Horseshoe Bend Adds Parking Fees and Restrictions to Help With Overcrowding
Visiting Horseshoe Bend will now cost more.
America’s national parks are a treasure meant for all of us to enjoy. However, thanks to an influx of snap-happy tourists, one of the country’s most beautiful national park locations is about to get more expensive.
You have probably seen images of Horseshoe Bend, located near the town of Page, Arizona, where the Colorado River literally bends around the landscape. The bend is visible from a steep cliff that's accessible via a short hike off U.S. Route 89, and it's wildly popular.
“This place is one of the world’s most photographed locations, so it’s cool to get to check it off of the bucket list, but you only get a real sense of the scale when you see it in person,” Nick Paquette, a freelance video editor who drove more than 21,700 miles around the country, previously shared with Travel + Leisure. “It looks huge in the photo but you don’t really get a sense of how deep it is until you’re right there in front of it.”
Because it’s so photogenic, Horseshoe Bend can attract crowds to the single parking lot that serves the single trail to see it. To handle the traffic, the park service is now going to start charging an entry fee. Visitors looking to get a glimpse of the bend must now pay $10 per vehicle to park in the newly expanded lot, USA Today reported. Motorcyclists will pay $5. Fees for buses range between $35-$140, based on the number of passengers. And take note: Alhough Horseshoe Bend is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, National Park Service passes will not be accepted.
The fees, USA Today explained, will go toward the long-range improvement plan implemented by officials from Page, who remain in charge of the parking area, as well as the National Park Service, which oversees Horseshoe Bend and the surrounding land.
In another new change, parking will only be allowed in the lot and not on the street. If there are no spots available visitors will be asked to return later.
And you may be waiting a mighty long time for that spot as the area’s popularity skyrocketed over the last few years, thanks in large part to Instagram. The location now has more than 400,000 mentions and millions of location tags on the photo-sharing social media app. And though these changes seem annoying, one look at those images and you’ll see why it’s so awe-inspiring and well-worth a single Alexander Hamilton.