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Horseshoe Bend Arizona and How To Experience It

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Last summer my family and I took a road trip from Colorado to Arizona. When we originally planned our trip one of the top places we wanted to visit was Horseshoe Bend Arizona.

For as many times as I visit Arizona each year, that has been one of the main spots on my bucket list along with Glen Canyon, yet it kept escaping me. When our road trip got rerouted and I missed seeing Horseshoe Bend, again, I was so disappointed.

You can probably imagine my excitement when I received a unique sponsored trip invite from Aramark. The invite was to be a part of the Lake Powell Influencer event. We would be staying at the Lake Powell Resort (which you can take a room tour thanks to the video I included in this post), and guess what was on the itinerary? The chance to experience and share with you both the canyon and Horseshoe Bend in not one, but two different ways.

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Can you drive to Horseshoe Bend Arizona?

Horseshoe Bend is located in Page, AZ and from Las Vegas it is about a 4 and a half hour drive.

You will probably have better luck, plus you can find cheaper flights, if you fly into McCarran International Airport or even Phoenix’s airport and make a fun road trip out of it versus trying to fly into Page. 

From the Scottsdale, AZ area the drive to Horseshoe Bend is about 4 1/2 – 5 hours.

Once it’s safe and healthy to travel again, you could make this a really incredible vacation by staying at one of my most favorite resorts, which is pretty much in the side of Camelback Mountain. You could also take an incredible sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert. 

How much does Horseshoe Bend cost?

Up until the beginning of last year, visiting to Horseshoe Bend used to be free. Thanks to overcrowding at this popular photo site (hello Instagram), an entrance fee was imposed. 

Now when visitors enter the overlook parking lot, they have to pay for a parking spot — $10 for cars, $5 for motorcycles and commercial buses start at $35. 

How long does it take to walk to Horseshoe Bend?

The hike from the parking lot to the Colorado River located overlook area is about 3/4 of a mile each way.

I recommend avoiding this trip during the hottest part of the day, and if you can try to go at sunset. The view is stunning and it’s one of the most peaceful experiences I ever had. 

The National Park Service has some hiking tips for this area in case you need any before you go. 

horseshoe-bend-arizona

How To Experience Horseshoe Bend Arizona In Two Ways:

1. Glen Canyon Float Trip

Normally when you think of or see pictures of Horseshoe Bend, they are mostly always from the top at the lookout area.

I never knew you could actually float around in the horseshoe shaped body of water below and also see the Glen Canyon dam. 

For the first half of the day that we visited the Glen Canyon National Recreation area, our group took a half day Glenn Canyon Float Trip with Wilderness River Adventures that was not only exciting, but unique.

These float trips are family friendly and available for ages 4 and up. We had a tour guide named Mick who was absolutely unforgettable and if you ever visit here you must request him.

wilderness river adventures

Going on this float trip will allow you to experience the calm, beautiful and inspiring Colorado River for hours while taking in some incredible sights like:

  • Petroglyph Beach

After floating for a bit in the raft you will stop at Petroglyph Beach. Here is where you can stop and use the restrooms, cool off in the river if you would like (it was too chilly for that when we visited in October).  

I was amazed (and I think you would be too) by the hand-carved images that have been perfectly preserved for over 5,000 years.

Glen Canyon

  • Horseshoe Bend (from below)

Not long after you get back onto the raft will you get to experience Horseshoe Bend Arizona in a unique way that I have been telling you about.

It’s truly incredible to actually float through the clear waters of the iconic Horseshoe Bend.

Make sure to look up and wave to the people standing way up above along the lookout area while you watch for hawks, coyotes, blue herons and more.

horseshoe-bend-arizona

  • Hislop Cave

While rafting past Hislop Cave, your tour guide will share the history of the region, the mining culture, and John Doyle Lee with you.

This was the part where our wonderful tour guide Mick surprised our group.

He pulled out his guitar and harmonica, then serenaded us while surrounded by soaring sandstone cliffs.

Glen Canyon Float Trip

  • Lees Ferry

Once your raft trip ends at Lees Ferry, you will board a bus back to River Headquarters.

Pay attention during the ride so you don’t miss the impressive Vermillion Cliffs.

horseshoe-bend-arizona

horseshoe-bend-arizona

2. Horseshoe Bend Arizona Overlook

Over the past few years Horseshoe Bend has become one of the most photographed natural wonders in the Southwest.

Located only about 5 miles from Page, Arizona and the Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas, this impressive horseshoe shaped part of the Colorado River is a must see landmark.

We went to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook right before sunset and it was one of the most serene experiences I have ever had while traveling.

The view from the overlook is stunning and I will admit a bit scary at the same time, as the overlook is 4,200 feet above sea level.

There are dunes, cliff areas and more from which you can stand on, just PLEASE BE CAREFUL.

Thank goodness I packed my best leggings, because even the 1,000 foot drop didn’t stop our group from trying our favorite yoga poses up on top of a cliff, which made for some incredible photographs. 

horseshoe-bend-arizona

horseshoe-bend-arizona

Tips:

  • Make sure to bring water with you. A collapsible water bottle is one of my best travel essentials because it makes it so easy to stay hydrated on the go. Although it isn’t a long hike, the heat and the altitude can get to you, even if its chilly.
  • Bring a wide-angle lens if you really want to capture a picture of Horseshoe Bend in all it’s beautiful glory.

Did you know there was so much to do and see in Page, Arizona?

We also explored Antelope Canyon during this trip and I have all information on what you NEED to know before you take a tour. 

So which way would you want to experience Horseshoe Bend Arizona more, from the lookout or floating in the canyon?

 

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Sunday 9th of August 2020

[…] Stay at the luxurious and family-friendly Whiteface Lodge Resort & Spa for the ultimate relaxing plus adventurous getaway. […]

eatpicks

Sunday 18th of November 2018

I loved following you along on this trip! Such a beautiful place - can't wait to add this to my bucket list!

Clarissa

Monday 19th of November 2018

Thank you for following along, I really appreciate it. It truly is such a serene and beautiful place.