Located only a mile or so south of town and accessible from the main highway, Horseshoe Bend is a must see when visiting Page, Arizona. This essay is a pictorial record of our visit to this famous, scenic spot on the morning of Friday, 22 September, 2017. (There are about 30 images here. You can do this.)
Somewhat reminiscent of Dead Horse Point in Utah, where another impressive bend in the Colorado River amidst colorful rock strata is visible, at Horseshoe Bend the tourist is much closer to both the river and the monolithic rock that forms the curve or bend here.
A direct full on view in the morning with the sun behind us.
Panning the camera to our right (or generally towards the northwest), we look upstream. This upstream portion of the curve in the river appears to be not as narrow as the downstream section.
Now, let’s start back at the beginning of the experience. As we were booked on to 3 tours in a day and a half in the Page area, we knew that if we did not hike out to the viewpoints this Friday morning we would not see this on our trip. Luckily, we were able to get parking in the parking area in the trailhead area.
There was still some shade this morning. This was likely from a large cloud occulting the sun.
It was crowded on this trail. Tour buses, large ones, were bringing people to this trail. We heard various Chinese languages and Japanese being spoken in the different tour groups. (Later in the day, when we were on the river cruise below the dam, we were on a large raft with many German tourists.) As well, with everyone walking briskly to get to the various viewpoints strung out along the cliffs, I thought of the Last Judgment where everyone is compelled to march forward and be judged. Perhaps, I ought to have burst into song and sung the lyrics to one or more Billy Idol songs (Eyes Without A Face, anyone?). Just a thought.
Here, we are approaching the cliffs. One must be careful as there are no barriers to falling over the cliffs.
Another look to the southwest. The white smudge on the river below is the wake from a speed boat.
Looking down at cliff’s edge.
At cliff’s edge, we continue to take photos.
A view of the cliffs to the north with their “desert varnish”, the brown surface discoloration.
This is the view one sees in travel magazines albeit often captured in the late afternoon or early evening near the time of sunset. We must say that this large rock is more impressive when seen here from above. In the afternoon, several hours after these pictures were taken, we saw this rock from the surface of the river on a river rafting cruise. This monolithic rock does not look that spectacular from below.
Trust us, you do not want to fall on this slick rock as it is as hard as concrete.
The specks down on the river’s surface are boats or rafts.
A closer view of this iconic landmark for northernmost Arizona.
A beautiful morning and spectacular scenery.
In the morning, the cliffs cast shadows on to the river and rocks below.
Backing off some, we capture this image.
A view giving some idea of the texture of the cliffs.
A look from near the edge of the cliffs.
My wife and companion takes a break for water.
Layered, sedimentary rocks here are a common feature in northern Arizona and the southern half of Utah.
A happy hiker poses by some large rocks.
Here at land’s end so to speak, a beehive of activity.
As indicated above, this is a crowded (popular) attraction. You can opt to move in one direction or the other to get to less crowded areas for picture taking.
Returning from the cliffs, we see the sun shelter at the top of the hill. Descending the other side returns you to the parking areas.
A cairn to mark the trail.
Information along the trail.
Refugees? No, tourists.
Recycling for those many plastic water bottles.
Well, we read this after our return from the overlooks. But, simple common sense can help the visitor to stay safe.
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