Horseshoe Bend

Useful Information

Horseshoe Bend. Public Domain.
Location: Horseshoe Bend Overlook. Hwy 89 3.3km south of Page. 8km south of Lake Powell dam. 900m/15min walk to the outlook.
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Horseshoe Bend, Page, AZ 86040
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Horseshoe Bend. Public Domain.

Horseshoe Bend is a single meander in the gorge of the river Colorado, south of Powell Dam. The Colorado Plateau started its uplift 5 Million years ago. The Colorado cut deeper into the sedimentary rock to compensate, and was thus locked in its former bed. The incised meander, also called entrenched meander, is actually a result of the slow flow of the river through a plateau with very small inclination. Now the river has more energy, but it stays in the 270° bend. And the river continues to work on the outside of each curve. So the next step in erosion will be the thinning of the ridge between the two arms of the bend, and finally a breackthrough and the formation of a natural bridge. But this might take a few million years.

Its quite easy there is a parking lot at the road and a comfortable trail to the outlook at the edge of the canyon. The place is not only spectacular, it is also an interesting geotope. You can see erosion at work, and find fossils in the rocks around the trail. There are even some dinosaur footprints near the outlook.