48-hour guide to exploring Northern Arizona
Have you found yourself wandering through the canyons of Northern Arizona with 48-hours to spare? Boy, are you in for a treat! Arizona is home of some pretty amazing spots. I am going to share one of my itineraries for some of my favorite spots in AZ that can be done in a short weekend!
Day 1: The Antelope Canyons
First, the Antelope Canyons. Since these slot canyons are on the Navajo Indian Reservation, you cannot go to it on your own. You must pay for a tour and get escorted down. Don’t fall for the tourist trap of buying a tour from inside the city; the prices are double! I did a bunch of research on Yelp to see which tour had the best value. We went with “Ken’s Canyon Tours”. If you drive yourself directly to the Lower Canyons entrance and pay at the little booth you save a butt load of money. It was $28/person. We walked a short distance to go underground into the canyons via stairs and ladders. Then, Boom. MIND BLOWN. This place is absolutely incredible. It’s crazy to think that the walls and such were all built merely by wind, rain, and years of erosion. TIP: Sometimes the tours can be full with lots of people so go on a weekday in the morning. We basically had the whole thing to ourselves!
Day 1 (cont.): The Horseshoe Bend
After the Lower Antelope Canyons, we drove a short five miles to Horseshoe Bend. Unlike the Antelope Canyons, this one is free; you just park your car in the dirt lot and walk about a half mile to the edge. If you thought the canyons were breathtaking, OMG. The Horseshoe Bend gives massive a whole new meaning! This place has a magnificent view of the Colorado River as it bends around a humongous cliff. The crazy thing here is that there are no rails, walls, nothing; nothing to protect you from falling 1,000+ feet if you aren’t extra careful. To get a good picture of the entire bend, you must go all the way to the edge. Think you’re not afraid of heights? Think again. Test your fear here, then accurately decided if you are or aren’t afraid of heights. The pictures look nice but you will not know the massive scale of the Horseshoe Bend until you go there and see it for yourself. Absolutely stunning; definitely one of my favorite spots ever. TIP: Bring a fisheye or wide angle lens. The bend was too big for an iPhone to capture all of it.
After a long and exhausting drive to get to Page, AZ, we decided to stay the night at Quality Inn. Clean, quiet, comfy, and safe. All for just $46 with taxes and everything! The place also included free wifi and free breakfast! If you visit these places and stay the night, look no further than Quality Inn.
Day 2: The Grand Canyon
We started our day bright and early with our drive south for a quick stop at the Grand Canyon. There’s a $25/car fee to enter the South Rim. From there, we went to Desert View, Navajo Point, Kaibab point, South Kaibab trailhead, and Mather’s point. All of which are a park and look type of thing. Most of these lookout points had similar views. I really liked the South Kaibab trail. We passed a group of mules and horses trekking up from the bottom! This trail takes you all the way down the canyon to the Colorado River and up to the North Rim. It’s a 20-mile multi-day hike to go from rim to rim. Def need to come back and hike down to the bottom. I bet it’s gorgeous!