Visiting Horseshoe Bend was probably my favorite stop on our 48 hour Arizona trip (remember our first stop in Sedona here) because my little sister had never heard of or seen a picture of this iconic place before. I know, I'm still wondering how the Instagram and Pinterest and Environmental Science gods failed her, but it was honestly the best feeling getting to help someone discover something for the first time in such a genuine way.
We both marveled at the grandeur of this natural horseshoe shaped canyon, which by the way, has no fences or boundaries to keep you from falling over the very high ledge. We kept finding new ledges to peer over and dangle our legs* until we finally succumbed to the noon heat. I was the first to admit that I needed to back away from these perilous ledges or I might just faint due to rapid onset dehydration.
We had plenty of water in the car, but I really thought Horseshoe Bend would be a quick stop so we didn't bring any with us. The scenic (and dangerous) overlook is a short walk from the parking lot, so I thought we would just park and take a quick picture. I had even changed into my flip flops until a sign warned us that proper footwear was highly recommended. You can see why, as you wouldn't want to go chasing a flip flop over that cliff. One hour later, we had learned that there is a lot to explore here AND water is extremely necessary, at least at noon when we were there.
Another thing I wish I had brought with me on this trip, especially for Horseshoe Bend, is a wide angle lens. I researched beforehand, and several sites said a 35mm was wide enough, but those people must be tall or something because I struggled to find a spot where I could capture the whole canyon in my lens.
In any case, Horseshoe Bend was a very easy stop to add to our itinerary following our 9AM Antelope Canyon tour. The two popular attractions are only about 15-20 minutes apart in Page. Afterwards we drove the short distance into town to refuel at Big John's Texas BBQ with the best Texas barbecue you can find outside of Texas. As a Houston local of five years, I guess I can finally say I'm an expert on these things.
*Please, note that caution should be used when visiting Horseshoe Bend. One gust of wind and your trip could go south very quickly. Approach the overlook at your own risk and exercise caution at all times.