Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend

One of the more iconic shots you can get in the American Southwest is of Horseshoe Bend. Definitely a view worth going to for sunrise or sunset to really nail the shot. Unfortunately I tried to do a rather condensed road trip and so, I visited at one of the worst times of day to shoot this beauty, but luckily it was partly cloudy which reduced the sun's harsh glare. I would guess sunrise is the ideal time for this shot since you would be more likely to eliminate any boat traffic on the Colorado River as compared to sunset.

Getting to Horseshoe Bend, or the Grand Canyon in general for that matter, is going to require a few hours of driving from any major airport (PHX, LAS, SLC). You will discover however, that there are many photographic opportunities in the region that are worth your time.

When getting pretty close to the parking lot, there were a number of cars parked along the road, but, being the middle of the day I was fairly suspicious that the lot would be completely full so I drove in anyways. As it turns out, there were several spots. People just see cars parked and assume there's no more parking, but this is a place where people are coming and going all the time, so I would recommend at least trying the lot first.

Once parked, it's a roughly 3/4 mile trek to the overlook. While not difficult, it is uneven ground and much of it is really sandy, so no fancy shoes. It happened to be particularly windy while I was there. I don't know if this is common or not, but things got really really windy. Given that there was a lot of sand about, a mini sandstorm ensued. Let me tell you something, if you've never been in a sandstorm, you should try to keep it that way. Any exposed skin is going to be whipped by thousands of little specks of sand and it can be quite painful.

There was a family with some small children, and during the harshness of it all, the father yelled to his daughter, "CLOSE YOUR MOUTH!!!" Funny in retrospect, but good advice to a child whose probably not thinking about getting sand in their mouth. Baseball caps when flying easily 50' into the air and traveled quite a distance. Your experience will probably be more pleasant than mine, but I was grateful I had sunglasses on and wished I had a bandanna or buff to cover my face with. Definitely spent more time than usual that night showering to get the sand out of my hair.