Located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the hike to Horseshoe Bend is one of the most popular trails in Arizona. After all, with the curving Colorado river and towering orange sandstone cliffs, it’s absolutely picture-perfect.
This guide has everything that you need to know about the 2.4-kilometre hike to Horseshoe Bend, including how to get there, where to park, where to stay, and so much more. Happy hiking!
Planning Your Visit to Horseshoe Bend
Before we get to the hike itself, we want to cover some of the logistics, like directions, costs, parking, and more. After all, if you have the details figured out in advance, things will likely flow a little more smoothly.
How to Get to Horseshoe Bend
Getting to Horseshoe Bend is pretty simple, because the only way to access Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is via US 89. This means if you’re coming from places like Phoenix, Flagstaff, and the Grand Canyon, you’ll head northeast. And if you’re coming from just about anywhere in South Utah or even Page, Arizona, you’ll head south/southeast.
Horseshoe Bend Fees
Once you arrive, you will need to pay a fee to park at Horseshoe Bend. It costs $10 per vehicle or RV and $5 per motorcycle. If there is no parking available, you’ll unfortunately have to turn around and come back another time. Parking along US 89 is not allowed.
If you’d like to explore the rest of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, you’ll need to pay an additional entrance fee. It is $30 for vehicles, $25 for motorcycles, and $15 for those entering by bike or on foot. If you happen to have an America the Beautiful national park pass, you can use it here to cover the cost of the entrance fee (although this pass does not cover the Horseshoe Bend parking cost, unfortunately).
The Best Time to Hike to Horseshoe Bend
The best time of year to hike to Horseshoe Bend is either in the spring or the fall. Then, the temperatures aren’t too hot or too cold, and the crowds aren’t too large.
As for the best time of day to hike to Horseshoe Bend, it depends. If you’re hoping for cooler temperatures, an early morning hike is always best. For minimal shadows in your pictures, a late morning or early afternoon hike is best. And for a little splash of extra magic, sunset is best. Basically, there’s really no bad time to hike to Horseshoe Bend.
Hiking to Horseshoe Bend
Now that we’ve covered the logistics, we can move on to covering the details of the hike to Horseshoe Bend.
The hike to Horseshoe Bend is 2.4 kilometres long, and it typically takes about an hour. It also has an elevation gain of about 42 metres, which isn’t bad at all.
This hardened path is technically accessible to those with disabilities, according to the regulations provided in the Americans with Disabilities Act, so it should be navigable for most people.
Like we mentioned earlier, the hike to Horseshoe Bend isn’t actually that long, especially considering the jaw-dropping views at the end. That said, this 2.4-kilometre trail does have its tricky parts.
The trailhead is very easy to find once you’re in the parking lot. You’ll continue along the path with a slight elevation gain for a short while, and you’ll eventually reach a cute little gazebo. There, you can take a little break if you’d like, or you can continue on.
One thing to note is that there is very little shade on the hike to Horseshoe Bend, especially in the morning or early afternoon. Be sure to bring lots of water, wear sunscreen, and pop on a pair of sunglasses!
After hiking 1.2 kilometres, you’ll finally reach the end of the trail. There, you’ll finally see the famous Horseshoe Bend, complete with flowing Colorado River and the towering Navajo Sandstone rock formation. You’ll inevitably find yourself taking dozens of pictures of this stunning natural landscape.
*Note: It is extremely important to stay away from the edge of the cliffs in Horseshoe Bend. There are no railings, and the drop can be fatal. Instead, give yourself quite a bit of buffer space from the edge of the cliffs. And be sure to keep an eye out for your little ones and pets too!
Where to Stay Near Horseshoe Bend
To make things a little easier for you both before and after your hike, it can be convenient to stay at an accommodation near Horseshoe Bend and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Luckily, there are a whole bunch of hotels, B&Bs, and inns in the little town of Page just ten minutes away.
The Bears Den B&B
The Bears Den B&B is an under-the-radar gem of a find. This cozy bed and breakfast will make you feel right at home from the moment you step onto the property – from the top-notch hospitality to the inviting rooms. Plus, there are thoughtful touches just about everywhere you look, including family-friendly board games, freshly baked walnut chocolate chip cookies, and relaxing massage chairs.
You’ll even get a delicious start to your day with the made-to-order breakfasts. Opt for a flavorful omelet, a fluffy waffle, or a healthy bowl of brown sugar-topped oatmeal before you head out and explore.
In other words, The Bears Den B&B is the perfect place to have as your home base when planning a hike to Horseshoe Bend. And after tackling the trail, you can head back to your accommodation and soak in a bubbling hot tub under the stars. Can you imagine a more magical day? We certainly can’t.
Hyatt Place Page/Lake Powell
If you’d like to stay at a more familiar hotel, Hyatt Place Page/Lake Powell may be the best accommodation option for you. With the modern rooms, sparkling pool, and complimentary breakfast, you’ll feel right at home!
And don’t forget to pop by Hyatt Place Page/Lake Powell’s Prickly Pear Kitchen for a meal. This well-rated restaurant serves up mouthwatering desert-inspired cuisine. Try the cactus-filled mighty green dip, the light and refreshing prickly pear quinoa salad, or the Tex-Mex-inspired chicken tortilla soup.
Home2Suites by Hilton Page Lake Powell
Last but not least, we have the Home2Suites by Hilton Page Lake Powell. This lovely accommodation includes everything you might expect from it, including free parking, free WiFi, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool. But there are also a couple of extra bonus amenities, just to take things up a notch.
First, there’s the free hot breakfast, complete with French toast, fresh fruit, made-to-order omelets, and so much more. And we certainly can’t forget to mention the stunning views! Many of the rooms boast views of the beautiful red sandstone landscape and the Glen Canyon Dam – so if you can request one of these rooms in particular, be sure to do so!
And there you have it! Exactly how to hike to Horseshoe Bend. If you have any questions, just let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to get back to you!