You have probably seen hundreds of photos of Horseshoe Bend, however, no picture can do justice to how amazing it is to see yourself.
Things to Know Before You Go
- It is a very popular site. Horseshoe Bend has become one of the most Instagrammable places in the United States. Around 2 million people visit Horseshoe Bend annually now. Plan your visit early in the day or in the offseason if you want to avoid the crowds. We visited in July in the afternoon and the crowds were a lot but it wasn’t terrible, we all had enough room to relax and take pictures of the view.
- Protect Yourself. You will be walking in the desert, some parts paved and some sandy. Wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water. There is also little to no shade so make sure you put on sunscreen and wear a hat.
- There is an Entrance Fee. Starting 2019 there is an entrance fee of $10 a car to park. If you want to visit you have to pay, you cannot park along the highway. The site is not part of the National or State park service so neither passes will work there.
- Limited Amenities. Since the state is trying to catch up and modernized this stop, there are no amenities along the trail. So use the porta-potties, keep your trash in your car, and get your water first before you head out.
- Plan Enough Time. Due to the heat and terrain, plan to spend at least an hour or more.
Horseshoe Bend is about 5 miles south of Page Arizona and the Glen Canyon Dam. Most people who stop in Page also visit Horseshoe bend. If traveling from the south, Horseshoe Bend is about 2 hours From Flagstaff. From the North, 3 hours from Bryce Canyon National Park. From the East, 2 hours from Monument Valley, and only 15 minutes from Antelope Canyon.
What We Saw
The Horseshoe Bend Hike
After you have parked you can start your hike down to Horseshoe Bend. It is a fairly easy walk, but we did it in July and we felt the heat. The total trail is about 1.5 miles round trip over gravel, pavement, and sand. Due to the different terrain, I would not recommend anyone in a wheelchair or stroller.
There’s about a 200 ft elevation change rather quickly so you’ll feel the hike when you come back to the parking lot. However, once you arrive…
The view is completely worth the hike. The bend is so naturally gorgeous I didn’t need to edit any photos. The colors of the water are vibrant against the smooth sandstones surrounding it.
Even the green algae looks like it shimmers.
There are guard rails overlooking the bend, but plenty of people were climbing rocks and stretching to get that perfect Instagram shot. You are welcome to go wherever you want, but please be careful, watch your steps, and watch your children! People have fallen and died at Horseshoe Bend before, so please don’t take any chances just to get a photo.