Best Time to Visit Horseshoe Bend

  “So, what’s the best time to visit Horseshoe Bend?” Hope you’ve got a minute, because the answers you’re bound to receive are as diverse as the languages you’ll hear spoken by visitors at the overlook! When prospective visitors to Page/Lake Powell, the Grand Canyon and the American Southwest want to get the best travel advice on the planet, they often jump on the travel forums of sites like TripAdvisor, Frommer’s and Fodors to get input from recognized experts on the area. And yet, surprisingly (or not) the answers that even they give to this question are as varied as the colors you’ll see in the rock layers of Glen Canyon. On TripAdvisor, ConnieB, Destination Expert for Utah writes:
“Horseshoe Bend is best viewed late morning or mid day. The ‘bend and river are in shadow at other times. At or just before sunset, the sun will be in your eyes and the bend will be in shadow. It’s best viewed mid day to early afternoon.”
Yet, SouthJerseyGirl, Destination Expert for Grand Canyon National Park, offers up an opinion that almost runs counter to ConnieB’s:
“For Horseshoe Bend, I would try to see it in late afternoon towards sunset. With high sun at mid-day, the colors have a tendency to get washed out.”
Then again, RedRox, Destination Expert for Sedona, might disagree:
“Late afternoon is not the best time for Horseshoe Bend. You’ll be facing into the setting sun and the river below will be in shadows off the canyon walls.”
Bob B, Destination Expert for Tucson, Arizona and Northern Mexico, has yet a slightly different take:
“Horseshoe Bend is best seen mid-morning to early afternoon.”
DetTigerFan, Destination Expert for Grand Canyon and hiker extraordinaire, would seem to agree with Bob B’s assessment:
“The river is out of shadow by 9:30 in the morning and still will be well into the afternoon.”
Tet14, Road Trip Expert, as usual, has his own opinion based on many visits:
“We have been to Horseshoe Bend both in the morning and in the afternoon and prefer the morning.”
Ditto for dez40, Destination Expert for Zion National Park:
“Horseshoe Bend is better in the morning. In the evening the sun is in your eyes.”
But then again, blogger Joanne J. in A Note From Abroad had this to say about the view from Horseshoe Bend at sunset:
The view was magnificent and I got the picture I had been hoping for as the sun was setting and clouds reflecting in the water.
If your head is spinning by this point, that’s not surprising. Some facts to keep in mind: the Horseshoe Bend Overlook faces due West. Therefore, during the pre-sunrise and post-sunset hours, the view of the Colorado River below – and the reason most people visit this world-famous attraction – does indeed tend to be in shadow. All other times during the day, it’s fully visible in all its glory. Here’s another one: Horseshoe Bend is located approximately 5 miles South of the town of Page. Many visitors to Page enter the area from Grand Canyon South Rim, making the Horseshoe Bend Overlook a convenient stop on their way into town. Map With so many vacations scheduled down to the second, anything that can be done to save time is sure to be appreciated, making the issue of optimal time to visit something of a moot point. So, we haven’t really answered the question, “what’s the best time to visit Horseshoe Bend” now, have we? True to form, another TripAdvisor contributor, dbmove, has done so for us, and quite aptly, if we do say so ourselves. He says:
“I wouldn’t get too hung up on the “perfect” time to see Horseshoe Bend. Even with perfect timing, you could have clouds, rain, etc., that you can’t plan for and the sight will still be impressive. I was there last week and despite timing the visit for the perfect time in the canyon and giving up another activity to be there at the perfect time, it didn’t matter in the end. Half the group ended up scratching the visit because of heavy clouds. The half that stayed still felt it was worthwhile.”
An anonymous visitor to a different travel forum sums it up perfectly:
“We were planning to visit and were wondering whether or not time of day was crucial. Now we know it’s never bad, just different!”
We couldn’t have said it better! Still, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, a very patient gentleman named Brian Klimowski actually took the time to sit at Horseshoe Bend all day long with his camera and capture the constantly changing light and colors. Visit this page to see the beautiful results of his experiment! Sunrise to Sunset Photo Series While you are in the area, make sure you also check out Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell, and the Grand Canyon. Here are some quick links to popular requests. Booking a tour for Antelope Canyon – You have seen this photo somewhere in the last few months, and it is only 4 miles away if you’re at Horseshoe Bend. Fly over Horseshoe Bend in a plane or helicopter – usually for less than $100 dollars, you really get to see a different view point of the canyon and Lake Powell. Airport is about 10 minutes away. Makes for really great instagram shots 😀 Good luck and happy travels to all!  

162 Responses

  1. Hi Alley,

    I’m planning to visit Horseshoe Bend next Friday/Saturday (May 29th or May 30th). I checked the weather it says its around 105 degrees. Is it too hot or can we still make it? If we go up there around sunrise, can we still get some good views and shoot some decent photos?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Amirali,
      Page, AZ, weather is quickly heating up! You should definitely plan on being there just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and thinner crowds. You should still be able to take some beautiful photos, even though the river will be mostly in shadow at that time of day.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  2. hello! i plan to take a visit down to Horseshoe Bend and to Antelope Canyon during Memorial weekend (may 23-26). Due to Covid-19, will i still be able too? i’ll be leaving from the Los Angeles area so it’ll help to know before i make the drive!

    thanks in advance (:

    1. Hi Melissa,
      As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area/Lake Powell will also begin a phased reopening of facilities such as lodging, restaurants, and facilities as outlined on the official National Park Service website.
      Nevertheless, there are a few things you should keep in mind before committing to your trip: the Antelope Canyons, another popular attraction in Page, AZ, are closed and expect to remain so until June. There are also over 3,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including several dozen fatalities) in Northern Arizona. In addition, many other popular attractions in the area such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, and Monument Valley may be partially or completely closed. With that in mind, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time.
      If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and personal hygiene protocols as outlined by the CDC and WHO:
      – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
      – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
      – Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      – When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.
      – Practicing social distancing (stay at least 6′ away from other people) and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.
      – Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.
      – Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
      – Most importantly, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Jo,
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news on this issue, but Horseshoe Bend Overlook is only open between the hours of sunrise and sunset now. The good news is, there are plenty of other wonderful locations for star photography in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. You might inquire about a guided tour to Alstrom Point, a stunning overlook of Lake Powell that’s only visited by a handful of people. For more information, visit http://www.AlstromPoint.com
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  3. I am visiting Horseshoe Bend March 1st and am wondering what time of day is best to visit this time of year. We will also visit both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon but there is a possibility of rain. Can you still go into Canyons when it is raining? We are leaving from Phoenix and heading to the south rim, then to Page and lastly to Zion. Is there any other place you suggest? We will have 5 or 6 days to explore and will be in an RV and are flexible. Lastly, is there any specific routes this time of year you suggest?

    1. Hi Jessica,
      First off, at the time of year you’re visiting, I recommend staying in developed RV parks with electrical hook-ups. Nightstime temperatures are still quite cold, especially in higher altitude areas such as Grand Canyon South Rim and Zion. You’ll definitely want to sleep in a rig with reliable heat! If you haven’t made reservations for campgrounds along your route, do so ASAP.
      Horseshoe Bend is best visited just after sunrise to avoid the crowds of mid-day. In early March, sunrise occurs shortly before 7:00 AM.
      As for whether you can tour the Antelope Canyons when it’s raining, that’s up to the tour companies to decide. In cases of light rains, tours usually operate as planned. If a heavier precipitation event is expected, however, this can lead to flash flooding, which makes it extremely dangerous to be in a confined environment like a slot anyon. In those instances, tours are often cancelled. Guests are given the option to reschedule or receive a full refund.
      Hope that helps. Will keep our fingers crossed for good weather.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  4. Hello, we drive by car or motor bike to page in June. We have a tour for lower Antilope at 10.15-11.15. They told us to book upper Antilope as well. We also like to view horseshoe bend. What would you suggest? Should we also view upper Antilope and horseshoe in the later afternoon? Thank you

    1. Hi Uli,
      It is not 100% necessary to tour both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon to have a fulfilling visit to Page, AZ, but doing so would definitel give you a greater appreciation for the complexity of the Antelope Canyons, and the rivers that created them. I would suggest holding onto that 10:15 AM Lower Antelope Canyon tour. Give yourself 60-90 minutes after the tour to eat lunch. You might think about purchasing some food that morning and bringing them with you so you don’t have to drive back into town. If not, the Deli at Big Lake Trading Post makes good sandwiches and isn’t too far away from the Antelope Canyons. Then tour Upper Antelope Canyon anytime after 1:00 PM.
      As for when to visit Horseshoe Bend, we suggest just after sunrise, especially at the time of year you’re visiting. Late afternoons are extremely hot, and there is virtually no shade to be had at Horseshoe Bend, plus the hours between 10:00 AM and sunset tend to be extremly crowded. A sunrise visit will convey the benefits of cooler temperatures, as well as smaller crowds. Sunrise in June occurs at ~5:00 AM local time.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  5. Hi Alley,

    I plan on visiting Horseshoe bend either tomorrow (Dec 26th) or on Dec 27th. There is about 90% snow forecast for Dec 27th. Will it be closed due to bad weather conditions? Where can I find this information?

