Horseshoe Bend in Arizona: Top Tips and How to Avoid the Crowds-Panergy
Visiting Horseshoe Bend
If I’m being honest, I didn’t have high expectations for Horseshoe bend.
I thought it was going to be one of those spots that are so hyped up on the Internet, but a little underwhelming when you actually see it in person.
I’m happy to report that I was wrong.
Horseshoe Bend was really impressive, and I’m glad I made the stop on my way home from an Arizona road trip.
Know Before You Go
Horseshoe Bend is open year-round from sunrise to sunset.
Current alerts and conditions can be found on the NPS website.
There’s minimal shade along the short walk to the overlook and at the overlook.
Bring plenty of water, sun protection, and proper clothing and footwear.
Pets are allowed, but they must be on a 6 foot or shorter leash and you must clean up any solid waste.
If and when the parking lot fills up, visitors will be asked to wait until spots become available.
There’s no overnight parking or camping allowed.
$10 per vehicle, $5 per motorcycle, bus fees vary depending on passengers
The entrance fee is one-time use and there is no re-entry.
There are no refunds. Definitely check the weather before you go because this area is very exposed and not somewhere you’d want to be in a thunderstorm.
Horseshoe bend is located about 3 miles south of Page, Arizona on US 89.
It is very easy to access, which is part of the reason it’s so popular.
Horseshoe Bend is a good stop along a longer camping trip or road trip!
Directions: Horseshoe Bend parking lot
The Horseshoe Bend Hike
The hike from the parking lot to the overlook is along an easy trail that’s about 0.6 miles one-way.
At the end of the trail, you’ll see a fenced partition where you can look down to the Colorado River 1,000 feet below!
Be careful if you venture away from the fenced area! There are loose rocks and the terrain is uneven.
In addition, the sandstone edges of the terrain can be unstable. You do not want to be on the edge when a rock slides or breaks underfoot. Please use common sense here. A cool photo is not worth risking your life.
Once you’ve had enough time at the overlook, simply follow the path back to the car.
Ways To Avoid The Crowds
This is what you really want to know, right?
There are a few things to keep in mind when planning your trip if you want to avoid the crowds:
Time Of Day:
Generally, the busiest time of day at Horseshoe Bend is 9am to 11am and 4pm to 7pm.
If you want to avoid the crowds, start by getting an early start! The lighting for photos will also be much better in the early morning or evening.
Horseshoe Bend is open from sunrise to sunset.
Time Of Year:
The time of year is another important consideration if you want to avoid crowds.
The late Spring through Summer is going to be the busiest (and hottest) time to visit. I personally would avoid the Summer for those reasons.
In the Spring and Fall, visitation is lower than in the Summer.
The Winter is the least busy time of year but it’s cold and potentially snowy.
Day Of The Week:
Lastly, if you can, go on a weekday, not a weekend!
I visited Horseshoe bend in the early Spring on a weekday afternoon and it was awesome. Not crowded at all, plenty of parking, and overall it was a great experience!
Summer essential equipment：