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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57 thoughts on “A complete guide to Horseshoe Bend, Arizona, USA”
Oh wow! Just looking at the picture where you’re standing on top makes my knees weak!
Ya I could barely stand there for few minutes..was scared that wind will blow me off 😊😁
This is such a dream of mine to see. This is a very helpful post, I will surely refer to it in future.
Thanks so much .glad you found it useful
That view from the top looks amazing but I’d be scared for sure! Great pictures!
From afar, it looks like there is nothing there. But, it is amazing what you get to see when you get close. I love natural places like this but the heights and lack if railings scare me. Ir took me like 15 minutes to get the courage to get close the the Grand Canyon edge for a photo.
The arid landscape of Arizona looks beautiful but I’m a bit shocked re the lack of railings you mention here, especially since Horseshoe Bend is such an iconic tourism site.
The scenery in that part of the world is just insane isn’t it! The risks people take to get the perfect selfies scares me too. Since having kids my fear of heights is off the chart – annoyingly!
This is an absolute bucket list item for me! Looks stunning, thanks for sharing.
Wow! The scenery looks just unwordly! I’m so adding it to my bucket list. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Arizona has been on my domestic bucket list for quite some time now – beautiful photos, can’t wait to visit! Thanks for sharing!!
Wow… impressive how water can turn rock into something as beautiful as Horsehoe bend over time! No wonder people flock there to see it! But I always always wonder about the risk people take to get selfies at cliffs and canyons…
Wow! As you said in the beginning seeing is believing! It must have been magnificent to see.
What a beautiful place! These photographs are absolutely stunning and I still feel as though they don’t really show it as well as in real life. I would love to go one day!
Those are stunning photos!
This is very informative and I have pinned and saved for my road trip I am planning to do in USA. I have lived here for 15 years, but still need to go back to Arizona for some incredible hiking. Thank you! This is great!
Sounds like an epic adventure!
Always wanted to do a trip here! I would not stand by the edge, way to afraid of heights! Love the guide!
I actually think this is one of my favourite places in the USA! I first visited in 2008 (at that point, I had never heard of it – no Instagram, limited social media altogether) and I was just blown away by it. There were no platforms whatsoever back then, so funnily enough the first thing I noticed when I went back a couple of years ago was that there’s a lot more infrastructure there! I just adore this area of the States, and it sounds like you do too! 🙂
I love how you mention “you have to see it to believe it”. Although I have never been to this area, I would love to visit. Thanks for giving me all of your great tips in order to make it easy!
Thanks ..I am glad you liked it. Horseshoe bend is so much more amazing when u it for real 😊
What a VIEW! I really want to visit when I was out West last time, but didn’t get around to it! Next time this is going straight to the top of the list!
Thanks😊😊 yes it’s totally worth..do plan during ur next visit 😊
I always wanted to visit USA, hope soon I can visit it. This is such perfect guide to USA Horshoe Band visit and loved your captures.
Thanks so much Mayuri..yeah I wanna visit again too 😊😊
Yet another place I have long wanted to visit but still haven’t! Fab photos!
Thanks so much 😊😘 hope you can visit soon
Great post and such amazing photos!
I love that you say no photo is worth risking your life. It should go without saying but I’ve seen tourists doing some pretty stupid things to get a good shot.
I would love to go one day, really looks impressive! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Thanks ..I am glad you liked them..Actually I saw lot of people taking to much risk in order to go till the edge.sometimes it can be costly 😊 hope you get to visit soon
Thanks for sharing all the logistics and planning tips for visiting the Horseshoe bend. It’s been eons since our last visit but it seems that much is still the same. It looks as gorgeous!
Thanks so much..yes it’s really gorgeous 😊
It looks so gorgeous, I would love to go 🙂 must be added on to the US bucket list
Thanks so much dear ..hope you get a chance to visit soon
Squeeeee those views are iconic Madhu!!
Normally I hike quite quickly, but I feel like this is one place where i’d end up being sooo slow because the views are just so flipping amazing. I love your photos soooo much! <3
Thanks so much my dear..yes I totally agree the view is just so different..that you just feel like keep absorbing them 😊
Oh my gosh wha a great post, I have always wanted to go to horseshoe bend. Your photos look unreal, is it as good in real life there as I imagine it is?
Hey thanks so much..honestly photos don’t do any justice to it at all..it’s much more surprising when you see it for real
This place is on my bucket list! Thanks so much for the great tips!
Yes I feel it’s a must visit place.thanks so much 😊😊
wow look at those views! America is so full of suprises! Thank you for sharing!
Yeah that’s so true..thanks so much 😊
I’ve never been but it’s on my bucket list! Thanks for all the wonderful tips. 🙂
Thanks ..glad you found it useful 😊
Love Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. Such amazing places. Great guide
Pretty incredible! This is on my bucket list for sure! I love all the helpful information posted!
This looks amazing! Definitely on my bucketlist for when we can travel again!
The Horseshoe bend is definitely on my bucketlist! Great tips here Madhu!
Wow, how have I not heard about this place before? Absolutely stunning!
Thanks a lot
I have heard about this place but I had no idea it was near the Grand Canyon so will definitely be adding this destination to my stops when I am finally able to come. Arizona seems crazy beautiful!
Yes it’s very close to Grand Canyon and makes a sense visiting 😁
We didn’t visit Horseshoe Bend both times we were in the area (You simply can’t visit everything), but it’s still on my list.
Its a lovely place, Hope you get to visit soon
I’ve seen a lot of photos of Horseshoe Bend before, but like you said you really need to see it in person! Your photos are amazing and this guide is going to be very helpful for when I plan my trip here.
thanks a lot, I am glad that you liked it and found it useful
A great read. I’m in Arizona right now and am going to make sure I get to the horse shoe bend! It looks spectacular.
Thanks a lot. It was an amazing experience