SLC to PHX Part 2: Bend it like…a Horseshoe?

If you missed part one, you can find it here

Once we left beautiful Zion National Park, we headed south to the next destination, Horseshoe Bend, just south of Page, Arizona and Lake Powell.

Horseshoe Bend has recently become a phenomenon thanks to social media. Years ago, this U-shaped bend in the Colorado River saw only a few thousand visitors a year. Now, it’s estimated 1.5 million walk the half mile out to the cliffs edge.

According to the Lake Powell Chronicle, there are renovations in the works to make this more accessible and safer as you can currently walk right up to the edge and off of it if you aren’t paying attention.

Several upgrades and changes will occur to the site between now and completion of the project. The first thing future visitors will find will be a monument sign at its entrance.
They’ll next find more parking and a parking lot that’s easier to navigate. Eventually the parking lot may have as many as 170 parking spaces and 10 bus parking spaces.
Next, visitors will find the trail no longer goes over the hill as it does currently, but will go around it instead, which they believe will lessen heat and fatigue-related emergencies. The new trail will also comply with guidelines with the American with Disabilities Act. Two shade structures will be added along the trail. The main viewing area will include safety railing.
The Horseshoe Bend upgrade is the culmination of a collaborative planning effort by the city of Page and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Part of the reason for the collaboration between the two government entities is because some of the land belongs to the city and some to the National Park Service.

On the edge, it’s a beautiful view. Exactly how nature was supposed to be. Unabated and there for (almost) anyone to see. But that’s about it. There’s nothing else to look at currently which makes this a very quick pitstop.

Brandon, Nicole, and I at Horseshoe Bend.
The half mile walk downhill was super strenuous so I had to sit down for a photo.

If you plan to visit ‘the bend,’ make it part of a more grandiose trip. Go see Antelope Canyon or The Wave (be advised, both require a permit/lottery application), camp around Lake Powell, or see it on your way to one of the Utah ‘Power 5’s’ as I call them.

Once we were back on the road, the plan was to head west to the Grand Canyon to see the sunset. This, however, was unrealistic being two hours out and the sun setting in just 90 minutes.

Instead, we headed to Flagstaff and our hostel, where we promptly dropped our bags, and walked quite literally one block to the Lumberyard Brewery (amazing) for dinner and celebratory drinks. (I think we were celebrating conquering Angels Landing, or not falling into the Colorado, or driving safely. I don’t know. We’re not a narrow-minded group.)

With stomachs full and hearts happy, we headed to bed as outside temperatures fell into the single digits.

Stay tuned for the third and final installment of Road Trip 2018: SLC to PHX

Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.