The Intimate Grand Canyon Experience

In the fable of The Tortoise and the Hare, Aesop cautioned us to temper our “need for speed,” because “slow and steady wins the race.” In the case of the Horseshoe Bend Overlook, slow and steady doesn’t necessarily win any race, but taking a gradual, more mindful approach to this now-iconic symbol of the American Southwest will give the viewer a better appreciation for the true complexity of the area’s geology. And that, in our book, is definitely one for the “win” column!

As you exit your vehicle in the newly-expanded Horseshoe Bend parking area just South of Page, Arizona, your first challenge is to make your way up a mildly steep incline through deep, sometimes unwieldy sand. Though most visitors succumb to the temptation to make quick work out of this small obstacle, you might view it as an opportunity to take a trip through a real-life “Jurassic World.”

About 200 million years ago, a massive sea of sand dunes covered the landscape from Arizona to Wyoming. Known to geologists as “ergs,” they eventually became petrified (turned to stone) by water and minerals, solidifying into a uniform layer of sandstone over 2,000’ thick in some areas. After the bedrock of Navajo Sandstone formed, other sedimentary layers of sandstone, mudstone, calcite and limestone settled on top of it, then began to wear away under the constant scouring of relentless winds, flash floods, and extreme heat and cold. Today, the Navajo sandstone is once again exposed, and its top layer turning to sand. So this hill that makes you go “erg” is what remains of a gigantic sand dune that actually saw dinosaurs walk upon it. Indeed, there is a small, but hard-to-find dinosaur track about 50 yards from the end of the trail. Tell us the GPS coordinates if you happen to find it!

As you crest the hill, the trail begins to undulate and you’ll notice the tone of the landscape has taken on more jagged, sloping characteristics. Whitish gravel and chunks of sand also make an appearance. These are remnants of the calcite, or limestone layer that was once here. The diagonal stripes in the rock formations tell the story of how the sand dunes were petrified, yet retained their former shape as minerals, rain and snow changed their molecular composition over the course of 20 million years.

As you get closer to Horseshoe Bend Overlook, you’ll notice that some of the rock formations sport dark, sandy nodules. These are known as “iron concretions.” Because it was heavier than sandstone, iron tended to cluster up into small spheres during the process of petrification. As the sandstone erodes away, these concretions are becoming exposed to the elements once again. Occasionally, they will break away from the sandstone bedrock. When they do, they become what are known as “Moki Marbles.” If you find one – or more – please don’t pocket them. Remember, take only pictures and leave only footprints!

If all this sounds pretty amazing so far, wait until you see what’s ahead of you: the very thing you came here for – Horseshoe Bend! A geologic masterpiece sculpted by the Colorado River, Horseshoe Bend is an example of what happens when water takes the path of least resistance. Approximately 5 million years ago – or what a geologist might describe as “just the other day” – the Colorado Plateau abruptly uplifted. The rivers that flowed across this ancient landscape were suddenly trapped in their beds. Seeking a new natural level, with the help of gravity, the Colorado River began cutting through rock layers deep and fast. Here at Horseshoe Bend, an unstoppable force met an immovable object, namely, a sandstone escarpment. Since this rock formation wasn’t going to budge anytime soon, the river did the most logical thing it could: it went around it. The result is the 270° bend in the river (called an “incised” or “entrenched meander”) you see before you. Who knows, in a few million years, the stubborn promontory might finally decide to give way to the river’s whims, and future tourists could be viewing an attraction that bears a resemblance to Rainbow Bridge!

At this viewpoint, you can see the waters of the Colorado River in all their sparkling, blue-green glory as they drift along toward the Grand Canyon."

But, that’s in the realm of sheer speculation for now. What’s in the realm of absolute certainty is that this is one of the most intimate views of the Colorado River you’re likely to experience on your Northern Arizona vacation. At this viewpoint, you can see the waters of the Colorado River in all their sparkling, blue-green glory as they drift along toward the Grand Canyon. Where else can you take a selfie with this timeless, majestic waterway in the background? Certainly not at the Grand Canyon – from the South Rim, there is only a handful of viewpoints that the Colorado River can be seen from, and then only a small stretch before it disappears again behind a butte or plateau. So pause for a few minutes to breathe in the fresh air and appreciate this magnificent view for how powerful and miraculous it truly is!

Now, wasn’t it worth the walk? For best results photographing Horseshoe Bend, you’ll need a wide angle lens to get the entire scene in the picture. If heights freak you out a little, try sitting or even lying down to take in the view from a more secure perspective. Seeing little blue dots on the river? Don’t worry, that’s not the altitude messing with your mind, those are rafts rounding Horseshoe Bend on the Half-Day Glen Canyon Float Trip. If you take one look at that first hill and still say “no way,” consider flying over Horseshoe Bend to get an incredible bird’s eye view without breaking a sweat.

152 Responses

  1. Hi Alley,
    We are planning to take a family trip to the Glen Canyon area which including the Upper/Lower Antelop, Horse Bend, etc. We will be driving from Texas and this will be our first time to visit this area so hopefully you can give us some guidances for this trip during the reopening of the country.
    Do we need to make a reservation for any of this place?
    Are there any specific requirements like face mask, limited number of people per group?
    Can we driving straight to these places, our must take tours?
    Any other nice places such as waterfalls, sightseeing around this area?
    Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Cong,
      Since I have family in Austin, TX, I’ve made the drive you’re proposing to take several times myself. Since it takes anywhere from 16-20 hours, it is best to break up the drive into two or three days, depending on which part of TX you’re coming from. Our go-to spots for this are Clovis, NM, since we have family there as well, but you might opt to stop in Carlsbad, NM, to visit the Carlsbad Caverns, or Albuquerque, NM, to visit the Acoma Pueblo, Petroglyph National Monument, Bandelier National Monument or any number of attractions in that area.
      You should definitely make reservations for hotels along your route, and for any guided tours you might wish to take. For the Antelope Canyons, a guided tour is required to visit, provided that they are open. Residents of the Navajo Reservation, where Page, AZ, slot canyons are situated, has been affected in disproportionately high numbers by COVID-19. Last I heard they were shooting for a reopen date of June 7th, but this may not happen. Should they extend the closure of their lands to visitors, that doesn’t mean you have to or should cancel your trip, you’ll just need to look to alternatives.
      Fortunately, the Horseshoe Bend overlook remains open (it never closed), and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area/Lake Powell is reopening gradually. Face masks and other social distancing guidelines may be observed at one’s discretion. Passenger capacity on tours may indeed be reduced, which is why advance reservations remain crucial. Should the Antelope Canyons remain closed at the time of your arrival, other slot canyons in the area you might consider visiting include but are not limited to Wire Pass Canyon and/or the Buckskin Gulch near Paria, UT and Red Canyon aka Peek-a-Boo Canyon near Kanab, UT. While these do not require a guided tour, per se, it is recommended that you take one since the roads to these formations can be hazardous, and difficult to navigate for those unaccustomed to off-road driving. If you’re in a rental car, you are forbidden from driving off-road anyway.
      Waterfalls, as a general rule, tend to be kind of hard to get to. If you are planning to visit Zion National Park (which you should if at all possible!), the Upper Emerald Pools is a family-friendly hike that takes you to a three-tiered formation of waterfalls and natural ponds (unfortunately swimming is not allowed). The Weeping Rock Trail is also easy, but I’ve heard that it is closed this season due to damage from a rock slide. If you’re planning on going to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Lower Calf Creek Falls is spectacular, but the hike to get there is kind of long (5.5 miles round-trip) and might not be suitable for young kids.
      Hope that helps! Feel free to write in again if you need to bounce more ideas off us 🙂
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley

