LAST UPDATED: 4/28/23 – Horseshoe Bend Guide
If you are into grand and beautiful vistas, then you aren’t going to want to miss a stop at Horseshoe Bend in Northern Arizona. Nowhere else is the Colorado River’s sculpting of the sandstone of the American Southwest more beautiful.
It wasn’t too long ago when Horseshoe Bend was a lesser-known treasure of the American Southwest. Back then, there wasn’t an entrance fee to visit this incredible viewpoint. All you needed was to be able to locate the pullout for the short 1-mile hike off of Highway 89 outside of Page, Arizona and be willing to hike down to see it.
The Popularity of this Viewpoint Has Skyrocketed
However, as the Horseshoe Bend viewpoint continued to gain popularity on social media, the crowds at the viewpoint got larger, and larger. Ultimately, this led to safety issues and even some fatalities at the viewpoint. Because of this, the city of Page has revamped the viewpoint in many ways to accommodate the larger crowds and to make the viewpoint safer.
Part of me longs for the days where the viewpoint was an untouched treasure, but I am happy to see others enjoying the incredible views and being able to do so safely.
In this Horseshoe Bend guide we will let you know how to get to Horseshoe Bend, when the best times to visit are, and show you some of the stunning pictures we have been able to take of Horseshoe Bend during our many visits over the years.
How to Get to Horseshoe Bend
In addition to being one of the most beautiful spots in the American Southwest, Horseshoe Bend is also one of the easiest viewpoints to get to. It is 4.6 miles (or a 9 minute drive) South of the town of Page, Arizona. If you are interested in learning where Page, Arizona is in relation to large cities and National Parks in the American Southwest, please refer to the table in my Horseshoe Bend guide below.
Distance to National Parks and Cities in the General Area
|City or Park||Driving Distance|
|Kabab, Utah||74 miles|
|Grand Canyon National Park||109 miles|
|Zion National Park||104 miles|
|Flagstaff, Arizona||129 miles|
|Bryce Canyon National Park||151 miles|
|Capitol Reef National Park||252 miles|
|Canyonlands National Park||265 miles|
|Las Vegas, Nevada||273 miles|
|Moab, Utah||273 miles|
|Arches National Park||278 miles|
To get to Horseshoe Bend from the city of Page, Arizona, follow the directions I have included in my Horseshoe Bend guide below:
- Take Highway 89 South from Page, Arizona approximately 4.6 miles.
- You will see the parking lot and entrance gate off the highway on the right-hand side.
- I would suggest arriving at the viewpoint early in the day as it can get crowded during peak summer months.
From the parking area, it is roughly a 1 mile hike to the viewpoint. The hike is slightly up hill at points, but it is a rather easy hike. Please, make sure you practice proper trail etiquette when visiting and leave not trace. For your reference, I have included a map below that outlines the directions to the viewpoint and the trail location in my Horseshoe Bend guide below.
Horseshoe Bend Fees and Regulations
The Horseshoe Bend viewpoint is located on public land that belongs to the city of Page, Arizona. For information on the parking fee that is charged to visit the viewpoint now, as well as the rules and regulations for the viewpoint, please refer to the Official Horseshoe Bend Information website for the city.
Best Time to Visit Horseshoe Bend
Horseshoe Bend is an amazing place to visit year-round, but the temperature and crowds can make certain times of year much more enjoyable than others. During the months of June thru September, temperatures can get quite hot, and the crowds can be quite large as people often take their summer vacations to the area.
The months of August thru October also have some of the highest average precipitation levels for the year, so keep that in mind when planning a summer trip to Horseshoe Bend.
During the winter months (between December and February), the crowds are sparse, but the temperatures can be relatively cool. If you aren’t phased by the cooler temperatures, this can be a great time to visit as the crowds are really small.
I believe the best time to visit Horseshoe Bend is in the spring months of March thru May as the temperatures are reasonably warm, the precipitation levels are on average low, and the crowds are not yet at their peak levels.
Average Temperature (°F)
During the summer months of June thru August, the temperatures in Page, Arizona can be blistering hot. In fact, it can get so hot that it can actually be dangerous to do strenuous activities outdoors for prolonged periods.
If you plan on doing a lot of hiking while in the Page area, I definitely recommend planning your trip for the spring or autumn months where temperatures aren’t nearly as hot.
While the temperatures in winter aren’t as cold as you will find further North in Southern Utah, it can get quite chilly during the winter in Page. In fact, I have been in page in early autumn where the city has gotten snow. If you aren’t fond of chilly days and cold nighttime temperatures, then you are definitely going to avoid visiting during the winter months of December thru February.
For more information on the average temperatures in Page, Arizona throughout the year, I have included a chart for you to review in my Antelope Canyon guide below. In my opinion, the best temperatures can be found in Page during late April and early October.
The nights will be chilly, but the daytime temperatures will be very comfortable and perfectly suited for hiking and other outdoor activities. Plus, you will have to contend with far smaller crowds during those times of year than you would have to during the peak summer months.
Average Precipitation (Inches)
Areas of the Horseshoe Bend viewpoint can be slippery in dry conditions, and at times dangerous when wet. If you are planning on visiting the viewpoint, I would recommend doing so when the weather is nice. Not only will it be safer, but you will enjoy the experience much more.
