Horseshoe Bend Hiking Trail
While exploring Southern Utah, we found ourselves driving through Page, Arizona on our way to the Four Corners Monument. Now, we heard about this majestic canyon view overlooking the Colorado river, called Horseshoe Bend and was told it is a must see. Since we were in the area, we decided to take a short detour and visit this natural wonder.
When we arrived at the parking area, we were surprised by how full the parking lot was and how many people were on the hiking trail. We were also very curious as to why a Search and Rescue crew were stationed right at the trail head. Was there a rescue operation going on?
Hiking to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook:
Our visit to Horseshoe Bend was in late September, and although not as hot as July, it was still plenty warm in the desert heat. With the daypacks loaded with bottled water for us and the dog we began our hike.
The first part of the hike is up a large hill with deep sand in some areas. This made for a little more strenuous hike than expected. Once at the top of the hill there was a small pavilion with many people hunkered down, resting, and enjoying the only shade along the trail. From this point the hike descends down the hill to the overlook.
Standing on the Canyon Rim:
As we approached the canyon rim the view was breathtaking. The view of the Colorado River 1000 feet below our feet seemed almost unreal. We quickly saw why this location is such a popular tourist attraction.
On our visit there were many people taking photos and enjoying the view from the one area with a railing. However, you are allowed to walk along the canyon rim to get different viewpoints of the rock formations and river below.
Short Hike not to be Underestimated:
The Horseshoe Bend trail is a short 1.3-mile round trip hike that should not to be underestimated. Like mentioned above, most of the trail is covered in deep sand with a few rocky areas and the only location to escape from the desert sun is the small pavilion. We later found out, because of the popularity of this location the Search and Rescue crew were on site to handle any accidents that mat occur.
Due to the trail’s overall length and many websites claiming it’s a "short, easy walk" we believe many don't carry or wear the proper gear. Horseshoe bend is located in a desert environment with summer temperatures around 100 degrees and winter temperatures as low as 27 degrees.
Each year over one hundred 911 calls are placed from victims experiencing heat exhaustion, medical issues, and yes, even the rare fall from the overlook.
No matter what time of year you plan on visiting, be sure to bring plenty of water, proper footwear, hats, sunscreen, and just take your time while hiking on the trail.
Hiking with Pets:
The Horseshoe Bend hiking trail is a pet friendly trail. However, in our opinion after hiking to the canyon overlook with our little Yorkie, we recommend leaving your dogs at home.
The sand and rocks even in September were too hot to allow the dog to walk for long periods of time. Plus, the trail was a solid line of people which made it difficult to control our little dogs’ excitement.
If you do bring your dog, they must remain on a leash at all times and remember they cannot be left in the vehicle.
The trail head parking lot is located approximately 5 miles south of Page, Arizona. Travel on HWY 89 to highway marker 545 and you will see a marked parking area on the west side of the road.
If you find yourself traveling in the area around the Glen Canyon Dam take a short drive through Page, Arizona and visit the Horseshoe Bend. The breathtaking views of the rock formations and the Colorado River is a must see. Even though this is a tourist attraction, this is one location that should be added to your bucket list.
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