Today we woke up pretty early and checked out of the Maswik Lodge. We drove to the visitor centre and caught the shuttle bus to the South Kaibab trailhead. The trail descends about 7 miles into the canyon. This doesn’t sound like a long hike but it is not recommended to do it in a day since the elevation gain is about 4700 feet and it gets super hot in the canyon! Today we planned on hiking just a small portion of the trail because we would be leaving for Page later that day.
We started the trail at about 8 am and I wasn’t sure how our group would manage going back up the trail so I planned on stopping at Ooh Ahh Point or Cedar Ridge. The scenery was amazing and it didn’t seem very tiring so we ended up hiking to Cedar Ridge. Although this is only a 3 mile hike roundtrip the elevation gain is 1200 feet.
When we got to the sign for Oooh Ahh Point we all decided that we should hike on to Cedar Ridge. Ooh Ahh Point seemed to be a popular turning point for the less prepared hikers and families but the scenery really opens up and you can get a better view into the canyon after passing this point.
In my opinion the best views were near Cedar Ridge where you can see out to O’Neil Butte. There is a composting toilet and some nice areas to take a break down here. The trail also starts to get a lot steeper at this point so we decided to head back up. We ate our smooshed peanut butter sandwiches and then turned around to climb back up.
The climb back up was tiring but do able. After many breaks we reached the top and felt pretty proud of ourselves although we basically just scratched the surface!
After the hike we bought our souvenirs and jumped in the car. We drove out of the park on Desert View drive which is a scenic road that has many pullouts and viewpoints you can stop at. My favourite was Lipan Point because you could see the rapids.
We exited the park and headed to Page where we would be seeing Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. The drive was very scenic and I believe we drove through part of the Painted Desert. Along the way there were a few scenic pullouts which was a nice opportunity to stretch our legs.
We were near Page and then we suddenly saw tons of cars parked at the side of the road. I realized the parking lot for Horseshoe Bend was right there. There were tons of spots so I felt sorry for the people who parked so far away on the road. To be honest I was a little disappointed in this stop. It was just mobbed with people. Way too many selfie sticks and tripods made it almost impossible to enjoy the view. I wish people would be more respectful when visiting these kinds of places so everyone can enjoy.
I didn’t get any good pictures because I was too busy feeling annoyed with all the tripods set up by the edge waiting for sunset. If you can visit earlier on in the day when the sun isn’t behind the bend it would make for a better experience I’m sure.
We hiked out and hopped back in the car to check into our hotel and make a stop to stock back up on snacks and drinks. When we returned to the hotel it was sunset and we realized we were near the Glen Canyon Dam scenic overlook. We saw the sunset here and it was really quiet so it made up for my experience at Horseshoe Bend a bit.
After this packed day I was exhausted so it was time to go to bed. Antelope Canyon next!