  2. Hi Alley!

    I’m planning to visit the Lake Powell area, and want to check out Horseshoe Bend (while ALSO remaining safe due to the current state of the world!)
    That being said– I’m not an avid hiker, but I really want to see Horseshoe Bend from this point of view. I’ve seen mixed reviews on the hike, but it seems fairly attainable. I was wondering how long it seems to take to ‘hike’? And if there are any other sort of trails at Horseshoe Bend aside from the one pictured above?

    Also, do you have any advice on kayaking Horseshoe Bend? I’ve never kayaked before, but would be going with a friend who has. She seems very interested in the idea, as am I… but would love to hear your insight! 🙂 Thanks so much for all of this information. I’m looking forward to seeing this beautiful site in person!

    P.S.

    Do you have any recommendations for swimming holes or hikes specifically in the Lake Powell/Page/Horseshoe Bend area? <3

    1. Hi Lindsey,
      First off, you do not need to be an “avid” hiker to enjoy the trip to Horseshoe Bend. If you’re in relatively good health, you should be able to manage it. Just be sure to bring appropriate closed-toed shoes, ample sun protection, and water for yourself and your hiking party. If after considering the pros and cons, you surmise that you won’t be able to make the walk, there are other ways to see it that are less physical, although more pricey. For more information on these, visit “Help! I Can’t Make The Hike To Horseshoe Bend
      As for kayaking through Horseshoe Bend, it is possible by utilizing what’s known as a backhaul service from Lees Ferry. You can either bring your own kayak, or rent one from one of several local outfitters. You would then be motored to the base of the Glen Canyon Dam, where you would transfer to your kayak and paddle down the river 15 miles back to Lees Ferry. For more information on this activity, visit http://www.kayakthecolorado.com or http://www.kayakhorseshoebend.com
      On the subject of swimming holes, you’ve got the grand-daddy of all swimming holes just minutes from Horseshoe Bend: Lake Powell! There are several nice swim beaches in the area, including The Chains, which is easily dovetailed with a hike to the Hanging Gardens area. The Wahweap Swim Beach and Lone Rock Beach are fun, too; these are both inside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, meaning you have to pay an entrance fee.
      Hope that helps — good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Udi,
      Theoretically, you can picnic at the Horseshoe Bend Overlook, but to be honest, it may not be the best place for that. There are no picnic tables out there, and very little shade, and right now, daytime temperatures are starting to ratchet up above 90 degrees.
      A better place for a picnic would be near the Stateline Launch Ramp at Lake Powell. Just across the road from the Wahweap Campground is a nice picnic area, with tables and shade. And if you get hot, Lake Powell is just a short walk away for a refreshing dip. Since it is located within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, an entrance fee is required to utilize this area. If that does not appeal, the Wahweap Overlook on U.S. 89 boasts a nice view of Lake Powell (but no lake access), picnic tables and shade, and no entrance fee.
      Hope that helps!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  3. What time if day gets the sun in right place so you can get the picture above? Thank you!
    Also, can Antelope Canyon be done in the same day?

    1. Hi Meghan!
      These photos were most likely taken during the mid-day hours during winter and early spring. Depending on the time of year you’re visiting, however, you may not want to be at Horseshoe Bend at that time. If you’re coming during the hot months of summer, for example, you’ll want to be at the overlook just after sunrise to take advantage of cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. Though the Colorado River may be shadowed, you will still be able to take beautiful photos!
      As to whether it’s possible to tour Antelope Canyon the same day you visit Horseshoe Bend, yes, you can — usually. Right now, the Antelope Canyons and other attractions on Navajo Indian Tribal Lands are closed due to COVID-19. They are shooting for a reopening date of mid-June, last we heard, but that could get pushed back since COVID-19 cases are occurring in disproportionately high numbers on the reservation.
      Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

      1. Miss alley i can still go through monument valley (just to see the view)main highway to get to fourcorners right?! Looks like some if my iptuon for camping are open but im going to call them to make sure I will be leaving sunday for roadtrip to colorado utah 4 corners and new mexico! I will be in horseshoe bend as well!

        1. Hi Connie,
          Although the road through Monument Valley remains accessible, the Navajo Nation asks that any visitors from outside the reservation avoid stopping in this area. To that end, all campgrounds, hotels, and other tourist-oriented businesses are closed. This includes the Four Corners Monument. The Navajo Tribe’s residents have been affected in disproportionately high numbers by COVID-19 and cannot risk accidental exposure by tourists. If for any reason you must get out of your car on reservation lands, you will be asked to wear a mask, especially if you have to patronize a business such as a gas station or convenience store. But again, with careful planning, you can avoid this.
          You are correct in that some campgrounds in the American Southwest are reopening, but others are not. Be sure to verify the status of all campgrounds you plan to stay at before assuming you’ll be able to get a space.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Shelly —
      Yes, Horseshoe Bend is open. It is one of the few attractions in the Page, AZ, area that remained open throughout the COVID-19 shutdown period. Other nearby attractions on Navajo Tribal Land such as the Antelope Canyons and Monument Valley are closed, but are shooting for a re-open date of mid-June. To be put on an e-mail list to be notified as to when that happens, visit our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ
      Glen Canyon/Lake Powell is in the midst of a “phased” reopening of facilities and activities and *fingers crossed* will be back in full swing by the time you visit!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  4. Hello! I have a few questions.
    1. What are the hours of operation?
    2. Do we buy the tickets online? If so, where and how much per person?
    3. Can we still access the river to swim?

