What to Expect at Horseshoe Bend


Horseshoe Bend is one of the most iconic landmarks for travelers when they plan a trip to the Grand Canyon area. Whether you are planning a visit to Horseshoe Bend and want to know what to expect or just want to enjoy a virtual trip because you can’t travel out to northern rural Arizona, I’ve got some tips for you.

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What to Expect at Horseshoe Bend

The hike to the overlook follows a gentle path of 1.5 miles round-trip out and back trail. The trail is wide and accessible to wheelchairs or strollers with two shade pavilions positioned along the way.

Even though it is only 1 1/2 miles out to the overlook and back, remember to carry plenty of water, wear good hiking shoes or tennis shoes, apply sunscreen, and pack a small snack.

Horseshoe Bend in the summer is extremely hot and has an elevation of approximate 4100 feet above sea level. We hiked out right at day break and were treated to an amazing view while the temperatures were quite nice.

The path to the overlook takes about 20 minutes one way and then you find yourself at the edge of the world with a breathtaking view. Part of the overlook has a fenced rail to give you a sense of safety but there are many rocks that some people do like to climb for other pictures.

While we were there, we saw one lady with slick bottom sandels climb up some of the rocks and lean over for a seat in a very unsafe manner. Remember that safety should always be at the front of your mind even when you are enjoying nature. Don’t be the person that ventures out for a picture and ends up having a very bad day.

There were only a handful of people out at the overlook enjoying the sunrise when we arrived so it was easy to social distance. Be a responsbile traveler and do your part to be safe.

Where to find:

The parking lot and trailhead is located off US Highway 89, approximately 5 miles (8 km) south of the Carl Hayden Visitor Center.

Admission & Parking Fees:

  • Admission is Free.
  • There is a parking fee per car. This parking fee is not covered by your National Park Service America the Beautiful pass.

Have you ever visited Horsehoe Bend? I’d love to see your pictures so I can see what it looks like at different times of day!

Looking for other beautiful places to dream about visiting? Check out this list of 10 Most Beautiful United States Destinations!

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One Comment

  1. The video you made of Horseshoe Bend was simply beautiful. I’ve never been there but really must go in the future. Thanks for this virtual tour.

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