There is no shortage of amazing places to photograph in the southwestern United States, and Horseshoe Bend is a favorite of many. Near the town of Page, Arizona the Colorado River bends in the shape of a horseshoe, surrounded by impressive 1,000-foot cliffs. The area is part of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and is well worth visiting.
Horseshoe Bend: What You Need to Know
The parking lot for Horseshoe Bend is located on Highway 89. The GPS coordinates of the parking lot are: 36.87626, -111.50281
From the parking lot you will need to hike about 0.75 miles to reach Horseshoe Bend. The hike is not especially challenging, but the ground is uneven and sandy so you will want to wear good hiking shoes or boots. Also, it can be very hot, so be sure to take water and ideally a hat for some shade.
Once you reach Horseshoe Bend you will be greeted with a spectacular view. The rocks often change colors in the sunlight, so the appearance can change from time-to-time. The water also typically features a picturesque blueish-green color, not like the brown color that you see of the Colorado River at the Grand Canyon.
There are no safety rails, the area is rocky and uneven, and the drop is huge, so be very careful. This is a popular destination that can get crowded, so you may need to wait for a chance to a good spot near the edge, especially if you are using a tripod.
Looking at Horseshoe Bend you will be facing west, so this is a great location for photographing a sunset. Be sure to arrive early in time to make the hike and claim the spot that you want.
Horseshoe Bend is at an amazing location. There are plenty of other things to photograph while you are in the area. Lake Powell is just a few miles north.
Antelope Canyon is only about 10 miles away.
The Grand Canyon is less than a two-hour drive to the south (see our Guide to Photographing the Grand Canyon.)
Zion National Park is less than a two-hour drive to the northwest (see our Guide to Photographing Zion National Park). In fact, if you are driving from the Grand Canyon to Zion you may go right by Horseshoe Bend.
Vermillion Cliffs and Paria Canyon are also a short drive away.