    1. Hi Valeska,
      1. The Horseshoe Bend Overlook is open from sunrise to sunset
      2. Parking fees of $10/passenger vehicle or $35/light commercial vehicle are paid on arrival; they may not be purchased in advance
      3. You can access the Colorado River to swim at Lees Ferry, or at several access points on Lake Powell. For specific information on these, visit http://www.NPS.gov: Glen Canyon
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Simply go to Google Maps and do a search on “Horseshoe Bend, Page, AZ.”
      Horseshoe Bend is located at mile marker 545 on US89. The parking lot is very well-signed and easy to find!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  5. Hello, is this trail easily done by an elderly person that usually needs a cane or walker to assist them?

    1. Hi Mark,
      The Horseshoe Bend Overlook trail is approximately .7 miles one way, therefore, you’re looking at just shy of 1.5 miles round-trip. That might be a little much for someone with mobility issues to handle.
      Sorry to be the bearer of potentially bad news on that front. Depending on when your visit is scheduled for, namely, a few months from now, you might consider one of several alternate means of visiting Horseshoe Bend that don’t involve so much physical activity. However, many of these options are on temporary hiatus due to COVID-19. For more information, check out “Help! I Can’t Do the Hike to Horseshoe Bend
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

        1. Hi Any,
          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 activities 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, and the Navajo Reservation has been hit particularly hard. They are asking that travelers avoid that area altogether if possible. 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 all 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. Will there be roadblocks by the Navajo nation police? Are we able to drive there Friday for one day trip and leave? departing be fore 2pm.

          2. Hi Jennifer,
            This is a really good question.
            While roads through the Navajo Nation are not closed to through traffic — after all, trucks still have to get through to deliver supplies — the local police may require you to stop at any time. You may be asked to wear face masks while traveling through reservation lands, and discouraged from stopping at gas stations, trading posts, anywhere you could risk exposing local residents to COVID-19.
            We thank you in advance for complying with these guidelines. The Navajo Nation has been hit especially hard by COVID-19 and needs time and space to heal.
            Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

          1. Ross,
            Apologies for the delay in response to your inquiry. Hopefully you found Horseshoe Bend still open, as indicated in previous replies, and enjoyed it!
            Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

        1. Hi Jasmin!
          For updates on other attractions reopening (or choosing not to), visit http://www.NPS.gov and search for your desired park by state or by name.
          From what we have been told, Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim) will reopen on a very limited basis for Memorial Day weekend.
          Glen Canyon National Recreation Area/Lake Powell also plans a phased reopening of activities and facilities, as do Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in Utah.
          The Navajo Indian Tribe, who manage popular attractions such as the Antelope Canyons and Monument Valley, have opted to keep their reservation lands closed to visitors until further notice. They have been hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19, so we support this decision 100%.
          Hope this helps. Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

  6. Is this open and if so do i have to pay?

    I am going to be driving from San Diego.

    What are the hours and will there be people there?

    1. Dear Adam,
      As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants. Collection of the usual $10/vehicle parking fee has also been temporarily suspended. The overlook is open from sunrise to sunset. People are coming to visit, but in fewer numbers than they had in the past.
      Assuming that you are planning to visit in the near future, there are a few things you should keep in mind: the Antelope Canyons, another popular attraction in Page, AZ, are closed until further notice. There are also over 1,000 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 are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
      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.. I wanted to come up this Sunday. I was wondering if you think that Mother’s day would be really busy?
        Wanted to stay with rules and guidelines and not be in crowded areas. We are driving up from Phoenix area and packing lunch to have in car and not planing on making any stops. Just going straight there and straight back. Thank you.

        1. Hi Cecilia,
          The Horseshoe Bend Overlook should be open on Mother’s Day.
          As for whether it will be busy, that remains to be seen. Nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon and the Antelope Canyons remain closed, as do other popular National and State Parks, which will begin reopening in the days and weeks after your visit.
          Another consideration is that your trip route will take you right through the Navajo Indian Reservation, whose residents have been hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19. Thus they are asking that travelers avoid that area if at all possible; if you must travel through, please don’t stop and risk exposing anyone you might meet. Bear in mind it’s also a 5-hour drive from Phoenix to Page, AZ. That’s a lot of time on the road just to go to one overlook. Don’t get me wrong, Horseshoe Bend is beautiful, and we’d love to have you visit, but perhaps another time would be better.
          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 Austin,
            Yes, the trail to Horseshoe Bend remains open. It’s one of a few attractions in Northern Arizona that never closed through the COVID-19 lockdown! Still, we ask that you observe 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 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 important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.
            Good luck and safe travels,
            Alley 🙂

  7. Hello, I know as of recent someone asked if the bend is still open to the public. I am curious if that is still in effect?

    1. Dear Danielle,
      As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants.
      In light of the fact that there are over 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including several dozen fatalities) in Northern Arizona, and that many nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, and the Antelope Canyons are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
      If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness 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 important, 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 Maria,
            As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants. However, the Antelope Canyons are closed until further notice. In light of that fact, plus considering that there are over 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including several dozen fatalities) in Northern Arizona, and many popular nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, and Monument Valley are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
            If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness 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. Dear Brooke,
          As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants. However, the nearby Antelope Canyons are closed until further notice. In light of that fact, plus considering that there are over 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including several dozen fatalities) in Northern Arizona, and many other popular attractions in the area such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, and Monument Valley are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
          If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness 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 Brittney,
        As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants.
        In light of the fact that there are over 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including several dozen fatalities) in Northern Arizona, and that many nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, and the Antelope Canyons are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
        If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness 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 important, 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. Dear Megan,
      As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants.
      In light of the fact that there are over 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including several dozen fatalities) in Northern Arizona, and that many nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Monument Valley, and the Antelope Canyons are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
      If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness 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 important, 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. Hello Trinity,
      At the present time, Horseshoe Bend remains open to visitation. However, that status could change without notice rather quickly under the present circumstances. The one point about your inquiry that really jumps out at me, however, is your mention of camping. Camping has never been allowed at Horseshoe Bend, nor will it ever be in the foreseeable future.
      Nevertheless, we strongly encourage you to consider whether your visit is 100% necessary. What with many popular camping areas being closed to the public, the fact that there are over 400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including some fatalities) in Northern Arizona, plus the fact that many nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon and the Antelope Canyons are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very limited medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their respective capacities.
      If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness 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 important, 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. Hello does it cost to park and walk to see the Horseshoe bend? Also is this something you can type in a gps or find or where could I find an exact location?

