How to have an amazing Horseshoe Bend Elopement
One of my favorite places in the desert southwest is Page, Arizona. Being a Horseshoe Bend elopement guide & photographer is a dream, and I’ll tell you why. In this area that overlaps the southern Utah border, you can find buttes, (haha, butts.) slot canyons, rivers, natural arches, beaches, pools, grottos, islands, washes, cliffs and rocky red deserts. Centered around the man-made Lake Powell, hundreds of miles of water fill the intricate canyons, providing many side-canyons to explore. Of all the places I’ve been in the desert southwest, it’s Page that I can’t wait to go back to. The entire area is spectacular. I’d love to know what spots get you excited to elope there!
Horseshoe Bend Details
The most famous place near Page is certainly Horseshoe Bend. This epic u-turn in the Colorado River is just a few miles south of Page. The 1.5 mile flat hike is well worth the baking sun to reach the 1,000ft drop off vista to the river below. High visitation means this spot is very busy, with the rim getting packed especially on weekends and midday. Sunset is also popular as the sun sets just over the horizon behind this spot. As your Horseshoe Bend elopement photographer and guide, I’m here to help as much as I can. Imagine just the two of you standing at this vista to say your vows – can you picture a more majestic backdrop for your desert elopement?
Horseshoe Bend is within the Glen Canyon Recreation area, and a special use permit is required for all elopements. Make sure to apply more than 45 days in advance – Apply and find more information here. The application costs upwards of $100. Remember that these fees support the staff and support our National Parks and sites. Although the bend is within the parks system, the parking lot is not, and therefore the city of Page requires a parking fee. Your National Parks pass won’t work here, but it’s a small price to pay for this iconic view. It’s important to know all the details for where you plan to elope when you apply for your permit, so get in touch with me first!
This area is huge – and amazing
The first thing you need to know about Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Rec Area is that IT IS HUGE. Though well visited, the expansive nature of this region, and the fact that much of it can only be accessed by boat, means that it isn’t as crowded as the Grand Canyon or Moab. It would take years to explore all there is here. Which is exactly why you should hire one of the many local boat captains! Accessing the lake and many remote hiking areas from the Wahweap Marina would be an unforgettable adventure.
When to Elope in Page
For milder temperatures rather than the baking summer heat, consider a shoulder season. April, May, September and October are the best times to elope in Page. While the slot canyons provide some shade in the morning and late afternoon, there aren’t many trees so most hikes are exposed. If you’ve been dreaming of a richly textured rocky landscape for your desert elopement, I can definitely help you find it here. A winter elopement in Page would also be incredible. A light dusting of snow on the desert landscape would look like a frosted dream! You could follow up by cozying up in a lodge together. Camping out with a campfire is more possible in the warmer months. The remoteness of this area lends itself to stargazing in every season.
Exploring the Area
By boat, you can access an Anasazi dwelling from 1250 AD, Reflection Canyon, Diagenetic Arch, and Pool Canyon. The hundreds of bays, inlets and watery canyons mean there are endless possibilities for eloping at Lake Powell. Or you could get married on the boat itself! How amazing would that be? On land, many areas are within Navajo Nation’s federal reservation, and permits are required for access, like the Rainbow Bridge, Waterholes Canyon, and both of the stunning Antelope Canyons. These areas are especially sacred and special. Like all of our natural resources, these lands need to be treated with respect and all Leave No Trace principles. However, there are some arches, vistas and hikes that don’t require access permits. Early morning is a great time to elope in Page, as the temperatures will be cooler and the light less harsh, with plenty of color in the skies.
Here’s my map of places you could elope in Page, Arizona, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Lake Powell and the rest of Arizona. For more locations in Arizona, check out my Saguaro National Park Elopement guide. To find out more about each of these locations and see the interactive map, get in touch with your Horseshoe Bend elopement guide + photographer now!