We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Itinerary for 2 days around Christmas in Page

Mumbai
Level Contributor
43 posts
Save Topic
Itinerary for 2 days around Christmas in Page

Friends,

I was referred to this page from the Zion forum. We are planning to be driving around Zion and Page the week before Christmas. We have a couple days planned at Zion National Park and would like to spend 2 days around Page after that. The fifth day we are planning to head over to GC.

Can you advise the activities we can do around Page in 2 days? We are outdoor-sy people and would like to do some hiking etc. What options are available in December around Page?

On first day we were planning to start at Horse Shoe Bend and then visit the lower and Upper Antelope Canyon. Is it feasible to do all 3 in one day?

Assuming we cover the 3 spots above on day 1, are there any spots around Page we can visit on second day? I understand reading other posts that there are some water activities around Page but they are closed in winter. Any other suggestions for second day?

Thanks in advance for the advice and hope to hear from everyone. Happy Holidays!

Endless Mountains...
Level Contributor
1,658 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
11. Re: Itinerary for 2 days around Christmas in Page

Agree, if he/she was staying overnight. They are looking for something to see on the way to the GC from Page.

I also tried to edit my reply but time ran out;

the edited reply would have stated: " if you have an extra day then take Tet's advice"...but TA's edit timer beat me....

Surprised you did not mention mm 13 for a photo shot, suggested to me from you...a little way back...

As for Gouldings ,loved the museum.....not the lodging

Hudson Valley
Level Contributor
1,830 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
12. Re: Itinerary for 2 days around Christmas in Page

There are other things to do in Page if you have the extra day, especially since you hike. One of my favorites is a hike in Wire Pass/Buckskin Gulch. It's an out and back, so can take as long as you want. Requires driving on a gravel/dirt road, so check road conditions first. Check conditions at local BLM for hike conditions as well (water levels can vary). Can easily be combined with a visit to the Toadstools (right off the highway). If you're feeling more adventurous, can also do Yellow Rock (requires driving on a BLM road so check road conditions. The hike is also off trail, so would depend on your comfort level).

Water Holes Slot Canyon is another one (requires $5 Navajo Permit), but if you've already seen Antelope, I would opt for Buckskin Gulch.

I have pics posted from our trip last March if you want to see: http://www.pbase.com/pudgy_groundhog/az2012

Mumbai
Level Contributor
43 posts
Save Reply
13. Re: Itinerary for 2 days around Christmas in Page

Wow, thank you everyone for so many replies! As of now, we are planning something like this.

- Day 1: Do Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.

- Day 2: Our night stay has been booked at GC. So do a short hike until lunch near Page and drive for sunset view at GC. If due to weather or other reasons, we do not find anything around Page, we will start off to Monument Valley and then get back to GC in the night. Mostly we will miss sunset at GC in this option.

@pudgy_groundhog, the pics of the Buckskin Gulch look awesome. If we get out early, we will try to do that before heading out to GC.

@joeman, Tet14, Monument Valley is looking good but like I said it will be a contest between GC and MV for us since we have only 1 spare day. In that case, I think I will probably head over to GC.

Thanks again everyone so such awesome responses.

Mumbai
Level Contributor
43 posts
Save Reply
14. Re: Itinerary for 2 days around Christmas in Page

I have 1 more question for the group about the Antelope Canyons.

I see there are several different tour companies that offer tours for both Upper and lower canyons. Are there any recommendations about which copmany to choose? Do we need 2 different tours for each of the lower and upper canyons?

Lastly, if we were to do one in the morning and one post-lunch, are there any suggestions which should be in the morning vs afternoon?

Thanks.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
15. Re: Itinerary for 2 days around Christmas in Page

There are no tours to Lower from Page. Just drive to the parkinglot and take a tour from there. Tsosie, Ekis and Overlander arrange tours to Upper but that time of year I'd also drive to the other parking lot and take a tour from there. The parking oots for Upper and Lower are opposite to each other. If you want to visit them both same day keep the receipt for the Navajo fee ($ 6,--) that allows for both canyons but you have to pay a separate fee for the tours.

