Up to now, I’ve been in Page, Arizona for a total of 13 months and until October 2021, I did like, nothing. It’s almost embarrassing how little I knew about things to do in Page, for real.
My mission for this winter is to do literally all the things in Page. All. Of. Them. Well, hikes, at least. And I finally got started on that when my parents were visiting this fall!
Our first stop was the Hanging Gardens trail. I didn’t entirely know what to expect with this one, I knew roughly where it was, and I knew what the end point was but not what the trail was like at all.
We set out kind of in the middle of the day and it was warm but not ridiculously hot or anything, it was late October, after all. We saw two people coming out on our way in and two on our way out that were going in.
What is a hanging garden?
Hanging gardens are found around the Colorado Plateau and Glen Canyon is home to quite a few. This one is just one of the easiest to see. (If you’ve been to Zion and saw Weeping Rock, that’s a hanging garden, too.)
A hanging garden is created when plants grown clinging to cliff walls and are spring fed, usually in alcoves. Conditions are cooler and more wet than their surrounding areas.
They are fragile and often are home to endemic species and can be quite biodiverse but face threats from exotic and invasive species as well as climate change.
The Hanging Garden Hike
It’s a pretty easy trail with a slightly more difficult side option, but the main part to the actual Hanging Garden is easy to follow and easy as far as difficulty goes.
The whole trail is marked by two lines of rocks making a a little hiking lane. It starts out heading towards the lake with a small hill/cliff on your right.
After a few minutes you’ll come to a fork in the trail and a marker. To get to the hanging garden, you’ll go to the right. We’ll come back to this fork later.
You’ll keep going to the right for a few more minutes along the other side of the hill/cliff you started by. Eventually, you’ll have to scramble up a bit and this is a stretch to call it a scramble.
My parents did this no problem, I would just watch out for any loose sand on top of the rock because that can make it slippery.
The path kind of stops here but you just want to go up this little rock section to the wall, behind all the bushes and stuff. You’ll know you’re there when you see all the vines coming out of the rock wall.
I won’t lie, it’s not the most exciting thing ever. Not even close, but it is a lot cooler in the shade of the garden! There isn’t really anything to do here but the cool temperature is really nice.
After a few minutes here, we headed back to check out the “view” (that’s all the trail marker says) at the fork in the trail.
Head back out the way you came and when you get to the fork in the trail, head to the right to enjoy the view. This part is a little harder but more because you’re climbing up one of these giant rock hills, not because of scrambling or anything.
The trail is marked the same way with it’s little lane and is easy to follow. The view up at the top of this is really nice. You have a great view of Navajo Mountain and can even see some of Lake Powell. You could see more of the lake if the water level was higher.
You also get a great view of all the power stuff by the dam. Love that. I liked this part more than the actual hanging garden and would definitely recommend this little side trek.
From there, just head back down and out the way you came in. Almost all of the trail is on rock but there are a couple of sandy sections, nothing crazy though.
Where is the Hanging Garden Trailhead?
The Hanging Garden trailhead is pretty easy to find but not super well marked. If you’re coming from Page, just before you go over the Glen Canyon Dam, there will be a dirt road on the right.
That’s it. There is a brown sign, just a small one, with two hikers on it with an arrow pointing to that road. Turn right there (a right turn) and continue to the parking area. If you get to a different dirt turn off that says authorized vehicles only or something like that, you went one turn too far.
If you’re coming from Kanab or Wahweap, you’ll cross the bridge by the dam and and it will be the second turn on your left. It will have the same brown hiker sign to mark the turn. If you get to a paved road on your left, Ridge Way, you went too far.
If you put it into Google Maps, it will take you right there.
How long is the Hanging Garden hike?
It’s a little under 1.5 miles round-trip, including the overlook. But it’s an easy 1.5 miles and you’ll only need 1-2 hours for this depending on how fast you walk, how much you stop, and if you do any extra wandering.
Best time to do the Hanging Garden trail
Fall, winter, or spring as far as seasons go because the only shade is at the actual hanging garden. The whole trail is in the sun though.
As for time of day, anytime in those seasons but in the summer I would go first thing in the morning because that’s when it’s coolest. This would not be fun in the mid-day summer heat. At all./im
Is the Hanging Garden trail free?
Yes! It’s technically in Glen Canyon, which does have a fee, but only if you’re going in to Wahweap, Bullfrog, Halls Crossing, or Lees Ferry. There is no fee to hike the Hanging Garden Trail.
Is the Hanging Garden hike worth it?
Yes and no. If you want a short and easy hike to fill some extra time or have already done a lot of things in Page, do this. If you’re limited on time and have never been to Page before, there are other things I would do instead.
What else is there to do nearby?
Page, AZ tours
- Upper Antelope Canyon
- Lower Antelope Canyon/Horseshoe Bend half-day tour
- Half-day tour of Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons
- Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell Flight, River Rafting
- Horseshoe Bend helicopter flight
- Helicopter tour with Tower Butte landing
- Secret Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend
Have you hiked the Hanging Garden trail? What did you think of it? Do you want to do the Hanging Garden hike?