If you are taking a road trip through the American Southwest, consider making a stop at the picture-perfect Horseshoe Bend! Located just outside Page, Arizona, this natural wonder is sure to delight any traveler.
At first glance, Horseshoe Bend seems quite out of the way. That said, we discovered that when driving between the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley / Mesa Verde National Park, Horseshoe Bend only added an hour of driving time to our road trip. If you are coming from the North Rim or are heading to Bryce Canyon National Park or Zion National Park, the detour might be significantly less than this!
A decade ago, Horseshoe Bend was mostly a secret attraction known only to locals, with maybe 1,000 visitors a year. Thanks to Instagram and other social media, its popularity exploded, and it can now have 4,000+ visitors per day. With the increase in popularity, it can now be quite overrun with tourists. While the park is open from sunrise to sunset, it is often crowded in both the late morning and the late afternoon as people make a stop on their way to their next destination.
Parking fee: $10 for cars
Hiking Length: 0.6 miles each way
After hiking at Grand Canyon National Park, the relatively short hike to view Horseshoe Bend was quite easy. Even though it is short, it is still wise to carry water bottles as there is very little shade and you can become dehydrated quickly.
Once you reach the lookout point, you will quickly figure out who is afraid of heights and who is fearless. Fortunately, the main picture point has guardrails that won’t make you fear for your life!
The downside is that there are a lot points without guardrails that also make for less crowded pictures. If you aren’t careful, it would be easy to step over the side or step onto some loose rock and have the side of the cliff crumble away from your feet. There was one death in 2022, and more in prior years.
When the parents are nervous (us) and the kids are fearless (them), it does not make for a pleasant combination. We did find a place for the kids to climb that looked a little more safe than by the main drop-off, but we were still a bit tense.
What fun! Just decide ahead of time what the ground rules for the kids are and you are likely to have a fun visit and come away with everyone alive and end up with some amazing photos. Visit Horseshoe Bend!
Keep reading our travel blog for more road trip ideas!
Here are some more posts from this American Southwest trip: