A Visit to Horseshoe Bend in the Grand Canyon
I love the Grand Canyon. It is one of the most awe-inspiring places in the world to me.
One of the easiest viewpoints to see the Colorado River is Horseshoe Bend overlook.
When people see my pictures of horseshoe bend, they always ask how far Horseshoe Bend is from the Grand Canyon. What they don’t realize is that the Horseshoe Bend is part of the Grand Canyon. You literally walk right up to the end of the canyon.
Horseshoe point is located 4-5 miles south of the Glen Canyon Dam. It is the first turnoff as you head south of Page, Arizona on Highway 89 towards Flagstaff and Phoenix.
The Colorado River which formed the majestic Grand Canyon makes a dramatic 270-degree turn which leads to amazing views 1,000 feet above the canyon floor.
You walk right up to the edge of the Grand Canyon and see both turns of Horseshoe Point.
As a result of increased traffic, the Grand Canyon National Park has expanded the parking lot and done work on the trail.
When you arrive at the turnoff, you may see cars parked on the side of the road. Don’t be tempted to park on the side of the highway, the expanded parking lot has plenty of room and the Park Rangers will make you move.
After parking, you’ll see a sandy dirt trail going up a slight hill on the North West side of the parking lot. You can’t miss it!
The trail is an easy 1.5-mile round trip hike. It took us 10-15 minutes of walking to reach the Horseshoe Bend viewpoint. Most of it is in the sand, which isn’t fun, but overall the hike is very easy.
There are no services (including bathrooms), so I highly recommend taking your own water. The temperatures were in the high 90’s when we went and it was hot.
It can be hot even during the winter, so come prepared to get hot and sweaty.
After the short climb to the top of the hill, you’ll crest over the top and be able to see the view. Another 5 minutes of walking will bring you to the edge of the Grand Canyon.
Horseshoe Bend has no railings or protection. You can walk right up to the edge and get some amazing views.
I’m a bit overconfident in my approach shoes (hiking shoes with rock climbing rubber – they rock!), so I tend to get right up next to the edges. I don’t recommend following my example.
Next time you are in the Lake Powel area, I highly recommend the short detour to Horseshoe Bend. It took us less than 45 minutes and most of that was because I got a bit carried away with pictures.
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