Horseshoe Bend, Arizona is the perfect stop to include on a tour of the American Southwest. It’s a scenic bend in the Colorado River that has quickly become a popular location for capturing photos of a stunning southwestern landscape.
You’ve probably seen plenty of pictures of Horseshoe Bend, but photos just don’t do this natural wonder justice. When we stopped at Horseshoe Bend on our 10-day West Coast USA road trip, we were blown away by how stunning this horseshoe-shaped canyon is.
Horseshoe Bend is located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, close to Antelope Canyon, another picturesque location that is well worth visiting. In this article, you’ll find the information you need to plan a trip to Horseshoe Bend, including:
- Directions to Horseshoe Bend
- Opening hours and entrance fee
- Things to do at Horseshoe Bend
- Where to stay near Horseshoe Bend
- Horseshoe Bend map
Where is Horseshoe Bend?
Horseshoe Bend is located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Page, Arizona. Visitors often travel to Horseshoe Bend from the Grand Canyon, from other parts of Arizona, or even from Las Vegas. Below is a list of distances from popular surrounding locations to Horseshoe Bend:
- Page, AZ to Horseshoe Bend – 4 miles
- Lake Powell to Horseshoe Bend – 5 miles
- Grand Canyon to Horseshoe Bend – 9 miles from the national park boundary; 140 miles from the North and South Rim
- Antelope Canyon to Horseshoe Bend – 7 miles
- Zion National Park to Horseshoe Bend – 107 miles
- Flagstaff, AZ to Horseshoe Bend – 130 miles
- Sedona, AZ to Horseshoe Bend – 159 miles
- Phoenix, AZ to Horseshoe Bend – 274 miles
- Las Vegas, NV to Horseshoe Bend – 275 miles
Directions to Horseshoe Bend – How to get to Horseshoe Bend
The easiest way to get to Horseshoe Bend is from Page, Arizona. To get to Horseshoe Bend from Page, simply:
- Head south on US-89.
- Drive about 5 miles and you’ll see a sign that says, “Horseshoe Bend Overlook.” Turn right into the parking lot.
How to get to Horseshoe Bend from Las Vegas
The closest airport to Horseshoe Bend is Las Vegas Airport, so many travelers end up passing through Las Vegas on their way to Horseshoe Bend.
If you’re staying in Vegas, one of the best day trips from Las Vegas is visiting Horseshoe Bend. One-day Horseshoe Bend tours from Vegas, like this one, tend to include a stop in Antelope Canyon as well, so you can check two beautiful spots off your to-do list.
You can also rent a car in Las Vegas and drive to Horseshoe Bend. It is 275 miles to Horseshoe Bend from Las Vegas or a four-and-a-half-hour drive. To get to Horseshoe Bend from Las Vegas:
- Get on I-515 North/US-95 North.
- Take exit 76B to merge onto I-15 North/US-93 North toward Salt Lake City.
- Stay on I-15 North for about 2 hours. Then take exit 16 to merge onto UT-9 East/West State Street toward Hurricane.
- After about 10 miles, turn left onto UT-59 South/E 100 S. Stay on UT-59 South for about half an hour and then continue onto AZ-389 East.
- Stay on AZ-389 East for about half an hour and then turn left onto US-89A North.
- After about 10 minutes, turn right onto US-89 South/E 300 S.
- Stay on US-89 South for about an hour and 15 minutes. You will see a sign that says “Horseshoe Bend Overlook.” Turn right into the Horseshoe Bend parking lot.
How to get to Horseshoe Bend from the Grand Canyon
It’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim to Horseshoe Bend (140 miles).
To get to Horseshoe Bend from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center:
- Take AZ-64 East and stay on it for about an hour.
- AZ-64 East will end. Use the 3rd exit at the traffic circle to turn left onto US-89 North.
- Stay on US-89 North for about an hour and 15 minutes. You will see a sign that says “Horseshoe Bend Overlook.” Turn left into the Horseshoe Bend parking lot.
Visiting Horseshoe Bend
This section contains all the logistical information you’ll need to know for your trip, such as Horseshoe Bend’s opening hours, parking, entrance fee, and weather as well as the best time to visit.
Horseshoe Bend opening hours
Horseshoe Bend’s opening hours are from sunrise to sunset, year-round, so you can visit at any time of year.
Horseshoe Bend parking fee
There is no Horseshoe Bend entrance fee, but you do have to pay for parking or for shuttle transportation.
The parking lot is operated by the city of Page, and you can pay for parking at the Horseshoe Bend trailhead. Overnight parking is not allowed. The parking fee for a car/RV is $10.
If the parking lot is full, visitors must take a shuttle to the trailhead. The shuttle costs $5 roundtrip and leaves from downtown Page.
Horseshoe Bend best time to visit
The best time to visit Horseshoe Bend is anytime between sunrise and sunset. Pre-sunrise and post-sunset, the Colorado River is in shadow, so it’s difficult to see much and get good photos. The busiest times of day at the Horseshoe Bend overlook are from 9 AM to 11 AM and 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM, so to avoid crowds, go before or after these times.
If you want to capture the best Horseshoe Bend pictures, sunset will provide the most dramatic lighting. The sun sets behind Horseshoe Bend, so you’ll be able to take pictures of the sun setting on the horizon and the light framing Horseshoe Bend.
Horseshoe Bend weather
In terms of the weather in Horseshoe Bend, summers (from May to September) are very hot, with temperatures usually reaching above 86°F. July is the hottest month, with an average high of 96°F and an average low of 73°F.