  6. Hi Alley,

    I plan to visit Horseshoe Bend on the incoming Christmas Day (12/25/2019). I am not sure if it is open that day. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Ping,
      Yes, Horseshoe Bend Overlook will be open on Christmas Day, weather permitting.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  7. Hi, i would like to know the parking distance to the horseshoe bend outlook. about how many minutes walk to see the horseshoe bend.

    1. Hi Tan Chee,
      The distance from the Horseshoe Bend parking lot to the overlook is .6 miles one way, 1.2 miles round-trip. It is manageable for most people in reasonably good health, but is not yet accessible to wheelchairs, electric scooters, or other mechanical mobility aids.
      If anyone in your party would have difficulty managing this, read our post “Help! I Can’t Do The Hike To Horseshoe Bend” for suggestions of alternate means of seeing Horseshoe Bend with minimal or no exertion.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  8. Hello,

    we are planning to have a trip to Antelope and Horseshoe bend on 22nd and 23rd of Nov. This is our 1st time visit so we don’t have much idea to what to visit in 2 days. we are driving from Vegas to Page. Please suggest me if its good to visit in late November and also do we require an advanced booking to visit Antelope and horseshoe bend? Also please suggest what else we can visit in 2 days?

    1. Hi Rimi!
      Visiting Page, AZ, in late November is great, as long as you’re aware of a couple of things: November is still a popular time to travel, so all lodging and guided tours must be booked in advance. For Horseshoe Bend, you can visit in your own vehicle anytime between the hours of sunrise and sunset, so no tour is required there, but a tour is 100% mandatory for Antelope Canyon. Another important consideration is weather: it will be cold, and you could encounter precipitation, up to and including snow. Be sure you pack appropriately for this with jackets, gloves, etc.
      As for other activities you might enjoy during your visit, you might take the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip, the Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour, a 4×4 tour to Alstrom Point or White Pocket, or bundle your Antelope Slot Canyon tour with a boat tour of the waterside of the canyon. There are lots of possibilities! For more suggestions, check out “48 Hours in Page, Arizona
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  9. Hello,
    We are first time travelers to AZ and looking to visit Page on Oct 18/19. We are staying at an eco resort so have to check in by 6pm so really can’t decide if we should do antelope canyon on 18th afternoon and Horseshoe bend on 19th morning or vice versa. Would love to get your views on this.
    Also, would we need a jacket/hat/specific clothing for that time of the year?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Simer,
      October is a great time to visit Page, AZ! Honestly, however, when you visit Antelope Canyon will largely depend on availability of tours (a tour is required to visit it). Horseshoe Bend can be visited anytime between the hours of sunrise and sunset in your own vehicle for a $10 parking fee. Sunrise tends to be best for visiting Horseshoe Bend as the overlook is not as crowded as it would be later in the day.
      For clothing, fall afternoons are usually very pleasant, with daytime highs averaging in the high 60’s to mid 70’s. A light jacket at the very least would be a good idea to have depending on your personal comfort level. Start monitoring Page, AZ, weather about 2 weeks before you get set to travel and that will give you the best idea of how and what to pack.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Greg,
      Dogs are welcome on the Horseshoe Bend Overlook trail as long as they are leashed and that you pick up after them. Bring water for both humans and canines. Also, if you’re traveling in the summer months, the trail will be hot, so booties are recommended for your pet’s safety and comfort.
      Enjoy!
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Natalia,
      Thanksgiving week is a perfectly fine time to visit Horseshoe Bend! A couple of things to keep in mind: it most likely will be cold and windy, so bring a jacket, gloves, etc. Water should still be brought even though temperatures are cooler. Lastly, Thanksgiving is a busy time of year, so don’t be surprised to find the parking lot full and a temporary shuttle system in use. That’s not a certainty, but last year, visitation was especially heavy during that time. Parking on the side of US89 will get you a very expensive ticket, so please don’t risk it!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Dear Floraa,
      Thank you for reporting back on your positive experience!
      We hope you get a chance to return to the area someday.
      Enjoy the rest of your summer, and 2019!
      Alley 🙂

  10. Hi there!
    We plan to visit Horseband and Antelope during the thanksgiving weekend.. Is it a good time to come and it’s open?Tks.

    1. Hi Jane!
      Horseshoe Bend Overlook will be open on Thanksgiving weekend, barring any circumstances that might threaten visitor safety or quality of experience, such as heavy snowstorm, flooding, etc. Fortunately, these types of situations are extremely rare.
      As for whether it’s a good time to come, that depends on your point of view. Thanksgiving weekend is a very busy travel holiday in Northern Arizona, so you can expect the overlook to be very crowded. Parking may be problematic, in which case, you may be required to use an alternate parking lot and shuttle system. The best way to avoid that is to visit Horseshoe Bend early in the morning. The hours between sunrise and 10:00 AM tend to be less crowded than mid-day to sunset.
      Best case scenario, you can expect cold weather, so be sure to pack a few items of warmer clothing to be on the safe side, jacket, gloves, scarf, hat, etc.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Amanda,
      Dogs are welcome on the trail to Horseshoe Bend as long as they are leashed, and you pick up after them. If you are visiting during the summer months, remember that the trail can be hot, so you should be prepared to put booties on them, and bring enough water for everyone!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  11. Ten dollar parking fee. Sandy steep incline both up the hill to the flat area and then a fairly steep climb down and back up. If you have breathing difficulties, trouble walking, joint problems or cardiac issues you may want to wait until they actually have the paved path comp!eted. As of today, it is still steep, sandy and not at all wheelchair accessible. I made it to the top of the fine and took one look at the climb I would have to make back up and decided to wait at the top for my family. I could sort of see the horseshoe shape of the canyon but you can’t see the water at all from the top of the dune. If you have mobility issues, pass this by and spend your time at the Grand Canyon.

  12. Good morning

    We will be in Arizona next week and have plans to visit several spots in the area Tuesday-Thursday. Which day and time of day would have the least crowds at horseshoe bend? I know that things can always change, but I was hoping to get a better idea so that we didn’t make the 2 hour drive to just get turned away because of a full parking lot. Any help is greatly appreciated! 🙂

    Deanna

    1. Hi Deanna,
      Honestly, you stand a better chance of being able to visit Horseshoe Bend in relative peace if you get there just after sunrise. You run the risk of being turned away from the parking lot between the hours of 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. We, too, would hate to see you drive all that way only to be turned away, so we would suggest either re-arranging your plans so you can stay overnight in Page, AZ, or take one of several guided tours that allow you to skip the chaos on the ground and see Horseshoe Bend in all its glory. These include: taking a horseback ride, flying over Horseshoe Bend by airplane or helicopter, or by taking a shuttle service from Page, AZ, that accesses the overlook via Navajo Tribal property where the walk to the overlook is only 200 yards.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  13. Hi Alley,

    Who shot the photo on this site, the smaller thumbnail? Amazing! I would like to print for my house.

    Cheers,

    John

    1. Hi John,
      Amazingly enough, we got this shot from Adobe Stock photos, so unfortunately, we don’t know who shot this. But print away and enjoy 🙂
      Alley

  14. We are traveling to Horseshoe Bend with our little dog. I know he is not allowed on the shuttle. When can we visit HB? Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Tobey,
      If you are visiting Horseshoe Bend with a dog, the solution during the temporary lot closure period is to come before the parking lot closes at 7:00 AM, or to visit after it re-opens at 7:00 PM. Just so you know, the situation with the parking lot has been reported as being somewhat “fluid,” so these times should be considered a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule. Another option you might consider is to board your dog for a couple of hours while you go sightseeing. Pet boarding providers in the Page, AZ, area are: Angie’s Grooming, 928-614-8586; Page Animal Hospital (who I’ve used personally), 928-323-0057; and Pampered Pets, who I’m not familiar with, but they are well-rated on Google, 928-640-6898.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  15. HI Alley,

    couple of question.

