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Roadtrip | Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell + Antelope Canyon

In between Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park lies a town called Page, Arizona with three pretty spectacular sites to see.

First up, Horseshoe Bend.

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This part of the Colorado River curves sharply around to create a horseshoe-shaped canyon cutout.

We weren’t sure what to expect and like most of our adventures in the dessert, the canyons just seem to appear out of nowhere.

You can see in the photo below that as you approach Horseshoe Bend, it doesn’t look like much – just a big horizon with what looks like a few drop offs.

horseshoeindistance Then you get up close and whoa! there it is.

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horseshoebendside You literally stand on the edge of these crumbling sandstone cliffs and look over, moving as close as you dare to the edge. It is spectacular, and a bit freaky – especially with kids.

All around the canyon are rocks to climb on, so we did a bit of that. It seemed like the safer bet with our clan.

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Lots and lots of climbing.

We spent about an hour in the area. That was plenty of time to take it all in, explore a little, snap some photos and head back to the car.

Our next stop was our campsite at the Lake Powell Wahweap RV + Campground. I’m not even sure how we came across this campground, but when we arrived, we were so thankful that it was where our reservations for the night were.

After setting up, the kids and I walked down to the lake. It was nearing sunset so we weren’t planning on swimming. It just sounded fun to go scout it out and wade in the water for a few minutes.

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But the water was so nice and the sun was still just barely shining and there was no one else around … so the three youngest stripped down to their undies and took an evening swim.

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The sunset in those Arizona desert skies over the lake was absolutely awe-inspiring. Even Mason, our 8 year old, was oohing and ahhing over the changing colors in the sky.

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There is a video on instagram for your viewing pleasure (watch it here). It doesn’t quite do the real thing justice, but I just had to capture it to share.

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We just spent that one night at Lake Powell and took off in the morning for our next adventure. It is one of those places, though, that we’re marking on our be-sure-to-come-back-to list.

The third attraction in the Page, Arizona area is Antelope Canyon.

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You may have seen images like this – possibly on your computer screen saver or phone home screen. I always looked at a photo like the one above and thought what is that? Well, let me tell you.

In the desert are slot canyons – where the flash floods have carved down into the ground these curvy, flowing canyons made up of Navajo sandstone. As the sun shines off the walls, the reflections and bouncing light creates spectacular colors and highlights the shapes and movement of the stone.

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We opted for the Lower Antelope Canyon tour – it had great reviews, was a bit shorter, less expensive and supposedly, less crowded.

You walk out a little way into the desert until suddenly, there is a hole in the ground where the canyon begins.

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There is a series of steep stairs that lead down into the narrow canyon (not at all a problem for the kids).

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Once you’re down to the bottom, you walk along the path, curving along and staring up at the gorgeous walls.

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Just to help you understand what you’re looking at …

In the picture below, you can see the walls with us walking through:

antelopewallemily And this is the same section of wall, but looking slightly upward.

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It really is like something other-worldly and hard to describe. And quite beautiful.

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The kids all enjoyed the tour. It was a little over an hour, fairly crowded, but not too bad and a great choice for our family. Anything longer would have lost all of our attention.

We had a good time taking way too many photos, playing with angles and color. Antelope Canyon is pretty famous for being a photographers dream and there are tours specifically for those with tripods and good cameras. Our tour was just the walking tour and our tour guide was helpful to point out the best angles and most popular shots and camera settings.

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All three adventures in Page were spectacular. Indescribably so.

I’ve always been a bit of an ocean girl – the size and sound and vastness reminds me of how small I am and how great God is. If He can create this, if He has this all under control, if He is bigger than all of this and yet he still cares for the minute details of my life? It always puts me in a healthy, worshipful, eyes-off-myself posture and restores my soul.

These three sites – Horseshoe Bend with its turquoise waters and strange patterns in the sandstone cliffs; Lake Powell with the towering canyon walls and watercolor sunset; and Antelope Canyon, with the walls that look like fire – each has the same effect on me.

They remind me of how creative God is, of how BIG this world is, how fragile and delicate and powerful and grand it all is.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory”. Isaiah 6:3

40 Responses to Roadtrip | Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell + Antelope Canyon

  1. Emily June 6, 2017 at 9:28 pm #

    I am an Arizona young lady. The dusks never stop to astonish and charm me. I have never been to the spots you have shared (with the exception of the Grand Canyon) and adored seeing the ravishing shots you took. I live in a piece of AZ where it is timberland, pines, and mountains. The differing qualities of the state is so fascinating. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing and it is truly amusing to get the chance to see all that you are encountering.I like Rainbow Sandstone and also I anticipate whatever remains of your excursion :)

  2. Claudia August 29, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

    Love your ending thoughts on the vastness and greatness of God! Being out in nature is a good way to connect with Him. Lovely photos! Have pinned a couple of them.

