The drive along US 89 from Antelope Canyon to Bryce Canyon National Park traverses diverse, visually appealing environs. You will see incredible scenery in less than 3 hours, including rivers, lakes, the desert, and small towns.
Driving from Page/Antelope Canyon to Bryce Canyon offers much to see and do. You’ll drive through spectacular scenery and a natural paradise. With a unit of the National Park Service bookending your trip, your drive will be well worth it.
Every time I make this drive, I’m delighted to see and experience something new. Driving this route in any season offers new and exciting ways to enjoy it and should be part of your Arizona itinerary.
This article will explain everything you need to know about this scenic route.
Resources | Hotels – Rental Cars – Tours
🚗 Rental cars via rentalcars.com
🚙 Rental car deals via Discover Cars
💊 Travel Insurance (Rental Car, Delays, Medical)
Whether you need a rental car for the route on US 89 or want to book affordable accommodation. We put together these essential resources for you.
The Drive | Main Route
The drive from Antelope Canyon in Arizona to Bryce Canyon in Utah is 157 miles (253 km) and takes about 2 hours and 50 minutes without stops. Along the way on US 89, you’ll pass scenic viewpoints and pullouts. Take the time to stop and experience each because the beauty and history are worth it.
The drive to Bryce Canyon from Page, where you probably stay one night when visiting Antelope Canyon, is 151 miles (243 km) and takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes without stops.
The route from Page to Bryce Canyon is identical to the route from Antelope Canyon, however, it’s slightly longer (+6 miles) as Antelope is located a few miles Southeast of Page.
In the first 10 miles (16 km) from Page, you’ll encounter three scenic overlooks or viewpoints that are breathtakingly beautiful. You’ll head north on US 89 towards the Glen Canyon dam from the town of Page.
You’re headed into the desert, and you’ll see evidence of the power-generation infrastructure tied to the dam below. You’ll only see the high bridge crossing the mighty Colorado river as you approach the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area sign.
Yet, even as you approach the bridge, there isn’t an indication of the water and beauty that lies just out of view. It’s only as you enter the final curve before crossing the bridge that the view opens up to display the bright blue of Lake Powell to the north.
Once on the bridge, you can see the thin, aqua ribbon of the Colorado river to the south, snaking amongst verdant green on the riverbanks at the deep canyon’s base.
This is just a start to the many unexpected and beautiful things you’ll see on this drive, so be sure to hydrate and allow plenty of time and memory on your camera for photos.
An alternative to US 89 north to Bryce Canyon is taking US 89 south for 25 miles (40 km) to an area called Bitter Springs. You’ll find the junction with US 89A with signs directing you to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
US 89A takes you towards the North Rim, passing over the Colorado River at Marble Canyon. This iconic view is a definite stop and offers plenty of sightseeing, a restaurant, and even the possible side-trip to Lee’s Ferry.
Staying on 89A for approximately one hour will put you in the small town of Jacob Lake, which is at the junction of 67 and closed in winter. This route takes you to the North Rim during the summer, an excellent detour for an overnight stay, and a reason to take this alternate route.
From Jacob Lake, you’ll continue north on 89A through the gorgeous Kaibab National Forest. I strongly encourage you to stop at LeFevre Overlook just as you exit the forest because the views are spectacular.
30 minutes from Jacob Lake, you’ll arrive in Fredonia, which is only 10 miles (16 km) south of the city of Kanab, UT, where you’ll pick up US 89 north again.
This detour adds more than one additional mile to your route but takes you through spectacular red rock and to the forested respite of the Kaibab above the North Rim.
Special: Antelope Canyon Tours
Before driving to Antelope Canyon and later to Bryce Canyon, please keep in mind that you can’t visit Antelope Canyon on your own. A guided tour, for both lower and upper Antelope, is required. When visiting during peak times, you need to book in advance for your desired slot. Book a time slot between 11 AM and 1:30 PM, when the sunbeams are visible. Read more about the best time to visit Antelope Canyon.
The Best Viewpoints and Stops | Main Route
When headed on US 89 from Antelope Canyon/Page to Bryce Canyon, many travelers drive straight through because they’re eager to get to the stunning National Park. The desert landscape is understated, but if you slow down, stop, and take in the views, you can truly appreciate this special place.
The New Wave
- Location: Google Maps – The New Wave
The New Wave is only a half mile (0.8 km) north on US 89 from the Carl Hayden Visitor Center. It isn’t well-signed, so watch your odometer. There’s an unmarked gravel road on your left after you pass the sign indicating ¼ mile (402 meters) to Lakeshore Dr and Wahweap Marina.
If you reach Lakeshore Dr, turn around and make your first right onto the gravel road because the hiking trail at the end of the road is short and easy to follow.
The New Wave exists because the iconic Wave, found just north on US 89, is nearly impossible to get a hiking spot. The Wave can only be accessed via a lottery system, and the slots are highly sought after.
