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Horseshoe Bend is just one of those places you need to go eventually, just like Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon, it’s on everyone bucket list. I went on my first road trip through the southwest and only realized recently that I never actually wrote anything about it, like, at all. So, I went back through my pictures and decided to write about the Horseshoe Bend Hike now! Better late than never, right?
The Horseshoe Bend trail is a pretty easy hike and it’s right on the side of the road with no entrance fee. (edit June 2019 – there is now a $10 parking fee.) If you have a spare hour, you should definitely stop here. There’s a pretty good chance, even if you don’t know it, that it’s on your bucket list. I’m sure everyone has seen a picture of this at some time or another. Like I said, the Horseshoe Bend hike is something everyone should do eventually.
From the parking lot, the trailhead is super easy to spot. It’s the wide-open sandy area that everyone else is heading down. There is a gradual incline in the beginning, but it starts to flatten out after that. There really isn’t a whole lot to say about the hike itself. Like I said, it’s super easy and can probably pretty easily be done in flip flops since it’s mostly sand. Like always, I would stick with my trusty Chacos.
While this hike is very easily accessible, it’s not the safest. There are no guard rails at the edge overlooking the canyon, it’s just a straight shot down. (edit June 2019 – it looks like railings have been added to some sections.) You can easily sit and stand on the very edge, but be extra cautious.
You have no idea how thick the sandstone under you is and it could easily break off. That’s how the only recorded death there in 20 years happened in July 2010.
You can bring kids (obviously) and pets, but if you do, keep an eye on your them so they don’t wander too close to the edge. Keep your pets on a leash, too, to make sure they are safe and because they should just be on a leash in a busy place like this anyways.
Even with kids and pets, I would still definitely recommend the Horseshoe Bend hike if you’re in Page. It really is a must-do road trip hike. Page, Arizona is the perfect addition to a Northern Arizona road trip, too.
Where is the Horseshoe Bend trail?
The Horseshoe Bend trailhead and parking is 5ish miles south of Page on Highway 89. It’s an easy hike in Page and an easy little trip from Lake Powell if you’re staying at Wahweap.
How long is the Horseshoe Bend hike?
About 1.5 mile round-trip with no shade. It’s a dirt trail and I would plan maybe an hour for your whole stop here. Make sure you bring water and stay hydrated, especially in the summer since it’s so hot!
There are about 200 feet of elevation gain. In the spring/fall/winer that shouldn’t be bad, but in July it’s not the most enjoyable.
What to bring on your Horseshoe Bend hike:
Hat – You’ll want to bring a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes. I like baseball style hats, but sun hats would be great, too. Just make sure it can stay on in the wind. It can get pretty windy in the spring.
Sunscreen – I would recommend a reef safe sunscreen just because they’re better for the environment, but if you want a regular one, I love this Neutrogena sunscreen. Whatever you get, bring lots of it.
Good walking shoes – I don’t think hiking boots are necessary and that something like Chacos would be fine. If you want actual hiking boots, I love my Forsake Patch boots. But if you just have tennis shoes, those work, too. I just wore tennis shoes when we went.
Snacks – While it isn’t a terribly long hike, snacks are always good to have on hand. I love these EPIC Venison bars. Like, I eat them all the time. The maple bacon ones are also delicious. I’m also a big fan of the Sahale nut mix things.
Is Horseshoe Bend worth it?
I think so, at least once. It was definitely cool to see but there are other things in the area that I think are a lot cooler. But I would recommend going if you think this might be one of your only chances to visit the area.
Tips for the Horseshoe Bend hike:
- Definitely bring water, especially if you’re here during the summer. It might not be a super long walk, but it is in direct sun and super hot.
- The parking area is about five miles south of Page, Arizona on highway 89. The parking area is marked and near highway marker 545.
- There are tons of awesome things to do near Page, Arizona, this is just one.
- The Horseshoe Bend trail is about 1.5 miles round trip and can be done in an hour, with time to take plenty of pictures, too.
- There are a few railings on the edge but it’s at least a 1,000-foot drop, so be careful near the edge without the railings. knowing what I know now (sandstone can be unpredictable and break, especially when wet), I wouldn’t recommend sitting on the edge for pictures.
- It gets super busy here, but it’s still worth going to see.
- There is no entrance fee, but parking is $10 now. The trail is just on the side of the road.
- You’ll want to get there early so it’s cooler and less crowded.
- The Glen Canyon Dam is nearby and worth a stop to look at if you’re passing by. If you’re staying longer, you can take a boat tour down at the bottom of Horseshoe Bend to see the dam, too.
- It’s about seven miles from Horseshoe Bend to Antelope Canyon.
Have you been to Horseshoe Bend? What did you think of it? What was your favorite thing to do in Page?