  3. ΙΩΑΝΝΑ June 7, 2016 at 12:26 am #

    Lovely places and photos!!!!Have a real good,good time!!!!

  4. Nancy Calvert June 3, 2016 at 11:52 am #

    This reminds me of the words found in scripture…

    Romans 1:19-2019 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

    So fun to follow along. We made this same trip several times in the 50’s from Oregon to Arkansas but without air conditioning. Back then you would drive at night and sleep during the day. Our car had a bladder of water hanging down over the grill in an effort to keep the engine cool and my sweet Daddy had a killer tan forming a triangle around his left elbow resting on the rolled down window as he continually sang, “Hang your head o-v-e-r hear the wind blow!!” Good times that will be fondly recalled long after you and Ryan are gone.

  5. Adie June 2, 2016 at 6:57 pm #

    Emily, I love these pictures and am living vicariously through your family!
    I don’t know what you label your shade of hair color, but after seeing these pictures, I think you should tell describe your hair color as Navajo Sandstone. Gorgeous!

    • emily June 3, 2016 at 7:45 am #

      Ha! You’re probably right!

  6. nancy June 1, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    Holy Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty. Indeed!!! Giving God the glory. He has blessed your family for sure to be able to see His wonders. I think of that verse every time I see a sunset!! And many times in between. :)

  7. Lynn June 1, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

    Glad you made it through northern Arizona while the weather was nice, it’s starting to get a little hot around here. We have been so blessed to be able to visit Lake Powell every summer with our family & friends for the last 14 years, it holds some of our greatest summer memories.
    It has been such fun to follow along with you on your travels through this beautiful country with your adorable family. Thank you so much for sharing it with us all, and we look forward to more:)

  8. LeAnne June 1, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

    Amazing!! Thank you, Emily, for sharing it all.

  9. Sara Manring June 1, 2016 at 10:00 am #

    Amen and amen! Thank you for sharing your trip, your photos and your faith. What a mighty God we serve!

  10. Darla June 1, 2016 at 8:52 am #

    I lived in Page for the first 9 years of my life. It’s a beautiful place. I now live in Phoenix and your post reminded me that I need to take my kids to this beautiful part of our state. We are always just driving through Page on our way to Utah and we need to stop and take in all the beauty we take for granted. I am loving following along with your travels.

  11. Suzanne (princapecos) June 1, 2016 at 7:45 am #

    Y’know, I grew up in Arizona, yet I somehow never made to any of these places. Next trip home, we’ll need to fit in some of this. Thanks for sharing, and for the beautiful pictures. (P.S. Arizona sunsets are absolutely the best.)

  12. Pinelopi | my blue flamingo June 1, 2016 at 12:01 am #

    wow it must ‘ve been a so powerful experience!! it looks very beautiful! I always wanted to make such a trip, now i want even more!

  13. Tanya Harvey May 31, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    My dad grew up in Page so as long as my grandma lived there (til I was 15) we visited about twice a year. I love this area and I love seeing your love for it too! :)

  14. Rach. C May 31, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

    Loving your trip so far Emily. Being from Australia, it’s great to see parts of America that I probably won’t ever see. I feel the same about nature. I look at it in all it’s glory and wonder how can people see this and not believe in God. He is the creator of creativeness. That first month has gone soo quickly. Before you know it you’ll be back home again, wishing you were still out there seeing places you’ve never seen before. xx

  15. Amanda @the Bay Bush May 31, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

    I’m about to email my resignation, pack up my party of five and come meet you guys just to tag along!

  16. Leigh May 31, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

    Amen, amen, and amen! Breathtaking.

  17. Amy May 31, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

    This is the exact trip we’re planning and we think we want to spend 4-5 days on Lake Powell. Do you think you would have enjoyed staying there almost a week? I’m worried by the time we rent boats and do some touring it will be quite costly. But I’ve heard amazing things about Lake Powell. It seems a nice respite between hiking the parks.

    • emily June 15, 2016 at 9:27 am #

      I think it would make a wonderful 4-5 day stop! The lake is gorgeous and if you have a boat, you could spend all day out there. It is not far to drive to horseshoe bend or antelope canyon if you need an activity to fill one of your days. I hope you have a great time!

