Horse Shoe Bend Arizona is one of the most famous destinations in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The major reason for that is the amazing photos sharing on all social media platforms.
When my husband and I were on an American West Coast tour and heading to see Grand Canyon, we didn’t miss visiting this wonderful horseshoe-shaped incised meander of the Colorado River. So, here’s the full travel guide to Horse Shoe Bend in Arizona.
Horse Shoe Bend Arizona
Where is Horse Shoe Bend, Arizona?
Horse Shoe Bend is located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area next to Page in Arizona. You just have to take Highway 89 and drive around 15 minutes (5 miles) towards south from Page, Arizona. You will find the exit in between 544 and 545-mile posts.
And once you exit from the highway, you will find a dirt road to reach the parking lot and park the vehicle (for around $10). Since this place is more famous, you may have to wait to get a parking space in the peak season (April).
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Finding the place is not difficult; even the Google map guide you correctly to the destination. Since most people come from Grand Canyon, I will guide you to reach Horse Shoe Bend, Arizona.
The distance between Grand Canyon and Horse Shoe Bend is around 130 miles. That means it will take about 2.5 hours to reach there. I suggest you not miss these amazingly beautiful two destinations on your tour of the West Coast.
Las Vegas is the closest airport to Horse Shoe Bend, Arizona. And I suggest this as one of the best day tours from Las Vegas. The whole tour distance is around 280 miles, and it will take about 4.5 hours. (Horse Shoe Bend Arizona)
Best time to visit Horse Shoe Bend Arizona
The best time to visit Horse Shoe Bend, Arizona, means selecting the best time to take the most eyecatching photos. I suggest the months are from November to February as the best. Sunset is the most popular time among travelers to visit here and take photos of hiding the sun through the bend.
And it will provide you the best orange lights for your camera. Due to those features, most people are waiting to grab the opportunity waiting since the late afternoons. The sunset time is so overcrowded, and even the shuttle is also working from 10 am to 5 pm.
Watch Horse Shoe Bend Sunrise
But, personally, I love this place in the dawn. Watching the sunrise at Horse Shoe Bend was like staying in heaven. The reddish color environment through Colorado Plateau was just awesome. And on the other hand, that time is not crowded, and you can get the full experience without any bother. (Horse Shoe Bend Arizona)
Hike to Horse Shoe Bend Arizona
First, I must say that the hike to Horseshoe is not difficult at all. I must that it is a walk rather than a hike. Once you reach the parking lot, you can use the shuttle for $5 per person if you do not want this walk and directly want to see the Horse Shore Bend without wasting time. But, I don’t think it is a waste.
And the authority is going to solve the parking problem by introducing a new, large parking lot. I think it is a brilliant idea. Okay, once you use the shuttle, you will have to walk around half a mile to the canyon edge. It is definitely not a long trail, but when it is a strong sunny day, and there’s no shade, you may feel like you are in a desert. So, do not forget to bring more water and shades.
Once you reach the canyon edges, you may see a small viewing deck. Apart from that, there’s no control at the edges. So, be careful, since you may go mad by seeing the beauty of Horseshoe Bend.
If you want a higher view, there’s a small rock to climb and get a whole view of the bend and surroundings. And I highly recommend this rock edge to capture the most Instagrammable photos.
By the way, the whole trail from the parking lot to the bend is around 6 miles. If you chose to walk all the way, just visit in November and plan your tour in the sunrise. Then, there’s not shot sun and thirsty. (Horse Shoe Bend Arizona)
Other things to do around Horse Shoe Bend, Arizona
hiking and taking photos are not the only things to do in this amazing place. We have discovered some of the other enjoyable things as well.
Rafting: Starting from Glen Canyon Dam, you can plan a float boat ride through Vermillion Cliffs, Petroglyph Beach, and Horseshoe Bend. Wilderness River Adventures exclusively offer this tour. This tour is very calm and filled with natural beauty. And also, this tour is even safe for a family tour with your kids (over 4 years) and needs to spend half a day.
