Horseshoe Bend

Page, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend is one of those places that you have to see in person to truly understand. The bend is located just south of Page, Arizona off route 89. The hike from the gravel parking lot to the bend is about 20 minutes, and the hike from the bend to the parking lot is about 30 minutes. The hike back to the parking lot is on a slight incline so bring some water. In fact; bring water no matter when you're hiking. 

When we arrived at the bend I quickly noticed just how many people were crazy. People were leaning over the edge of the canyon, climbing down the walls a bit to get a better photo of themselves with the canyon, and letting their children run around like there wasn't a massive 1,000 foot plus drop down to the river. This one feller from India had four children with him that just started sprinting towards the canyon, and luckily he grabbed the one that was young enough to not know any better. He berated the shit out of them all and told them to pay attention. I saw these two chicks climb down a very rough patch of canyon to get an unobstructed view of themselves with the bend. I couldn't help but wonder what if one of them fell to their death? I mean, it's absolutely terrible for them and their family, but... what about all of us that had to witness it because you wanted a better selfie for snapchat? Be careful, people.  

My wife is terrified of heights so she stayed ten feet away at all times. This meant she couldn't photograph the bend with me because you have to be on the edge of the canyon to really get it all in. Her crippling fear of heights came in handy because it meant I could spend more time being careful with her watching my bag and assisting me with filters.  

I tried my hand at using my GoPro camera to capture a captivating video of the sunset, but I really haven't put in any time to learn how to use the GoPro to it's full potential. So, the video has a great foreground and a blown-out sky because I must have used the wrong settings. I'll teach myself this Winter how to use it better. That's my goal.  

Want to know what you should bring?

*Bring Water. Always bring water. 
*Bring a Camera. Obviously. 
*Wide-Angle Lens. 10-20mm on a crop sensor/16mm worked well on my full frame. 
*Tripod.
*Neutral Density filters. 

When to go?

I suggest going at least an hour before the sun sets. It is an easy twenty minute hike down to the Bend so that leaves you with some time to find a spot to your choosing and it also gives you an opportunity to get a sense of what you're shooting. Right before you leave Page there is a gas station, Wal-Mart, and a few fast-food joints so you can grab almost anything you would need before heading out or heading home. I went in December, which I am to assume is an off-month for vacationers. It didn't seem too crowded around sunset and I only saw a hand full of photographers using tripods. I assume the warmer months bring bigger crowds. 

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