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Horseshoe Bend Sunrise

Horseshoe Bend Sunrise: Original Art \ Framed Canvas

Arizona's Iconic scenic landscape Horseshoe Bend awaits the rising sun as the Colorado River flows endlessly around it carving a centuries old course.

Horseshoe Bend Sunrise


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I arrived at Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona on a late September morning around 5:30 am to wait for the sun to come up behind me. I placed my tripod on the very edge of the cliff so I could capture the entire canyon view in one shot.

It was cold that morning with the wind from the canyon blowing directly in my face. I detached one side of my camera's neck strap from the camera and wrapped it around my wrist so I could step back from the edge and still keep my Canon 5dIII from falling and taking a rental 16-35mm lens with it.

Then I waited for sunrise.

As the sun approached the horizon, lighting up the face of the Vermillion Cliffs a few miles to the west with a beautiful red glow, a group of clouds floated into the scene. All the elements I wanted for this shot were falling into place! I took a series of photographs and watched the light change the landscape before me. 

A few hours later, the sun climbed higher and the landscape's colors began to fade and get washed out. It was time to go home and try to make this new piece represent the excitement and elation I felt.

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Horseshoe Bend has been featured as a landmark for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Grand Canyon National Park, the Cities of Page AZ, Kanab UT, St George UT, and the Navajo Nation. Boundary lines are very close in some places. Horseshoe Bend itself, and that part of the Colorado River, are a part of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. About nine miles downstream is where Grand Canyon National Park begins. US Highway 89, the land north of the trail to the Horseshoe Bend overlook, and the parking area for the trailhead are in the City of Page. The land south of the parking area and the trail and overlook are on the Navajo Nation. This mixture of jurisdictions provides a unique opportunity in the management of this magnificent trail and overlook.

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