    1. we will be traveling to page over memorial day weekend and I expect the crowds at horseshoe bend will be crazy is this a fair statement?
    2. with construction at the parking area, are you allowed to park at the parking area after 6pm when the crews leave for the day? and then walk to the overlook and not have to deal with the shuttle.
    3. what is the boat traffic like over memorial day weekend on the lake? when I booked my trip i was not aware it was memorial day weekend lol.

    1. Hi Michael!
      Yes, you are correct, crowds at Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and other local attractions will be cray-cray over Memorial Day Weekend. According to current estimates, the construction projects at Horseshoe Bend should be completed by then, so you should be able to go to the overlook in your own vehicle. However, the parking situation after 6:00 PM will probably be just as problematic as before because those are the hours leading up to sunset, when everyone wants to be there. If you wish to avoid all that, there are ways to do so, including;
      – taking a scenic overflight in a fixed-wing airplane or helicopter
      – taking a horseback ride
      – taking a shuttle service offered by Horseshoe Bend Tours that accesses the overlook via private property on the Navajo Reservation (this can also be dovetailed onto the Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tour if you’re taking that already)
      – visiting just after sunrise (which is nice because it’s cooler then, not to mention less crowded)
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  16. Hi Alley,
    We are planning to visit the grand Canyon south rim in late August. I was wondering whether we need tour guides for the horse shoe bend and antelope canyon visit. we are a group of 4 adults and two young kids, do you think we can visit both the horse shoe bend and the antelope canyon same day. could you please direct me to any tour sites for Antelope canyon.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Nox,
      For Horseshoe Bend, you technically do not need a guide. You can visit at your leisure, in your own vehicle, as long as you can find a legal place to park. At this moment, construction is underway on several facility upgrades at the overlook, including expanded parking. However, those of us who live in the area think it will probably be a case of “too little, too late” and expect the congestion will continue. The best way, in our opinion, to avoid this problem is to visit Horseshoe Bend in the hours just after sunrise. Since it will be very hot in August, with rain possible in the afternoons, this will enable you to enjoy cooler temperatures, and fewer people to contend with. If the prospect of that doesn’t appeal to you, consider one of several alternate means of including Horseshoe Bend in your itinerary, such as flying over it, or utilizing a shuttle service provided by Horseshoe Bend Tours. Horseback rides are another option, but they have some age restrictions, so may not be feasible for your family.
      For the Antelope Canyons, you DO need a tour guide. This attraction is located on Native American Tribal Lands, so going to Antelope or any of the surrounding slot canyons unescorted is strictly prohibited. The ages of your children will be the primary determining factor in which Antelope Canyon you choose to visit. If the kids are infants or toddlers, Upper Antelope Canyon would be the safest choice. If they are 7 and over, Lower Antelope or even Antelope Canyon X might be enjoyable for them as they require some stair climbing and simple bouldering. How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon
      And yes, you can tour Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend in the same day as they are very close to one another.
      Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  17. Hi,

    We are visiting AZ in April. I would like to know, are we allowed to visit Horseshoe bend after 6:00 pm. Since we have antelope canyon tour which ends only after 5pm. Till what time, it will be good in late evening to view the place. And also how about the car parking at that time? Till what time shuttle service will be available? And the pickup place for the shuttle please!
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Sruthi,
      We have just learned that the Horseshoe Bend parking lot closure hours have been changed from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, so you will still need to utilize the temporary parking lot and shuttle if you want to visit the overlook directly after your Antelope Canyon tour. For a detailed map of the location of the alternate parking lot, see Lake Powell News Network.
      Hope you get on OK. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  18. Hello Alley,

    We have a group of 11 that will be traveling to Horseshoe from Sedona tomorrow March 15 we would like to see the sunrise any idea what time might be best? We then have reservations for Antelope Canyon at 12:45 pm. We will be traveling 3 hours to get to Horseshoe and Antelope but are so excited to see it. We would also like to pack a picnic lunch are there areas to sit and eat? Thank you for your help.

    1. Hi Tina,
      Sunrise at Horseshoe Bend occurs at 6:45 AM, so it is best to be at the overlook at ~6:15 AM and to remain there until ~7:15 AM. RE: where to have a picnic lunch, you might consider the Page, AZ, city park, which is located in the downtown area behind the local Safeway store. You might want to have jackets handy, though. The daytime high is only expected to get up to 53 degrees. Page, AZ weather
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thank you very much. Is sunrise the best time or is morning in general ok? It will take us 45 minutes to hike in correct? We would need to leave Sedona at 3:00 am to get there for sunrise. How long from Horseshoe Bend is the meeting point for Antelope Canyon? Thank you so much for your help. It is greatly appreciated.

        1. Hi Tina,
          Anytime between sunrise and mid-morning is a good time to visit Horseshoe Bend. Right now, the main parking area is closed between the hours of 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM, so you’ll need to be sure to vacate the area prior to 10:00 AM. It takes, on average, 30-45 minutes to make the walk to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook. You should then plan on remaining there for about 30 minutes for photos, then another 30-45 minutes to make the walk back to the parking area.
          Depending on which Antelope Canyon tour you’re taking, the drive to the meeting point is anywhere from 10-20 minutes. If your trip is leaving from Page, plan on taking longer to get there.
          Hope that helps. Enjoy!
          Alley 🙂

  19. Hi Alley! Thank you so much for all of your information, it was very helpful in planning our trip. We’ll be in Page March 15th-17th and have booked our Antelope Canyon tour but I’m not sure what to do about Horseshoe Bend, I really want to see it but have had knee reconstruction surgery so I’m a little hesitant about the walk. You’ve previously mentioned improvements to assist those that would find the usual walk challenging. Have those been implemented? What would you recommend? Thank you

    1. Hi Angela,
      Unfortunately, the paved trail has yet to be completed. You might consider using some alternate means of seeing Horseshoe Bend, such as flying over it, or taking a shuttle to a private section of the overlook on Navajo Indian Tribal Land. The walk there is only 200 yards or so. Horseshoe Bend Air Tour Horseshoe Bend Shuttle
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  20. I’m heading to Page in mid June and would like to know how busy Horseshoe bend will be? (I hate crowds!) As we are also Going to Grand Canyon North rim, Monument Valley and various NP’s. I’d like to know if Page is a good place to re-supply? (Groceries etc.)

    1. Hi Tim,
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but in June, crowds at Horseshoe Bend will be insane. That’s peak travel season, so no way to really avoid that, with a few notable exceptions:
      1. You could fly over it in a fixed wing airplane or helicopter from the Page Municipal Airport
      2. You could take a horseback ride to Horseshoe Bend via a private entrance on Navajo Indian Lands
      3. You could go just after sunrise, when temperatures are cooler, and crowds are thinner (sunrise in June occurs at about 5:00 AM).
      As for using Page as a re-supply stop, that makes total sense as there is a Super Wal-Mart and a Safeway store in town.
      Hope that helps — good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  21. Hi Alley,
    Thank you for all your answers to the various questions posed. I will be visiting Page for 2 days in June of this year. It will be my third trip and I have already done the rainbow bridge boat tour and the Canyons adventure . I would love to see horseshoe Bend but I have two issues that I would like your advice on. First I am 75 years old and a little unsteady on my feet and I have always suffered from Vertigo so with all that I don’t think the hike to the overlook will suit me. Can you give me your advice on a float trip around the bend please? Will I get any sort of view and perspective of the bend? Or as you have advised several times do you think I would be better doing the short air flight over the bend? Thanks again

    1. Hi Leslie!
      By June, the paved trail to Horseshoe Bend should be complete, which is a more gradual walk, although only slightly longer. Don’t know if that would make a difference, but just thought I’d put it out there.
      If you prefer to see the overlook by other means, then an airplane or helicopter flight would afford the “iconic” view that you’re expecting to see. The Glen Canyon Half Day Float trip, while still a worthwhile activity, would give you the perspective of seeing it from the river, not from above. However, it’s still kind of a hoot to see the people wave to you from 700′ up on the edge of the canyon.
      Hope that helps — good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  22. Hi Alley!