The New Wave gives you a small taste of that same geology and photo op, albeit on a much smaller scale. If you’re even mildly interested, stopping at The New Wave won’t add much time to your trip, but it’s worth the time.
- Location: Google Maps Wahweap Overlook
Only a few minutes after you left Page north on US 89 you will see the turn-off for Wahweap Overlook. The viewpoint has a parking area with enough space, and it is one of the convenient stops when you drive from Antelope Canyon to Brycen Canyon along US 89.
It provides impressive views of Lake Powell, the biggest man-made reservoir in the United States.
The overlook offers a superb vista for seeing the surrounding terrain, especially the multicolored sandstone cliffs and the crystal-clear waters of Lake Powell.
You can take great photos here, because of the spectacular views of the surroundings. Lake Powell’s magnificent blue waters and the towering red granite cliffs that frame the lake will be visible in your photographs.
The views: Wahweap Overlook offers stunning views of Wahweap Marina, Glen Canyon Dam, and the beautiful shoreline of Lake Powell.
Good to know: There is a picnic bench and numerous large boulders along the Overlook’s edge.
Do you need to hike? No, hiking is not required here. The views are all right off the parking lot.
There are various trails and gorgeous views nearby that are worth visiting if you want to spend more time exploring the area. These pathways allow visitors to get up close and personal with the breathtaking scenery, and they also give wonderful photographic possibilities.
Overall, the Wahweap Overlook is a must-see attraction for everyone driving along Arizona’s Route US89. It’s a quick stop that allows you to take in the beauty of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Depending on your interests and how much time you have available, you might spend anything from a few minutes to an hour or more at the overlook.
Big Water Visitor Center
- Location: Google Maps – Big Water Visitor Center
The Big Water Visitor Center is a must-stop run by the Glen Canyon Conservancy. There’s no admission but a lot of information, resources, and interesting tips about the area.
The area’s geologic and paleontological history is extensively documented in the visitor center, and there’s also considerable information about Grand Staircase-Escalante, which I’ll discuss below.
When you stop at this visitor center, plan to spend at least an hour to give yourself adequate time to view all of the displays, read the information boards that interest you, and walk through the small gift shop.
- Location: Google Maps Toadstool Hoodoos
When you pass milepost 19, you’re getting close to the Toadstool Hoodoos pullout, which will be on your right in less than a mile. The parking area is wide and can accommodate large and small vehicles alike.
If you haven’t seen hoodoos in person, it’s worth the stop and the short hike. This is a lovely introduction to what you’ll see at Bryce Canyon on a much larger scale.
The hike is less than a mile and is an easy walk. However, you should carry plenty of water in the warmer months because the heat gets very intense. In the desert, you become dehydrated much quicker than you realize because your sweat evaporates rapidly.
Escalante National Monument
You’ll see a pullout for Escalante National Monument between Page and Kanab. This spot is one of the main points of entry into the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which is a gorgeous, wild, and vast area.
This is not an area to wander into casually. If you stop at this pullout, it’s best not to head up the unpaved road into the Monument without first letting someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back.
This is particularly crucial in the hot summer months but applies year-round. The landscape is beautiful, but heading deep into desert wilderness areas is unsafe and irresponsible.
- Location: Google Maps Kanab, UT
Kanab is a small, understated town, and despite its proximity to many tourist destinations, the town has managed not to lose its character.
My favorite stop when passing through Kanab is Willow Canyon Outdoor, a lovely gear shop with a fantastic coffee bar inside. They have unique gifts, interesting local finds, and great coffee.
- Location: Google Maps Red Canyon
As you leave US 89 north and turn right on Route 12 east towards Bryce Canyon, you’ll quickly approach a scenic area called Red Canyon. Route 12 winds through Red Canyon, with several hiking trails and pullouts along the way.
There are four trailheads within one mile along the road. All the hikes are equally beautiful, so you should stop at the one that looks best for you or has the fewest cars parked in the lot.
The Red Canyon visitor center is located in a wide spot in the canyon, just above the Photo Trail pullout. It is worth a stop to view the exhibits, learn more about the area, and browse the small bookstore and gift shop.
Outside, there are plenty of areas to walk around and stretch your legs, including a hiking trail that leads from the visitor center. There’s also a picnic area with clean and well-maintained restrooms.
Once you’re back on Route 12 and headed east, you’re just over a mile away from the iconic Red Canyon Arch. As you approach the arch, there is a large pullout, and you’ll want to stop and get a picture of this unique feature.
Destination: Bryce Canyon National Park
Once you depart Red Canyon Arch, you’re just short of 9 miles (14 km) from the junction to Bryce Canyon National Park. Heading south on Route 63, it looks like more of the same scenery you’ve become accustomed to over the last hour or so.
A few miles in, you begin to see the beauty that is Bryce Canyon National Park. Stop, linger, experience the beauty, and enjoy every experience this magical place offers.