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Horseshoe Bend

Trail Length: 1.3 miles out-and-back

Degree of Difficulty: Easy

Nestled along the Colorado River in the heart of northern Arizona, Horseshoe Bend stands as a testament to the awe-inspiring forces of nature. This iconic and breathtaking geological formation has become a must-see destination, drawing visitors from across the globe. 

what is horseshoe bend?

Horseshoe Bend is a dramatic formation created by the Colorado River curving around a towering sandstone bluff for millions of years. The viewpoint at Horseshoe Bend is a panoramic birdseye view of a near-perfect horseshoe shape and the river and sheer canyon walls below. 

Geology

The formation of Horseshoe Bend is a testament to the erosive power of water. Over millions of years, the relentless flow of the Colorado River carved through layers of sandstone, gradually shaping the impressive form we see today. The unique curvature of Horseshoe Bend stands as a geological masterpiece, showcasing the intricate dance between water and rock.

Getting to horseshoe bend

Horseshoe Bend is located just south of the town of Page, Arizona, within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.  The overlook is easily accessible from a parking area off Highway 89. A short paved trail that is approximately 0.75 miles round trip, leads to the rim of the canyon, where visitors are greeted by breathtaking panoramic views. 

The trail is well-maintained making it suitable for visitors of various fitness levels. The challenges to expect is exposure to the sun and a steady incline on the return trip. It is important to bring plenty of water and sun protection to combat the heat of this Arizona desert landscape. 

Fees

There is a fee for parking.

Why is horseshoe bend so popular?

Horseshoe Bend's popularity can be attributed to its stunning natural beauty and accessibility. The breathtaking vista offers a mesmerizing play of colors, particularly during sunrise and sunset, making it a haven for photographers seeking to capture the magical moments when the sun paints the canyon walls in hues of gold and red.

The relatively easy access to the overlook allows visitors of all ages and fitness levels to witness the breathtaking views of Horseshoe Bend. 

Horseshoe Bend is central to Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell. It is also a popular stop for those exploring some of the national parks in Utah/Arizona. Its proximity to these attractions makes Horseshoe Bend a popular addition to any northern Arizona itinerary.

Seasons

Horseshoe Bend is open all year. Any season is a great time to visit but it is critical to be prepared for the heat of the summer. The heat can be so intense and underestimated that guards may set up at the trailhead to ensure hikers bring enough water. 

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