What You Need to Know Before Visiting Horseshoe Bend in Page Arizona

Horseshoe Bend Easy Hike Page Arizona

 

I don’t remember when I first saw a photo of Horseshoe Bend but I do recall promising myself I would visit one day. While staying in southern Utah I decided to spend a couple of days in Page Arizona and explore the area. Hiking to Horseshoe Bend and watching the sunlight crawl across the pink sandstone is one of the highlights of my solo trip to Page AZ.

 

Sunrise at Horseshoe Bend AZ

Sunrise at Horseshoe Bend in Page Arizona

 

When is the Best Time of Day to Visit?

Horseshoe Bend is an extraordinarily beautiful place no matter what time of day you visit. When I tried to find out the best time to visit Horseshoe Bend, I found conflicting information. Some people say morning, others say mid-day, and some people swear that sunset is the absolute best time to see Horseshoe Bend.

It all depends on your preferences. I like to avoid crowds especially when they are all vying for the perfect selfie.

Therefore, I say the best time is before the tour buses arrive! And the buses start to cruise into the parking lot right after sunrise, so get there at first light to escape the crowds.

Alternatively, if you don’t mind crowds you may find later in the afternoon or at sunset is the perfect time to visit Horseshoe Bend.

 

Looking down the cliff at Horseshoe Bend Page AZ

Looking down the cliff at Horseshoe Bend Page AZ

 

Beautiful Horseshoe Bend at sunrise

Beautiful Horseshoe Bend at sunrise

 

How many people visit Horseshoe Bend?

Since Horseshoe Bend became one of the most Instagrammable places in the United States the number of visitors has skyrocketed. Around 2 million people visited Horseshoe Bend in 2018, up from 1.5 million in 2017.

A few years ago Horseshoe Bend was mostly visited by locals only.

 

A dozen visitors at Horseshoe Bend Overlook at sunrise

Horseshoe Bend Overlook at sunrise is less crowded with tourists

 

There’s another reason that I think the best time of day to visit Horseshoe Bend is early in the morning, just before sunrise. The lighting is extraordinarily beautiful and excellent for photography.

And since most people don’t get up before sunup to go hike to a sunrise viewing point you will have more space to enjoy the gorgeous view.

A lot of people go to watch the sunset at Horseshoe Bend, but I avoided going during sunset because the parking lot fills up and you’re not allowed to park on the highway. I preferred to watch the sunset over Lake Powell instead.

 

Horseshoe Bend first tour bus at ten to seven am

Tour buses start to arrive at Horseshoe Bend before 7 am

 

Best time of year to visit Horseshoe Bend

The hottest time of year in Page AZ is June, July, and August when average daytime temperatures reach the 90’s (mid-30’s Celsius). Locals tell me that afternoon rainstorms are common in the summer months, especially in August. Family travelers usually take their vacations in summer when school is out.

Coldest months in Page AZ are December and January with average daytime temps in the mid-40’s (7 degrees Celsius). December and January are the best time to take your vacation to Page Arizona if you want to avoid the busy tourist season.

April and October average daytime temperatures in Page are about 70 degrees (21 Celsius) making it a pleasant time to visit. But the weather is more unpredictable in spring compared to autumn.

 

Sign reminds visitors to bring water at Horseshoe Bend trailhead Page Arizona

Sign reminds visitors to bring water at Horseshoe Bend trailhead Page Arizona

 

Getting to Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend is located about 5 miles southwest of Page Arizona and the Glen Canyon Dam.

To get to Horseshoe Bend take Hwy US-89 South for about 1.5 miles. At the traffic circle take the 2nd exit to stay on highway 89 and continue for just under 3 miles. Watch for the sign for Horseshoe Bend and turn right into the parking lot and entrance station.

From Page to Horseshoe Bend it’s only 5.5 miles so you can drive there in about 10 – 15 minutes.

 

View of mountains along Horseshoe Bend Hike

The hike to Horseshoe Bend has beautuful views of the mountains

 

Is Horseshoe Bend Free?

It used to be free but due to a huge increase in tourist traffic the city built an entrance station and started charging an entrance fee as of April 2019.

