Page, AZ February 2017
Horseshoe Bend is a part of the Colorado river that bends around the land in the shape of a horseshoe. It is quite fascinating to see how the river takes shape in this way, but equally as fascinating is how high up the canyon walls are that you view the river from. Amazingly there are no rails or barricades to keep people back from the edge of this 1000ft vertical cliff. For those who have never been in this area, everything is made of sandstone. It literally falls apart when you step on it, there is no structure to anything it’s all sand that has been compressed over millions of years. No rock at all. It’s one reason there are so many dramatic water erosion sites around there.
It is a very short walk uphill then back down to get to the view point. This is a very popular spot to visit and take pictures. Driving towards the parking area we could see all the people hiking up the trail, like ants marching into their hill. As we park we see the many source of these ants- tour buses! There were tons of ants, the Asian selfie stick toting type, coming to see this attraction.
We spent most of the day here but decided to go closer to sunset to try to capture so great colors with the water. After visiting Antelope Canyon, I feel like a professional cell phone photographer! Which translates into having about a million and one pictures of the same thing in different shades and lighting.
During the sunset, there was 1 Asian tourist that thought it would be a great picture opportunity to show how big his balls were and went out on this extremely undercut ledge for a picture. I really did think he was going to die. This ledge was only a couple feet thick and extended out about 6ft and this dude went all the way out to the edge and hung his feet out over the edge and posed for a few minutes. That guy was the highlight but it was the theme it seemed, everyone wanted to get a picture of themselves as close to the edge as possible. Even parents telling their kids to get out close to the edge. It seemed no one had any concept of just how dangerous it was, it would have been fine if it was solid rock but this was just compacted sand that could give away under pressure.
After snapping our million and one pictures we had had enough of all the people and walked way out of the way to a far spot for some piece and quite while we watched the sun set. With all the noisy tourist, kids running around and photographers fighting for the best spot it really is not a peaceful place for how beautiful it is. But we were able to escape them for the most part by walking to a far point of the bend. We waiting out there until dark and everyone else had left. The walk back to the van in the moonlight was awesome.