Hiking Horseshoe Bend: Everything you need to know [with map + photos]

Horseshoe Bend is a short stop that is a must during any Western USA road trip. The good news is that its mythical beauty is accessible regardless of your fitness level, after a short, easy hike of just 30 minutes.  

Here is your complete guide to the most beautiful view of the Colorado River.  
 

Map of Horseshoe Bend

visiting Horseshoe bend map
Map to the visit of Horseshoe Bend


Parking and fees for Horseshoe Bend 

Access to the trail is easy. You will find a parking lot along U.S Highway 89, near Page .  

Horseshoe Bend Overlook is clearly indicated on the highway, near mile marker 545.

horseshoe bend prices
Parking at Horseshoe Bend Overlook

The parking lot is large enough that you shouldn't have a problem finding a spot.  

There is a parking fee of US$10. Access to the trail itself is free.  


The trail

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Beginning of Horseshoe Bend trail

Characteristics :footprints: emoji

Distance: 2.4 km round-trip
Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Elevation gain: 73 metres
Level:  Easy

From the parking lot, the beginning of the trail is easy to spot. It is the large expanse of sand that everyone is heading towards.  

Although the trail is not long, it can be divided into two sections.  

The first half of the route is all uphill. It is therefore the part that will require the most effort.

The heat can be intense, making it seem more difficult.

There is a small gazebo halfway along the trail with benches where you can stop and rest. 

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Second section of Horseshoe Bend trail goes downhill

Otherwise you can just continue on, as the rest of the hike is all downhill to the overlook

A few minutes later, you will find yourselves at the famous outlook.  

Horseshoe Bend is a miracle of nature, a true wonder of the American West, carved by the waters of the Colorado River over millennia as it made its way to the Grand Canyon 

horseshoe bend sunset
Famous view of Horseshoe Bend at sunset

Although the overlook is 1000 feet above the Colorado River, you will notice that there are no railings along the edge of the cliff.

Exercise extreme caution and don't get too close to the cliff edge. Sandstone is unpredictable and can crack or break, especially when wet.  

Take the time to take some pictures (in a safe manner) and admire the gorgeous panorama. Early morning and early evening are the best times to photograph Horseshoe bend.

The sunsets at Horseshoe Bend are quite stunning. 

When you’re ready to head back up, just retrace your steps back to the parking area.

 

What should I bring to Horseshoe Bend? 

hiking horseshoe bend information
Hiker enjoying the view at Horseshoe Bend
  • Water. The hike may be short and easy, but it is very hot in summer.  
  • A hat and sunscreen... for the same reasons.
  • Proper footwear. While hiking boots are not necessary, be sure to have comfortable closed shoes. 
  • Your camera. 
  • US$10 to pay the parking fee. 
  • A face covering in windy weather, as the trail is mostly sand

 

Authentik advice :crochet: emoji

  • The site is extremely popular with passing visitors. Visit early in the morning or at the end of the day. Mornings are also cooler.  
  • While any photo of Horseshoe Bend is sure to be impressive, to fit the entire bend in your photograph, you’ll want to have a fish-eye lens.  
  • Children and pets on a leash are allowed. It is therefore an excellent activity for a USA family vacation
  • Note that the site has no toilets.

 

And now you're ready to discover Horseshoe Bend!

Do you have any questions or advice for other hikers? Don't hesitate to share them in the comments below!

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