|Location:||Near town of Page, Arizona State|
|Round Trip:||1,5 miles|
|GPS Coordinates:||N 36 52.571 W 111 30.16|
|Visitor’s Information||Open: all year round
No Pass Required
If you are visiting the Grand Canyon, or have just seen the Antelope Canyons and are moving further, looking for some more sightseeing, or maybe you are planning a trip to a beautiful Lake Powell, there is a side trip on your way, which you should definitely include into your plan. It will cost you nothing except for some time and effort, but it will leave you speechless. And this is the Horseshoe Bend hike.
It’s located about four miles from Page, Arizona (south by Highway 89, just about 15 minutes drive from Page), and about 5 miles from Lake Powell. If you do decide to visit the Horseshoe Bend (which is rendered to be one of the most popular attractions of this area) there will be no problems for you with finding it. Driving along the Highway 89 in the direction of Page you will see a brown sign pointing the way to Horseshoe Bend. Getting off the Highway you will immediately see a parking lot. Usually it’s quite busy with a lot of cars, but the cars are coming and leaving very quickly, so there shouldn’t be a problem for you to find a free spot.
Horseshoe Bend is a name for a 270° curve of the Colorado River, shaped as a horseshoe. The Horseshoe Bend Hike is about 0.75 miles trail from the parking lot to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook. By the way, the parking lot is free, and there is no entrance fee for the Horseshoe Bend Overlook.
The first, and shorter, part of the trail goes a little bit up the hill, and is sandy. On the second part of the trail, which goes downhill, the sandstone rocks are added to the desert sand. That’s why we recommend you to wear appropriate shoes or boots in which you will feel comfortable.
The walk to the overlook is quite easy as most of the time the path is descending. But it takes some more time to get back to the parking lot as the hike back is more strenuous (you will need to climb up the sandy hill) especially during the hot part of the day. If you feel some discomfort about walking in deep sand, you may keep to the trail edges, the sand there is more packed and the walk is easier.
You should also remember that there is no shade along the trail and you will have to stay in the hot desert sun during the whole hike. Thus it is recommended to wear a hat, and to apply some sunscreen to your skin in order to protect it from the burning sun. Also don’t forget to bring water with you as there is no water refill along the trail.
But anyway it’s a worthwhile trip!
A spectacular view is gradually opening in front of you the closer you are coming to the viewing area. But what you see at the very edge of the overlook will make your heart skip a beat! A stunning view of the Colorado River, flowing about 1000 ft beneath your feet, will leave no one indifferent. It’s almost impossible to fully describe the beauty and grandeur of it with the words, and very rarely pictures, made by tourists, do it justice. You just need to see, feel and experience it yourself.
The overlook itself is an open space, so you need to be careful as there is no any railing or fence to protect you from falling down. Keep your eye on your kids if they are admiring this amazing scenery of the Horseshoe Bend with you.
You may roam around on the ledges and cliffs of the viewing point, looking for a better place for your pictures. The richness and exclusiveness of your pictures will depend directly upon your being brave, as the closer you are coming to the edge of the overlook, the better and fuller view of the river bend you get. But if you belong to people fearing heights it can be rather challenging for you… But be careful and remember that no picture is worth your life.
The strange shape of the sandstone cliffs and ledges is the work done by erosion within thousands of years. This sandstone layer is called Navajo Sandstone and dates back to the Jurassic Period.
The tourists are arguing what time of the day is better for visiting this attraction. To our opinion, Horseshoe Bend is always beautiful, but in different ways. If you go there at the daylight, you will be able to enjoy the magnificence of the view of emerald green waters of the Colorado River, and the beauty of the steep cliffs, the color of which is changing throughout the day, depending on the sun light. And of course sunrises and sunsets add a special touch to the view, making it even more priceless, exquisite. Just unforgettable.
You may visit the Horseshoe Bend at different seasons to appreciate its beauty under different weather conditions. You will never be disappointed with it.
Photo: Roman Khomlyak
Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska
Information: Svetlana Baranova