  18. Rebekah May 31, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

    As I scrolled through these photos I keep whispering “WOW” and “That’s INCREDIBLE!” I can’t imagine the impact of being there. Such adventures you all are having. Thanks so much for the regular updates. I’m enjoying them so much and dreaming taking my own family on the road someday. :)

  19. Tammy Chandler May 31, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

    Lake Powell is our favorite! You mentioned that you would like to go back. If you enjoy boating, try to see the lake by boat. We rent a house boat (in Page) for a week every couple of years and then have our little fishing boat (or jet ski) to tour the little nooks and crannies of the lake ? We take the houseboat up the lake 2 hours, so there’s no one within sight! So basically like your walking tour of the canyon but on water. It is a week of pure gloriousness!! And don’t forget to go see Rainbow Bridge!

  20. Joanne May 31, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

    Enjoyed the photography, dialogue, and reference to how great our God is! I’m so glad you are enjoying your trip!

  21. Sylvia May 31, 2016 at 1:10 pm #

    So beautiful, Emily! Thanks for sharing. <3

  22. Carol May 31, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

    No other words can describe your adventure but BEAUTIFUL. Thanks for sharing your cross country photos.

  23. Candice Hope May 31, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    I am loving all of your posts along your journey! Giving me so many ideas for my own family trips. My favorite part is how you remind us that God is at the center of it all! How Great is our God?! LOVE,LOVE,LOVE this post!

  24. Amanda May 31, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    This looks amazing! I am so inspired by your posts about your trip and I have loved following along so much! My husband and I are talking about taking a similar trip someday when our son is older and I have absolutely loved reading about your trip!

  25. Barbara Winter May 31, 2016 at 11:17 am #

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  26. Ardith May 31, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    Breathtaking, as is your photography. Thank you for taking us along for the ride with you. Cheers, Ardith

  27. Sarah May 31, 2016 at 10:11 am #

    I’m thoroughly enjoying following all your family adventures. Such a wonderful experience for you all. I’m seeing progress in your photography as well. It’s going to be so great to look back on these photos years from now.

  28. HW May 31, 2016 at 9:27 am #

    Are you going to church while on the road? If so how are you deciding where to go?

  29. Heather Bogaty May 31, 2016 at 8:54 am #

    Hi Emily! Loving your blog info on your trip. I’m living vicariously through your family. :) I was wondering–how did you get your panoramic video to be so steady? Did you edit it? Use a tripod?

    • emily May 31, 2016 at 5:52 pm #

      I just was so awe-struck, I wasn’t moving :)

  30. Amy Kaminski May 31, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    I love reading what you guys are up to. Isn’t our country amazing? I love seeing it all through your eyes.

  31. joanne May 31, 2016 at 8:38 am #

    I am a Canadian and I am enjoying your photos of your amazing country! Makes me want to travel to the west! Such spectacular sights!

  32. Carolyn May 31, 2016 at 8:29 am #

    Spectacular! To see all three places like you did, how long were you there? I’ve always heard of renting a houseboat- was the a consideration, or for the future?
    Thanks for sharing your journey, ideas, and meditations!

  33. Shannon Schulz May 31, 2016 at 8:25 am #

    Absolutely spectacular! Breath taking actually! This is on my bucket list now. I only wish I had done this trip with my kids that are now 18 and 20. Such a fabulous adventure you are on. It is such a pleasure following your blog and seeing the gorgeous places you have been.
    Keep it up!
    Shannon

  34. Leah May 31, 2016 at 6:44 am #

    I am an Arizona girl. The sunsets never cease to amaze and delight me. I have never been to the places you have shared (except the Grand Canyon) and loved seeing the gorgeous shots you took. I live in a part of AZ where it is forest, pines, and mountains. The diversity of the state is so interesting. Thanks for sharing and it is really fun to get to see all that you are experiencing. I look forward to the rest of your journey :)

  35. Kathleen Leonard May 31, 2016 at 6:28 am #

    Just gorgeous Emily. I’m really enjoying the updates on your trip. It almost feels like we are all traveling with y’all.
    Keep it up!
    Kathleen

  36. Heidi May 31, 2016 at 6:06 am #

    If you are a bit leery of tight spaces – would this be a tough situation. I am in awe of your pictures but have a little bit of a confinement issue!!!! I am enjoying following you on your journey!

    • emily May 31, 2016 at 8:02 am #

      It might feel a bit cramped if you are truly afraid of tight spaces. But because it is all open up top and so distracting with the gorgeous light and walls, it might be worth it anyway :)

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