Day #3 – Horseshoe Bend
Today was another early morning! 5am alarm to get ready, pack, head to Starbucks, get gas, and get on the road. From Flagstaff its a 2.25 hour drive to Page, AZ to visit Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.
There is a time zone change between Flagstaff and Page depending on daylight savings time. Call a few days before your tour (assuming you are heading to Upper & Lower Antelope Canyon) and ask your tour company if they are in the same time zone as Flagstaff or not. I didn’t know this until I was on the road and had no service to call. Luckily, I still made my tour.
After realizing I left a little too early from Flagstaff and the time zone change was in my favor, I had an extra hour before my tour so I headed to Horseshoe Bend. Horseshoe Bend and the Antelope Canyons are about 10-15 minutes away from each other.
I thought Horseshoe Bend would be simple: park the car, walk 1 minute, take a few pictures and leave. Nope, I was wrong. There’s a hike involved! It’s only a little 3/4-mile hike, but its still worth noting.
Horseshoe Bend Tips
- Arrive early. The crowds get larger as the day goes on. I arrived as 8:30am and there was at least 50 people already there. Maybe 100.
- Plan to walk/hike. There is a 0.75 mile walk/hike from the parking lot to the photo area. You can wear flip flops for the walk/hike but just know that you’ll need 15-20 minutes of walking time each way. I’d suggest giving yourself at least an hour to properly see the canyon without feeling rushed.
- Decide how important lighting is. The lighting wasn’t great at 8:30am. There were tons of shadows in my photos but less people to push through. I’d assume mid-day and early afternoon would be better for photos but harder to avoid the crowds.
- Bring your camera equipment. If possible, a fish eye less would’ve taken a better shot. Is there an app for that? I didn’t have a fancy camera, just my iPhone 5 and a selfie stick and I think my photos were great.
- Use the bathrooms before you come. There are no bathrooms on site. After 2.25 hours in the car, I needed to go. There’s a visitor center nearby and a gas station halfway between Horseshoe Bend and the Antelope Canyon tours.
Antelope Canyons Are Next!
Day 3 (part 1) – Horseshoe Bend ((you are here))
What are your best tips and tricks for avoiding the crowds and getting awesome Horseshoe Bend photos?
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