If Arizona isn’t on your travel list yet then it sure will be after knowing about the famous Horseshoe Bend Hike. We’ve gone hiking in Phoenix, Tucson, and the iconic Grand Canyon so we felt like we couldn’t miss out on Horseshoe Bend.
Visiting Horseshoe Bend has become way more accessible over the years which makes it so much easier to hike up to the Horseshoe Bend overlook. With tourism at an all-time high the world knows about Arizona’s beauty for more than the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam by now, and places like Horseshoe Bend have turned into photoshoot hotspots.
In this post, you can find lots of information about the hike that you may need. We’re also gonna share when the best time of the day to go is, what you should bring, and things you should know about before going.
Horseshoe Bend Hike
The trailhead begins just 5 kilometers (3 miles) south of Page along US 89. It’s very easy to find and there is a big car park but you can use these directions to make sure you don’t miss it. It will cost you $10 USD to park your car which is valid for one entry only. It might seem like a lot for parking but it’s totally worth it. Spend the money and enjoy an awesome view!
The hike itself is very easy and it’s only 2.1 km (1.5 miles) from the parking lot to the overlook where the hike ends. The path is very well maintained and there are guard rails over certain sections overlooking the bend so it is safe to bring anyone in your family. Just make sure you stay in the designated areas. It’s safe to say you can see how much the hike has evolved over the years and how it’s become more tourist friendly.
Speaking of tourist friendly, you can expect a lot of tourists. A quick Google search told us that Horseshoe Bend has around 2 million visitors a year (!) which means that roughly 5500 people visit it every day. (Check out our Instagram highlights for Arizona if you want to see what we’re talking about.) At least the $10 USD entry fee is going to help preserve and maintain this wonder from the masses of tourists that come visit it every day!
Practical information about Horseshoe Bend Overlook Hike
Distance: 2.1km return / 1.5 miles return
Elevation: 61 m / 200 ft. elevation gain
Type: Out and back
Length: 30 minute return
Difficulty: Very easy (But it can be very hot out)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Here’s a map of the beginning of Horseshoe Bend Overlook
Horseshoe Bend Overlook
The Horseshoe Bend overlook is where the trail ends and it’s where you’ve seen all the amazing pictures from. We wanted to share with you the reality of the overlook and what it can look like at busy times but also amazing photos you can get with a little bit of patience. The overlook is fascinating and the fact that it curves in a 270-degree angle makes for some incredible pictures.
We recommend staying near the rails and taking pictures there. But if you do want some pictures with fewer people then you can definitely go off to the side like we did as long as you’re nowhere near the cliffs. It may seem safe standing on a huge rock but it may be a big overhang and the next minute the rock cracks off and it’s gone. So don’t go too close. Just stay in the designated areas and you’ll still get amazing photos of Horseshoe Bend.
What to bring on the hike
Since it’s a short and sweet hike you don’t need to worry about bringing too much. You can also just walk back to your car if you forget anything. Something we’ve found useful since we’ve started hiking quite a bit is to bring a tripod for pictures and a LifeStraw water bottle which is amazing for cleaning your water while helping the planet by not wasting plastic.
Hiking boots aren’t needed (Jo was wearing her Birkenstocks). But plan accordingly with the weather, especially if you plan to be at the overlook for a while. Bring some food and enjoy a romantic sunset at the overlook.
When is the best time to visit Horseshoe Bend
Since Page is located in a desert it can get very very hot. So if you plan to visit Horseshoe Bend during the summer months try and go in the evening. You will miss the crowds of tour busses and family’s going earlier in the day. Although you might not miss the rest of the tourists, hopefully, you’ll get an amazing sunset!
For those who are traveling during the off season it’s not as big of a deal, especially since the weather also won’t be as warm. But don’t expect to get the place to yourself. We went in October and there were still a ton of people around.
If you’re feeling up for it you could try and get to the overlook for sunrise and catch an amazing view. There will likely be others doing it too but if you’re camping close by and can manage to get up early it’s worth a shot!
- Horseshoe Bend is totally worth visiting! It’s such an iconic place to visit in Arizona, and it’s so beautiful!
- The hike is short and it’s crucial to pick a good time to go to avoid the crowds a bit. Even better if you can go during shoulder or off season.
- Be safe at the overlook and take some awesome pictures, maybe even during sunrise or sunset.
- Make sure to bring your water bottle so you can stay hydrated.
And let us know what you think about the Horseshoe Bend hike and if there’s anything else we should know about the hike! Besides that, enjoy the hike and the amazing views.
Have fun and stay safe out there!