If you are scared of height, then visiting Horseshoe bend will be an experience to remember. Standing 1000 ft above the Colorado River at the edge of slippery rocks can make anyone dizzy and weak on the knees.
While walking on the dusty trail leading to the bend, we never anticipated what was about to come, till we reached the lookout point. The Horseshoe bend left us speechless, to say the least.
Sometimes you need to see it to believe it!
Not even the best photographs can do justice with what Horseshoe bend is. It’s not possible to capture the magnitude, depth, and vastness of this incised meander created by the Colorado River.
Over the years, Horseshoe bend has been made popular, thanks to the beautiful pictures and numerous selfies posted on social media. While visiting Arizona, a visit to Horseshoe bend was on my mind. Luckily, we could visit both of my bucket list destinations Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe bend during our 3 day trip to Grand Canyon. know more about a day itinerary to Grand Canyon South Rim here.
Although, the horseshoe bend has just one viewpoint and nothing around, other than vast stretches of arid land. But soaking in the vastness of this enormous backdrop is something worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime.
If you are planning to visit Grand Canyon or road-tripping across the American West Coast, I would recommend adding Horseshoe bend to your itinerary. This guide will help you provide all the information required to plan your trip.
Where is Horseshoe Bend?
Horseshoe bend is located about 4 miles (6.4 km) southwest of Page, Arizona. Its located 5 miles (8.0 km) downstream from Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. Horseshoe bend is within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
How to reach Horseshoe bend?
1. From Page: Take route 89 towards the south, after driving 5 miles, you can see the parking lot for Horseshoe bend.
2. From Las Vegas: Nearest Airport from Horseshoe bend is in Las Vegas which is 280 miles drive from Horseshoe Bend. You can opt for a guided tour to Horseshoe bend or choose car rental for a self-guided tour.
3. From Grand Canyon: Horseshoe bend is situated 140 miles from Grand Canyon South Rim, and can be covered in a day too. But its best to keep 2 days to enjoy these places.
Entry to Horseshoe bend is free but you need to pay $10 ( for cars) as parking fee. Although the parking is huge, it still gets full during the peak season.
How long does it take to walk the Horseshoe bend trail?
From the parking lot, you need to hike 1.5 miles (round trip) to the lookout point. The hike is steep (uphill) initially and then it descends towards the bend. Although it’s not a difficult one, it’s getting hot in summer especially if you visit during the afternoon.Since we visited at noon it was pretty hot and sunny.
How much time do you need at Horseshoe Bend?
Hiking the trail takes around 15-20 mints ( depending on your speed and time of the day) and considering 1 hour at Horseshoe bend, you need around 1.30 hours -2 hours. Considering the crowd, it might take much more time than you imagined. Its hard to find a spot at the cliff to click pictures
Best time to visit Horseshoe Bend?
Being a circular bend there is always some shadow of the walls that fall on the river. If you visit at noon, you can capture pictures with minimal shadows. However, it depends more on the weather than the time. We visited on a bright and sunny day and all the photographers were very clear. Summers are the peak season.
Sunset is the best time, not only to capture the perfect shot under the natural light but also to soak yourself in the beauty of nature.
Safety and Security
The first thing I noticed at the lookout was, only a very small area was fenced. Most of the cliffs in and around had no railings or safety boards. In a way, it gives this magnificent location a natural and raw appeal but at the same time, it’s dangerous too.
Watching people trying to take perfect shots from the edge of the cliffs made me wonder about safety? We climbed the cliff but dint thought it wise to go till the edge. On searching about the accidents in horseshoe bend, I found that there have been deaths from people falling accidentally trying to take perfect selfies.
Do remember, it’s good to get a great shot but no picture is worth your life. Be very careful while on the cliff, its slippery, windy and the height makes you dizzy and a bit unstable at the edge. If you are traveling with children, be very careful with them to avoid any bad experiences.
Other Places to visit around Horseshoe bend
Horseshoe bend is surrounded by many attractions. The Antelope Canyon is situated just 7 miles from here and it’s worth visiting. Do check out this detailed guide to Antelope Canyon for more details.
There are other activities like helicopter tours, boat tours, and Kayaking also. Since we had to drove back to Williams, we visited Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe bend.
To conclude, I think a lot of hype has been created about the horseshoe bend on social media, but it’s worth to visit this place at least once.
Have you been to Horseshoe bend before? How was your experience?
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