One of the best little scenic side trips, and one of the most photographed, is the iconic Horseshoe Bend just south of Page Arizona, located in Glen canyon. For whatever reason, Mother Nature decided to make a nearly 360 degree turn ( it’s actually 270 degrees), but it is truly a marvel to see. My National Park friends tell me that the reason the Bend exists, is due to the ancient Colorado river looking for the the steepest way down. And after millions of years of cutting out a path in the sandstone, we are left with this incredible view..
The hike to the bend is short, only a mile and a half roundtrip. But for some of us “older folk” it can be a bit daunting. You are immediately met with a semi steep sandy climb, which is short. And you once you get to the top, you feel like you accomplished the worst part, because you overlook a continuous down hill hike. The trail will end at the edge of the cliff, where there are plenty of rocks and crags to climb over and there is plenty of spots to see where you can get the best picture. However, BE CAREFUL, as there are no railings or other safety restraints there. You are left to your own version of personal safety, and you know what that means
When I visited, there were about four to five EXTREMELY worried Moms walking around trying to corral their children, and believe me, I understand. The edge is nearly 1000 feet high, and although it looks over this incredibly beautiful scene, I couldn’t help watching the frantic Mothers chasing after their children. My Mom wouldn’t have to be worried though, because her little boy is DEATHLY afraid of heights!!!
As I began to creep closer and closer to the edge, I could feel this uneasy feeling, as if my inner conscious wanted to throw me off. Really?!?! A mental battle ensued, and I am happy to say that conscious lost. I was kinda amazed as there was a tall man who was laying down with his chest and upper body over the edge. ” This is the only way to get the best shot”, he said. “Awesome,” I said, “could you send me a copy then?” LOL… All kidding a side, it is well worth the hike and my personal fear, this is an incredible place to be, even if it’s only for a few minutes
Oh, I nearly forgot, remember that “continuous down hill hike” I said you see once you overcome the initial hill? Well, welcome to your return route… But no worries, as there are about 4 benches along the trail, and yes I used every one of them… I didn’t feel bad either, because right besides me was a Asian man about my same age, speaking in his native language. I didn’t understand the words, but I clearly understood the expression on his face and the fact that we were both out of breath. When we reached the top of the hill we both laughed, shook hands and went our own way…
It was a great day!!!
Horseshoe Bend is located about 4 miles south of Page Arizona on highway 89, just a little bit south of mile marker 545. The GPS coordinates for the turn off is N365238.2, W1113003.9.
If you are thinking about going, here is the National Park link for more info…