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Best Time to Visit Horseshoe Bend (Photogenic & Aerial Adventures)

Find the ideal time for a visit to Horseshoe Bend for stunning photos and aerial tours, avoiding crowds and the heat. Optimal travel tips inside!

Tobi Miles
August 21, 2022
Best Time to Visit Horseshoe Bend (Photogenic & Aerial Adventures)

One of the most popular tourist destinations in northern Arizona, Horseshoe Bend welcomes 2 million people annually. One of the more well-known features of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is Horseshoe Bend. This stunning formation was created when the Colorado River curved around an impenetrable sandstone precipice. The Navajo Sandstone that makes up the cliff walls served as a natural barrier during the protracted process of erosion. The water pushed around the stone to produce the acute bend that is seen today.

The best time to visit Horseshoe Bend near Page, Arizona, is in the middle of October or anytime in autumn. A typical day in October at Horseshoe Bend has an average high temperature of 74°F (23°C) and a low temperature of 50°F (10°C). However, October through February are the ideal months to visit Horseshoe Bend.

When Not to Visit Horseshoe Bend

Avoid July at Horseshoe Bend due to the unbearable and sweltering heat of Page, Arizona. On some July days, there are 14 hours of direct sunlight. In Page, July is the warmest month of the year, with an average high of 96°F and a low of 73°F.

The warmest months at Horseshoe Bend are from May-August, therefore it's advisable to stay away from a vacation here if you can't stand the heat. The monsoon season begins in July, and the three months that follow are the hottest and least desirable for traveling to Horseshoe Bend.

Cheapest Time to Visit Horseshoe Bend

The ideal months to visit are November through February in order to escape the crowds and to obtain great savings on travel accommodations. This is also a great time of the year to view the sunset across the valley. It will be typical to find good hotel rates, as the summer & autumn crowds depart the area. Check online to lock-in a great deal for your vacation stay!

Related Read: 15 BEST Lazy Rivers in Arizona

Best Time to Visit Horseshoe Bend: Monthly Breakdown

January: Fly Over Horseshoe Bend

The coldest month in Page, Arizona, near Horseshoe Bend is January. Horseshoe Bend experiences an average high temperature of 43.5°F (6.4°C) and an average low temperature of 28.6°F (-1.9°C).

Horseshoe Bend is great to visit in January despite being the coldest month. Arizona is in the height of the down season and there are fewer crowds. Since January is the coldest month of the year, Horseshoe Bend experiences blustery and breezy weather during this time of year.

Aerial vistas of Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam, and Horseshoe Bend are fantastic in January. Tours via plane are another excellent way to observe Horseshoe Bend (while avoiding the tourists).

  • Helicopter Tours
  • Aerial Photography

February: Visit the Powell Museum

In Horseshoe Bend, the average daily high temperature rises from 48°F to 56°F in February, and there are clouds or mainly clouds around 50% of the time.

Credit: The Powell Museum / Facebook

When heading to Horseshoe Bend in February, visit the Powell Museum first. This is something everyone should do when they are in the region.

In addition to providing a wealth of information about things to do in the area, this museum also acts as a welcome center.  Powell Museum features exhibits on the history of the Colorado River, the local geology and paleontology, as well as the region's rich cultural heritage.

  • Visit the Powell Museum

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Antelope Canyon

March: Visit the Glen Canyon Dam Visitor Center

March brings a rise in average daytime high temperatures in Horseshoe Bend from 56°F to 65°F and a decrease in the amount of time that is cloudy or mostly cloudy.

Credit: dklaughman / Flickr

Spend some time at the free museum at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center to learn more about the Dam through a variety of interactive exhibits. Younger visitors can participate in the Junior Ranger program, and a gift store offers amusing mementos if you feel like doing a little shopping.

From the security of the glass windows, enjoy the breathtaking view of the dam and the Colorado River while you're there. A dam tour can also be paid for and scheduled during your visit.

  • Visit Glen Canyon Dam Visitor Center
  • Take the Dam Tour

April: Tour Antelope Canyon by Air or Land

In Horseshoe Bend, the average daily maximum temperature rises from 66°F to 74°F in April, and cloud cover is present around 43% of the time.

Credit: Kirk K / Flickr

You should undoubtedly go on one of the escorted tours of Antelope Canyon. Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation is in charge of maintaining this stunning slot canyon, which is a breathtaking sight to see. There is a staggering amount of color, and the way the light enters the canyon is amazing.

There are several incredible photo possibilities along the journey, and your guide will share tales about the canyon and discuss its history. However, some tours are quite expensive, but if you can afford them, do it!

You'll be happy that you did. This trek is definitely unique and intriguing.

There are a few companies that will fly you over Antelope Canyon and other various landmarks through private plane tours.

  • Tour, Hike, Kayak Antelope Canyon
  • Fly Over Antelope Canyon

Related Read: Best Airport for Zion National Park

May: Hike at Horseshoe Bend

This time of the year has an average daily high temperature exceeding 81°F consistently. This weather lasts for 3.6 months and temps will increase over the next few months of summer.

Credit: B Durnan / Flickr

May in Horseshoe Bend is hot and humid, although the temperatures increase more than they were in AprilBetween May and September, you’ll experience the hot season at Horseshoe Bend.

However, it is a lovely time to put on hiking boots and explore the trails and parks in pursuit of natural beauty. In May when life is blooming all throughout Horseshoe Bend you’ll experience the wonders of nature.

