, the Mormon pioneer who established the Lee’s Ferry crossing in 1873. Today, explore the historic buildings, and orchard, whose trees still bear fruit.
Lee’s Ferry Boat Launch
The Lee’s Ferry Boat Launch is the spot where Grand Canyon rafting trips begin. Even if you’re not one for taking a 1-2-week rafting trip (full disclosure, it’s not my jam), it’s still fun to watch the outfitters preparing to head out.
Paria Riffle: Where two rivers meet
Just downriver, hang out on the beach at the Paria Riffle, the first mini-rapids those rafters will encounter.
Walking & Hiking Trails: Stroll the Historic District or Hike to great views
Get out of this world at Balanced Rock
As your driving through, be sure to stop at Balanced Rock for some fun photo ops. It looks like a giant rock mushroom from right out of a Star Wars film! 🛰
There are no food concessions at Lee’s Ferry, but it’s a great place to bring a picnic lunch.
Grand Canyon-North Rim: 124 miles west; 2 hours, 20 minutes
Although this is a looong day trip, a visit to the Grand Canyon North Rim is definitely worth it! The views are spectacular, and there are no crowds!
Because of its remote location, the North Rim only gets 10% of the visitors that you’ll find at the South Rim. That means minimal wait times at the entrance, giving you more time to enjoy all the stunning vistas in the park.
(NOTE: The remote location also means limited lodging options, which is why a day trip from Page, Az is a good idea.)
Take a short (1/2 mile) hike along the paved Bright Angel Point trail, which begins right behind the historic Grand Canyon Lodge. The trail brings you to a promontory out in the canyon. Views, views and more views!
For more amazing views (did I mention there are LOTS of them? 😊), take the North Rim Scenic Drive to Cape Royal. This 23-mile road (each way) winds along the top of the plateau, with plenty of amazing stops along the way. Be sure to visit Walhalla Overlook, and allow time for a picnic at Vista Encantada (because there are limited restaurant options as well–so don’t get HANGRY! 😡)
PRO TIP: Due to its high elevation (8,000 feet), the Grand Canyon North Rim is closed from mid-October to mid-May. Be sure to check the website for exact dates. And prepare for snow if you’re traveling near the opening/closing dates . . . on our last visit (in early October), we drove through 8 inches of snow 😱 ❄️!
Navajo National Monument: 75 miles southeast; 1 hour, 20 minutes
Navajo National Monument is one of the most spectacular cliff dwelling sites in the American Southwest. Because it sits on Navajo tribal lands, access is limited and the site has been extremely well-preserved.
Visitors can take any of 3 self-guided trails in the park (only one trail has a long-distance view of the cliff dwellings).
To see the cliff dwellings up close, you must sign up for a ranger-led tour, which are 3-5 hours and have limited capacity.
NOTE: Ranger-led tours to the cliff dwellings are currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions (as of 1/1/23). Check the website prior to visiting for the most updated information.
Oljato-Monument Valley: 120 miles east; 2 hours
Monument Valley is for anyone who loves jaw-dropping scenery, John Wayne western movies, or who has always wondered where all those cool car commercials were filmed.
Yep, it’s the place with those giant stone mittens.
Monument Valley straddles the Arizona-Utah border, but sits firmly within Navajo Tribal Lands. Pay a small admission fee to drive a 17-mile loop through the giant rock formations (and pretend you’re ridin’ the range with “the Duke” 🤠).
(For a longer stay in this part of Arizona, consider a road trip to 4 Corners and Monument Valley.)
PRO TIP: Touring Monument Valley and Navajo National Monument together make a nice day trip from Page, AZ.
Grand Canyon-South Rim: 109 miles southwest; 1 hour, 45 minutes
Great news for day-trippers from Page: it has easy access to both the North AND South Rims of the Grand Canyon! (Although do NOT try to see both in one day–too much driving 😝)
When coming from Page, you enter Grand Canyon National Park at the eastern (or Desert View) entrance. This entrance gets 80% LESS traffic that the main (southern) entrance, so wait times are minimal.
From here, you can continue west along Desert View Drive, stopping at multiple viewpoints as you travel the 23 miles to Grand Canyon Village. (Or, if you’ve got cranky passengers 😵💫, you can turn around at any point, knowing you’ve seen some incredible vistas of the Grand Canyon.)
Wupatki & Sunset Crater National Monuments: 99 miles south; 1 hour, 33 minutes
Take the 35-mile scenic drive linking these two National Monuments (and–BONUS! your admission fee covers both parks 🤩).
View the remains of six (yes-6!) different ancient pueblos perched on the open plain at Wupatki National Monument, glimpsing how native peoples lived 900 years ago. (Spoiler alert: they were pretty sophisticated!)
Continue as the high desert gradually morphs into a Ponderosa pine forest and you’ll emerge at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, and the youngest volcano in the region (a mere “toddler” at about 1,000 years old 🤣)
Now that you’ve seen how many interesting things to see and do, it’s not really a question of “what to do in Page Arizona.” It’s more a question of “which will you do first?”
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