Tet

Endless Mountains...
Level Contributor
1,658 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
16. Re: Itinerary for 2 days around Christmas in Page

With only1 day... Grand Canyon way to go....to bad MV not on the way....but no comparison to the GC

Grand Canyon in a world by itself, as you will see.....

Mumbai
Level Contributor
43 posts
Save Reply
17. Re: Itinerary for 2 days around Christmas in Page

Folks,

This trip is completed and we had a blast! Most of our planning was done through TA forums and I think it is appropriate I provide a trip report for any future planners. If anyone needs any further info, just shoot a question and I will try my best to answer.

So here goes the trip:

Day 0: Flew in Las Vegas and after a quick late dinner, drove to Mesquite. Stayed the night there.

Day 1: Woke up and drove into Zion National Park. The drive through Virgin River Gorge is amazing and as was suggested I think it was a good idea to do it during daytime. There was no snow when we drove on the roads all the way up to Zion. With the 1 hour time difference, it was 11 am by the time we reached Zion. We inquired at the visitor center and were told most trails were open. They were not issuing permits for Narrows but the bottom-up hike was possible if we had the right gear. Hurray! :)

Observation Point - After a quick packed lunch we headed over to the Weeping Rock Trailhead for the OP hike. There was little snow in the parking lot but as soon as we started climbing we realized the trail is much more snowy, especially in the shadowed regions. A couple climbing down confirmed this. So we got back down, drove back to visitor center and bought new pair of Crampons (Yaktracks). Suffices to say, that the hike would not have been possible without them. After all this, the hike started at 1.30 pm. Since daylight was going to be an issue (Sunset was 5:20 pm), we travelled fast and reach OP in a couple of hours. Most of the trail had snow but the areas exposed to sun were clear. Few pics here and there and we got back to the final descent to parking lot around sunset time. Back to the car by 5:45 pm.

Day 2: The Narrows

We had already rented dry suits from ZAC the day before after the OP hike. They close at 7pm so we got some time to try out different shoe and socks sizes. This was a good idea as we realized they were pretty busy in the morning when we made a quick stop to grab a map. We drove to the Temple of Sinawawa trailhead to start the hike. We geared up at the parking lot itself. The main Narrows trailhead was officially closed due to ice but several groups were walking past the Closed sign anyway. We however took the earlier river access and started the hike. Time was around 11 am when we started.

Most of the Narrows hike seems surreal if you have not done anything similar before. I mean, you are walking IN the river with tall, tall mountains around you! We reached the river fork around 1 am and decided to try to go first to the Orderville Canyon. However after walking for a short distance we realized that the water in some parts was very high and some boulders could not be crossed either without getting wet or without some technical climbing experience (which we didn’t have). We found only 1 other person coming back who confirmed that the water level gets higher. So we dropped the idea and headed to Wall Street.

There were maybe 10-5 different groups hiking towards Wall Street. We went about half of it before we turned back after a quick bite on one of the dry rocks. Most of the water in the inner Narrows around Wall street was around knee deep and you have to navigate the river from left to right to find the shallow regions. We got back right to the parking lot around sunset. FYI, for those planning to do the Narrows, the Zion Adventures website is very informative and has info specifically for every season.

Day 3: Page

On morning of day 3, we started towards Page through the Zion east-side. We went through the Mt Carmel tunnel and enjoyed the views of the checkered Mesa. Reached Page around 11 am and headed over to the Upper Antelope Canyon after a quick bite. I had heard about several touring companies and got the tour rates anywhere to be from 25-100 $. In my opinion the guide really doesn’t matter. We went with the Navajo Tours which are right in the Upper parking lot. Their normal rate is 26$ but for the primetime (11am to 1pm) they charge 40$ per person plus the 6$ Navajo fee per person. We got the 12 o' clock tour. The actual Upper Canyon was awesome and it is a very different experience. It would have been better but for the crowds. There were probably 15-20 people in our tour and probably 5-6 different tours at the same time. So it was all very crowded. But overall some good photos.

