Thursday, July 16, 2015

Video of Grand Canyon’s Horseshoe Bend

Most people think the Grand Canyon’s best sites all sit north of Flagstaff. While those views and hikes are no doubt fantastic, there are scattered other spots that also offer breathtaking vistas.

One such site is the Horseshoe Bend Trail, which offers a perfect perch for enjoying the sunset.

The 1.5 miles-round trip heads over a rugged path of loose sand that goes downhill to a vista just north of the Grand Canyon National Park border. It’s located at the southern tip of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Here’s a time-lapse video of Horseshoe Bend at sunset:

To reach the trailhead, from Page, Ariz., drive south on U.S. Hwy 89. After passing the Ariz. Hwy. 98 intersection, watch for signs leading to a parking lot on the road’s right/west. The trail leaves from the lot’s northwest corner.

A small gazebo offers shade about 800 feet from the parking lot. At the vista, hikers can watch the Colorado River's deep blue water circle about a towering peninsula of beige and red sandstone.

The sheer cliff sports a 1000-foot drop-off, so don’t let kids get near the edge. In addition, the trail is located in a desert climate with no shade, so water, sunhat and sunscreen are recommended year around.

Read more about day hiking the Grand Canyon in my Hittin’ the Trail: Day Hiking Grand Canyon National Park guidebook.