        1. Dear Tiffany,
          As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that status could change without notice rather quickly if the situation warrants. Parking fees are $10 per standard passenger vehicle, $35 for light commercial vehicles. GPS coordinates are 36.8792° N, 111.5104° W
          In light of the fact that there are over 400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including some fatalities) in Northern Arizona, and that many nearby attractions such as the Grand Canyon and the Antelope Canyons are closed, we strongly recommend that you seriously consider whether your visit is 100% necessary at this time. Please bear in mind that most areas of Northern Arizona are quite rural and remote, with very small medical facilities that have already been taxed beyond their limited capacities.
          If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness 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 important, 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. Hello Emily,
      As of Monday, March 30th, Horseshoe Bend remains open for visitation. However, in light of the fact that there are several confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Page, AZ, and limited medical facilities that are already stretched thin, we strongly recommend considering whether your visit is 100% necessary. If you decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness 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 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 important, 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. Dear Emily,
          As of this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open. However, in light of the fact that there are several confirmed cases of COVID-19 (including 2 fatalities) in Page, AZ, and many more in the Navajo Indian Reservation, which abuts the town of Page, AZ, we strongly recommend considering whether your visit is 100% necessary. Bear in mind that both areas have very limited medical capabilities that have already been stretched beyond their respective capacities.
          If you do decide to come, please follow social distancing and cleanliness 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 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 important, 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. Hello Eddie,
        If you’re referring to right this minute, Horseshoe Bend remains open and visited, but not in the numbers we typically see at this time of year for obvious reasons.
        As for weather conditions, right now, the temperature is 52 degrees Fahrenheit under partly cloudy skies; later today, we’re expecting a high of 73 degrees and continued partly cloudy conditions. Page, AZ, and the East Grand Canyon vacation planning
        Good luck and safe travels,
        Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Jesus,
      At the present time, Horseshoe Bend remains open, but that could change if determined necessary by the City of Page or the National Park Service. In the meantime, we urge you to please practice basic common-sense measures as advised by the CDC and WHO: wash your hands frequently, stay at least 6′ away from other people, avoid touching your face, especially after touching hand-rails, credit card machines, and other surfaces that get touched frequently, and last but not least, stay home or at your hotel if you feel the least bit sick.
      As for what else you might do while visiting Page, AZ, not a lot of activities are running due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Still, there are opportunities for self-guided sightseeing, such as hiking along the Rim View Trail, and visiting the White House or Wahweap Overlooks. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area technically remains open, but services available will be extremely limited. No hotels, restuarants, stores, etc. If you do visit this area, be prepared to bring your own food and drinks.
      Better yet, as much as I hate to say it, stay home. Page, AZ, is a rural community with very limited health care services. We would hate to see you fall ill and not get the quality of care you may get at home, or worse yet, to have you unknowingly give the virus to people who live here.
      Good luck and safe travels, I know it’s a hard choice.
      Alley 🙂

  8. I was just informed the Page terminal is closing, where I had a tour booked. Will the bend also be closed? I don’t want to make the drive to find that both are not open.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Jonnathan,
      At the present time, Horseshoe Bend remains open to visitors. However, that status could change at the drop of a hat, as I’m sure you’ve found out.
      For the time being, for your health and safety, and that of your families, please practice basic common-sense measures as advised by the CDC and WHO: wash your hands frequently, stay at least 6′ away from other people, avoid touching your face, especially after touching hand-rails, credit card machines, and other surfaces that get touched frequently, and last but not least, stay home or at your hotel if you feel the least bit sick.
      For current information regarding potential closure(s), I would recommend monitoring these websites:
      LakePowellLife.com, website of the local radio station in Page, AZ, and
      The Lake Powell Chronicle, Page, AZ’s local newspaper
      The City of Page, who oversee the parking lot at Horseshoe Bend
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

        1. Hi Doug,
          Horseshoe Bend is open as of today. For obvious reasons, we urge you to please practice basic common-sense measures as advised by the CDC and WHO: wash your hands frequently, stay at least 6′ away from other people, avoid touching your face, especially after touching hand-rails, credit card machines, and other surfaces that get touched frequently, and last but not least, stay home or at your hotel if you feel the least bit sick.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Justin,
      Sorry to be late in response to your inquiry.
      For those asking the same question, at this moment, Horseshoe Bend remains open for visitation. For your health and safety, and that of your families, please practice basic common-sense measures as advised by the CDC and WHO: wash your hands frequently, stay at least 6′ away from other people, avoid touching your face after touching hand-rails, credit card machines, and other surfaces that are frequently handled, and last but not least, stay home or at your hotel if you feel the least bit sick.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Abby,
      You are correct that Antelope Canyon tours have temporarily been suspended due to COVID-19. We support this decision 100% since slot canyons are a confined space. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in one with a contagious virus floating around.
      Horseshoe Bend, on the other hand, is one of the Southwest’s world famous wide open spaces, which, at the moment, is open for business. We simply ask that you practice basic common-sense measures as advised by the CDC and WHO: wash your hands frequently, stay at least 6′ away from other people, avoid touching your face after touching hand-rails, credit card machines, and other surfaces that are frequently handled, and last but not least, stay home or at your hotel if you feel the least bit sick.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  9. When searching Horse Shoe Bend on Google, many photos appear where people are standing dangerously close to the edge. Is there enough margin for the tourists to see the Horse Shoe Bend from a reliable distance? A person might slip and fall towards the canyon, also another tourist might slip or stumble behind another person. Also, photographic equipment might drop or something like that when another person is walking. The canyon is amazingly beautiful, but it doesn’t seem like there’s a solid margin policy or supervision in place. Maybe same discussion for other locations in Arizona.

    1. Hello Jill,
      A small platform with a safety railing was installed at Horseshoe Bend last year. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop people from being careless or doing things they shouldn’t. Besides, if the entire overlook was to be fenced in, environmentalists would have a screaming fit. The National Park Service or the City of Page assume no responsibility for loss of property or personal injuries sustained during one’s visit to Horseshoe Bend. It is up to each individual to keep themselves and other members of their traveling party safe at Horseshoe Bend, the Grand Canyon, and other potentially precarious locations throughout the American Southwest.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    2. There is a section to the slight left of center that has a guardrail now. The direct center views have no guardrail. I was there last week and many young folks were making stupid and dangerous selfies and photos perched at the end of rocks over the 1000 foot drop. Just dumb. Folks have died there doing stupid stuff. If you are wary of the open edge, stick to the guardrail area, you can still make a great shot from there.

