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Arizona Travel Guide Part II: Monument Valley and Page

I'm back, sharing the second half of the Arizona travel guide.

I left off with leaving Flagstaff, and en route to Monument Valley.
The car ride to our hotel took 3 hours and 44 minutes long, so in that meantime, I edited my podcast episode and had conversations with my family for the rest of the ride. Luckily, we went from beautiful snowy mountains to a scenic desert landscape and had picturesque views along the way.
What do you usually do on long car rides? 

If you missed the Arizona travel guide part 1, where I covered Flagstaff and Sedona... click here.
We passed the Arizona - Utah State Line on our way.
This was when we arrived to The View Hotel -- where we stayed one night in Monument Valley and it started snowing again.

Shop my puffer coat here. The hood and faux fur is detachable and under $35!

The view of The View Hotel

The rooms were a mix between traditional and modern. This hotel is a popular spot because of its convenient location to the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. 

This was inside the hotel lobby area.

The view from our hotel window overlooking the valley. There was a lot of fog the day we arrived, but we were able to catch glimpses in between the fog clearing up.

The first night we arrived, it was Christmas Day. 
Since most of the restaurants outside the hotel were closed, we decided to try the traditional Navajo tacos in the hotel restaurant. We all ordered individual half-size tacos, which were still massive. Can you believe the size of these?!

My family and I have an ongoing joke with the Navajo tacos and how deliciously filling these tacos were. Especially the beans... 😂

The next day, we waited for the fog to dissipate. 
It was nearing noon, so we decided to just go for it and explore Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, even though the monuments were hard to see in the fog. 

Recommended: make sure you check the weather before exploring Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Otherwise, you won't be able to see the monuments along the drive!

Monument Valley -- Navajo Tribal Park:
During our trip, we came across so many stray dogs on the Navajo reservation.
I was really heartbroken seeing their sad, little faces, and shared my condolences on social media. Some of you were concerned about the strays in the Navajo area, and someone who was familiar with the area reached out to inform me:

It turns out, these stray dogs are Navajo reservation dogs. In the Navajo culture, they believe that spirits or gods come in the forms of animals so they do not cage them or keep them because they feel the spirit should be able to roam and be free. 

At one point, the sun started to peek out behind the clouds and the fog diminished. 
For a brief moment, we were able to see the beautiful monuments. 

MILE 13 Marker from Forrest Gump:
Mile Marker 13 on US Highway 163 in southern Utah's Monument Valley is where Forrest Gump ended his cross-country run. 

Who else remembers this scene?

We were able to grab some photos in between the many, many tourists capturing the same shot and the cars whizzing by down the highway. Keep in mind. This is a highway. 
It's cool to snap the photos, but also dangerous. 
Please be mindful of the cars zooming by in both directions.

Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona:
On our last day visiting Page, we drove to Horseshoe Bend. 

This was one of my most anticipated sights to see on our AZ trip. I had seen it in photos and was dying to see it in person. Truly, the view is quite spectacular. The photos do not do it justice.

It's one of those places where you just have to see it for yourself in person.

Horseshoe Bend is a meander of the Colorado River, located 5 miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. 

When you arrive to the Horseshoe Bend parking lot, you have to pay $10 per vehicle. 
(Also dependent on the type of vehicle)
From the parking lot, you'll have to hike a fairly steep hill and then a moderate decline to the canyon's edge. The trail is 1.5 miles round trip, but I recommend wearing hiking shoes because it is still considered a desert hike. When we went, it was snowing. Therefore, the wet snow and sand mixed into slush...

The canyon's edge was PACKED with tourists.
However, there are many lookout points to choose from, and take photos at. 
Just a precaution: there are no railings whatsoever, so it's important to be wearing the right shoes and also be careful of standing or sitting too closet to the edge.

We didn't spend more than an hour taking photos and exploring different viewpoints of the canyon. 
If you're wanting to get some shots without any people in your way, I recommend moving towards the right of the canyon, where there's less people. 

As we were leaving, it started to snow again.


Antelope Canyon X, Page, Arizona:
Our last and final stop of our Arizona trip was Antelope Canyon X.

The reason we decided to go with Antelope Canyon X versus the Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon was because of 1) the pricing cost, and 2) it's less crowded.

After doing some research, we found that Antelope Canyon X is just a different location from the other two. It really is a preference thing, and whether you have the budget for it, and don't mind the overcrowded tour. 

We booked through Taadidiin Tours.
There are a couple of requirements, such as arriving at least 15-20 minutes before the tour, no camera bags or any large backpacks, and tripods allowed on the hike. You can read more about their requirements on their website here.

Even though we chose the less crowded tour of the three, it was still pretty crowded.
Which goes to show how packed these tours can get.

Another thing I wanted to point out was that we happened to also go when it started to snow.
The snow falling through the canyons was a beautiful sight to witness.

I even shared a video on Instagram that I took of the snow falling from above, hitting the light bouncing in between the canyons. No words to describe how magical it was.

There were in-between moments when it stopped snowing inside the canyons.

The reason why it's called Antelope Canyon X. 
Our tour guide told us to take a photo 😉

There were lots of photo opportunities, but it was also very tricky capturing any photo without someone else in the tour behind you in the shot. Since we were all in line and everyone was snapping away on their phones, everything seemed really rushed.

There were too many picturesque locations, but again, I felt super rushed with taking photos in the canyons. This is just a heads up, if you're wanting to take really great content, you will feel rushed and you may have to wait for people to clear up out of the area to get your shot.

But besides that, the canyons are beautiful to walk through and the tour itself lasted an hour long.
Not including the wait time for the vans to take you there and drive you back from the canyons.

And... of course, we had to end our trip with a visit to Shake Shack.

We hopped on a red eye flight with a layover in Atlanta and then I parted ways with my family to fly back to New York City. 

What a memorable trip.

Have any questions? I'd be happy to answer them.
I hope this was helpful!

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