Page, Arizona: Camping Lessons Learned

Campground in Page Arizona
On our epic camping trip, we travel from Bryce Canyon in Utah to the Lake Powell area of Page, Arizona. It was hot, and we were not prepared for it!

**This is Day 7 of a series of blog posts chronicling our family trip Out West 2018 in which we faced some massive car issues while pulling our pop-up camper.  If you’d like to catch up, here’s

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6**

First, Sunrise at Bryce Canyon

The next morning we were going to leave and head to Page, so I decided to get up early and drive back into Bryce Canyon to see the sunrise. I first went to Bryce Point, but decided to try my luck at Sunrise Point instead after a blustery few minutes by myself in the pre-dawn darkness.

Sunrise Point, though crowded, was more of the look I wanted. It was hard to take a picture without people in it because there were lots of people. The crowds reminded me of sunrise on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. I took a lot of pictures and got a few I liked. 

Then it was time to get back to the family, fix breakfast and pack everything up.

We were moving to Page, AZ.

When You're Camping in a Hot Parking Lot

The drive from Bryce to Page was not terrible. It was not too long and the changing terrain was fun to look at.

However, Page is in the Arizona desert, so the heat WAS a terrible change from our brisk mountain breeze at Bryce, as was our asphalt/gravel campground, which was really a parking lot with the occasional tree, smack dab on a four-lane highway.

I was still nervous about the van breaking down, so I was glad that it did fine, but the heat and the dreariness of our new campsite was a bummer. We tried to put little heat deflector shields on the bunkends called pop up gizmos, but we had already raised the roof and pulled the bunk ends out, and it’s not as effective to do after the fact. The wind kept grabbing the blankets and pulling them off. Sad story.

We went to Wal-Mart and we waved hello to the hotel where we would have stayed if we hadn’t spent the night at the hospital compound in Ganado, and tried to make the best of it. While the campground was pretty terrible, it was conveniently located.

Page Lake Powell Campground

We decide to change our plans

Pretty much as soon as we checked in, we decided we only wanted to be in Page for two nights. I had originally allocated three with one day being a kayaking day on Lake Powell, but it was so hot and we disliked the place we were staying enough so much that we really did not want to linger.

I called the campground at Mesa Verde National Park to see if we could add another night to our stay, and they adjusted our reservations for us. We were glad to know that we’d only have two nights in Page. Looking back, I think that we would not have enjoyed Mesa Verde as much if we had only one night to camp there. With the pop up (and really even with a tent), it’s hardly worth camping if you’re only staying somewhere for one night.

I will know that now when I plan future trips.

We went to Walmart and then tried to go see Wahweap Marina (where we would have stayed if I hadn’t cheaped out and reserved our nights in the parking lot campground instead), but it was already dark, so we just turned around and went back.

At least we had A/C!

The next day promised to be another exciting adventure, because we had reservations for Antelope Canyon, another huge bucket list item. I’ll tell you all about it in the next blog post.


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