Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River (Page, AZ)

One of the most awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping overlooks in the entire Southwest is the one that is a thousand feet above Horseshoe Bend, a meander of the Colorado River. Though it is spectacular at any time of day, the morning and late afternoon sun shows it to best dramatic effect.

The signpost to the parking lot can be easy to miss right off Highway 89. From the lot, there is a short hike of less than a mile over sandstone and a short sandy path to reach the overlook. It was unsettling (for me, at least) to stand at the cliff’s edge and peer down to the river. But, what a view!

Photographer’s tip: for the best time to capture the scene, my choice would be the late afternoon, although one cannot improve upon this particular sunrise shot. Photographers should be sure to take a wide-angle lens to capture the entire bend. I used a setting of 12mm on my Canon EF-S variable wide-angle lens, which would call for a 20mm standard focal length.

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