Horseshoe Bend entrance fee

The fee for Horseshoe Bend is $10 per vehicle, $5 per motorcycle, no mention of cost for bicyclists or walk-ins. The fee is for one-time entry only. Payment methods accepted in cash or credit card.

Please note that your America the Beautiful National Parks pass is NOT accepted as payment for the fee at Horseshoe Bend.

During peak season and holidays there is also a second parking lot open – on Hwy 98, about a half mile east of Horseshoe Bend. From there you can take a shuttle bus to the trailhead.

Passenger drop-off and pick-up at the entrance to Horseshoe Bend is NOT allowed. The City of Page passed an ordinance prohibiting any such activity at the entrance or on Hwy 89.

And don’t bring your drone to Horseshoe Bend – it’s a no drone zone!

 

Horseshoe Bend Fees

Fee for Horseshoe Bend Overlook arer $5 for motorcycles and $!0 for car/RV

 

Hiking to Horseshoe Bend Overlook

Distance: 1.5 miles round trip
Difficulty: Easy
Type of hike: Out and back
Elevation gain: 200 ft (60 m)

 

Horseshoe Bend Canyon Page Arizona

A memorable hike to Horseshoe Bend Canyon Page Arizona

 

From the trailhead to Horseshoe Bend Overlook there is no shade so it’s an easier hike early in the day. Remember to bring water, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a sunhat or baseball cap.

When I visited in late September it looked like the construction of another trail and a sunshade was almost complete.

 

Construction at Horseshoe Bend trail

A sun shelter and another trail under construction at Horseshoe Bend trail

 

There is a railing area at the Horseshoe Bend Overlook but visitors are allowed to wander around beyond this area. Please be careful and watch your step. Watch your kids! People have died at Horseshoe Bend so don’t take chances just to get a photo.

 

Risk taker sitting on the rock edge at Horseshoe Bend AZ

People sometimes sit close to the edge of the canyon at Horseshoe Bend – you WON’T see me doing this!

 

A panel on the hiking trail reminds visitors that the sandstone is not always a safe and solid base to stand upon.

 

A sign reminds visitors at Horseshoe Bend do not stand on the edge

A sign reminds visitors at Horseshoe Bend do not stand on the edge

 

View at the start of Horseshoe Bend hiking trail to Colorado River

View at the start of Horseshoe Bend hiking trail to Colorado River

 

When is Sunrise and Sunset at Horseshoe Bend?

You can check for more exact sunrise and sunset times here.

The time and date website allows you to enter future dates as well, so you can plan ahead of your trip to Page AZ.

It’s important to remember that Arizona does NOT follow Daylight Savings Time. There is no ‘spring ahead’ nor ‘fall back’ nonsense in Arizona.

Because Page Arizona is so close to Utah you may find your mobile phone arbitrarily switches time zones. What you can do is set the time zone manually on your cell phone. Choose Phoenix AZ for the time zone and your phone will stop changing time zones.

 

Looking down the cliff at Horseshoe Bend Page AZ

Looking down the cliff at Horseshoe Bend Page AZ

 

Sunrise hike at Horseshoe Bend Arizona

Walking the winding trail to Horseshoe Bend is a wonderful way to start the day in Page AZ

 

Other Ways to See Horseshoe Bend

Take a horseback riding adventure and enjoy a trail ride to the scenic overlook at the Colorado River.

See the Horseshoe Bend from a different perspective – take a boat trip on the Colorado River and paddle around the bend.

Enjoy the view from further above with a helicopter or airplane tour over Horseshoe Bend.

 

One thing is certain, no matter how you decide to see Horseshoe Bend you will find an amazing view!

Enjoy your trip to Page Arizona. And if you want to discover more of Arizona consider a road trip down to Tucson – an amazing Southwestern USA city with some great hikig trails.

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Horseshoe Bend Best Hike Page Arizona

Guide to Horseshoe Bend Hike Page Arizona

What you need to know before visiting Horseshoe Bend Arizona

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 4 of living a nomadic life, roadtripping around the USA and Canada and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

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