Glen Canyon NRA: Horseshoe Bend

IMG_5899Location: Page, AZ

Designation: National Recreation Area

Date NPS designation declared: 10/27/1972

Date of my visit: 8/17/2014

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Horseshoe Bend is a part of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It is a horseshoe shaped bend in the Colorado River flowing through the Glen Canyon. It can be viewed from an overlook just south of Page on Highway 89 between mileposts 544 & 545. Look for the signs pointing to the right to turn off to the lot. Due to the increasing popularity of the overlook, the NPS began construction on improvements at the site last year including a saftey railing at the rim, shade areas and benches and a trail that is more in keeping with preserving the environment.

When we were there, there were no railings which was pretty terrifying, but I was able to sit/lay at the edge and get some awesome unobstructed shots. I’m sure these shots will still be possible with a few adjustments from behind the railing and maybe fewer people will take the risk of climbing just below the rim as a slip or crumbling rock would mean certain death.

The path from the parking lot was a sandy uphill trudge in the blazing desert sun. We didn’t bring enough water…we underestimated the climb because it was only half a mile. When we got to the rim, my daughter had to sit in the shade of a big boulder because she was so affected.

But the view was absolutely breathtaking. And while there were a lot of tourists, it wasn’t as crowded as the Grand Canyon a little later in that same week.IMG_5953

36 thoughts on “Glen Canyon NRA: Horseshoe Bend

  1. Anonymous

    Back in 2008, we were with a rafting boat in that bend. People at the rim looked like little ants to us from the river. I bet they thought the same about us. 😉

      1. I don’t know, why it shows me as “Anonymous”. Something must be going on with the app on my phone.
        I always wanted to go to the overlook. But we had to take the bus from Lee’s Ferry back to Page. And it is quite a walk from the parking lot to the overlook. Going there and coming back, it would have been dark that evening. And it might not have been save with so many tourists. But it was a fun trip. 🙂

      2. Maybe your phone logged you out before you posted the first reply, lol. Technology. As much as we’ve seen on these trips, there is still so much left to explore…and you are right, going to the overlook in the dark would be unwise. Even in broad daylight you must take care as it would be very easy to fall over the edge.

  2. Don Wagner

    Beautiful pictures and words. I love reading about your adventures out west. Your personal account along with the facts you provide make it interesting. I have to get out there!

  3. We were in Page for a week last spring and it was wonderful! I have to ask what camera and lens you used for that photo since it is so spectacular! I only use my Samsung Galaxy phone these days, but maybe one day I will get a real camera with a wide-angle lens. 🙂

    We also did the boat trip and it was perfect to see the bend from above and below.

  4. Thanks so much! I have a Canon Rebel (In 2014, I think it was a T3) and used a wide angle lens to get all of the ‘horseshoe’ in the photo. (Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens ) I used that lens a lot on that trip.
    I also have a Galaxy and sometimes its easier to capture the moment with that than fumbling around changing lenses. Samsung makes a very good phone camera

    1. Thanks for the quick reply! That lens really is wonderful because getting the whole bend was a huge challenge. And I agree Samsung makes a fine phone camera. I now have an S8+ and the camera is amazing, but I am hearing that the upcoming S9 will blow that out of the water. They just keep improving. And they keep getting us to upgrade 😀

  5. Just there in January. The weather was a lot different than on your visit and we were being sandblasted by the winds. Agree that lack of railings is pretty terrifying, especially in high winds. Still, stunning views. Looks like they may be building a glass floor cantilevered out over the canyon. Hope this does not ruin the view for everyone else.

  6. Thanks for this beautiful and inspiring site! So glad you liked my site (a great honor!) and thus introduced me to this one. Was a gift to all of us Earthlings!

  7. Nice post! Did you happen to tour the Glen Canyon dam at all? We were just there, and I had to wrestle with my VERY conflicted feelings, since Grand Canyon is one of my most special places. I love that river so much.

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