For those who are starting to plan their trip to see the Horseshoe Bend and would like to maximize their chances of having nice weather while there, I have included a chart that outlines the average amount of precipitation in the Page, Arizona area in my Horseshoe Bend guide for you to review below.
Average Number of Visitors
Another factor that you might want to consider when deciding when to visit Horseshoe Bend is the average number of visitors that you can expect to be sharing the viewpoint with you. I remember back when Horseshoe Bend was an unmarked pullout with a dirt parking lot and trail. Now, it has a paved parking lot and an entrance gate.
If you don’t want to have to wait for your turn to take pictures at the viewpoint, or don’t want to have to wait for people to get out of your pictures, you may want to consider visiting during one of the shoulder months. This way you will still have relatively nice weather, but you will have far other visitors to contend with.
Be Safe While Viewing Horseshoe Bend
If you visit Horseshoe Bend, please make sure that you keep your safety and the safety of others in mind. Not too long ago, a man fell nearly 800 feet to his death after he fell from the ledge to the rocks below.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only fatality that has occurred at the Horseshoe Bend viewpoint either. Although the city of Page recently installed a railing along part of the viewpoint, there are still large sections on either side of the railing that are exposed.
In the many times I have visited the viewpoint, I have seen some pretty reckless behavior at the Horseshoe Bend viewpoint. That selfie you want to take or that shot of you hanging over the edge isn’t worth the risk.
You should be aware that the sandstone that you are standing on can break off at any time, so even standing on the edge of the viewpoint can be perilous. So please, make sure you take extra precaution when visiting.
Other Things to See in the Page Area
There are few areas in North America that are as beautiful as the canyon-filled deserts of the American Southwest. Not only is there a seemingly endless supply of incredible landscapes to marvel at, but there is not shortage of amazing activities in the area to keep you busy as well.
If you are planning an extended trip to Page, Arizona and are looking for some additional stops to add to your itinerary after you have visited the Horseshoe Bend viewpoint, I have included links to some guides that you might find interesting in my Horseshoe Bend guide below.
With the invention of Instagram, this iconic slot canyon quickly became all the rage with landscape photographers and social media influencers. When I visited this canyon more than 15 years ago, there were very few people on our tour.
Today, the tours for this canyon sell out well in advance. If you want to learn more about this incredible place and how to land yourself a tour, check out my Antelope Canyon visitor guide below.
|Comprehensive Antelope Canyon Guide|
If you want to visit a beautiful slot canyon while in the Page area but aren’t able to find an opening at Antelope Canyon or don’t want to deal with the crowds, then Waterhole Canyon is a great alternative.
Although it doesn’t get the famous light beams that Antelope Canyon gets, it is every bit as beautiful as its sister canyon and is much longer as well. For more information on how to view the Waterhole Canyon, check out my Waterhole Canyon visitor guide below.
|The Ultimate Waterhole Canyon Guide|
If you have ever watched an old Western film or have seen the movie “Forrest Gump” for that matter, then Monument Valley will look very familiar to you. This iconic desert landscape has been featured in countless Hollywood movies.
Most popularly, it was the backdrop of Forrest Gump’s run across America when he stopped and decided to go home. For more information on how to visit this incredible place, please see my Monument Valley visitor guide linked below.
|Monument Valley Visitor Guide|
Where to Stay Near Horseshoe Bend
When visiting the national parks, monuments, and other areas of interest in the United States, it is a really neat experience to camp out during your visit. Some of the best campgrounds in America can be found inside the country’s national parks, monuments, recreation areas and the surrounding areas.
This is especially true of the area surrounding Page, Arizona. The extra dark skies in the surrounding area make it a great place to star gaze. If you are interested in camping out during your visit, I have included a map and list of some recommended campgrounds for you to review in my Horseshoe Bend guide below.
If camping is not your speed, you need not worry as there are a variety of good hotels for you to choose from in the area as well. In fact, the city of Page, Arizona has a wealth of reasonably priced hotel options for you to choose from.
If you are in the process of planning your trip to Page to see the Horseshoe Bend viewpoint, then you are in luck. I have included a map and list of recommended hotels at different price points for you to review in my Horseshoe Bend guide below.
Activities in the Horseshoe Bend Area
There are a lot of beautiful and amazing things to see in the Page, Arizona area, but there are also a lot of really fun activities that you can do during your visit as well. If you are starting to plan your trip and are looking for some fun activities to enjoy while you are in the area, I have included some suggestions for you to review in my Horseshoe Bend guide below.
|Day Trips and Excursions|
|Tours and Sightseeing|
|Nature and Parks|
|Cultural and Theme Tours|
|Nature and Wildlife|
Horseshoe Bend Photo Gallery
Horseshoe Bend is a beautiful place that is very easy to fall in love with. I love this place so much that I have made it a point to visit on many occasions. Below is a gallery of some of the beautiful pictures I have been able to capture of Horseshoe Bend over the years.
If you would like to view some more of my top photos from this trip, as well as photos from some of my many other travel adventures, make sure you are following me on Instagram as well!