All You Need to Know About Visiting Horseshoe Bend Arizona
Is it worth visiting Horseshoe Bend? This famous destination, located just outside Page, Arizona, is certainly worth it! A stop here lets visitors experience magnificent desert and river vistas and see many of the unique geologic formations that make the Southwest United States famous.
Located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Horseshoe Bend is located 5 miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. It is the most recognized and visited place in all of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a social media darling, and an easy detour off of Highway 89, the main highway in this slot canyon filled region.
Horseshoe Bend displays the power of this ancient landscape. Around 5 million years ago, the Colorado Plateau experienced uplift due to hot mantle rock. Waterways that were present, such as the Colorado River, were lifted high above and then, over time, cut through the uplifted layers of sandstone.
On display here at this popular tourist stop is the 1,000 ft deep, 270º horseshoe-shaped bend cut into Glen Canyon over these millions of years.
Arizona Horseshoe Bend: What You Need to Know Before Visiting
Horseshoe Bend has been featured as a landmark for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Grand Canyon National Park, the Cities of Page AZ, Kanab UT, St George UT, and the Navajo Nation. The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is in the fall, between late September and early November.
Our Horseshoe Bend Visitor Guide details the many things to do and see around the area, such as the slot canyons of Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Lake Powell, the second largest man-made lake in the U.S. and a top-rated destination,and the best tours in the region.
There are a number of different ways to experience this beautiful place. They include combination tours that also include Antelope Canyon airplane tours, and fly over tours such as the Horseshoe Bend Air Tour or Horseshoe Bend Flightseeing Tour.
On Papillon’s Horseshoe Bend Air Tour, many of the most beautiful landmarks in the entire American Southwest are contained within your helicopter’s flightpath. So grab your camera and get ready to capture incredible images of Lake Powell, Glen Canyon, and much more!
If you are looking for an airplane tour from Page, Arizona that flies over Horseshoe Bend, Papillon’s Horseshoe Bend Flightseeing Tour is for you. This tour displays a collection of fantastic desert sights - Lake Powell, Glen Canyon, Glen Canyon Dam, and incredible aerial sights of Horseshoe Bend - in less than an hour's time.
Hiking Horseshoe Bend
If you are self touring, hiking Horseshoe Bend is very simple. You park your vehicle and then walk to the actual Bend. The walking path is about a half mile walk each way to the overlook and is slightly more uphill on the way coming back. The trail is accessible under the regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It contains 3 covered resting stations. Be sure to take water and a hat. The sand and slickrock trail ends at a sheer 1000 foot drop down to the Colorado River below. There are railings at the edge of the overlook's viewing platform, but not along the trail. About nine miles downstream from Horseshoe Bend is where Grand Canyon National Park begins. Plan on spending 1-2 hours if you are hiking to the overlook.
So what should you bring if you are hiking Horseshoe Bend? Here is a quick list of things we recommend bringing:
- Closed-toe shoes- since the sand is hot year-round, sandals or flip flops can be problematic
- Sunglasses- the sun is blinding year-round in the desert landscape
- Hat and Sunscreen—don’t expect much shade on this hike
Photography at Horseshoe Bend
You’ll want to capture a ton of photos on this short, yet spectacular hike. Here are some tips for getting the highest quality shots:
- Shoot your photos early morning or late afternoon. Early mornings are best. With the sun behind you, the scene lights up. At sunset, especially with clouds, the view can be spectacular as well.
- Wide-angle lens are perfect here to fit all of this big country into the frame.
- Bring a tripod for long exposure shots.
- If you are shooting your photos on your cell phone, adjust your settings to wide panoramic.
The landscape around Horseshoe Bend is also home to a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, birds, and many other species. The nearby Glen Canyon National Recreation Area provides even more recreational opportunities, such as boating, water skiing, kayaking, and slot canyon hiking, for visitors to explore the surrounding area. Whether you choose to take in the breathtaking views from atop Horseshoe Bend or set out on an adventure around the area, you won't be disappointed with what this amazing destination has to offer. There's truly something for every traveler at Horseshoe Bend!
Page Arizona Horseshoe Bend Official Information
The city of Page, AZ owns and operates the site and the parking area for Horseshoe Bend. It is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.
The parking lot and trailhead is located off US Highway 89, approximately 5 miles (8 km) south of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Carl Hayden Visitor Center. National Park Passes are not accepted here; the parking facility is owned and operated by the city of Page, Arizona.
On the Page Arizona website, it states “Our busiest times of the day are between 9:00 am to 11:00 am in the morning and 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the evening. If you enjoy fewer crowds, try scheduling your hike around these busy times. There is no overnight parking or camping allowed.”
Horseshoe Bend Entrance Fee
Official Horseshoe Bend Fees are as follows:
- Motorcycle: $5
- Car or RV: $10
- Commercial Van/Bus: (Passenger Capacity up to 14) $35
- Commercial Bus: (Passenger Capacity 15-35) $70
- Commercial Bus: (Passenger Capacity over 35) $140
Horseshoe Bend Arizona is an incredible spectacle that should be on the to-do list of any traveler. There are also some great camping spots near Horseshoe Bend which offer unparalleled views of this magnificent natural formation. All in all, visiting Horseshoe Bend Arizona is an absolute must. Whether you’re looking for breathtaking views, educational exhibits or simply a peaceful escape in the desert, Horseshoe Bend is worth every minute of your visit. So come and explore one of Arizona’s most incredible sites and create memories that will last a lifetime!
Horseshoe Bend Arizona FAQs
Why is Horseshoe Bend so famous?
Located in Page, Arizona, Horseshoe Bend is a breathtakingly beautiful natural wonder. The dramatic horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River is one of the most photographed places in the world. It's no surprise that it has become so popular - the Bend itself is an incredible sight, with sheer 1,000-foot red sandstone cliffs towering over the river below. Horseshoe Bend is located just a few miles outside of downtown Page, Arizona making it easily accessible for visitors. It's a great place to take in the beauty of nature and snap some amazing photos! With its unique shape and stunning vistas, Horseshoe Bend is an unforgettable experience that you won't want to miss.
What is the story of Horseshoe Bend in Arizona?
Horseshoe Bend is one of the most iconic sites in Arizona. Named for its crescent-like shape, Horseshoe Bend has been carved out of the sandstone by the powerful Colorado River winding its way through this stunning landscape. The site offers awe-inspiring views from the edge of the canyon, with a sheer drop down to the river below.
Is Horseshoe Bend Worth It?
Yes, Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona is definitely worth visiting! Located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, this stunning natural formation offers breathtaking views and photo opportunities. It's one of the most popular tourist attractions in Arizona and a must-see for anyone traveling through the area. Whether you take a guided tour or visit on your own, it will be an unforgettable experience. With stunning desert scenery, dramatic rock formations, and a wide variety of wildlife, Horseshoe Bend is the perfect place to explore Arizona’s beauty. Don't forget to bring your camera - you'll want to capture all of the incredible sights! So make sure you add Horseshoe Bend to your bucket list – trust us, you won't regret it!