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