Around the Colorado River // Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell

Horseshoe Bend Arizona 3

Horseshoe Bend, Colorado, Arizona Colorado and Horseshoe Bend

When we visited Antelope Canyon, the guided tour was pretty quick. We were close to Page, in Arizona, a small city without any particular interest except the main street full of churches and their promises. We really wanted to go back to our swimming pool at the hotel, but since we were there, we enjoyed this place and 3 viewpoints around. That’s one of the coolest thing in the Far West: each road is full of surprises,we could find nice stuff right by the road, no need to walk – or not too much. Because walking in Arizona in August can be a big issue: stains under the armpits would ruin any pictures and of course you could die anytime of dehydration. 

Horseshoe Bend and Colorado, Arizona

Colorado River

Horseshoe Bend : “what does it mean?” We arrived 2 hours before our appointment with the Antelope guide (my fault: I love being very on time + there’s a different time zone between Utah and Arizona). Instead of waiting in a Starbucks, we were told to go to the viewpoint of Horseshoe Bend, by the road 89. Unfortunately, we had to walk.

When I went out of the car, I completely ignored a sign recommending to walk with hiking shoes. I stayed with my flip-flops, because (1) I’m super cool (2) I can walk 800 meters in the sand. But my feet were really tensed to not lose my shoes which were sinking in the sand, and when they rose up, they literally were sand catapult towards the back of my thighs.  Painful. And I couldn’t leave them because the sand was too hot. I didn’t come too close to the edge because that’s the kind of situation in which I’m sure I’m gonna fall. It was impressive, very impressive though. I saw the river down the red cliffs, the almost green Colorado river. The cliff in front of us looked like a huge hoof. Pretty.

The trail was really busy, and we could hear talking French from every parts. I heard a kid asking to his mom what “Horseshoe bend” means.  “Horse, means the animal, the horse, and shoe, it’s a shoe, for feet. So it means the horse with shoes – actual leather shoes.”

Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam

Glen Canyon Dam

Pont en face du barrage de Glen Canyon

This huge bridge was built in  1959. Before, you had to take a 320 km detour!

Glen Canyon Dam After Antelope Canyon visit, it was time to go back to the swimming pool! But first things first, we stopped to watch the Glen Canyon Dam. When I get back to Boston, that was one of the first question I was asked to: “You went to Arizona, have you seen the dam?” (probably a fan of shows about extreme constructors). We couldn’t go very close to it (security rules…) so it was hard to figure out how huge this thing was: 10 meters wide and 216 meters high! On one side, lake Powell with dark blue water, and on the other side, the red canyon. This is chic.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell and Navajo Generating Station

Viewpoint of Lake Powell From the dam, we followed the road to get to a higher point so we had an overview of the lake Powell, this huge artificial lake created in the 60’s, in the same time the dam was built. Far away we could see a plant: it seemed pretty weird in the middle of the desert but it’s actually an generating station that belongs to the Navajo Reservation.

Lake Powell is one of the favorite vacation place for American people: with 3 136 km of coast, you can probably find some place to lay down your towel. I can’t really figure myself going there for a vacation, the heat is almost unbearable. But we read on the guides that some places are gorgeous: natural arches, caves, etc. Just so you know, we’ve learnt that the name of the lake comes from major Powell an explorer who went on a trip down the Colorado River in 1869 in order to draw maps of this area. It was a very dangerous trip in which half of his team died before reaching the Pacific Coast. As far as we were concerned, we could now safely come back to our place.

Road trip music: Dire Straits, The Walk of Life

The next article about the road trip will be one last stop in Utah – Zyon Canyon – and the life in our motel in Kanab, and… probably some other stuff. If you miss the first articles, you can find here all the program

Writer, organizer and social media-ter for my own blog. When I'm not in front of my laptop, I'm organizing guided tours of Boston with my own company "Boston le nez en l'air". It's in French!

Comment on Facebook


  • Reply Oct 12 2012


    Vraiment magnifique, et les jours précédents aussi. Les photos rendent bien, mais en vrai ça doit être encore plus impressionnant…J’avoue que j’ai envie d’y aller parce que ma fibre de géologue est bien chatouillée par tout ça 😉 Subime donc..

  • Reply Oct 13 2012

    La Grande Blonde

    Yeah! Ca avait l’air rudement chouette ! Et Walk Of Life, c’est toujours un bonheur…
    (quand on entend parler francais lors de nos vadrouilles, on se tait et on se taille en courant. Pas bien mais pfff! pas toujours facile de faire comprendre a certains que meme si on parle la meme langue et qu’on est dans un pays etranger, on n’a pas forcement besoin de devenir les meilleurs amis du monde en deux coups de cuiller a pot. Groumpf!) (c’etait la minute ralerie ^^)

  • La première photo est splendide, j’ai scotché dessus ! :)

  • Reply Aug 5 2015


    Hello! J’ai une petite question , si je comprends bien il est possible de faire Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend et le Lake Powell dans la même journée?
    Je pars trois semaines en septembre et je ne sais pas comment répartir les visites entre le Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon et Zion… Si tu pouvais m’éclairre ça serait vraiment top :)

    • Reply Aug 5 2015


      Antelope Canyon comprend 2 canyons, je n’avais réservé que pour un seul – la promenade dure moins d’une heure, 2 heures avec le transport depuis Page. Ensuite Horse shoe bend c’est une mini-balade de 20 minutes, et après tu restes autant que tu veux pour la vue :) pour le lake Powell, on n’a fait que rouler à côté, sans aucun arrêt. Les 3 “attractions” sont très proches en tout cas !

      • Reply Aug 6 2015


        Super, merci pour ta réponse :)

  • Reply Apr 6 2016

    Flo Make My Trip

    Page à été un gros coup de cœur pour moi dans l’ouest américain. Avec antelope canyon, glenn canyon et le lac powell y a vraiment de quoi faire. Horseshoe bend est vraiment cool aussi. Par contre Horseshoe Bend, jcrois c’est plutôt “fer à cheval” 😉

    • Reply Apr 7 2016


      Héhé, obviously, I know what it means 😉 je répétais ce que j’avais entendu de la part d’une famille française, j’avais trouvé ça mignon

Leave a Reply