Fly over Horse Shoe Bend and Colorado River: Yeah, that’s crazy to fly over Horse Shoe, Lake Powel, and Colorado River for 30 minutes. You can book it from the Papillon website.
Visit Antelope Canyon: Upper and lower Antilope Canyon tours are just awesome things to visit around Horse Shoe. I suggest you visit Horseshoe in the dawn and then visit here. (Horse Shoe Bend Arizona)
Kayaking in Horse Shoe: Just rent a kayak and go for a kayak tour in the Colorado River around Horse Shoe. Since this is not dangerous, you can do it on your own.
Visit Horse Shoe Bend Slot Canyon: This is the secret canyon in Horse Shoe. This one is also like Antelope Canyon. But few travelers know about this place. So, there’s no crowding effect at all. Locating in the Navajo Indian Reservation, it will take a considerable charge for a six travelers’ group. Take the information from their website and plan for it. (Horse Shoe Bend Arizona)
Where to stay in horse Shoe bend
If you want, you can stay in a hotel in Page, Arizona. But I recommend you to plan a camp and spend a night there.
Camping in Horse Shoe Bend: The latest or modern campgrounds are Waheap Campground, Page Lake Powell Campground, and Lee’s Ferry Campground.
Waheap RV and campground are more famous and just only 20 minutes distance from Horse Shoe Bend. It contains 112 campsites (dry) and 90 with hookups. The charge per night is $30 and has all the facilities like WiFi, water, electricity, etc. And also, you reserve early through their website.
Lee’s Ferry RV and Campground are located around one hour away from Horse Shoe. But, It is totally worth staying a night there. No reservations are accepted here, and consider the first arrival theory. And it contains 54 campsites and charges $20 per night.
On the other hand, it has RV dump stations as well. But there’re some issues with electricity availability. Visit the website for more. Personally, I love this place although there are issues with facilities. (Horse Shoe Bend Arizona)
Page Lake Powell RV Campground is the closest campground to Horse Shoe Bend. This is basically an RV campground and will take around 10 minutes to reach. The cost per night is around $45 per night and has all the modern amenities.
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There are some primitive campgrounds in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. These campgrounds do not have many rules and very free to plan your campsite. You can stop wherever you want and make the camp. The costs are between $12 to $14 but, the facilities are minimal. Honestly, I think this is the real camping experience.
Primitive Campgrounds: Stanton Creek, Farley, Hite, Dirty Devil, and Lone Rock Beach.
And, if you don’t want to spend any penny, then go for a free campsite along the Lake Powell shoreline. It is totally legal and free. And you can even take your pet there. But keep in mind to protect the environment and clean when you leave. (burying garbage is not allowed)
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Horse Shoe Bend Arizona Facts
As mentioned above, Horse Shoe Bend in Page, Arizona has created based on the Colorado River. And it is located around 9 km downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. The hike round trip is around 1.5 miles. Once you reach this amazing Bend, you are at 4200 m above sea level, and the Colorado River is also at 3200 feet above sea level.
That means the drop-down height is around 1000 feet (just like a 99 story building). However, if you can make it down to the river, the water is emerald green and cool in summer, ideal for swimming. It would be an adventurous experience for you and unforgettable. But be careful and plan well.
The rock wall is formed with different types of minerals like hematite, platinum, and garnet. (Horse Shoe Bend Arizona)
Most of the travelers were given negative reviews that went to see the sunset. Because they have experienced parking problems, crowding problems. Actually, people like to get photographs freely without any bother. So, again I’m suggesting you visit to see the sunrise.
The second type of travelers who mentioned negative reviews were the people who fear to reach huge heights and look down at hell. Of course, it was a little bit scary for me as well. So, be careful.
The third reason was to be mentioned is that there are more gnats everywhere. Again this issue occurs in the evenings, not in dawns. (Horse Shoe Bend Arizona)
Again, I’m mentioning that this place, Horse Shoe Bend edges, is dangerous and does not try the edges.
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