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 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:
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.
Then onto the highlight of Horseshoe Bend. If you have time, make a stop at Antelope Canyon, too! (Best to book a tour in advance, see this quick guide to Antelope Canyon for more information.)
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.
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
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.
While I would have loved to stay longer, I was in and out of Horseshoe Bend in one hour.
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.
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.
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).
Nearby Page, Arizona is centrally located near Horseshoe Bend, the Glen Canyon Dam, and Antelope Canyon.
See how to build Horseshoe Bend into a larger road trip here.
And please remember to have your essential hiking kit in your backpack as you head out to explore!