Horseshoe Bend has become an iconic stop for those traveling to and from the Grand Canyon. It is just south of Page, Arizona and is easily accessible from US 89. Because it is so accessible, expect to see many others visiting the site. The hike offers an incredible view of the Horseshoe Bend in the Colorado River. We stopped to see this majestic landmark on a Friday as we made our way from the Grand Canyon on the way to Zion National Park. This stop was on my friend Daysi’s bucket list. We stopped to get something to eat and the guy at the counter let us know that we had just passed it. So we turned around and did this brief but amazing hike. If you ever have the chance….stop. It is well worth it.
Distance – 1.5 miles out and back
Hiking time – 30 minutes to an hour
Elevation at Trailhead – 4327 feet
Elevation gain on the way to the Overlook – 46 feet
Elevation at Overlook – 4214 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – Sand and sandstone.
Amount of water recommended – 1 liter
Bathrooms – None
Season to hike – Year around
Permits – None
From the parking lot you begin hiking up a sandy hill. This is a well marked out and back hike. This area is not very steep. The hike is rated as easy though I saw many people struggling on this little elevation. It may be the exposure to the sun. It may have been the flip-flops. There is no shade protection on the trail with the exception of a small gazebo midway to the the cliff’s edge.
The Gazebo is at the top of the rise, marking the halfway point of the hike. This gazebo offers a brief respite and shade for those who need it. It is Arizona so it can be very, very hot. I recommend sunscreen, a hat and lots of water.
The trail begins to go slightly downhill immediately after cresting the sandy hill. This part of the hike towards the overlook was pleasant. You quickly find yourself at the overlook. The view is majestic, amazing, mesmerizing, beautiful, breathtaking….I could go on and on.
There are several rises at the overlook offering fantastic views. If you look closely at the shore of the river you can see a boat and several kayaks. We were surrounded by dozens of other sightseers but as you gaze out onto the river the others seemed to fade away.
Oh, the photo ops!! The best time to view the Horseshoe Bend is early morning and afternoon to take advantage of the lighting. To capture the entire bend a panoramic view or wide angle lens is needed.
The overlook at Horseshoe Bend is potentially dangerous. As you can see, there are no railings. The drop to the Colorado River is 1000 feet. I found documentation of only one fatality. The ledge broke out from underneath a 32 year old man in 2010. Be careful and stay away from the edge. Once you have had your fill of the beautiful Horseshoe Bend you can make your way quickly back the the parking area and on your way to more adventures.
For those of you who road-trip, you know that it is sometimes difficult to find good food. I do like the offbeat, but sometimes the food is just as funky as the restaurant. When we left the Grand Canyon to head to Zion, we found McAlister’s Deli. It is located at the crossroads of Hwy 64 and Hwy 89. We had very delicious, fresh sandwiches and salads. And they have incredible sweet tea. I was so surprised by the quality of the food and service that I wanted to share. When you are out there and hungry, its a great food option.