    First off, let me start with saying “THANK YOU” for this site! I’ve been reading through it and it is becoming very helpful with my plans! I’m hoping you can help me with my travel plans by answering a few questions. I’m planning a trip out West in June. We are travelling from SD to WY to UT (staying at or near Arches National Park) then planned to stay in Flagstaff for about 4 days then fly home from there. Our goal is to use Flagstaff as a base to see the following: South Rim of GC, Sedona, Glen Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Montezuma Castle, Petrified Forest, Painted Desert. We planned 4 days in Flagstaff. Not sure if that’s enough time? I am looking at trying to plan each place that is most close together, see more than one each day. Is there a better or more appropriate place to stay instead of Flagstaff? I read one post about the 2.5 hour drive time from Flagstaff. Since I’m coming into Arizona from Utah, should we stay in/near Page first?
    Thank you in advance for your help!!
    Cheers,
    Jannette

    1. Hi Janette,
      Using Flagstaff as a “base” from which to make day trips to explore the various attractions in Northern Arizona is OK, but not ideal. As you’ve already seen, Page, AZ, alone is ~2.5 hours away from Flagstaff. Grand Canyon South Rim is about a 90 minute drive each way and Monument Valley is about 3 hours each way. All the afore-mentioned areas boast spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and you should definitely be in the vicinity for one, if not both. Nighttime driving is also something we discourage in this part of the country due to lack of ambient lighting on local roadways, plus the possibility of getting into an accident involving deer, elk, free range cattle, feral horses, or coyotes. Assistance will be a long time coming, and would no doubt be quite expensive.
      The better plan would be to overnight in Page, AZ for touring Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, the proceed to Monument Valley, which is a 2-hour drive from Page. You could either overnight at Monument Valley, then drive to Grand Canyon South Rim the following morning, or if there is no hotel availability at Monument Valley, visit it as a “drive-by” en route to the Grand Canyon. Doing the latter would make for ~a 5-6 hour drive for you. In either case, plan on staying overnight at the Grand Canyon. Another option would be to visit Monument Valley as a “day trip” from Page.
      By now, you’ve used 3 of the 4 days you had planned on staying in the area, which doesn’t leave you much time to see Sedona, Montezuma’s Castle, and Petrified Forest. So, no, 4 days really isn’t enough time at all. If you can free up 2-3 more days to pull this all off, that would be much better. You’ll especially wish you had more time in Sedona. Lots of visitors to that area who spend as much as 4-5 days time still report feeling as though they hadn’t “seen it all!” Nevertheless, for this leg of your tour, using Flagstaff as a base is more realistic. Sedona is ~45 minutes drive each way from Flagstaff, and Petrified Forest is about 90 minutes each way.
      Hope that helps in your planning.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  23. We are planing to visit there in March with 4 of my other friends. So, I am trying to gather some information about Horseshoe Bend. Though I read some other information and resourceful content at sedonabest.com, barkingfrogsedona.com and sedonamuseum.org but I found some excellent questions and answers from your blog comments, which help me a lot then other resource. I found some important questions above which you replied nicely !!

    So, a beautiful thank to you for your great effort and time to help us.

  24. Hi. we’re planning to visit horseshoe band at the end of May with 2 children (2 yrs and 8 months old). is it suitable for them? what can we do there?

    1. Hi Moran,
      Horseshoe Bend is absolutely suitable for families like yourselves, but here are a couple of things to keep in mind: a paved trail to the overlook is supposed to be complete by this April, but in reality, may not be. If this is the case, you’ll need to be prepared to carry your baby as strollers generally don’t do well on the current trail, which is mostly deep sand. You’ll want to keep a close eye on your two-year-old near the overlook as the majority of it is unfenced and it’s a 700′ drop to the Colorado River. For an extra measure of peace of mind, however, there is a viewing platform with a safety fence available for your use.
      As for what else to do in Page, AZ, Antelope Canyon is a popular activity. For families with young children, Upper Antelope is the best option as it’s short. Advance reservations are a must, and you’ll need to provide car seats for both kids. For more information, read this article on our companion site, “Antelope Canyon FAQ: Bringing Kids” Other activities you might consider are visiting the Glen Canyon Dam, the John Wesley Powell Museum, and taking the scenic Lakeshore drive beside Lake Powell. With kids that young in tow, remember that their endurance and safety should be the over-arching consideration in all your vacation plans.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  25. hello,
    I have gotten lots of information. Thank you! also, could you tell how the weather will be like during Dec.25-29 . is it a good ideal to drive from Las Vegas city to visit horseshoe bend and antelope Canyon park and back? will it be safe to drive around?

    1. Hi Lancy, and thank you for your inquiry.
      The weather during the Christmas holiday week will be cold. Snow is even possible in higher elevation parks such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon. In Page, AZ, where Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend are, we don’t often get snow, but can experience freezing rain and other wintry mixes.
      During the time of year you’re contemplating visiting Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, we don’t recommend you try to do so as a day trip from Las Vegas. For one, the drive from Las Vegas to Page is about 4.5 hours, one way. Another factor working against you, aside from potential inclement weather, is daylength: it’s very short, with sunrise occurring at about 7:30 AM and sunset at about 5:15 PM. You will also “lose” an hour as you travel from Nevada into Arizona. You’ll need to allow 60-90 minutes to make the walk to and from Horseshoe Bend, then another 2 hours or so to tour Antelope Canyon (reservations required). With those timeframes in mind, you’ll be pushing it to make it back to Las Vegas before nightfall, and nighttime driving is strongly discouraged in this part of the U.S. due to lack of ambient lighting on local roadways, and the possibility of encountering deer, elk, coyotes, free range cattle, and other nocturnal animals.
      You’ll have a much more comfortable and pleasant experience by staying overnight in Page, but bear in mind that the Christmas holiday is a busy time of year. You’ll need to make reservations for lodging in advance of your arrival.
      Good luck, safe travels, and have a Happy Holiday Season!

  26. Hi,
    We are planning to visit horseshoe bend and antelope canyon in January, is it open? Is there a snow in that area at that time? Do we need a tour on both places or we can do it on our own?
    Thanks in advace

    1. Hi Jays,
      We’re happy to report that both Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend are open year-round!
      Although Horseshoe Bend does not require a tour to visit, you might consider going that route in order to avoid the parking problems that tend to occur at the overlook during the mid-day hours.
      Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands, so an authorized guide is required in order to experience this scenic attraction. There are several tour companies to choose from; which one you pick will probably come down to who has the departure that best fits your schedule and budget. The thing to decide ASAP is whether to tour Upper Antelope Canyon (easy) or Lower Antelope Canyon (moderate). How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon
      As for whether snow will be an issue, it probably won’t be in Page, AZ, but you might encounter snow in the higher elevations, such as the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon. If snow does occur in these areas, it will most likely translate to rain or sleet in Page. In any case, it’s bound to be on the cool side, so be sure to pack a few pieces of warmer clothing (jacket, gloves, etc.) for yourself and your family!
      Good luck and safe travels, and have a Happy Holiday Season 🙂
      Alley

        1. Hi again, Jays!
          Anytime is a good time to go to Horseshoe Bend, except for maybe at night LOL… But seriously, if you want to go at the best time for photography, most would recommend timing your visit for the morning hours after the sun has risen enough so that the ‘bend is fully illuminated, or in the afternoon prior to sunset for light and shadow intensity.
          In reality, when you actually visit might come down to convenience. For example, if you’re driving up to Page, AZ, from Grand Canyon South Rim, Flagstaff, Sedona, or other points South, you can hit Horseshoe Bend on your way into town. Likewise, you could do it on your way out of town if your itinerary is taking you from Page to GC, Flag, etc.
          To get a sense of how the light changes at Horseshoe Bend throughout the day, visit our photography page to view several photographic studies conducted by folks who actually took the time to sit at the Overlook all day with their cameras!
          Have a great trip!
          Alley 🙂

  27. Hello Alley,

    Just found out all the tours for lower and upper antelope canyon are booked full for the thanksgiving. Is there any way for us (4 people) to get to experience antelope canyon by any chance? I did not think we would need to book the tour in advance. 🙁

    Joy

    1. Hi Joy,
      Sorry to hear that you’re finding Antelope Canyon tours to be full. Thanksgiving is a very busy time of year here, so I’m not surprised this is the case.
      There are a number of steps you can do, including calling all the tour outfitters, checking all tour times, or consider touring an alternate slot canyon that is just as beautiful, but far less crowded. Give this article a read for other suggestions: “Help! Antelope Canyon Tours Are Sold Out
      Hope that helps – good luck!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Thank you so much, Alley. You are awesome. I am thinking about the cathedral canyon tour. Is it as good as the upper and lower canyon tour?
        Thanks again.

