OUR BIG TRIP, PT. II
While this part of the trip was definitely less active, it still had a few gems! I think one of my favorite days of the entire trip was after we left Amangiri to head to Sedona. We realized that Lake Powell was only a 20 minute drive from Amangiri so we had a full day before the 3 hour drive to Sedona (stop #3). Now, before I go on I we want to emphasize that everything that we did was totally legal! I got a few DM’s from my stories of people all up in arms and sending me information that Antelope Canyon is closed. Yes, Upper Antelope Canyon is closed and Lower Antelope is also closed by foot. Meaning, there is a place to access Lower that you can only access with a tour guide even when it’s open!! However after a ton of research we found that there is a way to access a part of it from Lake Powell.
By renting a paddle board/kayak (we rented via Lake Powell Paddle Board and Kayaks) you can paddle from the boat launch into the canyon, and walk from there. It seems that is a way that they monitor how many people come in/out because obviously there are only so many kayaks that these companies have. There were tour guides (on kayaks) going on, but we chose to go solo. We picked up our life jacket at the storefront in town where they showed us a map and gave us some more information on how to get to the canyon, then drove the 10 minutes to the boat launch. Tip: you do have to get a park pass here!! That’s another way that we knew we were following the rules, to get to the boat launch there is a guard at the gate where you have to purchase access! It was only about $30 – $35 if I remember correctly. From there you park, walk down the ramp, meet the crew that has the kayaks and launch from there.
Distance: It was a bit over a mile of kayaking JUST to get to the start of Lower Antelope Canyon. Then a bit over a mile again once you turn left into the canyon. Not sure why but once we turned left into the canyon I thought it wouldn’t be that far. But, spoiler alert, it is!!
When: We launched our kayaks at about 9:15 AM and it took a bit over an hour to get get to land. We kept note of the time because there was some weather coming in, so we were back to our kayaks about noon so that we could beat the weather.
*that’s something to keep in mind!! If it’s going to be super windy, kayaking will be brutal!!
Difficulty: If you hate kayaking or not really great with water sports, I don’t suggest it. You could do a double kayak and paddle together which I’m sure would be a bit faster, but we knew it would be better for our marriage if we had separate boats :-). The kayaking gets exhausting, the walk is very easy. It’s mostly just walking, but as the slots get more and more narrow you do have to traverse a bit.
- We didn’t intentionally plan this beforehand but the morning of we figured we would want flip flops during the kayak and sneakers during the walk. On the kayaks you do have a place under bungees to put your shoes and bag so that’s what we did and it worked out amazing!! Even brought a small hand towel to dry and wipe off our feet before changing after we shored our kayaks.
- I recommend using a dry bag for your stuff as well as the cover that it comes with for your phone. I kept my phone out to take videos etc. during the kayak and it got more wet than (simply from splashing from the paddles) than it did when we hiked the Narrows!
- Wear waterproof shorts of some kind. You could wear a swimsuit if you want too! I didn’t know these shorts were the waterproof material that they were, but then when I got them I knew it would be perfect for this. Jon’s shorts were soaked when we started the hike, but mine? all good! You can shop everything that I wore below!
If you hit up Lake Powell you have to see Horseshoe Bend! It is literally a 10 – 15 minute drive from where we dropped off our life jackets so it was hard to pass up. It is maybe a half mile walk on a paved path to see it, and you do have to pay $10 to enter the parking lot.
Our time in Sedona was short, and after the long day in Page, AZ followed by a 3 hour drive, we were toast. I was actually shocked that even Jon was wiped. We tried to hike the next day, and we did to find The Subway but the second we got back we were practically comatose. We were even considering heading to PHX a day early to shorten the trip by a day merely because we weren’t going to do as much hiking or activities as we thought we would. It might have been different had we not been to Sedona before, but if you are looking to do a similar trip, just note that you will get very tired.
Our time in Phoenix was specifically to lay out by the pool. We lived here a few years ago so other than hitting up some of our favorite restaurants, we didn’t want to do much of anything. And it was a great stopping point before flying out of there to head home.
For those who were curious about our itinerary, I’ve included that below! And yes, this map is not 10000% geographically accurate, but gives you a visual as to the steps we took along the way.
Days 1 -4:
We flew into Las Vegas where we loaded up on groceries for Zion at the Whole Foods which is literally across the street from the airport. We then drove the 2.5 hours into Zion National Park where we did the following (in order): Angel’s Landing, Canyon Overlook Trail + Emerald Lake Pools (in the same day), and the Narrows
Day 5 – 8:
We then drove the 3 or so hours from Zion to Amangiri where we stayed for three nights. After that third night we left early to spend the day on Lake Powell, Lower Antelope Canyon and to see Horseshoe Bend. From Horseshoe Bend we drove the 3 hours to Sedona where we were utterly exhausted!
Day 8 – 11:
We did a 4 mile hike the next day in Sedona, then left early the second morning for the 2 hour drive to Phoenix. Which was strictly pool and vacation time until we flew home from the Phoenix airport.
Overall the flow of the trip was great!! We felt like the steps and direction we drove and went made total sense and we maximized our time as much as possible. I’m not sure we would have had the energy to do much else. I hope you visit some of these places or even do the whole trip! It was such a great experience and awesome memories of some beautiful places.