      1. Gerald,
        It’s impossible to regulate stupidity, but if they tried to fence in the entire overlook, the environmentalists would have had a screaming fit. They flapped around enough when the current safety railing was installed.
        As Ricky Nelson once said, “you can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself.
        Cheers,
        Alley 🙂

  10. Hey! I am planning a trip in late May and will be staying in Sedona. Do you think it’s possible to drive up to Page, do an Antelope Canyon Tour and the Horse shoe Bend hike in one day? Hoping to head back to Sedona after the said activities.
    Thanks!

    1. Hey Mary!
      The drive from Sedona to Page, AZ, takes approximately 3 hours — wheels turning, no stops. That rarely happens as the drive is very scenic and you will be stopping to take pictures more often than you realize, so don’t be surprised if it ends up taking longer. Therefore, lighting out of Sedona right at sunrise is strongly advised. During the month of May, sunrise occurs at around 5:15 AM. Touring one segment of Antelope Canyon will take anywhere from 2-2.5 hours; that’s factoring in advance check-in time, logistics of getting to your departure point, and delays that may occur due to the inevitable “bottlenecking” that tends to take place as the day goes on. The hike to Horseshoe Bend typically takes 60-90 minutes, but to be on the safe side, tack another 30 minutes onto that timeframe in order to sort out parking.
      At some point, you’ll probably want to grab some lunch, which will take another 1-2 hours depending on whether you choose to get a quick bite at a fast food place, or a sit-down meal. In the area of Antelope Canyon, there aren’t many restaurants, but the Deli at Big Lake Trading Post makes good sandwiches, which you can get to-go. If you prefer a sit-down meal, you’ll find a variety of restaurants serving different types of cuisine in the town of Page, AZ.
      In May, sunset occurs at roughly 7:30 PM, so be sure you leave Page, AZ, no later than 4:30 PM. You don’t want to do any driving in Northern Arizona in the dark, particularly the stretch of US89A through Oak Creek Canyon. It’s a very narrow, twisty road that’s very dimly lit, and may be populated by deer, elk, and other wildlife.
      Long story short, yes, you can pull of an Antelope Canyon tour (which must be reserved in advance) and a visit to Horseshoe Bend as a day trip from Sedona. If you’re not locked into room reservations in Sedona, however, do consider staying overnight in Page, AZ. That will make for a much more relaxed experience, and allow you to visit Horseshoe Bend at the best time of day, when temperatures are cooler and parking is easier: just after sunrise on your way back to Sedona.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    2. I am currently on Said trip. My wife and I found that staying in Sedona to visit a few areas and do Phoenix. We stopped by Grand canyon for a weekend and then decided to stay here in page to do horseshoe bend, rainbow bridge and antelope canyon.

    3. Do the Antelope Canyon first as you have to reserve a tour (Navajo guided tours are the only way to see either Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon). I went last May and the tours were crowded so reserve your time and whether you want an Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon tour in advance. Then you can go the ten minute drive over to the parking lot for the Horseshoe Bend. The walk in is about 8/10 of a mile each way from the parking lot, more downhill to the bend, then mostly uphill back to the parking lot. There are two shaded places to stop, sit and rest along the walk, if you need a break. Horseshoe Bend needs no reservation. People go there from sunrise to sunset. If you are into photography, there are sites that show you what the bend looks like at different times of day, with the different directions of light. The Bend faces west. I have done both and yes they could be done in the same day and then head back to Sedona. It could be a very long and physical day but not too much if you are reasonably fit, just start out early. Both are stunning and well worth the effort. Cheers

  11. Hi, what time do you recommend getting to the parking lot by if you want to be the first ones there during sunrise? Also, how much time do you need to see Horseshoe Bend? We’re coming in May and we also want to check out lower Antelope Canyon the same day. Thank you

    1. Hi Samreen,
      The Horseshoe Bend parking lot is open from dawn to dusk year-round. In May, sunrise occurs at approximately 5:15 AM (for exact time on your specific travel date visit http://www.sunrise-sunset.org). Therefore, it would be a good idea to be ready to enter the parking lot approximately 15 minutes beforehand. It is suggested that you allow 60-90 minutes to walk to the overlook, take photos, then walk back to the parking lot.
      Be sure that you make advance reservations for your Antelope Canyon tour.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

        1. Hi Samreen,
          A small number of Page, AZ, tour companies go to Horseshoe Bend: Horseshoe Bend Tours, who offer a shuttle service to Horseshoe Bend via a private entrance on Native American Land. You can also bundle a trip to the overlook with a tour to Secret Antelope Canyon. For more information on these, visit http://www.HorseshoeBendTours.com
          Another option, if you wish to tour the Lower segment of Antelope Canyon, is to take the Lower Antelope/Horseshoe Bend combination tour with Dixie Ellis. For more information, visit http://www.antelopelowercanyon.com
          Take care,
          Alley 🙂

  12. Hi, I’m going to be out in Page in late April. I know the pay station closes at sun set, but how late are you allowed to be there after sun set and will they let you know at the booth if the lot is full?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Jon,
      You won’t be allowed to stay for very long past sunset, so if you were hoping to get some “star photography,” that won’t be possible at the present time.
      In the event the parking lot is full at the time of your arrival, you will be informed somehow, whether by signage, or by the entrance gate staff personally.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    2. They close the parking lot entrance gate after sunset, but if you are already in you can stay a bit past sunset. But the Bend is not lighted, and most of the edge is without any railings, so venture there at your own risk without any light. You can see yourself as you drive up if the lot is full or not.

      1. Gerald,
        That’s excellent advice! Sunset visitors may wish to carry flashlights or headlamps for their personal safety.
        Alley 🙂

  13. Hi Alley, Your page has a lot of information which I appreciate. I just watched a video shot last week saying you cannot get into the parking lot of Horseshoe Bend until after sunrise. Is this true?

