Road Trip Day 3.1 – Horseshoe Bend

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.

Travel Tip

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.

hey mom day 2

Horseshoe Bend

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!

Arizona Utah Road Trip Itinerary + Planning Tips

Day 1 – Hoover Dam + Flagstaff

Day 2 – Grand Canyon

Day 3 (part 1) – Horseshoe Bend     ((you are here))

Day 3 (part 2) – Upper & Lower Antelope Canyons

Day 3 (part 3) – Paddle Boarding at Lake Powell (Glen Canyon National Park)

Day 4 – Zion National Park (Angel’s Landing + other trails)

Day 5 – Zion National Park (The Narrows)

Day 6 – Bryce Canyon National Park

What are your best tips and tricks for avoiding the crowds and getting awesome Horseshoe Bend photos?

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How to get the best photos at horseshoe bend

Tips to avoid the crowds at Horseshoe Bend

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