Winter is from November to February, with temperatures usually below 55°F. The coldest month is January, with an average high of 46°F and an average low of 31°F. The weather tends to be dry year-round.
Things to do at Horseshoe Bend
There are plenty of things to do at Horseshoe Bend: you can go hiking, take a helicopter tour, go kayaking, take a rafting tour, and even visit the Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon.
Hiking Horseshoe Bend
The hike to Horseshoe Bend is not a particularly challenging one, but you should still come prepared and dress appropriately. The hike to the Horseshoe Bend overlook is 0.6 miles one way, and your Horseshoe Bend hike time will total between about 30 minutes to an hour round-trip depending on your pace.
The Horseshoe Bend trail is a sandy path that slopes gently upward. This sand gets very hot during the summer, so don’t wear sandals or open-toed shoes. Make sure to bring water with you, especially during the summer, as there is no water for sale nor are there water sources to refill water bottles, and wear sturdy walking shoes.
At the Horseshoe Bend overlook, there is a fenced area for extra safety, as there is a steep drop-off of over 1,000 feet down to the Colorado River. If you leave this fenced area at the overlook, take extra care because the sandstone terrain can be unstable.
Horseshoe Bend Helicopter Tour
If you want to see Horseshoe Bend from a whole new perspective, book a Horseshoe Bend helicopter tour like this one. This tour leaves from the heliport in Lake Powell, so, in addition to getting a bird’s-eye view of Horseshoe Bend, you’ll also fly over Lake Powell.
This Horseshoe Bend tour takes about 30 to 40 minutes and should be booked in advance.
Kayaking at Horseshoe Bend
To get yet another different perspective of Horseshoe Bend, rent a kayak and paddle down the Colorado River. You’ll be able to see the beautiful, imposing walls of cliffs and the towering height of Horseshoe Bend above you.
Horseshoe Bend Rafting
Another way to see Horseshoe Bend is by taking a Horseshoe Bend rafting tour. This tour, from Wilderness River Adventures, lasts half a day and starts at Glen Canyon Dam. You’ll pass by Petroglyph Beach, Vermillion Cliffs, and, of course, Horseshoe Bend before ending up at Lee’s Ferry.
This Horseshoe Bend boat tour is the perfect activity for families since the stretch of the Colorado River by Horseshoe Bend is quite calm.
Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon
One of the best things to do at Horseshoe Bend is to visit the Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon. This canyon is similar to Antelope Canyon but is less well-known and far less crowded, so it’s a great way to see a gorgeous natural wonder up close without being surrounded by lots of other visitors.
This canyon is located on Navajo land, so you must book this Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon tour in order to visit it. You can find more information about this canyon on the Horseshoe Bend Slot Canyon Tours website.
Things to do near Horseshoe Bend
Of course, if you want to venture a bit further afield, there are plenty of things to do near Horseshoe Bend. You can visit Antelope Canyon, swim in Lake Powell, or even hike the Grand Canyon.
Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend can easily be seen together since the drive from Horseshoe Bend to Antelope Canyon is only 10 minutes (7 miles) in total.
As we mentioned in our guide to visiting Antelope Canyon, we have visited both Upper Antelope Canyon and Lower Antelope Canyon, and we were mesmerized by the beautiful sandstone formations and rays of light that illuminate the walls of this slot canyon. If you get the chance, you should absolutely stop at Antelope Canyon because the experience will be unforgettable.
Take into account that you will need to book a Navajo tour to visit this wonderful site. Book well in advance because there are limited tickets per day and they are likely to sell out (we booked them two months in advance for visiting the Upper and Lower Canyon in August).
Lake Powell is only 5 miles away from Horseshoe Bend, and the drive from Horseshoe Bend to Lake Powell only takes about 10 minutes, so you won’t have to travel far at all.
Lake Powell is a man-made lake with beautiful sandstone walls. It’s the perfect place to relax and cool off, especially in the heat of summer, and you can kayak, swim, paddleboard, and even camp there.
Visiting the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend in the same trip is definitely doable. Horseshoe Bend is located only 9 miles away from the Grand Canyon National Park boundary, near the East Rim Area.
It’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive to get from the Grand Canyon South Rim to Horseshoe Bend or from the North Rim to Horseshoe Bend, so you could easily stay in the Grand Canyon, take a day trip to Horseshoe Bend, and head back to the park.
Check our guide to visiting the Grand Canyon for more tips for planning your trip.
Where to stay near Horseshoe Bend
There are plenty of accommodations near Horseshoe Bend, so where you stay depends on whether you’d rather go camping near Horseshoe Bend or stay in one of the best Horseshoe Bend hotels.
Horseshoe Bend Hotels
The best hotels near Horseshoe Bend are:
- Country Inn & Suites by Radisson: This hotel is located 5 minutes from Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona, making it an incredibly convenient option.
- Hyatt Place Page Lake Powell: This hotel is also highly rated and is located in the center of Page, only a 10-minute drive away from Horseshoe Bend.
For more options, check our guide on where to stay in Page, Arizona.
Horseshoe Bend Camping
If you’d prefer to go camping near Horseshoe Bend, your best bet is the Page Lake Powell Antelope Canyon Campground. This Horseshoe Bend campground offers both tent sites and RV sites. You can even stay in a Conestoga covered wagon and “glamp” if that’s more your style.
Horseshoe Bend Map
Below is a Horseshoe Bend map that you can use to help plan your trip.
We hope that you found this article useful and that it helps make your visit to Horseshoe Bend unforgettable. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate, and leave me a comment below. I will be happy to help. Safe travels!