    1. Hi Deb,
      At present, “dawn to dusk” are the official operating hours of the Horseshoe Bend parking lot, according to the City of Page. This means you wouldn’t be able to be at the overlook prior to sunrise. Since you are not alone in wanting to visit Horseshoe Bend before “actual” sunrise, I would recommend contacting the City office Economic Development and Tourism to voice your concerns. They can be reached at (928) 645-4310.
      Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful at this time,
      Alley

    1. Hi Robert,
      Yes, dogs are allowed, as long as they are on leash, and you pick up after them.
      During the summer months, you may wish to put booties on your dog’s paws since the sand gets very hot!
      Alley 🙂

  14. Hello Alley!
    We are going to page in the middle of February. I wanted to know how normally is the weather there during that time of the year. (To know what kind of clothes I need to wear for the hike) Also I would like to know your personal opinion about what canyon is better to visit; (In February)the upper or the lower? I will have just one day in Page arriving at noon and leaving around 8pm. My plan is to visit the best part of the antelope canyon and horseshoe bend. I was planing to visit the bend around 5 pm, is that too late? Thank you for all the information in this page and all your comments 🙂

    1. Hi Fernanda!
      In February, you will need to be prepared for cooler weather, and conditions that can range from sunny and brisk to rain and/or snow. Pack jackets, gloves, etc. just in case, and in general, dress in layers that you can easily remove and stash in a backpack or your vehicle.
      As for which canyon is better to visit, that’s a hard one, as you can imagine – they’re all gorgeous! 😉 However, if everyone in your party is physically fit and able to handle a few stairs, ladders, and small boulders, Lower Antelope Canyon would be a good choice. To judge whether this would be a safe and enjoyable activity for all members of your party, watch this full video walk-through of Lower Antelope Canyon on our companion site, http://www.AntelopeCanyon.AZ
      Regarding whether 5:00 PM is too late to visit Horseshoe Bend, it shouldn’t be. The parking lot at the overlook is open from dawn to dusk, and sunset occurs at about 6:00 PM in February. However, be prepared to share the area with a lot of people. Sunset is a popular time of day to be there!
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    2. Weather is cool in the morning 10-30 degrees Fahrenheit but can heat up to the 40-60’s in the afternoon. Bring layers and gloves. I prefer the lower canyon the light is better that time of year because of the shape of the canyon so it is easier to take better pictures it is also more family friendly because there are restrooms and a snack bar and shop on site. The Upper canton is beautiful as well but much darker especially in winter and harder to get good photos. There is also no restroom so it can be challenging for some especially kids. Horseshoe Bend is best in the afternoon before 3 in my opinion it is less crowded then sunset.

      1. Hey Josie,
        Thank you for your input and assistance to Fernanda 🙂 We always love it when the public gets involved.
        Alley 🙂

  15. Hello there! We will be bringing a school group up to Horseshoe Bend in March and are trying to figure out the best time of day to come.
    It will be a Wednesday morning and we have an Antelope Canyon tour booked for 8:45am, so we will arrive at Horseshoe Bend a little later in the morning-most likely around 10:30/11:00. If the bus is unable to find parking, it is possible to pay the bus entrance fee, unload the students, and have the bus go back to our hotel to park until pickup? Or, is there another solution folks have used before?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Ellyse,
      Doing what you describe is not allowed. There is no parking along US89, and the speed limit there is 65 MP. According to the City of Page, who manages the Horseshoe Bend parking lot, they have “passed an emergency ordinance prohibiting passenger drop-offs and pickups at the Horseshoe Bend entrance or along the Highway 89 corridor.”
      Since you are touring Antelope Canyon at 8:45 AM, I assume you will be staying overnight in Page the night prior. If so, my suggestion would be to arrive at the Horseshoe Bend parking lot right at sunrise, which is at approximately 6:30 AM in March. You should allow approximately 90 minutes to walk out to the overlook, take photos, and walk back. Depending on who you are touring Antelope Canyon with, you will be required to check in for your tour 30-60 minutes prior to departure, so make sure everyone is back on the bus in time to drive to your tour company’s designated departure location, which is typically a 10-15 minute drive from Horseshoe Bend.
      If the above suggestion does not appeal or is not convenient to your group’s schedule, you are welcome to take your chances visiting the overlook after our Antelope Canyon tour, but we can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to find parking right away. Since that time frame is Spring Break, which I assume is your reason for visiting as well, things will be busy.
      Good luck and safe travels. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful on this issue.
      Alley

  16. We are planning a family trip from Denver to Mesa Verde to Four Corners, Monument Valley and then to Horseshoe Bend while staying the night in Page, AZ. What if we can’t see Horseshoe Bend in the afternoon on that same day? Silly question, but can we see it in the late evening before the sun goes down, or first thing the next morning? Are there restricted park hours?

    Also, if we do a tour of Antelope Canyon, are we guaranteed to see Horseshoe Bend?

    Thanks,
    Lyndsi

    1. Hi Lyndsi,
      No such thing as a silly question here 😉
      Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon are two separate areas, approximately 10 miles apart from one another. Therefore taking a tour of the latter, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to visit the former, unless you take a tour that expressly includes the two attractions.
      Unfortunately, late afternoon and sunset are the busiest times of day at the Horseshoe Bend Overlook. Lots of day trippers out and about then. You stand a better chance of visiting it with minimal hassle if you plan to hit it just after sunrise. Since you are staying overnight in Page, AZ, you have that option!
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  17. Hi Alley,

    How is the wheelchair accessible path coming along. I have a heavy duty power chair that goes up and down the beach but occasionally struggles in the soft sand. I’m considering a trip to Page over President’s Day and I’m wondering if I should try Horseshoe Bend in my power chair.

    Ray

    1. Hey Ray,
      Sorry to say, they’re still working on it. I wouldn’t try taking your power scooter on the trail as it stands.
      If you are able to walk a short distance, you might consider going to Horseshoe Bend with Horseshoe Bend Tours. They offer shuttle service to a private area of the overlook where the walk is only 200 yards. They do not have the ability to carry wheelchairs or scooters, unfortunately, so you’d have to get on and off the tour vehicle under your own steam.
      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news on that front,
      Alley

    1. Hi Missy,
      The hike to Horseshoe Bend is 1.2 miles round trip, and rated as “easy” on AllTrails.com. In other words, most people in reasonably good health can handle it. It does have a few uphill/downhill sections, and after a prolonged spell of dry weather, the trail currently being used can be sandy (they are working on a more level paved trail, which should be complete by next summer). If you have any doubts about your ability to make the walk, or that of anyone else in your party, read “Help! I Can’t Make the Hike To Horseshoe Bend” for suggestions on alternate ways of including it in your vacation.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  18. Hi, I was wondering if I can come in really early like 5am to hopefully catch some astrophotography at the horseshoe bend. Is this possible?

