So, on our many explorations of Arizona, we of course had to stop by the famous Horseshoe Bend that has been making the rounds on social media. Albeit the downside of that: hordes of people. It’s a love-hate relationship with social media.You get to find places, but so does everyone else. Bummer, I know.
At first I was worried that I would need a tour for this place because my fear of no parking, but fortunately I asked my friend who had recently been if it was worth shelling $70 for a tour for the sake of parking. He answered it really wasn’t hard to find parking, someone is always leaving so it’s really a waste to spend money on something that’s free and a 10-15 minute walk. I can now back that up that a tour is not necessary for this spot!
It’s always been on my bucket list to come here and get in the gorgeous view, at the same time, I also have an intense fear of heights (although I did my best). I’m not kidding when I say the height/edge is intense. Please visit and appreciate with care and caution. Carelessness here can be fatal. Don’t do shit just for the ‘gram. The main middle section is protected with a short waist tall metal fence for people to take pictures safely, but that part only goes so far and the rest of the canyon open, so watch your kids!
So, I’d give this place 5 stars for mother nature’s natural beauty, but the overall experience was definitely average. There was SO. MANY. PEOPLE. We couldn’t take a decent photo without someone walking through.
We came in the morning hoping to beat the crowd seeing as we visited during Thanksgiving weekend. They have their own parking lot, although you’ll have to street park when it’s busy. The police managing the car traffic there also hates it when people even slightly walk on the asphalt part of the street. They kept screaming at us to get off the road even though we were walking behind the cones/road markers where no car would even remotely touch. They kept pushing everyone to walk in the soft sandy sides instead. I thought it was a little excessive especially since the sandy area made it very difficult for parents with strollers to use.
We got there at 10AM and it was already pretty busy, but definitely got twice as crowded when we were leaving (around noon). There’s a short half to one mile(ish) hike that is sometimes inclined, definitely bring water with you (especially on hot days). Good thing about earlier arrival: a little less people, downside: Horseshoe bend was in the shadow/dark still. If you want the best shot, I’d definitely plan accordingly on less busy days for that nice afternoon full light shot.
The view is simply amazing. If you can get over the crowd and the noise, it’s worth a visit. It’s amazing what nature can do. I just wish I can find a time when there’s little to no one there.
Things I recommend bringing:
● Wide Lens – It was unfortunate that our Google Pixel 2 camera widths are on the shorter side so getting the full shot of the Horseshoe Bend was nearly impossible. Some part of the bend was always cut off.
● Water – There are steep inclines when walking to and from the bend. Even in the winter we definitely had our fair share of sweating when walking back to our car. We didn’t think we needed water because the temperature was pretty cold that morning we went. NOT TRUE. LOL.