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Great Phoenix Road Trips: Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend

The state of Arizona is full of great places to visit, including some of the country’s most unique natural attractions. With road trip season approaching, it’s officially prime time to start planning your next adventure. One thing is for sure: you’ll certainly want to arrange for a stop in the city of Page, AZ. Residing just south of the Arizona-Utah border, Page is home to both Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, two of the most scenic and memorable destinations in all of the Southwest.

Antelope Canyon

Accessible only via guided tour, this Navajo Tribal Park is home to a breathtaking slot canyon with two distinct sections, known respectively as The Crack and The Corkscrew. The sandstone formation was created largely by erosion resulting from flash floods, and the smooth, otherworldly patterns left behind are truly a sight to behold. Visit during the summer months for your best chance to catch a glimpse of the infamous beams of light, which penetrate artfully through the canyon’s grooves and gaps at midday.

Tours can be purchased in the city of Page from various guides and at varying prices, depending on the time and duration of your trip.

Horseshoe Bend

A meander of the Colorado River named for its distinct shape, Horseshoe Bend is a seemingly impossible marvel of nature and is one of Arizona’s most popular photography destinations. Tours are available as with Antelope Canyon, but they are not required to enjoy the beauty and scope of this incredible site. A three-quarter-mile hike will take you to a cliff that stares down 1,000 feet into the arc of the bend. On clear days, the sparkling blue-green river vividly reflects the southwestern sky to create an unforgettable view.

Natural Beauty, Close to Home

Living in Phoenix offers plenty of perks, one of which is its proximity to so many fantastic outdoor destinations. A trip north to Page should take you just a little over four hours from start to finish, making it ideal for weekend outings or extended expeditions. Even the most direct route (I-17 to Hwy 89) offers an enjoyable drive both through and near numerous natural wonders, including Humphreys Peak and Grand Canyon National Park.

It’s easy to take such attractions for granted when living so close by, but there’s really no better time to enjoy Arizona’s great outdoors than now. Take a trip, stretch your legs, breathe in the fresh air, and let your calls go straight to voicemail; all you’re going to need that smartphone for is taking photos of nature’s wondrous creations.