Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Horseshoe Bend

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Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona, Glen Canyon Recreation Area
Horseshoe Bend is one of my favorite overlooks in the U.S. Horseshoe Bend is along the Colorado River, and is only 3 miles south of Page, Arizona along Highway 89, 5 miles downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, and requires a 3/4 mile walk to the overlook. The 1,000 ft drop to the bottom offers fantastic views, and if you have a wide angle lens or panorama option, you can capture the full horseshoe-shaped river and canyon.

Whether this is your first time here or 10th time here, you are guaranteed to see something new. This was my 4th time visiting here in the last 6 years - I am always in awe when I step up to the steep ledge and can view the fantastic scenery. The colors of the rocks change throughout the day, depending on the angle of the sun, and the shadows move in and out of the canyon. The river shines and sparkles with each glimmer of light, and shows off it's variation of blue and green hues. Usually, you can see a few campers at the base (or top point) of the bend, with rafts floating ashore. Along the rim, be sure to watch your step and hold on to your gear. Just below the rim a few feet you can see a bunch of things that have fallen out of pockets and backpacks.
From Page, AZ drive south on HWY 89 for 3 miles, then look for the brown Horseshoe Bend sign pointing Right (West). There is a huge parking lot. 

Distance: 3/4 mile one way
Elevation gain: 100 ft
Time: 30 minutes - 2 hours, depending on how long you stay at the rim
Dog friendly? Dogs are allowed and must stay on a leash
Kid friendly? Yes, but be aware of the ledges

Do I need a permit? No

When is the best time to visit? Anytime of the year will be pretty, but as for time of day, it depends on what you are looking for. In my opinion, late afternoon to sunset is the best. For a photo of each time of day, check out this page.

What should I bring? One water bottle, light jacket for the evening, and of course, a camera

Is this a safe place for kids and dogs? As long as you hold your child's hand and keep your dog on a leash, they will be fine. Just be aware of sheer drop offs along the rim.

I'm afraid of heights - what are some recommendations to still be able to view Horseshoe Bend? If you are afraid of heights, still walk out to the rim, but lay down on your stomach or sit a few feet away from the rim. You will still be able to see everything, but will feel a little more secure if you sit or lie down.

Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona, Glen Canyon Recreation Area
 Walking up the trail, which is all soft sand. We could see the dark clouds moving in, so we did this as a fast hike at sunset.
Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona, Glen Canyon Recreation Area
 Don't be fooled by all the awesome photos out there of people along the rim by themselves. The parking lot is huge, and there will be hundreds of people at one time along the rim to view Horseshoe Bend. In the past 6 years I have been here, this was the least amount of people I saw here.
Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona, Glen Canyon Recreation Area
 The trail flattens out at the top of the trail.
Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona, Glen Canyon Recreation Area
 The trail then dips down again, and you can start to see people along the rim, and the curve in the rock.
Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona, Glen Canyon Recreation Area
 Once at the rim, pick a spot and enjoy the view!
Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona, Glen Canyon Recreation Area
 Enjoying time with my boyfriend.
Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona, Glen Canyon Recreation Area
Just to the left of my head were campers at the bottom of the bend. The only way to get there is by rafting. Photo by @iBoyer.
Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona, Glen Canyon Recreation Area
I can't get enough of this view! Photo by @iBoyer.
Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona, trail map
Trail map looking West.



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Hiking to Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona
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3 comments:

  1. Gorgeous! Looks like it wasn't too crowded!
    Katie @ www.KatieWanders.com

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  2. Love, love the effect of the dark clouds on the photos!! So beautiful. This is an awesome view, but I wish there was a way to get back up with our that deep sand. I truly dislike hiking in the sand!!

    I saw Charlie on the trail the other day!! Okay, a Charlie look alike:)

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    Replies
    1. I know, I am not of sand hiking either! Does make for a good calf work out though haha. Aww, I'm sure there are tons of Charlie-look a likes out there! - Alicia

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