Wild Guide: Horseshoe Bend

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OVERVIEW

Located only 5 miles from the beginning of the Grand Canyon (but 140 miles from the access points at the North and South Rim) sits one of the most picturesque natural wonders of the Southwest. Horseshoe Bend is a viewpoint overlooking a horseshoe-shaped canyon, which plunges 1000 feet down to a meandering deep blue and emerald section of the Colorado River.


Desert Vacation: Horseshoe Bend

SKILL LEVEL

Beginner

COST

No entrance fee

WOW FACTOR (1-10)

It’s a 10!

WHAT TO PACK

  • Hiking shoes
  • Camera
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Proper attire – bring layers for winter months
  • If you have some extra time, bring a blanket and some snacks for an epic picnic (as long as you can carry these things in a backpack).
Wild Guide: Horseshoe Bend

ACCESS

Horseshoe Bend is located in Page, Arizona. Starting in the town of Page, you can get to Horseshoe Bend by taking highway 89 south to right between mileposts 544 & 545. Look for the Horseshoe Bend sign on the west side and exit at the dirt road. There is free parking at the trailhead.

TIME REQUIRED

The hike to the viewpoint is only ¾ of a mile. It is non-strenuous and can take 10-20 minutes depending on your pace. Leave yourself at least 20 minutes at the viewpoint to take in the expansive view.

DISTANCE

3/4 mile in, 3/4 mile out

WHEN TO GO

Go very early in the morning to skip the crowds or just before sunset to capture dramatic photos.

ELEVATION

4,200 feet

WATCH MY HORSESHOE BEND ADVENTURE

PAGE & THE SURROUNDING AREA

The small town of Page offers just about everything you could need from sporting goods to grocery stores. Hungry? The Dam Bar & Grille makes a delicious pizza. Page is central to many tourist attractions including:

  • Lake Powell
  • Antelope Canyon
  • Grand Canyon
  • The Wave
  • Vermillion Cliffs

Map of Horseshoe Bend

HorseshoeBend2

PHOTO TIPS

If you don’t want your photos full of tourists, go at sunrise or sunset. Sunset makes for some very dramatic lighting. Don’t just stay in the one spot everyone goes to. You can hike around the rim for different angles/less people. 

CAUTION

Most of the hike/walk is through red sand. This makes it not accessible for disabled persons. In addition, the sand can get in your shoes and make your car very messy. Don’t forget to shake out your shoes!

Wild Guide: Horseshoe Bend

My Personal Experience

The first time I did the Horseshoe Bend Trail, I had no idea what I was about to see. It was winter and I was staying at Amangiri, a luxury resort nearby. I woke up before the sun and the concierge suggested I go see the view, so I parked my car at the base of the trail, and walked the easy 3/4 of a mile through the red sand to the overlook. There was a chill buzzing about and my hair was promptly sprinkled with snowflakes. Then a bit of light shed on the surrounding scenery. I could see that the area was breathtaking enough, even before the enchanting view at the end. However, when I approached the edge of the cliff, the sudden 1000 foot drop and striking view threw me into an entirely different world of wild euphoria. I stood there, at the edge, just drinking in the frosty desert air in complete awe of my surroundings.

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