    1. Hi Quiolo,
      It depends on when you were planning to visit. The main parking lot at Horseshoe Bend is open between dawn and dusk. If your trip is planned for sometime in the next couple of months, that means the pay stations won’t be open until 6:30 AM – 7:30 PM, so you wouldn’t technically be able to get to the overlook before then. If you find that to be the case, there are other areas you might consider for doing some star photography, such as the Glen Canyon Dam Overlook, aka the “White House” Overlook, the Wahweap Overlook, just past the Dam on US89 as you head toward Kanab, UT; or Alstrom Point, near the town of Big Water, UT, which is best visited with a licensed guide for safety.
      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  19. Hi Alley,

    I will be visiting with 5 others and we will be driving a Class C (with a small car in tow) to Horseshoe Bend, do you know what the parking cost would be for this type of vehicle? Thanks!! 🙂

    1. Hi Helen,
      According to the information we last received, a class C motorhome qualifies as a light commercial vehicle, so your one-time parking rate should be $35. Since you’ll be towing a car, I would strongly advise you to try and visit Horseshoe Bend first thing in the morning when the parking lot opens so you can find a pull-through space, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  20. Is there much snow in January? I know to expect colder temperatures but do you have snow around this time of the year! Thanks for your response!

    1. Hi Jessica,
      Page, AZ, is 4,100′ above sea level, and as such, typically doesn’t receive heavy snowfalls. In the rare instance when we get 6″ or more, it tends to melt off fairly quick. However, in other areas around Page, AZ, like the Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Zion, it’s not uncommon for there to be a lot of snow during the winter months. Whether that willl be the case when you visit is difficult to predict as you might imagine, so start keeping an eye on local weather about 2-3 weeks before you get set to travel. Page, AZ, weather
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  21. Hi Alley,

    If I have the America the Beautiful Passes, do I still need to pay entrance fees for Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon? My vehicle is a Dodge Grand Caravan, about 17 feet in length. What would be the entrance fees for my vehicle and for how long can I park it? Thank you!

    1. Hi Anson,
      Unfortunately, your America The Beautiful Pass will not work for either Horseshoe Bend or Antelope Canyon.
      Antelope Canyon is a Native American Tribal Park, therefore separate from the National Park system. Your Tribal Park entrance fee is usually included in your Antelope Canyon tour price.
      Horseshoe Bend is now administered as a municipal park by the City of Page, AZ. The one-time parking fee for passenger vehicles is $10. The typical visit for Horseshoe Bend is 90 minutes-2 hours.
      Hope that helps. Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

  22. Good afternoon,

    My friends and I can to hike horseshoe bend on Feb 18, 2020 in the afternoon. We have a reservation for Upper Antelope Canyon at 4:15. Do we need to make a reservation for horseshoe bend?

    Thank you,

    Devin

    1. Hi Devin!
      You do not need to make a reservation to visit the Horseshoe Bend Overlook. The parking lot is open between dawn and dusk. A one-time parking fee of $10 for standard passenger vehicles or $35 for light commercial vehicles is required. Allow for ~90 minutes to park, walk out to the overlook, take photos, and walk back to your vehicle. You then should allow ~30 minutes to travel from Horseshoe Bend to your Antelope Canyon tour outfitter’s departure location. Depending on which tour company you’re traveling with, they will want you to check in anywhere from 30-60 minutes prior to your actual tour departure.
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

  23. I recently watched a YouTube video of Horsehoe Bend and noticed a sign, and if I’m interpreting it correctly says no work boot type sole allowed on the trail. Are there specific shoes, boots not allowed on the hike?

    1. Hi Curt, and thank you for this excellent question.
      Technically, you can wear whatever kind of shoes you’re comfortable with to hike to Horseshoe Bend. That doesn’t mean you should attempt the hike in 6″ stiletto heels or flip-flops. Heavy work boots may also be discouraged as the wearer may inadvertently do damage to fragile rock formations or crypto-biotic soils if they happen to wander off the established trail.
      Trail runners, tennis shoes, and hiking boots should be fine as these are enclosed and will give your feet the support and protection they need.
      Hope that helps. Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Shawna!
      Is the hike to Horseshoe Bend doable with a 5-year-old? That kind of depends on your 5-year-old!
      Many young children are able to make it to the Horseshoe Bend overlook faster than their parents can, but parents should exercise their right to restrain kids’ enthusiasm since the majority of the overlook is unfenced and it’s a 700′ drop to the river. Other kids may struggle a bit, particularly if the sand on the trail is dry and deep. The good news is, you’re not limited to a certain timeframe in order to get to the overlook and back safely. Take all the time you need for everyone to enjoy it, and observe the beauty of the terrain around you.
      Be sure to bring water and dress warmly as January temperatures are on the cooler side. If, for some reason, you discover that your child, or anyone else in your party is not able to make the walk, read this piece on alternate ways of seeing Horseshoe Bend.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy New Year!
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Sven,
      Yes, a one-time entrance fee of $10 per passenger car or $35 for light commercial vehicles such as Ford Transit, Chevy Express vans, etc. is now required for visiting Horseshoe Bend.
      Good luck, safe travels, and Happy Holidays!
      Alley 🙂

  24. It was great experience to visit horseshoe bend and grand canyon. The most beautiful scenic area, natural beauty and heat touching spiritual atmosphere. This page is very informative for those people having plans to visit this unique and wonder of the world. Please read this page before to final your trip. You will enjoy and discover much more.
    Noor Jarral

    1. Dear Noor,
      Thank you so much for your positive feedback. We hope you get a chance to return to our area. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your summer, and 2019!
      Best regards,
      Alley 🙂

  25. Is it possible to tour antelope canyon, horse show bend and lake Powell in 1 day? And if so what would be the best order of visit coming from Page. Thanks

    1. Hi Tricia,
      Since all 3 of these attractions in Page, AZ are relatively close to one another, they can be visited in one day, and order in which you visit them in doesn’t matter a whole lot. What will probably be the key determining factor on that is availability of Antelope Canyon tours. Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo Indian Tribal land, so a guided tour is 100% necessary in order to tour it. Tours book up fast, so start researching your options, decide whether you want to tour Lower Antelope or Upper Antelope, book a tour at a time that works for you, then plan the rest of your visit around it. Book A Tour Of Antelope Canyon
      Horseshoe Bend is open 24/7, so you can visit it whenever you wish. During the warmer months of summer and early fall, just after sunrise is a good time in order to avoid the excessive heat of mid-day.
      To visit Lake Powell, you have a choice of entering at Antelope Point Marina, which is near Antelope Canyon, or the Lake Powell Resort and Marina entrance, which is just across the Glen Canyon Dam as you head from Page, AZ toward Kanab, UT. Lone Rock Beach is another option, which is a short distance West of the small community of Greenehaven, AZ just before you cross the Utah border. In all cases, you will need to pay the $25/vehicle entrance fee, which is good for one week’s time. If you prefer not to deal with that, The Chains is a public beach type area located outside the Federal Fee Area boundary, but it’s quite the hike to actually get down to the lake from the parking area due to the current water level.

