Horseshoe Bend Ovelook

Round Trip Distance: 1.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4226 - 4383 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Horseshoe Bend Overlook
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic overlook

The Horseshoe Bend Overlook trail is located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area near Page, Arizona. The short trail leads over a hill to the canyon rim high above the Colorado River at a point exactly opposite a sharp bend in the river. Horseshoe Bend sees so many visitors every year that take countless photos of it that it has become an iconic symbol. The view of the bend in the Colorado River is similar to the view from Dead Horse Point but maybe not quite as majestic. The river itself can be seen much more clearly though as it is closer in proximity to the overlook.

The trailhead is just south of Page on Highway 89 and about 5 miles from the Carl Hayden Visitor Center. There were so many people there on this particular day that we had to park along the highway about a quarter mile away. Care must be taken when doing so because not everybody slows down when passing by and people have been hit by cars before and died.

The actual trailhead is just past the normal parking area at the base of a brush covered sandy hill. The trail gains about 50 feet of elevation as you hike up it.

At the top of the hill there is a kiosk and a place to rest and enjoy the view.

From the top of the hill the trail makes a gradual descent until it reaches the rim of the canyon.

There are no railings around the rim of the canyon so care must be taken by everyone that approaches it especially families with small children. On first arrival it might seem like there isn't anywhere to take a picture from where there isn't someone in the way but not to worry. Some of the best spots for taking pictures are further along the rim.

It can all depend on whether you would like your picture to have some of the rim in the foreground as a contrast.

Or if you would like a more traditional picture of Horseshoe Bend.

From the initial point where the trail meets the overlook you can lengthen the hike in either direction by hiking along the rim.

You never know in a place like this whether you might run into a barefoot lady with a monkey on her back.

There are several benches spread out along the trail for those that need to have a rest while hiking back up the hill. You might also notice the stroller in the picture. The ones with larger wheels seemed to do okay on the sandy trail that was somewhat compacted from all the people hiking on it but ones with smaller wheels usually ended up being parked beside the trail.

One of the reasons that so many people were parked along the highway on this particular day was the large pond of water from recent rains that was covering most of the regular parking area. Horseshoe Bend is so popular that it is probably one of those must see places when you are in the Page area. Taken with some of the other short hikes around Page and the lovely views of Lake Powell and the dam itself the Horseshoe Bend Overlook helps to enhance any visit to the area. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.