(edited 4/15/22, original post 3/23/20)
Horseshoe Bend is a stunning overlook spot where you can see a panoramic view of a 270 degree bend in the Colorado River. It’s a great place to take your family for a nice stroll and for a lovely family picture. Give yourself about 1 hour here. The walk itself from the parking lot to the view is 15 minutes each way (about 1 mile round trip). You’ll need extra time to just enjoy the area and to take lots of pictures. Note, this is an easy spot to get to by car. You do not need to join a professional tour for this visit.
Since it’s located 4 hours away from Vegas, we stayed at Hampton Inn in Page, AZ the night before. It is then a quick ten minute drive from the hotel to reach this location. You can easily enter this landmark on your phone and find your way there without any complications. Although we heard that it can sometime be very crowded, we found parking fairly quickly (which is $10 per car), and then started our own self-guided tour.
This hike to the bend is not for strollers, so pack your carrier if needed. The trail is a wide, meandering dirt path, that leads you to a beautiful look-out point. The good news is that there’s not much of an incline in either direction, which makes it fairly easy hike/walk.
Once you reach the lookout point, you’ll need to be extremely cautious near the edge of the rocks. While there are some railings, it doesn’t cover the whole area so little kids need to be carefully watched here.
Taking a picture with 4 kids took a few tries for us. Be prepared to ask other friendly onlookers, or bring a selfie stick / tripod if you’re up for a challenge. While my husband and I couldn’t get enough of the awe-inspiring views, I noticed that the kids didn’t spend as much time as we did admiring the bend and quickly began pulling away from the picture spots to just simply play with the rocks.
On the walk back to the car, I would suggest allowing the kids to run off the beaten path (here and there) to explore a little. This makes up for the lack of freedom they had earlier near the lookout point (being guarded constantly for safety). The desertscape here is actually quite nice. In fact, for my kids, this walk back was the most memorable part of the trip. They were having so much playing with the rocks, and they were getting along so well.
When I asked them what was their favorite part at Horseshoe Bend, they all said it was that last 15 minutes when they were building that rock tower. It’s so funny that kids have such different perspectives but overall the side trip to Horseshoe bend was a fun experience for the whole family.
A trip to Horseshoe Bend is usually paired with visiting Antelope Canyon or Lake Powell which are all nearby Page. For our family, we went fishing in Lake Powell and will save Antelope Canyon for another day.
For more information on Horseshoe Bend visit: https://www.nps.gov/glca/planyourvisit/horseshoe-bend.htm