We then headed over to the Lower Antelope Canyon which is right across the highway. The fee here is 20$ and you can show the Navajo receipt to avoid paying 6$ again. I think there is only 1 touring company which is located in the parking lot. In contrast to the Upper Canyon the Lower Antelope Canyon is simply awesome. In my opinion, the views are much better and the colors are simply out-of-this-world! An added bonus is there were like 5 people in our tour and ours was the only tour! The guide was this dude in hoodies and he just let us be at our own pace. We got several nice pictures here and probably spent an hour or so with the canyon to ourselves. Overall, both me and the wife agreed that the Lower Canyon was better experience than the Upper and we would recommend it more.

After the Canyons, we drove back to Page and visited the Glen Canyon Dam. Spent a few minutes around the dam and then headed over to Horseshoe Bend. That place was swamped with people but we did get some good pictures. As someone mentioned, the place is about 15 minutes worth of contemplation. :) But it is a must-see for anyone visiting Page and is beautiful. I, however, felt the pictures on the internet may be bragging more about it than it deserves. Just my opinion.

We headed over to Wahaweep Lookout for the sunset. Very good views from there.

Day 4: I didn’t like the pictures of Horseshoe Bend from day before and plus it was really crowded previous evening so I got up before sunrise and headed back over hoping to have the place deserted. However, as I pulled into the parking lot I found 3 big buses of tourists parked and the entire gang (probably around 200 people!) at the Horseshoe Bend. I did wait for the sunrise and then headed back to the hotel.

Grand Canyon:

We drove through the 89T to Cameron and from there went into the GC through the East entrance. First stop was the Watch tower and then the Maswik Lodge for a quick lunch. We went through the Rim drive up to the Hermit's Rest and stopped by the Hopi Point for sunset. Grand Canyon, as usual, was fascinating and the colors at sunset were beautiful. Most people recommend Movaje or Hopi point for sunset as they are the 'innermost' into the Canyon.

Day 5: South Kaibab Trail

We were initially not sure what to do on this day. Our hotel was booked for the night at Las Vegas so we had to definitely drive back. So we decided to hike a little on the South Kaibab trail.

Although the ranger at the visitor center said otherwise, there was no snow on the trail; maybe a little along the edges in unexposed areas. Most people hike upto the Cedar ridge which is about 1.5 miles from trailhead. We initially started with same objective but then decided to go further to the Skeleton Point which is about 3 miles and 2000 ft below the trailhead and is the last recommended point for a day hike. With a view of the Grand Canyon infront and the Colorado river below, the hike was simply amazing. We reached the bottom around 1am, ate the packed lunch and started walking back. Everybody warned the hike back up will be treacherous but we found it was also very enjoyable. There were several groups at Cedar Ridge and maybe 10 groups we saw who made it or were walking towards the Skeleton Point. We reached the trail head little after 3 and then went to the visitor center for little relaxation. We waited little but for the initial sunset colors at Yavapai Museum point and then drove back to Vegas.

Spent the night in Vegas, lost a little money at poker and flew back home the next day.

Overall, it was a very memorable trip and we can't wait to get back to the Southern Utah - Grand Canyon area again! The trip was much better planned with help from TA. I would like to thank WidmarshSK especially for the detailed info and also all the others who posted patient replies to my numerous questions.

Sorry for the long post but I tried to add as much info as possible. If anyone has questions or thinks I can provide any more info, please ask.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Endless Mountains...
Level Contributor
1,658 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
18. Re: Itinerary for 2 days around Christmas in Page

Nice TR,sounds like you had a great time..Wonder why you did not drive the extra 75 miles and stay in Zion, Why Mesquite... Monument Valley....too bad....

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
19. Re: Itinerary for 2 days around Christmas in Page

Thanks for the feedback. Glad you enjoyed your trip.

Mumbai
Level Contributor
43 posts
Save Reply
20. Re: Itinerary for 2 days around Christmas in Page

joeman, when we were booking the trip 10 days back it seemed the road up to Zion was snowed on. So we figured we will stay before the Virgin river gorge. I was not sure how good the roads will be to be driving in the night....