Horseshoe Bend: Arizona’s Iconic Red Rock Wonder

A circular stretch of river and rock known as Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona, is one of the most recognizable red rock formations in the Western United States. Visitors travel to Arizona from across the globe to gaze at a 1,000-foot-high column of red rock that is perfectly framed by the sparkling green waters of the Colorado River.

The city of Page charges a $10 fee for visitors who park in the parking lot near the Horseshoe Bend trailhead. Horseshoe Bend is located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and straddles the border between Arizona and Utah. Aside from the parking charge, there is no entry fee to enjoy the stunning beauty of Horseshoe Bend.

A short, well-paved trail allows visitors to stand on a majestic overlook that offers a panoramic view of Horseshoe Bend. The overlook doesn’t have any railings, so it is a good idea to proceed with caution if you’re attempting to snap the perfect photo for your Instagram page. It is also a good idea to pack snacks, water, sunscreen, and a hat to avoid getting overheated in the blazing Arizona sun.

The best time to visit Horseshoe Bend is in the early morning or the late afternoon. The rusty red rocks and the peridot-green Colorado River appear more vibrant before and after the hottest part of the day. Most visitors spend about an hour enjoying the breathtaking scenery.

Several Page, Arizona-based companies offer tour packages that include transportation and a guided tour of Horseshoe Bend. Most tours also include surrounding attractions, such as Upper Antelope Canyon. Upper Antelope Canyon is a wavy slot canyon that appears vermilion when sunlight streams in from above.

Brave visitors who feel comfortable on a small plane can opt for a “flightseeing” tour that offers an aerial view of Glen Canyon Dam, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell. Thrill-seekers can also book a 45-minute helicopter tour that offers a bird’s-eye view of the stunning spiral-shaped rock formations of Antelope Canyon.

Looking at a photo of Horseshoe Bend is impressive, but actually standing at the lookout point and seeing one of the most magnificent rock formations in the West with your own eyes is a truly awe-inspiring experience. Thanks to the nuances of light and shadow, Horseshoe Bend never appears the same twice when you look at it up close. No road trip through the Western United States is complete without a stop at Horseshoe Bend.

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