Why you should visit Page, Arizona
If I asked you to point to the City of Page on a map, chances are that you'll just stand there with a look of bewilderment. Trust me I felt the same way until my recent road trip exploring the southwest, where I visited this small oasis in the desert. It's a relatively new city, being founded in 1957 as a housing community for workers and their families during the construction of nearby Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. Since then it has boomed as popular tourist destination, attracting more than 3 million visitors per year! So what is it about this small city in Northern Arizona, which seems to be in the middle of nowhere, that attracts so many tourists? Well what I came to realize was that the City of Page is packed with tons of natural beauty, as well as a rich culture and history.
As soon as you arrive you can't help but to notice the small town charm. Having driven a couple of hours from the Grand Canyon South Rim I was a bit tired and hungry, so I was pleasantly delighted to know that the best restaurant in the entire city was located right across the street from my hotel. Big John's Texas Barbeque! Where you can score a plate of BBQ beef brisket, pulled pork, cowboy beans and delicious potato salad. It's some of the best BBQ you'll have and the fuel needed to explore Page.
The BBQ alone might be enough reason to drive a couple hundred miles, or do I just really love food? Well whatever the case may be it's good! After stuffing my face I had decided to visit a site that has been famously photographed and seen all over social media, the first time I had seen an image of Horseshoe Bend I need I had to see what it was all about. This site is located right off of Highway 89 just a couple of miles from the City of Page, upon arriving you'll notice a makeshift parking lot on a patch of dirt where visitors can leave their vehicle and hike the short 1 1/2 mile journey to a cliff overlooking the Colorado river in the shape of a horseshoe. It's an incredible site to see, so much so that I hiked it twice at different times of the day during my 3 day stay in Page.
Visiting during the summer made for incredibly hot weather, which would normally be a bit of a nuisance but when you have a huge lake formed by one of the world's largest concrete dams then it's suddenly forgotten. Lake Powell offers miles of pristine shoreline and the perfect place to take a dip and escape the desert heat. Not only did I enjoy swimming in the crystal clear blue water, but just exploring the miles of shoreline was an experience onto itself. I felt like a kid at an amusement park; however vast it was, every corner offered something new to see.
Page is situated right next to an immense Navajo Reservation. Never having been on the Reservation before, I was excited to see the culture and national monuments. Only a short drive from Page is the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons, picturesque slot canyons that will leave you with your mouth open in awe. According to some Navajos, entering a place like Antelope Canyon was like entering a cathedral. They would pause before going in, to be in the right frame of mind and prepare for protection and respect. This would also allow them to leave with an uplifted feeling of what Mother Nature had to offer, and to be in harmony with something greater than themselves. It was and is, a spiritual experience. I will always remember my time spent at this small oasis in the desert and strongly recommend you pay it a visit. Like now....seriously, GO!
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About The Author
In 2015, Founder of TMDE Paul Martinez left a career in sales for a life of exploring. In just a matter of months he had visited over 10 countries, 30 cities, 10 states, countless national parks, taken thousands of photographs, and did a ton of soul-searching. His search uncovered a deep passion for exploration; which he now believes to be the essence of the human spirit, and led to the birth of The Modern Day Explorer. You can follow him on his personal journey by visiting his Instagram, and hopefully continue to support TMDE by following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.