At Horseshoe Bend, the mighty Colorado River displays its vibrant blues and greens as it circles around the stunning red rock of Northern Arizona! Take a short and sandy trail to the Overlook, one of the most phenomenal river views anywhere in the country.
After seeing all of the amazing pictures of this place, I have desperately wanted to experience it for myself. When I first gazed down to the water below, I gasped! The beauty of the river is astonishing. Next time I will bring a wide-angle camera lens to capture the whole scene, although I doubt that a camera can ever truly capture the alluring artistry of Horseshoe Bend.
What You Need to Know
From the parking area, you are greeted by a wide and well-traveled trail through the sand to the top of a hill. This trailhead provides no water or bathrooms, so come prepared with everything that you need.
The good news is that when you reach the top of this hill, you are basically half way to Horseshoe Bend! I saw hikers of all ages and abilities along the trail — with a surprising range of footwear choices as well. I still recommend preparing yourself with water and proper gear as you would on any hike. The sun and heat can be especially unforgiving in this part of the country.
From the top of the hill, the trail descends through sand and slickrock to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook. With the exception of a gazebo at the halfway point, there is no shade available along the trail. I did not find the hike itself to be incredibly picturesque, but the view from Horseshoe Bend is spectacular and well-worth your time!
The moment when you finally peer over the edge of the Horseshoe Bend Overlook will absolutely take your breath away! This is mostly because of the beauty and grandeur of the winding Colorado River, but also because there is nothing but a thousand foot drop between you and the water below.
Don’t stand too close to the edge and be sure to hold on tight to your children and pets! We wandered around the cliff area for a while, and still found that the best (and safest) view of the Bend was right around where the trail terminates.
The trail to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook is 1.5 miles roundtrip. I would rate this trail as easy because of the short distance and minimal elevation gain. Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail, but not recommended because of the heat of the sand and the lack of guard rails at the overlook.
You may want to check out the NPS Hiking Guide Brochure for Horseshoe Bend for more information.
Horseshoe Bend is located within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, just south of Page, Arizona. From the Glen Canyon Dam in Page, drive approximately 5 miles south along US-89. You will see a sign for the Horseshoe Bend Overlook. Follow the sign and turn right into the parking area.
If you are approaching Page from the south along US-89 North, look for the turnoff for Horseshoe Bend a few miles before reaching town. The sign is small and the left-hand turn sneaks up on you if you are not paying close attention.