Roadtrip Postcards: Horseshoe Bend

A few of the stops on our roadtrip were pretty brief. No hours spent wandering through national parks, no extensive hikes or day-long excursions, just a few moments to snap some photos, look around, and drink it all in. Stop, snap, marvel, move on.

I’m going to sprinkle a few of these mini-posts among the rest of the roadtrip fun, with just two or three photos each. Imagine they’re postcards I sent to you from the road and that this is the writing on the back (plus, then I get credit for sending mail).

Horseshoe Bend was a last minute stop. The evening before we visited Antelope Canyon, we reached Page, Arizona with an hour or so of daylight left. After a quick search on Roadtrippers to see what was around, we realized that this exciting spot was just a few miles away. A brief hike over the sandy hill, and we reached the overlook right at sunset.

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona | A Life Exotic

I’d seen plenty of Pinterest photos of Horseshoe Bend – I won’t link to them here because it would only draw unfair comparison to my own, but people have done some pretty incredible things with a wide-angle lens here – but they did not prepare me for the sheer magnitude of this spot. Even in these photos, you can’t quite get a sense of how truly gigantic it is. It’s a 1000-foot drop from our vantage point to the Colorado River below. That’s about three St Paul’s Cathedrals stacked on top of each other.

Basically, imagine standing on top of the Chrysler Building with no guard rails or barriers. Gulp.

I used to delight in making my poor mother shriek by jumping hard on frozen lakes or dangling my feet over crazy cliffs (sorry, Mum), but I’m losing that in my old age and becoming terribly practical instead. Needless to say, I inched up pretty close, but didn’t go all the way to the edge.

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona | A Life Exotic

A few intrepid explorers were more fearless than I, and clambered up and over the rocks to our right to get a different view of the bend. I loved the sight of these two solitary figures standing in front of this wild rocky backdrop and silhouetted against the dusky sky.

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona | A Life Exotic

The fiery sunset was casting colors over the red rocks and sand, and made the whole landscape look like the saturation was turned up to eleven (anyone?).

Horseshoe Bend was one of my favorite bits of the trip for many reasons – one among them being that it was our only sighting of the Colorado River, and what western roadtrip would be complete without that?

Check your mailbox soon – more roadtrip postcards will be coming your way!

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20 thoughts on “Roadtrip Postcards: Horseshoe Bend

  1. I’ve lived in Arizona for most of my life and have yet to make it to Horseshoe Bend! It’s high on my list though, especially now that I have a DSLR =)

    1. Thanks, Christine! That’s how I felt about pretty much every one of our destinations during the planning process. It’s such an exciting feeling now when I think about how many places I HAVE seen! I think you should go for it!

  2. Hey Julie,

    I just took a road trip TWICE across America and was running a little late…so I never stopped to see your amazing postcards in person. 🙁 Mistakes, mistakes. You’re doing it right! Take two for me!

  3. Your pictures are really great! I’m just starting as a travel/style blogger and am learning the manual ways of my camera. You do a great job snapping the right shots!

    1. Thank you SO much, Maggie! I’ve only started really paying attention to and trying to improve my photography and framing relatively recently, so I’m thrilled to hear it’s paying off at least a little bit. Btw for what it’s worth, I’ve just had a look and your style posts are adorable – I could never hope to delve into that area of blogging so you’ve got a head start already! Good luck with starting out! xx

  4. this is an ‘oh mylanta’ kind of scene. yes, i’ve definitely had my share of pinterest images of it but you’re telling the real story here. yeshhh, I had no idea the enormity of this place. unbelievable! i personally think you did a MIGHTY fine job documenting your visit, kudos my dear!

    1. Thanks Margo!! I appreciate that 🙂 The size was definitely the most surprising part of it. It just doesn’t come across in photos! Even now, I look at these and think, “Wait, why was I so scared to go near the edge? Lame.” and then I have to remind myself how insanely high it was! Crazy.

  5. I think the Horseshoe Bend was shot in the movie “planet of the apes”; that’s how I discovered the arid scenery, ocher and red, where a river flows, leading to a very enigmatic “forbidden zone”.

    1. Ohh I think you’re right, that rings a bell… I haven’t seen the original for years though so I hardly remember it! It’s definitely an otherworldly sort of landscape.

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