        Joy

        1. Hi Joy,
          Good choice ~ I wouldn’t put it in terms of “better” or “worse,” Cathedral Canyon is just different. It bears some similarities to Lower in that you have to do a little climbing and boulder scrambling, but it also offers a few “bonus features” you won’t find in any other slot canyons in the area. If you do decide to go with Cathedral, let us know how you liked it!
          Alley 🙂

  28. Hi, Alley,
    I am planning to visit horseshoe bend on this Thanksgiving, 11/22, and I wonder if it will be open to visitors that day.
    Thanks.
    Joy

    1. Hi Joy, excellent question!
      Yes, Horseshoe Bend will be open on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day – it’s open 24/7/365.
      Best wishes for safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  29. Hello Alley,

    I and my fiancé are planning to get married in the horshoe! It is a dream!!! So, I would like to know if you have some information about it? Any recommendation? We need any permit? How is the best option to get there without walking at all? (Because of my dress) Thanks so much!!! This blog is awesome.

    1. Luryin,
      Hello and congratulations on your engagement!
      Horseshoe Bend is located on both National Park land and Navajo Indian Tribal land, so a permit is needed from one of the two entities, depending on which way you access the overlook. The path that would require minimal walking would be the Navajo Reservation side. There is a local company that can help you with all the arrangements, including appropriate permits, licensed officiant, even lodging, photography and catering. For more information, visit http://www.HorseshoeBendWedding.com
      Best wishes for a beautiful wedding and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  30. Hi Alley,

    Hope you are doing good. I’m planning to visit Horseshoe bend around Nov 20th. I’m planning to show this beautiful place to my parents but my father has bad knee. Can’t walk comfortably. I read somewhere about a trail being considered, do you have any update on it? I don’t think its wheelchair accessible either as terrain looks sandy.

    Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Yash

    1. Hello Yash,
      I am doing great, thanks for asking!
      Progress on the paved trail to Horseshoe Bend is ongoing, and probably won’t be finished by the time you are planning to visit.
      What I would suggest for you is contacting Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tours. They run hourly shuttle service from Page, Arizona between 9 AM and 3 PM that goes to the overlook via a private road on Navajo Tribal Land holdings. The walk to the overlook from there is only 200m or so. The cost is $30 per person and advance reservations are strongly recommended.
      If this does not appeal, read this article for suggestions on other ways to see Horseshoe Bend that aren’t as physically demanding: “Help! I Can’t Do The Hike To Hoseshoe Bend
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  31. Hi Alley ,
    I am Priyanka I am from stcloud Minnesota we have a direct flight that goes to Arizona I want to go to horshoe bend it is one of my bucket list but the thing is I don’t drive and I don’t know what arrangements I have to do I would like to know how far is the drive from the city and basically is it possible to do a 3 day trip ? I am curious about reservations too so can you help me where I can stay ?

    1. Hi Priyanka and thank you for visiting.
      So I’m assuming that your “direct” flight from Minnesota is going to Phoenix. If that’s the case, Page, AZ (gateway city for Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon) is about a 4.5 hour drive from Phoenix. Escorted tours are few and far between, but they are out there. You’re also going to find that the vast majority of them are day tours, so if you have 3 days to spare for sightseeing, you’d probably end up having to do 3 separate tours. For example, you could tour Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend one day, visit Grand Canyon South Rim on your 2nd day, then go to Sedona, AZ on your third. Detours Arizona does offer several multi-day tours, but you’ll find that most of them are going to be 6-7 days. In those packages, lodging is typically pre-booked and included in the price of your tour.
      Oddly enough, you’ll find that Horseshoe Bend/Antelope Canyon tours out of Las Vegas offer more of a variety, so if it’s possible, you might consider changing your destination.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  32. Hi Alley,

    You might have remember me as a stubborn Mexican Hat tourist from the other post. I’m wondering if you think it’s a good idea to see the horseshoe bend at night? I’m a hobbyist astrophotography and thought it might be a good idea to shoot the milky way up there. Also, for mid October, would the place be really cold and windy at night?

    Thanks!
    Matt

    1. Hey Matt,
      Yeah, I remember you! How’s it going?
      Regarding shooting Horseshoe Bend at night, it can be done and has been done. I can’t vouch for quality of photographs personally, but I say, go for it. If nothing else, you’d probably have the place all to yourself. Just be sure to bring a flashlight or headlamp. Full moon occurs October 24th, for what that’s worth.
      As for weather, yes, it’s bound to get cold at night, with some wind to go with that. Definitely recommend bringing a jacket and gloves.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  33. Hi Alley,
    My family is planning a a visit to Page the second week of October for 2 or 3 nights. It seems like the prime time slots for lower and upper canyons have been booked already. I was told that lighting is good in lower antelope for the 2:15 tour. Do you think that’s true? I love photography, so light is very important to me. I could get into the earlier tours if I do the combined kayak/canyon tour through Dixie Ellis and Kayak Powell. Do you have any opinions regarding the difference in light in the lower canyon from morning to afternoon in October? Or any opinions regarding the kayak tour? We are also interested in the raft float trip, but not sure if doing both kayak and float would be too much and which is better.
    Also, if you had to compare horseshoe bend canyon, canyon x or upper or lower antelope Canyon, which would you choose for photography purposes and which would you choose for best experience overall?
    Thank you so much for your time!!

    1. Hi Dani,
      October is a great time to visit Page, so I’m not surprised to hear that the peak tour times for Antelope Canyon are booked up. The light on the 2:15 PM should be fine for photography. Anytime between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM is generally good, but if you can get something closer to mid-day in Canyon X you might try for that. Antelope X tends to be more like Lower Antelope in terms of physicality, and scenery.
      Regarding the kayak tour, it’s a fun experience, but not 100% necessary to have a fulfilling visit to Page. The Glen Canyon Float Trip, however, is regarded as one of the “must-do” family activities in the area, so if you were to choose between the kayak tour and the raft trip, I’d recommend going for the raft trip. It travels through the last remaining intact section of Glen Canyon on the Colorado River.
      Whichever way you choose to go, be sure you book your lodging and guided tours in advance of your arrival.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  34. Hi there. We are scheduled to see Horseshoe Bend, Antelope & othet places this end of October with my in laws. Is it a good month to visit? Do you have to be very well fit to see these places?
    We flying to Sedona and also staying there for 5 nights. Do we need to get a tour? Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Dear Medy,
      First of all, October is a wonderful month to visit. Temperatures are typically cool and days are usually sunny. The fact that crowds are thinning out is a plus, too. As for whether you need to be really fit to enjoy Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, with Horseshoe Bend, the answer would be “yes, reasonably so.” The walk to the overlook is ~1.2 miles round-trip. Right after exiting the parking lot, there is a relatively steep hill you have to manage, then some uphill/downhill walking through some relatively deep sand. Most people in reasonably good health can do it, but if you have any doubts, you might want to consider some alternate ways to visit Horseshoe Bend, such as a shuttle service from Page, a helicopter or airplane flight or perhaps a horseback ride.
      In the case of Antelope Canyon, if you choose to tour the Upper branch of it, you should be fine. That’s the easiest and shortest section, 100 yards in length, flat the whole way. A guided tour is required to visit Antelope Canyon, no matter which branch you choose to see. Advanced reservations are strongly recommended.
      A guided tour from Sedona, AZ is not required to view these attractions. You can self-drive to Page, AZ if you prefer. That would allow you the most freedom and flexibility to enjoy the area on your own schedule. If you would rather have someone coordinate the logistics and do the driving, there are a number of quality tour outfitters in Sedona who can take care of you. However, you should be aware that it’s a 3-hour drive – ONE WAY – from Sedona to Page, AZ. You’ll be spending a lot of time on the road, no matter which way you choose to go. If you’re not completely locked in to those 5 nights in Sedona, you might alter your schedule so that you can spend the night in Page. There are a number of good hotels in the area, and an overnight visit would allow you to enjoy Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon at a more relaxed pace.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  35. My wife and I are Phoenix-area residents and we want to visit Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, but we’ve been told that both tend to be incredibly crowded with tourists. What time of year might we expect fewer tourists?