We suggest visiting early in the morning before it becomes too hot. Likewise, there aren't many shadows or other people - and the view is breathtaking. Additionally, Horseshoe Bend boat cruises are offered. Boat rides cruise down on the river around the curve of the Horseshoe Bend.

  • Hike at Horseshoe Bend
  • Try a Boat Cruise down the river at Horseshoe Bend

June: Visit Lake Powell

Horseshoe Bend experiences comfortable warm, humid, and chilly weather in June, with average highs of 88°F (31°C) and lows of 67°F (20°C).

Although it seems a little strange to see such a sizable lake in the center of the desert, it is gorgeous! Give yourself a whole day to play at the lake and take in its splendor; Lake Powell is just one of the many remarkable features to check out near Horseshoe Bend.

  • Swim at Lake Powell
  • Hike around Lake Powell

July: See Rainbow Bridge National Monument

The warmest month of the year at Horseshoe Bend in July. Daily highs rise up to 96°F and are rarely below 77°F. In some cases, the temps will rise to about 102°.

Furthermore, if you are concerned about heat, you will want to avoid visiting Horseshoe Bend during the month of July. Rainbow Bridge is one of the biggest natural bridges in the world and has long served as a source of inspiration for people.

In the summer, ranger programs inform visitors about the bridge's past, and youngsters can participate in the Junior Ranger program. One viewing spot also has a dinosaur footprint! It should be mentioned that getting to this bridge does involve taking a boat and making a minimum one-mile stroll.

  • Visit Rainbow Bridge National Monument
  • Try a Ranger Program

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Zion National Park

August: Explore the Ancient Anasazi Petroglyphs

A normal day in August at Horseshoe Bend will have an average high temperature of 92°F (33°C) and a low temperature of 69°F (20°C).

Petroglyphs can be seen on a sandstone ridge and on the canyon floor at the Anasazi Valley Petroglyph Site | Zion Area Info. Overlooking the Santa Clara River, a cliff edge is covered in hundreds of petroglyphs.

The little climb is worthwhile because this location contains one of the largest concentrations of local rock art.

  • Explore Ancient Anasazi Petroglyphs
  • Take Photos for Scrapbooking Petroglyphs

September: Visit Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument

In Page, Arizona, near Horseshoe Bend, the average daily highs fall from 90°F to 80°F in September. A good percentage of the day that is cloudy or mostly cloudy starts to decline. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is a vast and spectacular location that is brimming with color, life, history, and prehistory.

This area has been home to the discovery of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animal fossils, making it a veritable informational treasure trove for geologists and other experts. Visitors will find it to be a stunning landscape with many fascinating rock formations and top-notch tourist centers.

  • Visit Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument
  • Look for Fossils

October: Experience the Wahweap Overlook

Plan to travel to this majestic part of the southwest in October when the weather is just perfect. The average high temperature near Horseshoe Bend in Arizona drops from a comfortable 83.3°F (28.5°C) in September to a comfortable 68.5°F (20.3°C) in October.

Credit: Jason / Flickr

Wahweap Overlook is a great vantage point from which to take in the amazing views of the extensive surroundings. You can see Wahweap Marina, Glen Canyon Dam, Navajo Generating Station, and miles of spectacular Lake Powell shoreline from Wahweap Overlook.

  • Experience the Wahweap Overlook
  • Catch the 5pm Sunset

November: Best Time to See Tower Butte

In November, Page, Arizona near Horseshoe Bend typically has lows of 32°F (0°C) and highs of 57°F (14°C), with a little breeze.

Sandstone top Tower Butte, has a height of 5,287 feet and is situated south of Lake Powell in northern Arizona. Romana and Entrada Sandstones make up Tower Butte, a butte covered in caprock from the Morrison Formation. Tower Butte, which is more than 5,000 feet above sea level, is the ideal location for your helicopter landing excursion.

You will fly eastward over the Navajo Nation section of Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell as you make your way to the top of Tower Butte after boarding your cutting-edge helicopter. When you land and approach the cliff edge of this imposing rock close to Lake Powell, you won't believe what you see.

  • Experience The Tower Butte Hike
  • Fly to the Top of Tower Butte

December: Vermillion Cliffs National Monument

At Horseshoe Bend in Arizona, December's average high-temperature drops from 50°F to 44°F. 36% of the time is spent in clouds or gloomy skies. The Winter months from December through February are too chilly for visitors from a warm climate to enjoy themselves.

This 294,000-acre monument, which is uninhabited and secluded, is a geological gem since it includes the Paria Plateau, Vermilion Cliffs, Coyote Buttes, and Paria Canyon.

Visitors will delight in the breathtaking vistas of the high cliffs and narrow valleys. Many people wouldn’t think to visit during December. However, the snow will make it much more magical and much less crowded.

Coyote Buttes' multicolored cross-bedded sandstone swirls are a popular hiking location across the world.

  • Vermillion Cliffs National Monument

Best Time to Visit Horseshoe Bend to Avoid Crowds

Consider taking your vacation between November and February, which is the coldest season of the year. It is more probable that you will discover a good price at this time. However, you should also anticipate that there will be fewer people around in comparison to warmer months which is Horseshoe Bend's busiest tourist season. Your activity choice will impact your chances of running into any crowds. With some careful planning, you can enjoy your whole vacation without being bothered!

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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