A Guide to Visiting Horseshoe Bend: Parking, hiking, and avoiding the crowd

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Horseshoe Bend is a “must-see” site in Northern Arizona. As it’s become more “Insta-famous” in recent years, it’s also become more crowded. I’m always amazed by how many international tourists are at the viewing platform, proving that Horseshoe Bend is world-famous!

The Colorado River winds through the area, from the Glen Canyon Dam, down toward the Grand Canyon. Horseshoe Bend is nine miles upstream from the Grand Canyon National Park’s boundaries. Aside from the iconic view, several factors make Horseshoe Bend a draw for visitors. Chief among them: it’s accessible and convenient!

You cannot miss the large parking lot south of Page on Highway 89. It’s a $10 fee to park your car, and you can explore Horseshoe Bend on your own without a guide. The pathway from the parking lot to the viewing platform is a little more than half a mile. It’s perfectly flat, nicely groomed, and well-maintained. I’ve seen people in wheelchairs and children in strollers make the trip down to Horseshoe Bend.

While most people gather on the small viewing platform, it’s worth hiking down the rocky cliffs to find peace and quiet. You won’t have to walk too far to find a private rock to sit on, enjoy the view (maybe a picnic?), and relax. Walking less than a quarter mile up the canyon wall, you’ll leave the entire crowd behind.

If you’re making the 4-5 hour drive to Page, I’d suggest checking out some other amazing sites in the area. I have a whole post about how to visit Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend in a day, which includes other options and sites to see around Lake Powell. It also includes some amazing photos of the area, so you’ll know what to expect if you plan a trip!

Jared Dillingham

Jared Dillingham

Jared anchors the evening newscasts on Arizona's Family, after working every possible shift at Arizona’s Family over the last 15 years.