The city of Page and neighboring Lake Powell are an outdoor adventure hub, perfect for visitors of all ages and abilities. From watersports to hiking, biking, and history. Keep reading for all of our favorite activities to do in Page, AZ.
Page, Arizona is a town born from the Glen Canyon Dam itself. Less than 75 years ago in 1957, Page, Arizona was founded as a housing settlement for workers at the Glen Canyon Dam construction site in the canyon below. The city was carved from the Navajo Nation Lands in the area of northern Arizona, near the border with Utah, and is named after John C. Page, a commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation who played a key role in the development of the dam and the creation of Lake Powell.
Construction of the Glen Canyon Dam began in 1956, and a year later, the Bureau of Reclamation created the town of Page to house the many workers who would be needed to build the dam and associated infrastructure. The dam was completed in 1963, and Lake Powell, the reservoir created by the dam, began to fill in 1964.
In the years following the construction of the dam and the founding of Page, the city grew rapidly, with a population that swelled from a few hundred in the early years to over 7,000 by the 1980s. Today, Page is a popular tourist destination, thanks in large part to the attractions of Lake Powell and the nearby Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Over the years, Page has faced a number of challenges, including periodic droughts that have impacted Lake Powell’s water levels, occasional environmental controversies surrounding the dam, and its impact on the local ecosystem. Regardless, Page remains an important center of activity and commerce in northern Arizona and a gateway to some of the region’s most spectacular natural wonders.
Activities in and Around Page, AZ
The John Wesley Powell Museum is a small but carefully curated museum located in Page, Arizona, dedicated to the life and accomplishments of John Wesley Powell, an American explorer, geologist, and ethnologist who is perhaps best known for leading the first successful expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. The museum features several exhibits that explore Powell’s life and work as a scientist and adventurer.
In addition to exhibits related to Powell himself, the museum also provides information about the natural and cultural history of the region, including exhibits on the geology of the Colorado Plateau and the traditional cultures of the Native American tribes that have lived in the area for thousands of years.
One of the highlights of the museum is a 15-minute film that provides an overview of Powell’s expeditions and the history of the region. The museum also offers educational programs and events throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, and guided tours.
Overall, the John Wesley Powell Museum is a great place to visit for anyone interested in the history and natural beauty of the American Southwest, and especially for those who are fascinated by the life and legacy of one of America’s most remarkable explorers.
Hanging Gardens Trail
Located on the east side of the Glen Canyon Dam, just before entering the city of Page, the hanging gardens are a rare green spot among a very dry sandstone desert.
The hanging gardens are a unique phenomenon that can occur where water collected on slickrock above seeps through the rock and provides a water source for plants to grow directly on and under the sandstone ledges. The plants here are green year-round, being consistently fed by the water seeping through the rock.
Page’s hanging gardens can be accessed via a 1.2-mile round-trip trail that takes off just northeast of the Glen Canyon Dam. Turn North off Highway 89 and watch for a sign. The trailhead is clearly labeled.
- Find some great information in Hiking in the Desert: 11 Things To Know Before You Go.
Mountain Biking – The Rim Trail
Although there are a limited number of bike trails around Page and the terrain can be quite rough on even seasoned riders, the Rim Trail is a wonderful exception.
Running 10.8 miles around the city of Page, the Rim Trail offers 75% singletrack with a max grade of 10% (for a short section) making the trail accessible for both experienced and novice riders.
If you have a non-rider who can act as a shuttle, you also can do just a portion of the ride if you prefer. There are several parking areas where a shuttle car could meet riders to shorten the total ride length.
If you don’t have your own bike or don’t want to bring it on your trip, Rim Trail Bike Rental is located on Navajo Drive, less than a half mile from one of the Rim Trail access locations on North Lake Powell Boulevard. They will happily point you in the right direction to hop on the trail and no bike rack is needed since the shop is so close to the trail!
New Wave (Beehives Trail) Hike
Located just one-half mile up the road from the Carl Hayden Visitor Center, the Beehive Trail is one of my favorite locations near Page.
This trail has been nicknamed “the New Wave” and I think it fits perfectly! Unlike the more popular Wave at Coyote Buttes, no permit is required to visit this sandstone formation, and it is a short, light hike, especially compared to the other Wave. The sandstone formations of Utah and Arizona are world-famous, and this is one of the easiest to access. If you have a short time in the area, this is a great value for your time!
- Only about an hour’s drive from Page, Arizona is Kanab, Utah where you will find The Wave and many other great things to do.
To access this unique sandstone formation, you’ll turn southwest off Highway 89 on the east side of the Glen Canyon Dam. Look for signs for the Beehives Campground. You can park in the gravel area designated for the campground or across the road. The trail begins just southwest of the gravel campground area and is well-marked with small rocks outlining a path. If you choose to walk the full path the full loop is 1.9 miles.
The sandstone rock formations on this trail are some of the most unique I’ve ever seen, and my sister did her bridal photos here. It’s literally one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen! From smooth waves to rock ledges to tall stone hills, this trail has it all! This is absolutely a must-do hike if you plan only to visit Page once or twice.
Below the Glen Canyon Dam, the Colorado River is released to continue its journey to the Grand Canyon and beyond. Although there are several viewpoints where you can see the river from above, my personal favorite is Horseshoe Bend.
The city of Page owns the parking area outside of Horseshoe Bend, so there is a small parking fee separate from any National Park Entrance Fees you may have paid to visit the lake.