    1. Hello Guy,
      Great question! You have heard correctly about both Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon being extremely crowded during peak tourist season. If you truly wish to avoid these conditions, the best time of year to visit is winter: anytime between late November and early March. While it’s true you risk running into adverse weather conditions such as snow or rain, the trade-off is fewer people to contend with. Just keep an eye on the weather, pack some warm clothing, and enjoy. It’s still a good idea to reserve hotels and Antelope Canyon tours in advance of your arrival.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  36. Hi Alley,

    We will stay at Flagstaff for 7 days and plan going up to Page for 1-2 days. Do you think we can visit Antelope and Horseshoe Bend in one day? If we plan come up Page for 2 days where should we visit and we divide it? @ days is good enough or 3 days even better?

    By the way we will be there 1st week of October, do we need a jacket?

    Thanks everyone for the questions and Alley you are so wonderful with all your answers .

    Hai

    1. Dear Hai,
      Thank you for visiting our site, and for your nice compliments.
      Using Flagstaff as a “base camp” for visiting Page and the other parks in the area is less than ideal. It takes approximately 2.5 hours, ONE way, to drive from Flagstaff to Page, so if you go there as a day trip(s), you’re looking at 5+ hours on the road, each day. You can certainly visit Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend in one day’s time, even traveling from Flagstaff, but if you can get lodging in Page, AZ, that would make for a much more comfortable experience. Horseshoe Bend is located about 5 miles South of Page, so you can hit it on the way into town, or on the way out, whichever way works best for you.
      If you wanted to spend a second day in Page, you certainly would find no shortage of things to do. The one activity you should definitely try to work in would be the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip. This is a wonderful, leisurely rafting trip that doesn’t go through any rapids, but offers up plenty of beautiful scenery and compelling history. If that doesn’t appeal, the Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour is fun, too. If for some reason you wanted to do both tours, then that would warrant a 3rd day in Page.
      October is a great time to visit Northern Arizona! In Page, AZ, you might want to bring a light jacket, depending on your comfort level. If you visit any of the higher altitude attractions in the area, such as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, or Flagstaff, AZ, then you might want to have something more substantial on hand as late afternoon/early evening temperatures can dip down into the 40’s.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Kaleigh,
      Dogs are welcome on the trail to Horseshoe Bend as long as they are leashed at all times. You should also plan on bringing water for them as well as yourselves. Another consideration: weather. If you’re traveling during the peak summer season, both air AND ground temperatures are very hot. Hot sand can burn a dog’s feet if they’re unprotected. You might invest in a set of “booties” for your fur baby.
      Hope that helps!
      Alley 🙂

  37. Hola¡!¡¡¡ Visitaré el South Rim Gran Cañon en Tren, que tan lejos nos queda el Horseshoe Bend?? Y para visitar Antelope Canyon necesito reservacion??? La temperatura para el mes de Junio son calurosas de dia y noche?? Gracias por ayudarme por favor.

    1. Hola Yuri,
      Antelope Canyon y Horseshoe Bend se encuentran ~ 150 millas del Borde Sur del Gran Cañón. Si visita Grand Canyon South Rim en tren solo por el día, no podrá llegar allí. Tendrá que reservar un día o dos para conducir allí mismo, o hacer un recorrido desde Flagstaff o Grand Canyon South Rim.
      Gracias por visitar nuestro sitio,
      Alley 🙂
      Traducido del inglés al español por Google Translate

  38. We r planning to visit in Aug, can we do both upper and lower antelope canyon on the same day?? And how far away from the canyon to hoeseshoe bend??

    1. Hi Jay,
      You can indeed visit both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon in the same day, but that might not be the best use of your time. It is not necessary to visit both Upper and Lower Antelope to have a fulfilling visit to Page, AZ. If you’re physically up for touring Lower Antelope Canyon, I’d stick with that, then use your remaining time for other activities, such as the Horseshoe Bend Overlook (which is about 10 minutes away from Antelope Canyon), and maybe a tour of Glen Canyon Dam, visit the John Weseley Powell Museum, or the scenic Lakeshore Drive Loop inside the Lake Powell Resort Area (entrance fee required for the latter).
      Better yet, plan on staying another day in Page, AZ so you can take part in the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip, Lake Powell Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour or take a tour to White Pockets.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  39. Is horseshoe bend always accessible? I was looking online and I can’t tell if it is closed during the times we will be in town. is may 14th a time when the park is accessible?? thanks!!

    1. Hi Karen!
      Horseshoe Bend is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 365 days a year, so you may visit whenever you wish! Although night may not be the best time LOL with the exception of those occurring under a full moon.
      Alley 🙂

  40. Hello there(: Will Horseshoe Bend be open on March 25? Are we required to have a tonto pass and are the any fees at this moment? Is a tour guide suggested for a group going their first time?

    1. Hello there Tiffany!
      Horseshoe Bend is open 24/7/365. At the present time, a park pass is not required, nor is a tour guide, you can visit whenever you wish.
      Alley 🙂

  41. Hello, thank you for all of the useful information! I am planning on having my engagement photos here, and wondering about *tips* on how to go about it such as not being able to bring bags of any sort. Do people go up there already in their dresses/suits? Which application applies for the engagement shoot if it is only 3 people involved? Also, they said something about having insurance or proof of up to 1 million dollars?? Is this negotiable? Any suggestions on hotels and car rentals there? Any specific guide you used that you prefer? Any other tips would be wonderful. Thank you!

    1. Hi Alisa and thank you for your inquiry.
      Regarding “not being able to bring any bags,” I think you are referring to the regulations at Glen Canyon Dam. These are not the case for Horseshoe Bend Overlook, as people go out there with backpacks all the time. That said, sometimes people do choose to visit the overlook fully dressed for a photo shoot due to the inconvenience of having to change in one of the restrooms.
      As for the particulars on special use permit applications, insurance, things of that nature, these issues must be addressed with the National Park Service since Horseshoe Bend is within the jurisdiction of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Special Use Permit Application For questions not addressed via this form, contact Erik Nikkel, Eric J. Nikkel, Chief of Business Management of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area at 928-608-6323 or by e-mail at [email protected]
      As for hotels, you have your pick of everything from Motel 6 to Marriott and everything in between. Wedding and special parties such as yourselves though might be more comfortable staying in a vacation rental home. Page, AZ has several to offer.
      There is one rental car outlet in Page, AZ, AVIS, which is based at the Page Municipal Airport.
      Hope that helps. Congratulations on your engagement and best wishes for safe travels and a wonderful trip!
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi AJ and thank you for your excellent question.
      Since Horseshoe Bend is within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, access to the river is restricted to authorized concessionaires. For a guided, family-friendly float trip, Wilderness River Adventures would be who to contact.
      If you wish to kayak it, backhaul service is offered on a limited basis by several companies in Page, AZ (including Wilderness River Adventures) and Lees Ferry.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  42. Hi Alley 👋🏻 This is all great information on this site ! We are traveling to Grand Canyon mid Oct this year Have you any quick advise on getting the most out of our stay (2nights at the Lodge but we are also staying in Vegas for 5 nights-which isn’t far away hey)
    Any advice would be much appreciated Thanks in advance
    Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah and thank you for your compliments on our site. Mid-October is a great time to be here!
      First off, I’m assuming that even though you posted on a site devoted to Horseshoe Bend, which is located in Page, AZ, you’re not presently planning to go there? Also, even though you don’t specifically state whether you’re going to the North Rim or South Rim, since the North Rim lodge closes October 15th, I’ll go off the assumption that you’ll be going to the South Rim.
      Here’s what I advise:
      1. 5 nights in Las Vegas is plenty. Drop one of those nights and make time to visit Page, AZ. It has a lot to offer and is only 2.5 hours from either Grand Canyon North Rim or South Rim. 1-Day Page, AZ Itinerary
      2. Drop one of your nights at the Grand Canyon and give it to Page, AZ. I know that sounds crazy. But, whether you’re staying at the North or South Rim, you can do a lot of sightseeing in one day. If you happen to be staying at the South Rim, you will end up doing a good chunk of your sightseeing on the drive from GC to Page, AZ, or from Page, AZ to GC.
      3. AND THIS IS CONTINGENT ON YOU STAYING AT THE SOUTH RIM. Use one of your full days to take the Scenic Canyon River Adventure Tour. It’s a cool package that includes a scenic sunrise flight over the Grand Canyon’s Eastern portion, a 4×4 tour of Antelope Canyon and the Half-Day Glen Canyon Float Trip. It’s a 12-hour day, so be sure you schedule enough “quality time” at the Grand Canyon first. Again, this tour is only available from the South Rim. If you’re staying at the North Rim, you can take a day trip to Page and take the Glen Canyon Float Trip and the Antelope Canyon tour separately.
      As for getting the most out of your Grand Canyon vacation, visit http://www.GrandCanyon.com for great tips and advice from people who’ve live and worke there!
      Best wishes for safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  43. Hello! We’re planning to come this spring break at the end of this month. Just wondering how many minutes hike to get in to horseshoe bend? Couple of us going has an asthma issue and we want to see most of it while we’re there. Thanks!

