AZ Diaries – Horseshoe Bend

The Horseshoe Bend is a gorgeous piece of art sculpted by the incredible Colorado River.

Like the Antelope Canyons, pictures of the Horseshoe Bend have been doing a lot of rounds on the social media lately, making it one of the top activities/tourist spot to check out if you are in Page, Arizona.

We planned to visit the Horseshoe Bend right after the Upper Antelope Canyon’s tour and were heading there around noon. (If you haven’t already checked out our Antelope Canyon travelogue, click here.)

If you are someone like me trying to Internet-find what’s the best time to visit the bend, you are going to be overwhelmed by the number of responses to this question. I think there is no point to plan the best time to visit here since nature is always beautiful and sometimes even with the perfect timing, you can experience bad weather. Also to keep in mind that the Horseshoe Bend is the free attraction and is open 24 hours, so you can always come back.

The Horseshoe Bend parking lot is right on Highway 89 and was about 6 miles for us when coming from the Upper antelope Canyon. From the parking which is in fact free and also has restrooms, the Horseshoe Bend Trail begins.

The trail is about 0.7 miles each way and can be really treacherous specially in the summer months.

Quick Tip

A cute little poster at the beginning of the trail reminds you to carry along one bottle of water per person 🙂 , more applicable in the summer months since the temperatures soar above 100°, when we visited it was around 49°!

From the parking lot, we walked up the hill which was kind of steep and we were a little breathless. We are used to doing trails but walking on a sandy uphill was a different experience. Once uphill, you get a panoramic view of the place and  then begins the descend towards the bend.

Very soon, we were looking at the jaw dropping Horseshoe Bend. It was absolutely breathtaking and true to every single picture I had seen of this magnificent place.

We often tend to forget what a powerful force nature can be, but one look at the horseshoe Bend makes you acknowledge that. While with Grand Canyon the view of the Colorado River is from far away the horseshoe Bend offers a better vantage point and you can clearly see the glistening turquoise waters of this miraculous river.

Did you know that the horseshoe Bend was formed approximately 5 million years ago? The Colorado River began cutting through rocky layers deep and fast but this giant Rock presented it self as an unstoppable force and the river decided to go around it, resulting in the 270° bend we now know as the Horseshoe Bend.

If you would like to read more about the history and the geology of the place here is an excellent website.

While it may be comparatively easy to get shots of the bend, a word of caution for taking personal photographs – there is not much railing at the viewpoint and getting the perfect family picture could be dangerous. Please do so from a secure and safe vantage point.

We marveled at the picturesque views, soaked in some western sun and decided to head back and feed the rumbling tummies.

We left with fond memories of this place and a promise to hopefully come back another day!

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