Horseshoe Bend is the name for a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River. It is located about 4 miles southwest of Page, AZ, just outside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. According to Google terrain maps, the overlook is 4,200 feet (1,300 m) above sea level and the Colorado River is at above sea level making it a 1,000 feet (300 m) drop.
The little white dots you see in the photo are boats. Can you spot all 3?
We visited Horseshoe Bend in September of 2013. We arrived around lunchtime and it was really hot out. I didn’t realize that after we parked that we would have to walk about 1/2 mile to the overlook. I’m a runner – it feels a lot farther than it is because of the heat… but it’s worth it once you reach the rim of the canyon.
Starting our trek out to the edge…
Passed many colorful plants and desert plants along the way.
The landscape was amazing!
Once you reach Horseshoe Bend, BE CAREFUL. Do not get too close to the edge, and do not run near the edge. Remember you are about 1,000 feet from the water below. There were quite a lot of people already down near the rim when we arrived, and they made me so nervous, all lined up right at the edge!
From the Horseshoe Bend website:
As you walk up the path, the trudge up the sandy hill might seem like a nuisance; but it is actually a walk through cycles of time. About 200 million years ago this sand was part of the largest system of sand dunes the North American continent may have ever seen. These “sand seas” are known as ergs. Our enormous erg was eventually hardened by water and minerals into Navajo Sandstone, an amazing uniform, smooth sandstone layer. It stretches from Arizona to Wyoming, and it can be over two thousand feet thick in some places.
If you are a photographer or bringing your camera, use your widest lens. I arrived with my Canon 24-70L and that wasn’t quite wide enough! I was hoping to get both the bend and the sky in a frame, but sadly I could only fit the bend. I am only 5’1″ so being short also didn’t help… just be warned. It’s hard to fit the entire thing in the frame!
I definitely encourage you to visit Horseshoe Bend if you are down in the Page, AZ area. It is beautiful, and the surrounding desert area is spectacular. I wish I had more time to spend there…