Page, Arizona sits at the northern border of the state, just a couple miles south of Utah, where Glen Canyon Dam (and bridge) allows passage over the Colorado River. To the east lies Lake Powell. To the west is a mysterious area called the Arizona Strip, the northwest corner of the state that is separated from the rest of Arizona by the Colorado and the Grand Canyon. From Page’s Navajo Bridge, the next crossing is at Hoover Dam on the Nevada border.
The area is known for spectacular natural beauty, and not just that of the Grand Canyon itself. Red rocks, jagged cliffs, and narrow canyons all form part of the landscape here. This guide will give you the basic information you need to plan your own trip to this remote, but stunning, part of the country. Each link is to a more detailed article here on The Royal Tour, so please click around!
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You’ll come by car. That is a given. Even if you choose to fly, the closest major airports are Las Vegas and Phoenix, each several hours away. Page itself sits on US 89, about two hours north of Flagstaff. The only other way to get here is from Utah, about two and a half hours east of St. George.
There are a few other small towns, but to see this area, Page is likely to be your base, so that’s where my guide will point you.
Have a car and be prepared to use it. Here within the Arizona Strip, distances between things are a bit larger, and you’ll need to drive an hour or two – or even a bit more – to visit some of the sights. However, the drive is part of the fun. The vistas are incredible, the rock formations sublime. I suggest, where possible, taking different routes to and from a given destination, just to be able to see more.
Where to Stay
Let’s start with the basic: should you stay in Page, or split your time? The only other town of any reasonable size in the Arizona Strip is Kanab, UT. (It is less than a mile north of the Arizona line.) If you are ok with some longer drives, it isn’t necessary to split, and you can just stay in Page, where there are easily a dozen or more hotels, and some great Airbnb options.
The only exception I might make to this is if you choose to stay at the Grand Canyon. Both rims are accessible as day trips (remember that the North Rim is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day), but that doesn’t give you a ton of time. And if you choose to visit the South Rim, driving from the Desert View entrance (the closest one to Page) to the village and its more famous viewpoints can take a while.
What to Do
If you are staying in Page, let’s start with what is close by. First, Lake Powell, the nation’s second largest reservoir. You can get out on the lake with a charter or a rental, choosing between boats, kayaks, or jet skis. If you want to explore one of the slot canyons, opt for a kayak or jet ski for ease of passage.
Horseshoe Bend, the spot where the Colorado River makes a dramatic U-turn, is just outside Page. Go early before the crowds. There is a fee to park, and a short (mostly flat) walk to the vista point that is accessible for pretty much anyone.
Antelope Canyon is considered to be one of the most beautiful slot canyons in existence. Tours run from Page (although as the canyon is on Navajo land it can be subject to closure, as during Covid), or you can do as I have done and kayak in from Lake Powell. Warning: the kayak tour is hard, and doesn’t reach the most scenic parts of the canyon.
Outside of Page, the list of things to see starts with the Grand Canyon, the reason the Arizona Strip exists to begin with. The South Rim gets most of the visitors, so if you go during the season, try the North Rim for a more intimate experience. Plus the drive there from Page goes around the Vermillion Cliffs, which are stunning.
For a close-up encounter with the Colorado River, head down to Lee’s Ferry. Here you can actually touch the river, or embark on a rafting/kayaking trip through Horseshoe Bend or the Grand Canyon.
If you are more into history, check out Pipe Spring National Monument, just outside Kanab. A natural spring here made this place home to native peoples and Mormon settlers, and the small monument teaches the history of both.
Finally, enjoy the red rocks of southern Utah in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Part of it is not far outside Page, and offers some lovely hiking.
And yes, you can get to Zion or Bryce Canyon from here, but those would be terribly long day trips.
What to Eat
Page, shockingly, has some really good food options. Yes, there is the normal small touristy town glut of fast food, but there are also some good local places. Here are my personal favorites.
If your hotel doesn’t include breakfast, head to Hot n Sweet for coffee and donuts. My vanilla latte was one of the best I’ve had, and made this my daily stop. They also have great breakfast sandwiches! (Plus the owner is incredibly nice. You can tell this is what he loves doing.)
Do you like BBQ? Big John’s Texas BBQ is about as good as I’ve had outside of Austin, which is saying something. Ask for the spicy sauce.
For awesome fried chicken, try BirdHouse. It’s a cute little place with some great crispy bird.
Other Useful Information
Let’s talk about the weather. While not as hot as Phoenix, summers here can be brutally hot. During the off-season, though, there can be cold nights, sudden rains, and strong winds. Plus the Grand Canyon is up at elevations over 5,000 feet. Bring layers.
Like all of the American southwest, the Arizona Strip is currently experiencing extreme drought. Lake Powell is at less than 40%. Be conscious when using water: shorter showers, not leaving taps running. Each drop truly matters right now.
For lovers of the outdoors, Page and the Arizona Strip are bucket-list worthy destinations. You can visit for a few days or a few weeks, but just driving through really doesn’t do the area justice. I hope this guide helps you to plan your trip to this amazing part of the country!
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2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Page and the Arizona Strip”
Nice post, Jonathan, I particularly like that you suggest side trips to Lees Ferry and Pipe Springs — hidden gems so close by that are often overlooked! Best wishes for safe and happy travels,