Page, Arizona. A small town 4 hours North of Phoenix and is a city in Coconino County. Its a small town, with an estimated population of about 7,500 people. It’s hot and dry, but don’t let that deter from visiting. Page, Arizona has so much to offer when it comes to tourism. Our reason for visiting was to photograph Antelope Upper and Lower canyon. It was an excursion we planned well in advanced.
While photographing the canyon was amazing, it certainly was not a free attraction, and reservation are highly recommended. But there are many attraction in Page, Arizona that do not cost anything, do not require reservations and are equally as spectacular.
Horseshoe Bend is one of those attractions. Our drive to this site was about 30 minutes. A pleasant drive as there was not much traffic. Upon arrival to the site, we notice quite a few vehicles. Parking is abundant and I would guess there were about 80 vehicles ranging from small cars, to school buses. There were also many people walking to and from the actual site. There is a bit of a trek, and most is uphill. Be sure to be wearing comfortable shoes, and have plenty of water on hand. As I said, it gets pretty hot in the open desert. There is a rest stop halfway for those that need to take a break. Also at this point, the incline becomes a decline. All together, the walk lasts about 25-30 minutes.
Once there, the first thing you notice is all the people. This is a popular site, not only for photographers, but for nature lovers, and students. You walk toward the edge and the view becomes more and more exhilarating. Cameras and selfie sticks are everywhere, so watch where you go. Once you get to the edge, you are on your own. There are no guard rails, only a huge drop to the bottom. Some may find this uncomfortable, especially when you witness people, mostly youngsters, sitting on the ledge. I for one could not bring myself to do this. I wanted to get a full picture of the actual bend, but this proved to be difficult. In order to get the whole picture, one would need to have a wide angle lens. I do not have such a lens. I approach the edge with caution, and kneeled down, cautiously lying flat on my stomach. I don’t really have a fear of heights, but this awoke some discomfort for me. I was also afraid of dropping my camera. Another person came up beside me, position himself the same way. We discuss that its difficult to get the whole picture, but we try our best, getting closer and closer to the edge. Camera dangling over the drop.
If you don’t have a wide angle lens, a good idea is to take several shots, each moving around the site. I took a total of 8 shots, with the intention of stitching in Photoshop when I got back to the hotel. The photo featured in this post is the result. Not bad I think.
To the left of the actual bend, you can climb a large rock formation, and maybe get a better view, but this as well, takes you closer to the edge. My travel companion and I were quite accepting of missing this part of the attraction.
It was time to head back to the car. We spent a good hour taking it all in. My suggestion, once you’ve taken the photos, put the camera away, find a comfortable spot and appreciate it’s natural beauty. It’s landscapes like this one, that make you realize how beautiful this country is and how unassuming this town is. Page, Arizona is beautiful with so much to see. For us, it was tome to move on to the next attraction.