Last summer, Justin and I decided to spend 2 weeks traveling the Western US, via his Toyota Corolla. Please bear in mind this is not going to be some extravagant tale of motorhomes and luxury resorts. No, no, we packed the “rolla” with neck pillows, camping gear, and our road trip supplies. Sure we made some stops at a few absolutely lovely bed and breakfasts and a couple motels, but I just want to be clear that we were not living the glamorous life, but those two weeks were some of the best of our lives.
Anyway, lets get to our first destination… Paige, Arizona.
We left Phoenix midmorning in time to stop for a quick lunch in Flagstaff. I could write multiple posts on the glories of my favorite Arizona mountain town (and home of Northern Arizona University, my alma mater). We made it to Paige by mid-afternoon and headed to our first stop, Horseshoe Bend.
Before Instagram, Horseshoe Bend was not the popular destination that it is today. Now the parking lot (that was once significantly smaller) often hosts a tour bus or two and if you try to visit on the weekend, you may be stuck in traffic just waiting to get into the lot. That said, the view is pretty incredible.
Once you park, grab your water bottle and prepare for a tiny hike down a hill. It’s Arizona, you always need water. Once you get down to the bend, wait your turn for the perfect photo. Seriously, there are a lot of people there. If you want one of those epic photos of the bend, I recommend heading there at sunrise on a weekday.
I learned on this trip that Justin has a bit of a fear of heights. The fear first surfaced as he watched me get close to the edge for the perfect selfie. Meanwhile, other visitors dangled their legs over the edge. I would have been right there with them because heights have never bothered me, but for the sake of Justin’s stomach flips, I stayed away. It was a great first destination for our trip.
We spent the night at the Page Boy Motel. It was conveniently located and clean and had plenty of space for the two of us. We ended up walking to dinner, but it wasn’t good enough for me to provide a strong recommendation. The next morning we were off to Antelope Canyon.
We started the next day with a 7:40 tour of Lower Antelope Canyon through Ken’s Tours. The $50 we spent on the tour was well worth it. We hiked into the canyon with our guide, which is required after flash floods killed some tourists in the 90’s. With your group of 30 or so, you walk along the canyon. From above the canyon looks like nothing more than a large crack in the ground. Then you reach a steep staircase that takes you down to the bottom. While some of the flights are fairly steep, it is easily accessible for both children and agile elderly.
Once at the bottom, there are moments that you feel completely alone in the rooms and incredible tunnels. The guides help you take epic photos and show you some of the canyons unique features. Genuinely it feels surreal winding through the canyon- like you are on another planet. To climb out of the canyon, you slowly climb a series of small staircases over the hour-long tour. It was absolutely unforgettable. Before we left town, we collected a little jar of dirt from the tour site to add to our collection
As we packed up and headed out of town towards our next destination, we made a quick stop at the Glen Canyon Damn overlook for a beautiful view.
If you are planning to spend more time in Paige, I recommend checking out a boat tour on Lake Powell or a helicopter trip over the Grand Canyon.
Next, we were off to Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah.