Welcome back to our new summer travel series, Road Trippin’ presented by Sprad’s RV. Following an epic start to our trip in southwest Utah where we had a chance to visit the Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks, we moved south to the border to the town of Page, Ariz.
Page is a gateway to a lot of amazing activities in this area, which includes Lake Powell and Horseshoe Bend. While we planned to spend a few days exploring this region, our trip was cut short due to some permitting issues with Glen Canyon National Park. Hopefully we can return in the future to show you more activities in this beautiful area.
Permitting issues aside, we were able to visit Page for a taste of what the area has to offer. From Bryce Canyon, it was less than a 3-hour drive to the border of Arizona. Our first stop was the Page Municipal Airport, where we were set to take a pair of aerial tours with Papillon Helicopters.
We met general manager Michael Preller at check in, and after a brief safety video it was time to hop on the bird. Our aircraft for the afternoon was an Airbus H130, a six-seat sightseeing helicopter with plenty of big windows. I’m not going to lie: I was a little nervous prior to takeoff. It was only the second time in my life in a helicopter. But the feelings were more of excitement than being concerned for my safety.
Our first ride was a tour of Lake Powell. What an amazing experience. You can’t really get the full scope of what this lake looks like until you are up in the air. And as opposed to an airplane, which is so much higher, the helicopter was the perfect vantage point. It was stunning to look down at the emerald and turquoise water of Lake Powell against the backdrop of the desert landscape. It looked like a giant lake on Mars.
On our way back to the airport, we passed over the top of Antelope Canyon, an Instagram famous slot canyon that's one of the most visited features in the area. Unfortunately access to Antelope is shut down right now by the Navajo Tribe due to COVID-19. Papillon also has a signature helicopter ride that lands on top of Tower Butte, a giant rock structure overlooking Lake Powell. We were able to fly by it, but because of the shutdown we could not land.
Overall, the ride was silky smooth and exhilarating, and after 15 minutes we were back at the airport. After a a little break, another tour was set to begin. This time, we made our way to Horseshoe Bend, a famous part of the Colorado River that takes a 270-degree turn and is one of the most popular photography attractions in the Southwest.
It was absolutely beautiful to see it from the air. After a couple of laps around Horseshoe, we made our way back over Lake Powell, where I was able to switch sides and see the landscapes from the other direction. Both were amazing!
This experience definitely made it worth it for us to drive 3 hours south from Utah. Next time on Road Trippin’, we continue in Page as we get a chance to explore the desert terrain from the ground on UTV’s with Epic Adventures.