Arizona, Arizona, Arizona… I can say so much great things about this state. Arizona is probably one of the most photographed states in the country. One of the things you probably have came across if you’ve been following the best places to see in the Southwest, especially on Instagram, is the Horseshoe Bend.
Guess why they named this monument ‘The Horseshoe Bend’? I wonder that myself too….. Well, it IS indeed shaped like one. Located in the Northern Arizona region in Page, Arizona, you’ll often hear of this place and the other recommended hot spots around the city. After all, it’s not too far from the Grand Canyon and after our trip to the Grand Canyon, we had to see this.
About Horseshoe Bend
The Horseshoe Bend is also located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and 5 miles from the known Glen Canyon Dam. It is formed around cliffs at a drop of 1,000 ft and it is surrounded by the Colorado River. In the Grand Canyon from Mather’s Point, you won’t be able to take a great look at the Colorado River, but here in the Horseshoe Bend, you can easily take a closer look at it. You can easily find this place from Highway 89.
Although there wasn’t a set address to get to this place, my family and I found it by typing in the address of the Days Inn hotel in Page in our GPS and it will be a mile up from the hotel.
Some pointers on Horseshoe Bend
- This formation was formed from a million years ago from the Colorado River eroding the rocks.
- The rock walls have a variety of minerals including hematite, platinum, garnet.
- A lot of pictures you’ll find on Instagram, Google, and mine actually make the Horseshoe Bend look small BUT it’s actually very massive to see in person and it’s scary to look down.
- On the overlook, there are no guard rails at all and you are at your own risk if you get close to the edges.
- The terrain can be rough — the trail will begin sandy then it becomes rocky and uneven towards the viewpoint.
- The weather can change very quickly and also be dangerous. You have to look out for dark clouds.
Exploring this monument
The Horseshoe Bend starts off from a parking lot that will lead to a 3/4-mile long trail. The trail is not difficult at all to accomplish but it may be a different story if the weather is veryyy hot and sunny, which can make the hike a little more uncomfortable. However, I came here during January, what would be considered “winter time” in the East Coast, and the weather wasn’t too harsh.
The overall time that the hike may take you is 30 minutes. You’ll be walking up steeply and then it will require you to walk down with some rocks in the way but some rocks were made to make a small pathway that is easy to walk down to.
As you walk down further you’ll see the opening that will take you to the viewpoint. You’ll also see some cool rock structures on the way down.
There will be some information boards displayed talking more about what Horseshoe Bend is about and some cautions to take.
As you get closer, you’ll find some people hiking a REALLY huge rock that forms a hiking area for people who want to get up higher to view the monument.
Then, as you walk closer and closer to the open hole, you’ll finally see what you’ve been waiting for. The Horseshoe Bend. And a thousand feet long deep into the Colorado River. Oh, and yes, it does look a lot scarier than it really looks in pictures.
This was me being a little bit risky by sitting to see the view and feel the thrill from way above.
People hanging out by the edge to take their pictures and to get a better look. I mean, people are literally hanging out on the edge.
A better look at the Colorado River…
And this is me sitting on a rock.
This place is one of nature’s geological gifts for sure!