The trail to Horseshoe Bend is 1.5 miles out and back and is listed as accessible to wheelchairs on the National Park website. However, in my personal experience, about 3 times in the past 3 years, the trail is wide and graded but tends to be somewhat rocky, and almost always has an elevation gain or loss throughout the trail which may make it less accessible to wheelchairs. I’ve seen parents pushing strollers who looked less than thrilled by the quality of the path.
Activities Around Lake Powell
The Glen Canyon Dam was built to address several needs related to water management and power generation in the American Southwest. The main purposes of the dam were: flood control, water storage, hydroelectric power generation, and recreation. Lake Powell officially began to be formed on March 13, 1963, when the diversion tunnels on the Colorado River were closed, letting water reach the base of the dam for the first time since construction began.
Carl Hayden Visitor Center
To get as close to the impressive dam as possible, you can visit the Carl Hayden Visitor Center where you will find a variety of interactive displays, including several that focus on water conservation and are quite eye-opening.
The Colorado River is in crisis after a prolonged drought in the Western United States over the past 25 years and the Glen Canyon Dam offers accessible learning opportunities for all ages. The views of the lake and the river are stunning and a short 20-yard walk will take you out onto the bridge over the dam where you can get great views of the lake and the dam.
My son’s favorite activity is an interactive display where a model shows how water moving through the dam pushes the turbines and generates electricity. He could spin the wheel on the display for hours and knew what a turbine was when he was just 4 years old because of this display!
The lake has all of the traditional lake activities you would expect, from speedboat and powersport rentals to paddleboard and kayak rentals, available through many rental shops in town. Rentals are also available directly at Wahweap Marina and Antelope Point Marina for easy access.
We have rented a speed boat from Antelope Point and found them easy to work with. The boat was in good repair and we had great access from the rental docks right out into the main channel of the lake.
We love to head down to the Dam to see the imposing structure that holds back the mighty Colorado River and then head into Navajo Canyon for a taste of some of Lake Powell’s best canyon views.
Not sure which area of the Grand Canyon to Visit?
Download our Free Quick and Easy Guide to the Grand Canyon’s 4 Areas!
Boat Tour to Rainbow Bridge National Monument (open seasonally)
Also available on the lake are guided tours to Rainbow Bridge National Monument. This is one of the largest natural bridges in the world, and truly you cannot comprehend the size until you are up close to it. The photos do not do it justice at all. If you aren’t likely to visit Lake Powell again, this is a MUST-DO in my opinion.
Due to extended droughts in the Western US, the water level at Lake Powell can make it difficult to reach Rainbow Bridge, and tours may pause temporarily while dock access is unavailable. Check www.nps.gov/rabr for up-to-date conditions, and book a tour on lakepowell.com if available.
Hundreds of years before European settlers ever set foot in the Americas, many indigenous tribes roamed the United States. Several prehistoric cultures and current Native American groups should be recognized in the cultural history of Page and Lake Powell.
Diné Bikéyah, Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute), Hopitutskwa, Pueblos, Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute) are some of the tribes that are known to have been in the area, and many of the lands around Page and to the south of Lake Powell are part of the current Navajo Nation.
The Navajo Nation owns and operates Antelope Point Marina, and governs the land around the famous Antelope and Waterhole Canyons and more.
Antelope Canyon and Waterholes Canyon
As guardians and custodians of the land, the Navajo Nation carefully protects the most beautiful areas that visitors would be likely to overrun if not carefully supported. Antelope Canyon and Waterholes Canyon are two of the most photographed slot canyons in the world and are a must-see for many visitors to Page.
Tours are all run by Indigenous guides with careful permitting and requirements by the Navajo Nation. Walking tours cost a wide range to visit these areas and reservations are highly recommended. The Navajo Nation maintains a list of permitted operators at navajonationparks.org.
See our our full review of Antelope Canyon, here.
After doing this activity, I prefer another option to visit Antelope Canyon with some more freedom to explore and a little adventure on the way.
Kayak to Antelope Canyon
Because Antelope Canyon is so long, it is possible to access the canyon both from the water on Lake Powell and on land. I highly recommend taking a kayak into Antelope Canyon and accessing it from the water.
If you are choosing to go it alone, make sure you rent from someone who drops off at Antelope Point Marina or rent directly from the marina. This is the closest access point to Antelope Canyon and is still a 2-mile paddle into the canyon before you can park your kayak and walk deeper into the canyon.
Restaurant Recommendation: Ja’di’ Tooh “The Point”
My favorite restaurant in Page is Ja’di’ Tooh or “The Point” which is a floating restaurant located at Antelope Point. You can literally eat dinner ON the water, with epic sunset views of the lake. The menu has a little bit of everything and is moderately priced. It’s sure to please the whole family. The truffle fries alone are worth a stop!
What Else Do I Need to Know?
A lot of people visit Page during their trip to the Grand Canyon. We have included Page and what to do there in our Ultimate Grand Canyon Bundle Itinerary which also includes an audio guide with over 4 1/2 hours of stories and information about the area. Let us help you plan your vacation to Page and the Grand Canyon!
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO THE GRAND CANYON
GRAND CANYON GUIDE: To read or watch all of our content about the Grand Canyon, Check out our Grand Canyon Homepage
AREAS: The Grand Canyon is divided into 4 areas: The South Rim, North Rim, Grand Canyon West, and the East Side of the Grand Canyon (Page, AZ). Learn about the 4 areas of the Grand Canyon with our Free Printable.
WHERE TO EAT: Check out the best places to eat and get groceries at the South Rim
WATCH: Enjoy videos of the beautiful Grand Canyon while learning our best tips by watching our Grand Canyon YouTube Playlist