    1. Hi Janet,
      Thank you for your question.
      It typically takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes to hike to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook, but it’s not a race by any means, so take as long as you wish to get there. Keep in mind that the trail is completely exposed up to the viewing platform and that soil conditions can range from wet and compacted to dry and deep, “sugary” sand.
      If you decide that your party members are unable to walk to the overlook, you might consider flying over it. Airplane and helicopter tours depart daily, weather permitting, from the Page Municipal Airport.
      Hope that helps and that you have a wonderful vacation!
      Alley 🙂

  44. Hello Alley, I am planning to visit and photograph Horseshoe bend on March 15. I will be driving from Denver.. This is my first time there. Is there any snow? Is there any fees ? Is it crowded as other seasons of the year ? Is drone photography allowed ? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Germán,
      At the present time, there is no snow forecast for the Page area. Temperatures are averaging in the low 50’s. There are no fees charged for entrance to Horseshoe Bend. Crowds are slightly lower right now than they are in peak travel season, but it is still busy. And last but not least, no drone photography is allowed. Sorry.
      Have a wonderful trip!
      Alley 🙂

  45. Hello!
    My husband and I are planning a trip to visit Horseshoe Bend and other sites in the Arizona area. We are planning our trip over Labor Day in September. Will the weather be too hot or unbearable to hike? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Whitney, and thank you for your excellent question.
      September weather in Page, AZ is typically warm, but not unbearable. Average daytime highs run in the mid 80’s, nighttime lows in the 60’s. Since Labor Day sometimes falls at the tail end of Arizona’s summer “monsoon” season, though, an occasional afternoon rainstorm is not unheard of, and can cool things down nicely when they occur.
      Hope that helps. Be sure to stay well-hydrated when out hiking!
      Safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Bill,
      The viewing platform and safety rails will probably be complete by the time you visit, barring any weather-related delays or similar circumstances. Other aspects of the project, such as paving of the ADA-compliant trail, are expected to come online later in the year. As for fees, there are none at present required to visit Horseshoe Bend. For the time being it is free of charge and open 24/7. If upon your arrival, you decide you still cannot make the trip out there, you might consider other options such as flying over Horseshoe Bend or taking the Glen Canyon Float Trip through Horseshoe Bend.
      Hope that helps.
      Enjoy your visit!
      Alley 🙂

  46. We are planning on a visit mid February. We have someone with knee and hip accessibility issues. Would it be a problem for them to visit and enjoy the trip and walking around Horseshoe Bend? Also, what do you expect the weather/temperatures to be at that time?

    Thank you,

    1. Dear Lee,
      Hello and thank you for your visit.
      Your party member with the bad hip and knee may have a problem with the trail to Horseshoe Bend. Though not particularly long, there is some uphill walking involved at the present time.
      You might consider an alternate means for them to experience Horseshoe Bend, such as flying over it.
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. If there’s any consolation, improvements are underway that will eventually make the overlook ADA compliant. If you are able to visit the area in the future, hopefully you can try it out.
      Alley 🙂

  47. Can you provide an update on the status of the accessible trail and railings at the overlook? We’ll be there in mid-March. I may be able to navigate the current trail, using my rollator and taking my time, but the planned accessible trail would be much easier for me. Thank you.

    1. Hi Rod, and thank you for your inquiry.
      Mid-March may be a trifle early to expect the accessible trail to be open, but then again, Northern Arizona has experienced an unusually warm winter. Early completion of the improvements may be one “fringe benefit” of the mild weather.
      Hope that helps at least somewhat,
      Alley 🙂

  48. I’ve read that sunset is the best time to see the views at Horseshoe bend but is the walk back to the car or getting out of there dangerous in the dark? Thanks!

    1. Hi Vanessa,
      Actually, opinions are all over the place as to whether sunset is the best time or not to visit Horseshoe Bend. Some say “yes,” others disagree. In either case, walking back to the car in the dark is not very safe, so it is advisable to carry a flashlight if you do opt to visit at sunset.
      Personally, we don’t feel there’s such thing as a “bad” time to visit Horseshoe Bend Overlook. Do what works for you, your family and your schedule and enjoy it.
      Take care and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  49. Hello,
    Planning a trip near the end of January. Just wondering if Horseshoe Bend is open to hike and if the Upper Antelope Canyon is open for tours at this time? if they are, what is the weather like and how should I dress for the weather? And one last question please, I plan to drive alone from Sedona to Page, can the weather be a concern when driving at this time? Thank you

    1. Dear Jojo,
      Hello and thank you for your inquiry.
      Both Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend will be open for visitation at the end of January. Antelope Canyon tours should be booked in advance of your arrival. As for the weather, right now, daytime highs are in the 40’s and 50’s (we’re having something of a mild winter), but that could change by the time you visit. Start monitoring the weather about 10 days before setting out.
      The drive from Sedona typically takes around 3 hours. Weather might be a concern, but it’s too early to tell right now. We suggest visiting http://www.az511.com to check road conditions before you start the drive, and if snow is expected, particularly in the Flagstaff area, reschedule or cancel your trip.
      We’ll keep our fingers crossed for favorable conditions for you!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

      1. quick question-do we have to buy tickets they agency or we can drive our own car to see the horse shoe sometime by the end of October .its my boyfriend a bday !!

        1. Hi Cristina!
          You are welcome to drive your own vehicle to Horseshoe Bend anytime between the hours of sunrise and sunset, which are approximately 6:45 AM and 5:30 PM respectively in late October. There is a parking fee of $10 per vehicle for standard passenger cars, or $35 for light commercial vehicles such as Ford Transit or Chevy Express vans. Horseshoe Bend Parking Lot Reopens
          One suggestion: just after sunrise tends to have fewer people to contend with, so you might get an early start on the day for optimal convenience 😉 Good luck, safe travels, and wish your boyfriend a happy birthday for us!
          Alley 🙂

  50. Greetings! I am planning to visit for my Birthday January 16, 2018 planning to be there at around 1:00-2:00 in the afternoon. not sure if it will be worth it, since it might be too cold…I would love to hear your input 🙂

    1. Hi Adriana, thank you for visiting, and Happy Birthday, albeit somewhat in advance.
      The possibility of colder weather should in no way deter you from visiting Horseshoe Bend. In fact, it’s been quite a mild winter this year, with recent average daytime highs in the 50’s (Fahrenheit). Just wear a jacket, bring some gloves and a hat just in case, don’t forget water, too and enjoy it.
      Best of luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  51. Can you tell me about what time the sunsets at horseshoe bend. A grand daughter is planning a marriage there in late Oct at sunset and we want to suprise her. Weather also

    1. Hi Carolyn,
      How wonderful of you to surprise your granddaughter at her wedding, and at Horseshoe Bend no less!
      Sunset in Page, Arizona occurs around 5:30 PM in late October. It is recommended that they arrive at Horseshoe Bend an hour or so beforehand for the best photo ops. Once the sun goes down, the ‘bend and the Colorado River below are in shadow. Advise everyone in the wedding party to bring flashlights as there is no artificial/supplemental lighting once you get out of the parking lot.
      As for weather, expect temperatures in the 60’s or 70’s during the day, possibly jacket weather later in the afternoon.
      Another thing: Horseshoe Bend is located within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which is under National Park Service jurisdiction. Hopefully your granddaughter has obtained a Special Use Permit from the National Park Service. She cannot legally hold her wedding there without one.
      Hope that helps! We would love to see pictures 😉
      Take care and have a wonderful visit,
      Alley 🙂

  52. Hi Alley,

    Your explanations are wonderful! Thank you for taking your time to answer these questions.
    My family will be traveling at the end of November to Arizona. Do the tours still run at the end of season and what should we expect as far as weather/hiking goes?

