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Horseshoe Bend In Arizona – A Complete Guide

Horseshoe Bend in Arizona attracts over two million visitors each year. With some amazing views to capture, here’s all the info for visiting.

How To Get To Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is located close the city of Page in Arizona and is part of the Glen Canyon Recreational Area. 

Car

We found the best way to get to Horseshoe Bend was to hire a car and drive ourselves.

From the city of Phoenix it’s just over 4 hours. Or, if you are based in Las Vegas, it takes just a little longer at approximately 4 hours 30 minutes.

If, like us, you are driving from Phoenix, you will be heading for the city of Flagstaff which is 2 hours north of Phoenix. Once you reach the city of Flagstaff, take Highway 89 north for about 125 miles towards the town of Page.

Just before you enter the city of Page, look out for the Horseshoe Bend sign and car park between mile marker 544 and 545, on the west side the road.

From the car park, you have a short and relatively easy hike of about half a mile (1km), along a well maintained trail to reach Horseshoe Bend.

Plane

If you would rather catch a flight, the nearest airport to Horseshoe Bend is Page Municipal Airport. 

Located just east of Page there are daily flights in to this airport from Phoenix and Las Vegas, taking roughly an hour.

From here you could get a taxi to Horseshoe Bend or take a tour from Page.

Tour

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

For example, from Page you could get the Upper or Lower Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Tour.

Or, if you are based in Las Vegas, there are a multitude of tours that visit Horseshoe Bend, with one of the most popular being the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend day trip.

Horseshoe Bend Entrance Fee

It is free to visit Horseshoe Bend.

However, there is a parking charge of $10 per vehicle to use the car park.

Horseshoe Bend In Arizona

Horseshoe Bend Opening Times

Horseshoe Bend is open all day, every day.

However I wouldn’t recommend visiting after dark as it could be quite dangerous.

Horseshoe Bend In Arizona

Best Time To Visit Horseshoe Bend

Arizona is an all year round destination. Probably the best time to visit Horseshoe Falls though is during the autumn months of September to November, especially if you prefer it a little cooler.

At this time of the year you avoid the peak tourist season and also the pretty high temperatures that can hit 40°C during the summer months.

However, open all year round, this is a beautiful area to visit at any time. It is very popular with walkers and hikers, so you are likely to encounter other visitors whenever you visit.

Both sunrise and sunset are recommended as awesome times to visit if you can. Offering up great opportunities for keen photographers to capture some really stunning views.

What To Pack

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

Horseshoe Bend In Arizona

Horseshoe Bend History

Approximately six million years ago the region around Horseshoe Bend was much closer to sea level, and the Colorado River was a meandering river with a nearly level flood plain.

Between six and five million years ago, the region began to uplift, trapping the Colorado River in its bed. The river then cut downwards to produce Horseshoe Bend as we see it today.

The cause of this uplift is still being researched but it resulted in up to a mile of erosion of overlying sediments from the eastern Grand Canyon. This exposed the Navajo Sandstone which is the surface rock found throughout this area.

It is likely that the Colorado River will eventually cut through the neck of the bend, producing a natural bridge.

Interestingly, archaeological evidence shows that this region has been inhabited for over 10,000 years. With tribes such as the Ancestral Puebloans and later the Paiute and Navajo people living around the area.

Horseshoe Bend In Arizona
Sunset Horseshoe Bend In Arizona

What To Expect At Horseshoe Bend In Arizona

Horseshoe Bend, as suggested by its name, is a horseshoe shaped meander of the Colorado River. 

It’s said to be perhaps the most famous bend in the entire 1450 mile length of the Colorado River and definitely one of Glen Canyon National Recreations Area’s highlights.

The sixth largest river in the United States curves into a perfect horseshoe shape around a rugged sandstone escarpment. Creating one of America’s most beautiful natural wonders.

The emerald green tones of the Colorado River waters set against the red tones of the sandstone rock is pretty breathtaking.  

The view of this dramatic curve and the sweeping panorama around it are best seen from the 4200ft wide overlook area at the edge of the cliff.

The drop from this overlook is a massive 1000ft and you are advised to be careful and stay behind the guardrail at all times.

For the more adventurous, or for a different perspective of this famous landmark, the Glen Canyon and Horseshoe Bend Raft Trip is a great option.

Horseshoe Bend is undoubtedly one of the most photographed spots of the American Southwest. Furthermore, for me, this was a massive tick on my Arizona itinerary.

Horseshoe Bend In Arizona
Horseshoe Bend In Arizona
Sunset Horseshoe Bend In Arizona
Sunset Horseshoe Bend In Arizona
Sunset Horseshoe Bend In Arizona
Sunset Horseshoe Bend In Arizona

Where to Stay In Arizona

Luxury

JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

This hotel is located in the center of the Sonoran Desert, less than 30 km from downtown Scottsdale.

It boasts 2 golf courses, and offers air-conditioned rooms with scenic views. Rooms at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort are spacious and include a seating area. They come equipped with cable TV, a coffee maker and minibar. Some rooms have balconies.

The JW Marriott Phoenix features 5 restaurants that serve a variety of American and international cuisine. The hotel has an on-site Starbucks and provides free WiFi in public areas.

Guests of the hotel can enjoy the 5 swimming pools and waterslides. The Desert Ridge Resort also boasts a spa with a lap pool, and a fitness center.

Mid-Budget

Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Downtown North

Featuring an atrium, an indoor pool and a restaurant, Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Downtown North offers accommodation in the city centre of Phoenix.

Guests can also enjoy the on-site bar. Phoenix Convention Center is 4 km away.

All rooms come with a flat-screen cable TV, a microwave and a small refrigerator. A private bathroom is also available. Select rooms include a seating area or a living room.

Great American Grill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and Atrium Lounge offers beer and cocktails, as well as billiards and a dartboard. You will find a 24-hour front desk, gift shop, and fitness centre at the property.

Budget

Best Western InnSuites Phoenix Hotel & Suites

This hotel is 9 miles from downtown Phoenix and 3 miles from the Phoenix Mountains Park.

This hotel features an outdoor pool and offers free Wi-Fi in every room.

Rooms at the BEST WESTERN PLUS InnSuites Phoenix Hotel & Suites feature a microwave and refrigerator. The rooms also have a coffee maker and cable TV.

BEST WESTERN PLUS InnSuites Phoenix Hotel & Suites offers a gym and a business center. Guests can dine at P.J. Café, which features a breakfast buffet.

For more places to stay in Phoenix, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

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