Visiting Horseshoe Bend in Arizona

Visiting Horseshoe Bend means entering the 1.25-million-acre Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a beautiful piece of the world bordering the Grand Canyon and Navajo Nation in the southeastern United States.

I visited Horseshoe Bend and the Glen Canyon Dam in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area as part of an epic road trip along the Utah and Arizona border. I could have spent a lot longer exploring the area but, if you have limited time, here’s how to do it:

A Quick Guide to Visiting Horseshoe Bend

The Colorado River did some magical things as it worked its way through and – in this case – around the sandstone of an ancient landscape. Here the river made a 1,000-foot-deep, 270-degree horseshoe in Glen Canyon.

Location of Horseshoe Bend

Off Hwy 89 about five miles south of the Carl Hayden Visitor Center. Look for the sign that says “Horseshoe Bend Overlook”.

The Carl Hayden Visitor Center is located at: US-89, Page, AZ 86040

Length of the Trail Around Horseshoe Bend

1.5-miles roundtrip to and from the overlook. The path is partially paved and a bit hard to navigate due to sandy soil in places.

Time Needed to Visit Horseshoe Bend

While I would have loved to stay longer, I was in and out of Horseshoe Bend in one hour.

Difficulty of the Trail at Horseshoe Bend

Moderate due to sand and a bit of a hill on the way to the overlook. With proper shoes, it’s no problem at all. Safe for children and people who are not up for an intense hike because you can sit once you arrive at the bend.

Not-so-Fun Fact about Horseshoe Bend

Though located in a national rec area, the city of Page owns the parking lot and charges $10 even if you have your annual parks pass.

Bonus Places to Visit Around Horseshoe Bend

See how to build Horseshoe Bend into a larger road trip here.

Glen Canyon Dam

The Carl Hayden Visitor Center is one of four visitor centers operated by the recreational area. Located at Glen Canyon Dam, it’s a cool place to stop to plan a hike or to take a 45-minute walking tour of the dam itself. 

I stopped here for some pictures and to get my cancellation stamp in my National Parks Passport.

If time permits, the Rainbow Bridge National Monument is a beautiful place to visit. Nearly as tall as the Statue of Liberty, this natural bridge made of Navajo Sandstone and Kayenta Sandstone stretches over the waters of Lake Powell (when water is present).

Essential Hiking Survival Kit Sign-In

Explore more hiking tips here or more USA National Parks sites here!

For more Arizona travel inspiration:

Hiking Coronado National Memorial

This is it. The hike when I learned to ALWAYS be over-prepared – even on the most simple out and back hike. Getting Lost Hiking…

Horseshoe Bend
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