When Is the Best Time
Horseshoe Bend is a truly magical place at almost any time. We visited this place many times and analyzed hundreds of visitor reviews to give you the best tips for the perfect photo timing and how to avoid the ridiculous busy times during peak season.
The best time to visit Horseshoe Bend is in the early morning, around 8 AM. This is the perfect time to avoid heavy crowds. For photography, visiting around sunset is best.
Time of Day (Photography)
Sunset is a great time for magical photos at Horseshoe Bend. However, ask ten people about the best time of day to photograph Horseshoe Bend, and you’ll get ten different answers. Sure, at certain times there might be a lot of shadows in your picture, which you might not like: Sunrise to Sunset Photo Series. However, it’s never bad, just different.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
As a local said: ‘Now, it’s always crowded as hell!’ During daytime, you’ll face tourist crowds year-round. It’s slightly less busy in off-season and shoulder season: From October/November until February. Regardless of the season, it’s always very busy during sunset. Our tips to avoid the crowds:
Be there around 8 AM (maybe a little earlier). This is a perfect time before it starts to get busy. More people arrive between 9-10 AM. After 10 AM it starts to get heavily crowded with tour buses and everyone else arriving.
Be there around sunset. Of course, it’s still super crowded. Wait until the sun goes down and the crowds will start to dissipate almost completely. You’ll have the place almost for yourself. Perfect for stargazing. Carry a flashlight for the short hike back up to the parking lot.
If you head to the extreme left or the extreme right of the viewing point up there, you’ll get away from most others. It’s not the perfect spot in the middle anymore, but you can still take great photos.
Weather Details: (you can switch betwen °C and °F): Page, Arizona Climate Details
Season Hotel Deals (Saving Money)
Are you also tired of overpaying for hotels and lodges, particularly in peak season? That’s why we provide you with deals for accommodations in Page (close to Horseshoe Bend). Tip: Bookmark your preferred hotel
The views of Horseshoe Bend are just breathtaking. You can stand close to the edges of the cliffs, that drop 1000 ft to the Colorado River. It’s one of the most photographed spots in Arizona and probably every photographer’s dream. The parking lot is right off Highway 89, close to Page. The hike to the cliffs takes about 15-20 minutes from the parking area.
There are no railings or safety barriers anywhere along the rim. You’ll see visitors just standing inches from the edge or sitting there, dangling their feet over the edge or taking selfies. It seems pretty dangerous, as it’s a 1000 ft (300m) drop.
Many visitors stop here on their way (or back) from Antelope Canyon. If you’re not sure when to visit Arizona (besides Horsehoe Bend), check out our guide with details about the best time to visit Arizona and the most fascinating sites in the state.
Location / Map
7 Must-Know Tips / Facts
- There are toilets at the car park
- There are no facilities at the viewpoint
- It’s a 15-20 minutes hike from the parking lot to the viewpoint
- The walk back takes slightly longer as it goes uphill
- Bring a bottle of water for everyone; it’s getting very hot
- Use wide-angle for photos
- Visit early in the morning or later in the day to avoid crowds
Hotel Tips in Page (Tip: bookmark your preferred hotel)
- La Quinta Inn & Suites: One of the best hotels there. It’s quite new, clean, neat and well maintained. The staff is also very friendly, from reception to kitchen.
- Hampton Inn & Suites: Excellent hotel! Slightly higher rates than the La Quinta but brand new and with a room layout like a small apartment. Comfortable bed and very clean. Great free breakfast choices!