The Horseshoe Bend is one of the famous icons of Arizona and the American Southwest.
You can make it a shorter trip by simply going to the overlook and getting a glimpse of the famous “horseshoe” from the main overlook.
Or, you can stay longer to walk around a bit!
Horseshoe Bend is a part of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Horseshoe Bend and the Colorado River you see from here is a part of the National Park Service. The Horseshoe Bend overlook is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Can you use your national park pass to avoid fees at Horseshoe Bend?!
In short, no.
The America the Beautiful pass is the annual national park pass. This will generally be worth it if you are planning on visiting at least 3 national parks in one year. Of course this will vary based on which national parks you visit, but national park entry fees are generally around $30 each, if there is a fee.
That said, there is no National Park Service fee to enter Glen Canyon National Recreation Area here.
There is a fee for PARKING at the Horseshoe Bend parking lot
And the parking is managed by the city of Page AZ, not the National Park Service. And there is a fee charged by the city for parking.
And so, you can’t use your national park pass for the “entry fee” at Horseshoe Bend.
Photo from 2019. See current parking fees. It also notes what to do if the parking lot is full.
How much time do you need at Horseshoe Bend?
The trail to Horseshoe Bend is officially listed as 1.5 miles round trip.
To hike from the parking lot to the main Horseshoe Bend overlook will likely take you around 10-15 minutes. You’ll probably want at least 10-20 minutes at the overlook itself.
So if you wanted to make Horseshoe Bend a super quick stop as a part of your greater Southwest road trip, then you can likely do it in around 30 minutes.
But if you don’t want to rush yourself, it’ll be good to give yourself around an hour at Horseshoe Bend.
And if you want to explore further, you can even keep walking further along! You can climb up to get a higher viewpoint of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
And you can also keep walking for what can feel like a nice quiet hike… if you don’t get freaked out by animal tracks you see. 😜 (Umm… were those footprints I saw from a mountain lion?!)
If you do go further than the overlook, you could also easily spend 1.5-2 hours at Horseshoe Bend.
How far is Horseshoe Bend from…?
The trail to the Horseshoe Bend overlook is in Page AZ. And it’s possible to make it a fine breakup point if you’re driving from the Grand Canyon to Utah national parks, like if you are doing something like an Arizona Utah national parks road trip.
Here are some estimated drive times from neighboring areas based on good road conditions:
- Phoenix to Horseshoe Bend: 4.5 hours
- Grand Canyon National Park to Horseshoe Bend: 2.5 hours
- Zion National Park to Horseshoe Bend: 2.5 hours
- Bryce Canyon National Park to Horseshoe Bend: 3 hours
- Arches National Park / Moab to Horseshoe Bend: 4.5 hours
- Las Vegas to Horseshoe Bend: 4.5 hours
More PHOTOS from hiking to Horseshoe Bend overlook… and beyond!
I was here in December 2019, and pictures are from that time. A gloomy Christmas Eve in Page. There was a light dusting of snow on some parts of the trail.
So from the parking lot, you’ll see the start of the trail. Especially if you’re hiking in summer, bring WATER, even if you think it’s going to be a short hike! You never know, once you’re there, you might want to walk around longer than you were thinking! It can be HOT. Better safe than sorry!
You’ve made it to the Horseshoe Bend overlook!
Once you’ve taken in the views from the main overlook, you can head back, or continue walking around. There are more spots from which you can see down below to the Colorado River.
And then, you can continue hiking even further onward!
It was around here that we started seeing some sort of animal tracks in the dirt. We didn’t know what they were from. There was only one way to go (aka it wasn’t like an open plain), and we couldn’t see far ahead. We did not want to run into a mountain lion with no exit plan at all, since we were basically walled in here. And also not knowing what was ahead in terms of a “destination” we turned around!
And that’s a bit about Horseshoe Bend and hiking to see the Colorado River in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area!
Plan more of your southwest national parks vacation:
- Arizona and Utah national parks 5 day road trip
- How to do the best day hike in the Grand Canyon
- How to spend one day in Zion National Park
- How to spend one day in Bryce Canyon National Park
- Best winter hikes to hike the Utah hoodoos in snow
HAPPY HIKING AROUND HORSESHOE BEND IN PAGE AZ!
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