Horseshoe Bend has become increasingly popular over the past few years. I’m sure you’ve come across pictures on Instagram many times. Its location (close to both Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon) makes it a must-see for travelers exploring Arizona.
I was beyond excited to see Horseshoe Bend in person and it didn’t disappoint. The views were nothing short of spectacular. It was immense, dramatic and a bit scary, even!
Keep on reading to learn:
- Horseshoe Bend – what is it?
- How to get there
- Photography tips
- General safety/travel tips
- Where to stay
ABOUT HORSESHOE BEND
Horseshoe Bend is a 270-degree bend in the Colorado River. It is about 140 miles from both the South Rim and the North Rim of the famous Grand Canyon. People tend to think that Horseshoe Bend is part of the Grand Canyon, but in reality, it’s 5 miles from the beginning of Grand Canyon National Park.
From Page, drive south on Highway 89 to between mileposts 544 & 545 (Google Maps will easily take you there). The journey takes approximately 10-15 minutes by car. As you approach Horseshoe Bend, you’ll see large tourist buses stationed in the parking area so you won’t miss it!
Once you park your car, you will see the start of the 1 1/2 mile hike (it’s more like a walk) that will take you to the rim of Horseshoe Bend.
Unlike Antelope Canyon, it is NOT necessary to go with a tour guide and you can stay as long as you want to. We spent around 1.5 hours during our visit (mostly taking hundreds of pics)
The overlook is 4,200 feet (1,300 m) above sea level – quite intimidating if you’re scared of heights!
- If I had the chance, I would definitely try to visit at sunrise or sunset. During those times you can probably avoid the large crowds and get even more stunning pictures. We found that harsh midday light is somehow hard to work with – it creates lots of shadows in your pictures and the color of the water doesn’t look as beautiful as it would during golden hour.
- Bring wide-angle lenses or set your camera to landscape mode to capture the entire scene in the picture.
- Make sure your lenses are clean as it can get windy and sand can get into your lenses.
- For a picture without people around it, walk a few hundred feet to the hill situated on the right. Much fewer people there!
- I was so surprised to see that there are absolutely no safety railings around the edge of the Horseshoe Bend, so be cautious! I saw so many people stand dangerously close to the edge taking selfies – my heart skipped a beat a few times. This will change from September 2018 onwards though, as constructions are underway.
- Wear layers as it may get cold & windy during sunset.
- There are toilets & water fountains available near the parking lot but that’s pretty much it in terms of facilities. There’s no water along the trail for you to drink so make sure you pack plenty of water with you.
- Wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses. There are no shade areas!
- Dogs are allowed into the trail with a leash.
- Entrance & parking is free of charge, but this will change after September 2018. Another reason to visit sooner rather than later!
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WHERE TO STAY IN PAGE
We stayed at Days In & Suites by Wyndham Page Lake Powell and we loved it! The room was spacious and comfortable. Amenities included: free breakfast, free WIFI inside the room, coffee/tea maker, iron board, free toiletries, fridge, in-room safe. Read reviews and book here.
Location: US-89, Page, AZ 86040
Average visit time: 1-2 hours
Entrance Fee: FREE (as of April 2018)
Parking Free: FREE (as of April 2018)
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