Written by guest blogger: Alyssa Ryan
I’m super excited to share this post with everyone today! If you’ve never been to the northern part of Arizona, keep reading and let this be your sign to take that trip!
But first, huge thank you to Rachel Alvarez for putting this awesome collaboration together all across the US! Be sure to check her out to see what she’s up to and see how talented she is!
Okay, let’s get into it and explore Page, Arizona!
If you follow along with me on my Instagram or Facebook, you’ll know that Kyle and I got to take a really fun trip to Page, Arizona (okay it was a while ago…in March…but better late than never right?!)
We were able to go on this trip through our Rec Center Copper Sky and it made planning super easy! So easy that we didn’t even have to do it ourselves 😀 This was a two day trip and it included:
- Transportation to and from Maricopa to Page (about a 6 hour drive each way)
- A visit to the Glen Canyon Dam overlook
- A guided tour through Upper Antelope Canyon
- A boat tour of Lake Powell which dropped us off at a trail to hike to Rainbow Bridge National Monument
- A hotel stay at Lake Powell Resort
- AND the chance to see Horseshoe Bend in all its glory.
Yes. For real. It was amazing! Definitely check our your city’s Rec center or YMCA to see what trips you might be able to take too. We got to check off so many places from our bucket list because of this awesome program!
First stop was the Glen Canyon Dam. Thanks to City Town info I found out that the city of Page was established in March 1957. It was initially a housing camp for workers who were building the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. The city got its name from John C. Page, a commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation.
This scenic stop had views that rivaled horseshoe bend and a LOT less crowded. Win-win!
Then we were finally on our way to Upper Antelope Canyon!
I was especially excited for this because I have always wanted to visit. Unfortunately, we were not there to see the famous light beams. Those are typically seen during the summer months when the sun is the highest. We were a bit early for that going in March and we were the last tour of the day starting at 4pm so the sun was already starting to set. I’ll get it next time!
Have no doubt, this canyon at any time of the day or year is just spectacular! Plus going in the “off season” means we didn’t have to fight the normal huge crowds. There were still a lot of people but even the guides mentioned it was not as bad as it can be. I was just thankful to get some photos that actually had no people in them! Yay for not having to edit out humans!
We got to ride in this huge off road vehicle to the entrance of the canyon. It was super bumpy and loud but totally reminded me of the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland so I enjoyed it 😉 After about a 10 minute drive, we arrived!
Our guide, Presley was SO friendly and super helpful the entire time of our trip. It was a great experience. He was also there to help other people with camera settings and phone settings for taking the best pictures inside the canyon. It was really dark once you were inside and about 20 degrees cooler!
According to The Navajo Parks & Recreation:
The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tse’ bighanilini, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” The canyons were formed by erosion of Navajo Sandstone, primarily due to flash flooding during the monsoon season.
The time came for the tour of the canyon to end and I wasn’t ready to leave! I highly recommend going if you get the chance. It’s simply out of this world to see this in person and such an amazing experience. I’ll see you soon again Antelope Canyon!
We still had some daylight left afterwards so we headed to this amazing scenic view of Lake Powell. It was a little bit of a walk but the view was so worth it. Especially at sunset. We had the best cotton candy clouds that evening.
Side note – I’ve been challenging myself to create videos so you better believe I practiced getting some footage on this trip. Be sure to watch the video at the end of the post!
After that side trip, it was time for dinner and some much needed rest! After traveling all day and seeing all the sights, Kyle and I were exhausted haha! We were happy about being able to spend the night at Lake Powell Resort (which had a gorgeous lake view room I might add, see below pic).
The next morning was gonna be an early one as it was time for a 2 hour boat ride on Lake Powell to go see Rainbow Bridge National Monument.
Cool fact about Lake Powell, when it’s full it has almost 2000 miles of shoreline, about the same as the west coast of the United States! This lake was enormous! Kyle used to be a deckhand on a sportfishing boat in San Diego and has been on boats and the ocean all his life. Even he said he was shocked at how giant this lake was!
The guide on the boat was telling us some cool stories about the lake. For example, the scenery is so unusual there that it has been used as the setting for many movies! The latest was Gravity with Sandra Bullock. Planet of the Apes was filmed there too.
It doesn’t look like it in some of these photos, but it was cold and windy! Everyone was bundled up!
This was our view coming up to the dock where Rainbow Bridge is.
Rainbow Bridge is one of the world’s largest known natural bridges located in Utah. This rainbow-shaped arch is 290 feet tall, spans 275 feet and is 42 feet thick at the top. For centuries, the natural bridge has been regarded as sacred by the Navajo Indians who consider personified rainbows as the guardians of the universe.
Hiking up to this view and seeing that first little hint of the bridge was the coolest feeling ever. If you look at the mountains in the back, you can see there is still snow! The view was incredible.
We got to explore that area for about an hour and a half then had to head back for that loooong boat ride.
Do you see those tiny people by the water? The rock formations walking back really put into perspective how small we are in this world.
After we got back, it was time to see Horseshoe Bend! I was so ready to see this iconic spot.
We hiked to the edge and let me tell you, there are no fences, no warnings, no guard rails…just the edge! You HAVE to be careful otherwise…There were people all around us and I heard the sounds of so many slipping on the sandstone and my stomach just turned. I am not normally afraid of heights, but this was another kind of fear haha! I still sat on the edge though 😉
It was truly amazing to see this part of Arizona with my own eyes. Being a wedding + portrait photographer, my Instagram feed is filled with brides and grooms getting married at amazing locations like Yosemite, Iceland, and Horseshoe Bend. And I love being able to see those far away places right in the palm of my hand, but nothing will ever beat actually seeing it for yourself. Go explore! Get off the couch or computer desk and get out of the house! Find any excuse to make memories and be outdoors.
Here’s the promised video!
Hint: definitely watch this video at 1080p!
I’ll never forget this trip and can’t wait to go back! Who knows, maybe you’ll see it for yourself one day…
Alyssa is a Wedding + Portrait photographer in Phoenix, Arizona but was born and raised a California girl. She currently works full time for Shutterfly as a Production Design Training Lead. She and her husband have been married for almost 5 years and love to relax on their boat at Saguaro Lake. As a photographer, she specializes in capturing people just the way they are as the fun and goofy couple their friends and family know they are. She believes your soul knows when it’s onto something good and she enjoys capturing those moments forever, the way her couples see themselves is why she does what she does.
You can find more of her beautiful work here:
This blog series will feature fine artists, makers and photographers from all 50 states as part of a #50statestickers project by Rachel Alvarez Art. You can see the inspiration for this series here: www.rachelalvarezart.com
Thank you so much for following along!