Have a free weekend and want to do something exciting? Well I have the itinerary for you!
Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon are located in northern Arizona, right on the border of Utah. These two wonders are so close to each other so if you are there for at least 48 hours, this itinerary is 100% doable!
I actually HATE myself for waiting 21 years to see Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon considering they are only a short 4 hour drive away from Las Vegas! I’ve driven to California, what, 20 times?! If you live even remotely close to these two beautiful sites… in the wise words of Nike, Just do it.
On this trip I traveled with my two favorite ladies: My sister Brie & cousin Sofie – Girls Trip!!
When to go to Page, AZ?
We went in February and to be honest… I would not recommend! Even though it’s in Arizona and for some reason I always think Arizona is hot… it’s in Northern Arizona! It was very cold and windy (which can be pretty terrifying if you are standing at the edge of a cliff, ha!). I would wait a few months and go in the late spring / early summer times.
If you do choose to go when the weather is warm, I would consider checking out Antelope Canyon from Lake Powell! You can read my full guide on kayaking Antelope Canyon!
Where to stay near Horseshoe Bend & Antelope Canyon
The nearest town to both of these sights is Page, Arizona. This small town is located on the northern border of Arizona and has a few hotels to choose from.
This is a bustling little city due to these two famous sites, so there are surprisingly some good options!
What to pack for Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend?
I keep a list of all my summer essentials and favorite finds on this guide here. I am constantly updated it after every warm destination – tried, true & tested! I also have a list of my 10 travel essentials I can’t live without, you can read those here!
The top 3 things I recommend for specifically for this trip are:
1. Blanket for picnic at Horseshoe Bend will enhance all your photos and make watching sunset a lot more enjoyable! You can get blankets from several stores, including Amazon. Click here for a lightweight travel blanket.
2. Wide angle phone clip on that will capture the beauty of Horseshoe bend in one shot. This canyon is massive and pictures really don’t do it justice! It’s almost impossible to capture the entire bend using your I-Phone without a wide angle lens attachment. This one is extremely affordable and compatible with newer I-Phones!
3. Light jacket, Antelope Canyon can turn into a wind tunnel!
Horseshoe Bend Tips
Seeing Horseshoe bend at sunset is absolutely beautiful! I’ve read sunrise is equally as beautiful especially because you practically get the canyon to yourself! If you are feeling extra adventurous, you could see it again on the morning of Day 2 so you can experience sunset and sunrise! Comment below and let me know what time you think is better.
Antelope Canyon Tips
For lower antelope canyon you must have a tour guide + reservation! There’s only a few tour companies to use, but we used Ken’s Tours. This tour company had the most options on length, type of tour and hours offered. They have the option for a longer “Photography Tour,” which in all honestly, not necessary! The canyon has so many turns that even when it is packed with tourists, you can still get plenty of pictures without someone in the background. I would only recommend this tour if you have some seriously high-tech camera equipment that takes you a while to get your shot!
Okay, now time for the
itinerary good stuff… *cue fun, upbeat music*
Day 1: Driving from Las Vegas to Antelope Canyon / Horseshoe Bend Area
Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe bend are located in a small town called Page. The drive from Las Vegas to Page is about 4 1/2 hours so we decided to stop in Flagstaff to see the adorable little ski town. This town was so picturesque with snow-capped mountains in the distance and local restaurants and shops throughout the town. (Where ever you end up coming from, as long as you reach Page before sunset, this itinerary will still work perfectly).
When you arrive in Page, check into the hotel, grabbed some snacks and a bottle of wine from a local store and head over to Horseshoe Bend for a picnic on the cliff side.
Horseshoe Bend is a section of the Colorado River that has carved its way into a canyon in the shape of.. you guessed it, a Horseshoe!
The hike up is barely considered a hike. Unless you’re super old, or like, super hungover.. In that case bring lots of water, take plenty of breaks and where some good shoes 🙂
The pictures do not do this place justice almost to the point where I didn’t want to show anyone! Anytime someone asks me what this canyon looks like, I just encourage them to see it for themselves. I could have sat on the ledge of this cliff and stared out into this canyon for ever. It is massive!
End the night getting margaritas at the only Mexican restaurant in that tiny town – El Tapatio!
Day 2: Lower Antelope Canyon Tour
I did a lot of reading on the difference between the upper and lower canyon. We only had a few hours so unfortunately could not do both, so I decided on the lower canyon. My decision was based on the fact that many travel websites said it was far less crowded… HA, Not sure if that is 100% accurate!
It will be very very crowded and they will be shuffling people through, rushing you on your pictures.. still worth it though! If you want to avoid the crowds and explore the canyon at your own pace, consider kayaking to Antelope Canyon!
Crowds are always such a bummer but then again, the place you are seeing must be truly wonderful if people from all over the world are coming to see it! Antelope canyon was one of those sites, it was breathtaking!
You’ll access the canyon by climbing down a staircase and if you are on a tour, your tour guide will show you the most picturesque spots!
Hey you! If you like canyons, don’t miss my favorite canyon of all (yes, even more than the popular Grand Canyon!). Click here to read my guide on spending One Day in Bryce Canyon!
The whole tour through and through is about 1 hour and costs around $40 – which includes the Navajo Park fee and tax. Unfortunately you can not control the weather, but try your best to see this canyon on a sunny day so you can see the light beaming down!
Day 3: Drive Home 🙁
Boy, that was quick! I have such a love/hate relationship with 3 day weekend trips! I love how I can see a new piece of the world without taking too much time off work, but it always goes by so fast and can feel rushed!
I always research a new place as much as possible to avoid missing anything – Check out some more of my itineraries here 🙂
- We went in February and it was still pretty cold! I would recommend going in the Spring or early summer for better / less windy weather.
- If you have an extra day to spare, see the grand canyon too! It’s only 2 /12 hours from Antelope Canyon.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
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