      Hope that helps. Good luck and safe travels!
      Alley 🙂

  26. Hi! I want to visit this spot (Horseshoe Bend, the photo I am watching here) on this Thursday (June 22) around 3-4 PM. I wonder if I should make a reservation to get into this point that people take photos. We will drive from Las Vegas to get here. Can we just get here by car / on foot after parking?

    1. Mr. Kwon,
      Thank you for your visit and you question.
      You do not need reservations to visit Horseshoe Bend. You are free to visit whenever you wish, including the spot you see people taking photos from. Once you park your vehicle in the very well-signed parking lot, it’s a 3/4 mile hike to the overlook. Be aware that your visit is occurring in peak summer heat, so bring water and wear a hat and sunscreen.
      If you would prefer to have the knowledge and expertise that only a tour guide can provide, consider visiting the Horseshoe Bend Overlook as an add-on to a Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tour. https://horseshoebend.com/horseshoe-bend-slot-canyon-tour/#
      Good luck and safe travels,
      Alley 🙂

    1. Hi Jeremy,
      Yes, pets are welcome at the Horseshoe Bend Overlook. Since there are no guardrails, plus it’s a 500’+ drop to the river, you must be sure that they are leashed at all times. Also, be sure to bring a plastic bag or two to pack out any waste if needed, and bring plenty of water for both of you!
      Alley

  27. alley, do you have the exact address to the horseshoe bend? will it show in the navigation?
    how far from the holiday inn and suites at page,az? thanks

    1. Hi CT,
      The Horseshoe Bend Overlook is located just 5 miles South of Page, AZ at Mile Marker 545 on US89. It is clearly signed and should be quite easy to find. It should take no more than 10-15 minutes to drive there from Holiday Inn & Suites.

      Happy traveling!
      Alley

  28. Hello! My family (Dad, Mom, Sister, and I) are visiting beginning of September (during labor day weekend). We wanted to book a tour with you guys for Horseshoe Bend & Antelope Canyon; however, I saw that you guys pick up only from Sedona? We’re planning on staying in Lake Powell area, so it’s closer to the actual canyons. Do you guys pick up from there? Would that be a different price? I would love to get options! Thank you so much! 🙂

    1. Hello Sing, thank you for visiting our site.
      The tour out of Sedona is by no means the only way to visit Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. Since you are planning on staying in Page/Lake Powell anyway, you can take a tour to Antelope Canyon directly from there. 3 tour companies pick up in the town of Page; you also have the option of driving to the Tribal Park Entrance on Highway 98 (about 5-10 minutes drive from Page) and going to the canyon from there. Whichever way you choose to go will cost the same, and tour duration will be comparable as well. Visit AntelopeCanyon.az for more information.
      Horseshoe Bend can be visited on your own. There is no charge for entry at the present time. Just after sunrise or just prior to sunset is generally regarded as the best time to view it.
      Thanks again and happy travels,
      Alley

  29. This is a photo I took and almost lost my life for. Don’t try this at the rim like I did..to close for fun.
    I was sitting on the edge about 3 feet back of the rim. I had my camera on the end of my tripod and the release in my hand. I took the shot and just as I did this big chunk of sandstone broke loose. Holy S..t !!
    I was quick enough to put my boots into the dirt and stop my sliding while still hanging on to my gear.
    We went in before dawn so I didn’t see the warning sign.
    Someone was looking out for me that day.
    Enjoy.

    1. Hi Scott – an important and timely cautionary tale. The rest of you, take heed: If in doubt, leave it out!

    1. Hi Lexi,
      This is a wonderful question!
      Yes, you can get married at Horseshoe Bend, and many people have. However, since it’s part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and thus overseen by the National Park Service, you may be required to get a permit for your wedding. Cordoning off the overlook just for your ceremony is not allowed. Your activity shouldn’t disrupt other visitors’ ability to enjoy the overlook. “The smaller, the better” is the way to go. For more information on National Park permit guidelines, click here ->: https://www.mylakepowellwedding.com/Lake_Powell_Wedding_Ceremony_S/Horseshoe_Bend_Wedding/horseshoe_bend_wedding.html
      If you’re wanting to have something a little more elaborate, with friends, family, photographers, etc., visit this site for other ideas for wedding sites and venues in Page and Lake Powell ->: https://www.myarizonaguideweddings.com/html/lake_powell_wedding_sites.html
      Good luck and congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!
      Alley

  30. Hi! Do I need to book a tour to visit Horseshoe Bend or can I do it on my own? I am planning on doing a tour of Lower Antelope the same day do you think there is enough time? Thanks!

    1. Hi Val, and thank you for visiting our site!
      Horseshoe Bend can be visited on your own, any time of day, though we wouldn’t recommend visiting at night — it’s a long drop to the river!
      You can easily visit Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon in one day. Lower Antelope Canyon is located approximately 7 miles East of Horseshoe Bend Overlook. Be sure to allow 90 minutes to 2 hours to enjoy each attraction. You’ll want to take lots of photos. Remember that you must visit Antelope Canyon with an authorized Navajo guide. Visit this page for more information ->: http://www.antelopecanyon.az/how-to-book-a-tour-for-antelope-canyon/
      Have a wonderful visit to Page!
      Alley

      1. Hi Alley,
        I have a question regarding parking. If I come in May (the date I have in mind has a sunset time at 7:15 pm) one afternoon right before the sunset, can I use the same parking sticker to return the very next morning for the sunrise visit (5:33 am)? Thank you for your time!

        1. Hey Jim,
          Sorry to be the bearer of bad news in this regard, but according to the City of Page, who oversee the Horseshoe Bend parking lot, the $10/vehicle parking fee is a one-time fee. Therefore, if you were to revisit the overlook, you would have to pay the entrance fee again — theoretically, anyway. When you visit the overlook, you might ask the staff of the entrance gate if you can re-use your entrance fee receipt to visit Horseshoe Bend overlook a second time. I can’t guarantee this will work, but it never hurts to ask.
          Good luck and safe travels,
          Alley 🙂

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