3 reasons to put Hanging Garden Trail near Page on your Arizona bucket list

Every year, millions of tourists flock to the Page, AZ area to see natural wonders such as Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. Those more popular attractions charge ever increasing fees and haul in massive crowds. But Hanging Garden Trail, just a couple miles north of town, is a spectacular natural wonder that too many people overlook.

If you don’t have Hanging Garden Trail on your Arizona Bucket List, consider this your prompt to add it.

Three reasons you should experience Hanging Garden Trail

  • Easy to access
  • Short hike that’s long on views
  • No fee or permit required

Hanging Garden Trail is easy to access

Hanging Garden Trailhead is so easy to access. It’s only a few hundred yards off of Hwy 89 via well-maintained dirt road. No 4-wheel drive or high clearance vehicle is required.

After driving north through Page on Hwy 89, take the last turn off to the right before driving across Glen Canyon Dam. If you’re heading north, watch for the small hiker icon sign just after the colorful Glen Canyon Dam sign. It’s pretty hard to miss.

Once you turn off the highway, there is a gate that’s sometimes closed to vehicles. If that’s the case when you arrive, just park there and start your hike. Continue north on foot about 1/8 of a mile to the actual trailhead. Otherwise, drive all the way to the trailhead.

From the designated starting point, you’re about 3/4 of a mile from the main feature – a lush garden of ferns hanging on a vertical wall of beautiful reddish rock this region of Arizona is famous for.

It’s a short hike that’s long on views

Although it’s a short walk to the garden, this hike is long on sights to see. If you’re like me, you might imagine this is what it’s like to walk on Mars. As you wind your way along the dusty red trail through a landscape of sparse vegetation, you’re unexpectedly confronted by large mounds of sandstone, smoothed and buffed by the forces of nature over time.

The section of trail that leads you through this reddish landscape that’s virtually void of plant life almost feels like you’re walking on Planet Mars.
When I did this hike with a friend after a couple days of rain, we were fortunate to find this small, natural reflecting pool a short distance from the main trail.

A little further down the path, you begin to catch glimpses of Lake Powell. You might lose your way if it weren’t for the small stones place in a line to mark the trail.

Suddenly, the path begins to wrap around the backside of a butte that’s been visible since the trailhead. There’s a slight incline with a few mild switchbacks.
Before you know it, you’re standing in the cool shadow of the red rock wall with plants all around you.

I enjoyed the company of my friend, but for a moment wished I was alone with a book. There are several places to sit or lie down and just chill.

Although I have zero musical talent, for a moment I dreamt was on the stage of an amphitheater for small audiences, carved by nature. I bet yoga buffs would enjoy practicing meditation here too.

On the way from the garden back to the trailhead you’ll see this cutoff trail. It leads to the top of the mound in the upper right of the picture. That vantage point affords even better views of a small section of Lake Powell.

No fee or permit required

One of the best things about this out-of-this-world hike is that, unlike many of the popular attractions in the Page area, no fee or permit is required. Just show up anytime you want and do your thing.

There’s nothing wrong with putting Horseshoe Bend or Antelope Canyon high on your Arizona bucket list. They’re incredible experiences you can’t get anywhere else on Earth. But as long as you’re in the area, why not check off Hanging Garden Trail, too? It’s super easy and won’t cost you a thing, but will make an impact that you won’t soon forget.

Want to check it out? Tap the map below.


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