‘There aren’t many things in life worth dragging your carcass out of bed at 5:45am for, but hiking Horseshoe Bend is definitely one of them…’
My husband loves taking photos of
anything sunsets. He’s not that fussed about where these occur, just as long as he can snap them. I knew, since we were road tripping close to the Grand Canyon, there was zero chance of me getting out of being dragged into the barren desert at least once during our holiday (twice, actually…) and made to hang around while Les amused himself photographing the fading sun. I, on the other hand, spend this time in the desert worrying about all the odd animal noises and trying to decide if coyotes and rattlesnakes are attracted by the smell of apple Chapstick.
Horseshoe Bend, Arizona is a very popular sunset hiking spot and when we arrived around a half hour before the sun faded, the car park was already overflowing. I’m not a huge fan of Other People (Introvert alert…), so I wasn’t overly excited about the prospect of sharing a romantic sunset with the population of a small city.
We strode from the car park and walked the half mile down to the rim. There’s signage warning you not to wear sandals and these and flip flops are probably not a great idea. The terrain is very rocky and uneven. Anything that might cause your feet to slide around is best to be avoided when hiking. You don’t want to be perfecting that selfie and end up taking a long dive into the Colorado River. For me, I was more worried about wildlife. I had apple lip balm on and had to consider whether any beasties would sniff me out and eat me.
|OK, so maybe it was worth getting out of bed for. Don’t tell anyone I said that, though.|
Apart from that, and taking water if you’re going during the day (it’s hotter than hell; even in October), have fun! It was well worth getting up at such an ungodly hour to watch the sun slowly rising. As it moves, it changes the colours of the red rock and you can watch the Colorado transformed into a green ribbon in the valley below.
The USA has so many outstanding beauty spots to hike in and drive through. They’re the perfect escape from the stress of city life. They’re also never quite as remote as you think. There’s no bad time to visit the Grand Canyon and, if you heed the rules, you’ll have the experience of your life.