Horseshoe Bend is a short hike in Page, Arizona. The destination is a beautiful overlook of the Colorado River in the shape of a perfect horseshoe. This stop is amazing, and worth it, but here are a few things to know before you visit Horseshoe Bend.
New in 2019, there is a $10 parking fee per car. Larger vehicles pay a higher fee, and motorcycles are $5. This fee will help maintain the beauty of Horseshoe Bend with its increased visitation over the last few years. The parking area also gets very busy especially between 10 and 2, so we recommend avoiding those hours if possible. Sunset is also a popular time, but the temperature will be a little cooler. For more info on the new parking system check this website: HorseshoeBend.com.
There is a 1.2 mile hike from the parking lot. The hike climbs to the top of the hill, and then right back down, and the descent is a little longer. This means that you will be climbing out on your way back to the parking area.
They have not completed the new trail, but it should be done soon. This trail has a less steep incline to help hikers, as well as a flat, rocky base so that it will be wheel friendly. Right now the trail is very sandy, which makes hiking more difficult. There is also zero shade, so in the summer this trail is extremely hot. Be prepared with water and sunscreen, and avoid hiking in the heat of the day.
The trail is also very busy. There will be lots of people at the overlook, so plan on waiting your turn to take pictures. Please stay behind the railing and be careful as it is a steep drop down the cliff of Horseshoe Bend.
The view of Horseshoe Bend is stunning. It truly looks like a horseshoe, and you can see boats along the Colorado river as you look down. The colors are beautiful, too, with the water being dark blue next to the red rocks. We admired the view for quite awhile.
Horseshoe Bend is really pretty, but there isn’t a safe way to get a great picture. A rail keeps you safe on the edge, but as Horseshoe Bend is a dizzying drop, it’s hard to get people and the river in the picture at the same time. Some people venture on the cliffs to each end of the railing, and you may do better out there, but we don’t recommend it, particularly with children.
When to Visit
We visited Horseshoe Bend in April in the morning, and it was already hot! We know why the hours of 10-2 are the busiest because that is when the sun is overhead and no part of Horseshoe Bend will be in the shade. We were there fairy early, and the bottom part of the horseshoe is in the shade. The view was still beautiful, but it did show up in our pictures.
The late afternoon will put the sun behind Horseshoe Bend which will make pictures a little trickier as well. This also depends on the seasons as in the summer, the sun will be up longer. Sunset is definitely a very busy time, so we would recommend avoiding that time, too.
Horseshoe Bend is an easy hike, even for children. Take plenty of water and sunscreen and enjoy the overlook. For other things to do near Page, check out Navajo Bridge or Glen Canyon Dam.