    Thank you
    Jeannine

    1. Hi Jeannine and thanks for the compliments!
      As you’ve correctly stated, late November is “shoulder season” here in Page, AZ, which means not quite on, not quite off. The majority of tours are still running, however, they do so contingent on good weather, and sometimes a certain number of people, in order to operate. The latter (passenger minimum) usually applies to air tours and boat tours, in other words, the “high dollar” items.
      Antelope Canyon tours usually aren’t as particular about numbers, I’ve heard they’ve gone out with as few as two people, but then again, they reserve the right to require more people to sign up. The nice thing, though, is you shouldn’t have to worry about booking a tour 6 months in advance like you would if you were travelling in the summertime.
      As for weather, it’s cold. Bring at least light jackets or sweaters, be ready to trot out hats, scarves and gloves if necessary.
      Hope I’m not making it sound horrible, because it’s not. The best thing about being here at the time you’ve chosen is not having to bump into a ton of people wanting to take the exact same picture you are!
      Good luck and happy travels,
      Alley

  53. Alley-
    As a Southern Utah native, I’ve been to Horseshoe Bend many of times and I absolutely love it!! I’ve recently acquired a few kayaks and would love to kayak at the bottom. Where would be the best place to drop in/out? I know some river companies have private contracts, so I wasn’t sure if it was open to the public, and would we need to shuttle? Any help is greatly appreciated!!
    Thanks again, Jenn

    1. Hi Jenn, and thank you for visiting our site! I too lived in Southern Utah (Big Water, UT, about 13 miles Northeast of Page) for about 15 years and absolutely loved it.
      If you would like to take your kayak on the Colorado River in Glen Canyon, I recommend you contact Colorado River Discovery (the authorized concessionaire that presently has the float trip contract) for backhaul services. They’ll bring you to just South of the Glen Canyon Dam where you can paddle down as far as Lees Ferry. https://www.raftthecanyon.com/raft-the-river/back-hauling-services/
      Anything beyond Lees Ferry is considered the Grand Canyon and falls under a whole different set of permit requirements https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/weightedlottery.htm That and the Grand Canyon is home to some of the biggest, baddest white water in the Western Hemisphere, whereas the Glen Canyon to Lees Ferry stretch is totally smooth).
      Hope that helps – happy traveling!
      Alley

    2. Colorado River Discovery lost the contract in 2018. so the new outfitter for” backhaul services” is now using Lake Powell Resorts to book float trips. Their name is Wilderness River Adventures. you can find them at riveradventures.com. 800.992.8022. Have a great time kayaking.

  54. Thanks Alley and everyone for the insightful article and great questions to help me plan my trip to Horseshoe bend and Antelope Canyon. So much great information!

  55. Hi Alley,

    Great site – just found it whilst trying to get some local knowledge and Bingo – there you are 🙂

    Forgive my complete British ignoprance, but does Horseshoe Bend have water all year round, or does the river dry up in places? I only ask as we once trekked for 10k in Yosemite to see an oxbow lake, only to discover it was empty! Just wondered if Horseshoe was full year-round? Planning a trip in early August with my two children and wouldn’t want to come at the wrong time of year (if there is one, given your excellent ‘wrong time of day’ point!).

    Thanks,
    Annie.

    1. Hi Annie and thanks for writing — And no, your question does not reflect ignorance of any stripe, it is perfectly valid and useful!
      The flow of the Colorado River through Horseshoe Bend is regulated by the Glen Canyon Dam upstream. Therefore, a minimum output quota must be met in order for the dam to continue generating hydroelectric power. Long story short, the river never “dries out.” In fact, in August, it’s typically quite the opposite as that is Arizona’s “monsoon” season, typified by brief but sometimes intense rainstorms that can produce temporary waterfalls in Glen Canyon. You might see one of these from Horseshoe Bend! Just don’t attempt to do so if lightning is present. With no guardrails at the overlook, it’s a long drop to the river.
      Good luck and happy travels,
      Alley

  56. Hi Alley,
    Question for horseshoe bend can you tour it on your own? Do you have to have a tour guide or free to walk the trail up to the bend?? I’m trying to plan my trip in May, and want to do as much as i possibly can without tours.

    1. Hi Skye,
      At the moment, a tour guide is not required to visit Horseshoe Bend. It is, however, required to visit Antelope Canyon. So, yes, you are free to walk up the trail to the overlook anytime you wish – 24/7, 365 days a year. Although I wouldn’t recommend going up there at night necessarily. Once it gets dark, it gets really, REALLY dark and with no guardrails at the rim, it’s a long drop to the river!
      Good luck and happy traveling!
      Alley

        1. Hello Allan and thank you for visiting our site!
          Both Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon will be open the weekend of January 12th and 13th. The Horseshoe Bend Overlook may be visited at any time, 24/7. Antelope Canyon requires a tour, and reservations should be made in advance of your arrival. How To Book A Tour For Antelope Canyon
          Happy New Year and have a wonderful visit to Page, Arizona!
          Alley 🙂

      1. Ok so if we are driving thru page we can just park and walk up to the viewing area for free? And it’s a short 3/4 mile walk to the viewing area ?

        1. Hi Michelle,
          Yes, admission to Horseshoe Bend is free and the distance to the overlook is approximately .6 miles one-way.
          Hope that helps.
          Alley 🙂

          1. Hi Kenny,
            Unfortunately, it is no longer free to park at Horseshoe Bend. Due to exponentially increasing popularity, thanks to social media, it became necessary to construct a parking lot and charge $10/vehicle to visit. Parking Lot Reopens, Parking Fees Implemented at Horseshoe Bend
            The Horseshoe Bend Overlook is located just a few miles South of Page, AZ, on US Highway 89.
            Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Art, and thanks for visiting our site.
      The walk to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook is approximately 3/4 mile long up a very sandy trail. To give you some idea, my mom (with bad knees) visited me a few years ago and I proposed going on this walk. She took one look at the trail and said “no way.” To get a visual, forward to the 3:40 mark on this video (it’s sped up, but gets the point across). https://youtu.be/VBeES4C0V34
      I’m not sure when you are planning to visit, but improvements to the Overlook are in the works that include an accessible trail. https://www.lakepowelllife.com/improvements-to-horseshoe-bend-advance-to-design-phase/ Mind you, though, these probably won’t materialize until next season.
      Another way for someone unable to walk to Horseshoe Bend to see it is to fly over it. Fixed wing airplane flights depart from the Page Municipal Airport (PGA) daily, weather permitting. https://horseshoebend.com/see-horseshoe-bend-air/
      Hope that helps. Have a great trip!
      Alley

        1. Hi Mark, and thank you for this excellent inquiry.
          Because water in the Colorado River is released from Lake Powell through the Glen Canyon Dam, it tends to remain a constant 47 degrees (Fahrenheit) year-round. That’s pretty darn cold, trust me, I’ve swam in that water many times, which tends to be a quick in/quick out affair! Therefore, “swimming around the Horseshoe (Bend)” is neither safe nor realistic without a wetsuit, and then there’s the matter of getting down to the river. You can do one of three things:
          A. take the Glen Canyon Half Day Float Trip, which would not allow swimming at Horseshoe Bend, but a bit further down river.
          B. rent a kayak or canoe at Lees Ferry, then contract with a backhaul service to take you to the base of the Glen Canyon Dam, and float down the river 15 miles back to Lees Ferry
          C. Drive down to Lees Ferry, walk down to the river, and wade/swim at your own risk (the current tends to quicken quite dramatically in this area)
          Hope that helps! Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

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