Exploring Page, Arizona
We woke up on Friday morning and did some quick mental calculations to see if it would be possible to hike The Wave on Saturday and still get my friend to the Las Vegas airport by 3pm...we slowly came to the conclusion that it would be a long day starting before dawn, but it was possible. So we started at The Wave permitting office to try our luck at the lottery again. As I sat there and thought about how long of a day Saturday would be if we won (I also needed to pick up my Havasupai crew and get us to the trailhead 4 hours away from Vegas) I kind of hoped we wouldn't get it, I think my negative vibe was felt by the universe, because we were once again unsuccessful. Someday I will hike The Wave but it just wasn't meant to be on this trip!
After departing The Wave permitting office we started the drive to Page, AZ. aka where Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, and Antelope Canyon are located. On our way there we stopped and hiked The Toadstools. It's right off the highway and about a mile hike in and out of a dry stream bed. It's well signed and easy to do if you are in the area! Our plans for later in the day didn't take up much time so it was a nice addition.
We waffled a bit on whether or not to do Antelope Canyon. I looked it up and there were still some spaces in tours available, but everything I had read said it was super busy and full of tourists with selfie sticks. Since that wasn't the vibe I was hoping for on this trip we decided not to do it. Instead we visited Waterhole Canyon near Horseshoe Bend. In order to visit Waterhole Canyon (and many other popular Page, AZ locations) you will need a Navajo Nation Backcountry Permit. You can pick this up for $12 at the Navajo Nation office located three miles outside of Page. Please do not skip this step, this is Tribal Land you are visiting. Be respectful to their laws/land or they may choose to no longer share it.
Waterhole Canyon had random ladders placed throughout. The first one was the scariest for me. The bottom half was bolted down but the top half wasn't and it led to a super narrow opening that my hips barely fit through. The way up wasn't so bad but I had a little panic moment on the way down and the random dude I handed my camera to got a nice photo of my friend holding the ladder for me while coaxing me down!
After departing Waterhole Canyon we stopped for a late lunch in Page before making our way to Horseshoe Bend for sunset. I knew this going in, but Horseshoe Bend is busy. Do not expect to have this place to yourself. Also bring a wide angle lens, like super wide. I hoped my 24-105mm on my full frame camera would be enough, but I think a 16-35mm would have been even better.
After the sun set we packed up and headed back to our hotel in Kanab to rest and pack up before our drive back to Vegas in the morning. For only two full days to explore the area I think we managed to fit a lot of stuff in. Next time I am in the area I want to hit up Bryce Canyon and Monument Valley as well, but I am definitely happy with what I was able to see this time around!