Horseshoe Bend is a large bend in the Colorado River near Page, AZ. It is part of the Grand Canyon, though not technically part of Grand Canyon National Park. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area gets to claim Horseshoe Bend.
Horseshoe Bend exploded in popularity thanks to social media. What most social media posts don’t show you are the many people fighting for a spot for that perfect photo!
It’s a 10-minute drive from Page and a 2-hour drive from the South or North Rims of the Grand Canyon.
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Due to its increasing popularity, a parking lot was constructed. They charge a small fee to help pay for the parking lot.
There is no fee to enter Horseshoe Bend, and having a national park pass will not cover your parking fee.
Hiking to Horseshoe Bend
The short hike to get to Horseshoe Bend is .75 miles, making it 1.5 miles out and back. The path is mostly flat and graded, making it very accessible.
Once you arrive at the overlook, you’ll be looking down on the Colorado River.
Some sections are developed, with safety railings and cement pads for standing and viewing.
But most of the rim of the canyon is exposed, and you can climb around to whichever part of the ledge you desire.
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Some people get dangerously close to the sheer ledges. Multiple people have fallen from the 1,000-foot ledge and perished. There isn’t a ranger on site to warn you – your safety is your responsibility.
When to Visit
You can visit anytime, as Horseshoe Bend is open year-round. The weather in Page is stifling hot in the summer and cold, but less crowded in the winter.
Sunset is a particularly popular time to visit. I only visited at sunset, but since the canyon is deep and the sun sets in front of you, you don’t see light splashing off the red rock walls. Even a sunrise wouldn’t bring out the beauty of the canyon (I don’t think) because it can’t shine into the canyon until mid-day. Throughout the morning the rays would rise on the canyon wall opposite the river, so I’m guessing morning to afternoon would be the best time of day.
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Rafting Through Horseshoe Bend
It’s also possible to raft through Horseshoe Bend! Wilderness River Adventures offers half-day tours starting at the Glen Canyon Dam near Page and ending at Lees Ferry, where they will shuttle you back to your vehicle.
You do not need a tour to visit Horseshoe Bend – it’s a quick and easy visit for anyone to park and walk to the viewpoint.
There are tours that will take you to Horseshoe Bend and other places nearby. One I’m familiar with is the Antelope Secret Canyon tour.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
A lot of people visit Page and Horseshoe Bend during their trip to the Grand Canyon. We have included Page and Horseshoe Bend and what to do there in our Ultimate Grand Canyon Bundle Itinerary which also includes an audio guide with over 4 1/2 hours of stories and information about the area. Let us help you plan your vacation to Page and the Grand Canyon!
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO THE GRAND CANYON
GRAND CANYON GUIDE: To read or watch all of our content about the Grand Canyon, Check out our Grand Canyon Homepage
AREAS: The Grand Canyon is divided into 4 areas: The South Rim, North Rim, Grand Canyon West, and the East Side of the Grand Canyon (Page, AZ). Learn about the 4 areas of the Grand Canyon with our Free Printable.
WHERE TO EAT: Check out the best places to eat and get groceries at the South Rim
WATCH: Enjoy videos of the beautiful Grand Canyon while learning our best tips by watching our Grand Canyon YouTube Playlist