Arizona is full of jaw-dropping wonders and incredible sights, but Horseshoe Bend is one of the most unique! This bend in the Colorado River is an unforgettable sight, and it would make a beautiful and dramatic backdrop for your proposal. If you’re wondering how to propose at Horseshoe Bend, read on for my guide!
How to Propose at Horseshoe Bend
The best views of Horseshoe Bend come from the Eastern side of the Colorado River, in Page, AZ. After parking your car in the lookout point parking lots, you can follow a trail for 3/4 of a mile while it takes you to the edge of the canyon. That’s where you can get the most panoramic views of this fascinating landmark, and that’s where I suggest you propose.
Keep in mind that this is a hike, so don’t come dressed in your finest! With that said, it’s a great idea to bring a great picnic along with you and spend some time after your proposal sipping some champagne and enjoying the view.
Getting to Page, AZ
If you’re making a trip out specifically to propose at Horseshoe Bend, I’d suggest booking an overnight stay in Page. This little town sits right on the I-89 if you’re driving, and the closest airports are the Page Municipal Airport and the larger Flagstaff Pullium Airport, which has direct connections to Denver, Phoenix, and Dallas. Page itself is in a great position for enjoying not just Horseshoe Bend, but also Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon and other incredible sights here.
How to Arrange Your Horseshoe Bend Proposal
If you’re planning to propose at Horseshoe Bend, you need backup. I’d suggest at least a photographer who knows the area, but you might want to draft in some friends too to make this happen!
I’d suggest that you send your photographer and anyone else who’s agreed to help on ahead of you. They’ll hike up to Horseshoe Point before you get there. If you want to keep it low-key, the photographer will pose as just another hiker – but they’ll be waiting for the right moment. This will let you get the look of shock and joy on your new fiance’s face when you kneel down, all on camera!
Alternatively, for something a little more elaborate and romantic, you could send your friends with everything to set up an amazing picnic. Go all out – with flowers and champagne, if you like – then, when your partner arrives on the site, they’ll be so surprised by how everything came together! It all depends on what the vision for your proposal is, but one thing’s for sure: Horseshoe Bend will make the most amazing backdrop.
Rules to Follow While You’re in the Horseshoe Bend
The first thing you need to know on how to propose at Horseshoe Bend is that there may be fees involved depending on its complexity and scale. The more elaborate it is, the more fees you might have to pay.
Either way, there are entrance fees that need to be paid upon entry to the Horseshoe Bend. The larger your party, the more expensive these fees get. Here’s a quick price breakdown of the fees:
– Motorcycle: $5
– Car or RV: $10
– A Commercial Van/Bus: (Passenger Capacity up to 14) $35
– Commercial Bus: (Passenger Capacity 15-35) $70A Commercial Bus: (Passenger Capacity over 35) $140
Take note that the fees depend entirely on the capacity of the vehicle, not the number of passengers.
Special Use Permits
You won’t need a special permit for a simple proposal at the Horseshoe Bend. However, there are some stipulations regarding party size and filming.
The Park administration allows for still photography or even a bit of low-impact filming without fees as long as there’s no use of elaborate sets, props, or models that are not a part of the location’s natural resources.
If you’re planning on a huge surprise proposal with elaborate sets, props, or models, you’re going to have to apply for a Special Use Permit at least 45 days before you pop the question. This would set you back $100 in non-refundable fees and an additional $200 if the application is granted.
The Best Time of Year to Propose at Horseshoe Bend
The time of year that you choose to propose at Horseshoe Bend actually does have a big impact on the kind of experience you’ll end up with! Like most of Arizona, Page has intense heat in the summer – and 100° heat makes it a little bit difficult to pull off romantic outdoor proposals.
In terms of the weather, the best times to visit Horseshoe Bend are from April through to early June, before the summer heat really kicks in, and then September and October as the temperatures are dropping again.
It’s not just weather that you want to consider here, though. Page is an increasingly popular tourist destination for people who are looking for all the adventure that this area offers! April – June are the busiest times here, so accommodation will be more expensive and the trails will be more crowded. Crucially, Horseshoe Bend lookout point may be more crowded, so if you want some privacy for your Horseshoe Bend proposal, you might want to consider coming in the fall when there are less people around.
The Best Time of Day to Propose at Horseshoe Bend
Honestly, any time of day you choose to propose at Horseshoe Bend is going to be stunning. The view is once-in-a-lifetime, and it will always be a dramatic and memorable way to get engaged.
With that said, though, there are a few factors to consider. The first one is crowds – both for the privacy of your moment together, and for the sake of the photos, you definitely want to choose a time that the lookout point isn’t going to be flocked with tourists. The other thing to think about is light – you don’t want to propose too soon to it getting dark, because you want to be able to get some amazing photos while the joy and buzz of that ‘Yes!’ is still running high!
With both these factors in mind, I’d actually suggest that you choose to propose at Horseshoe Bend around sunrise. Make your way out there to watch colors fill the huge sky and see the sun come up together before picking your perfect moment to get down on one knee!
Other Ways to Propose at Horseshoe Bend
If you want a proposal that’s a little more out-of-the-box and adventurous, this part of the world will certainly provide! Did you know that you can actually take an air tour of Horseshoe Bend? Head up into a plane and coast around for the most perfect way to appreciate this dramatic landscape – and have a proposal story unlike anything else!
There is also a wonderful raft toru that allows you to float down through the Horseshoe Bend along the Colorado River. Whether you want to pull out a ring on a raft or not (depends on how adventurous you’re feeling!) this could be the perfect way to celebrate your engagement.
Planning the Perfect Horseshoe Bend Proposal
I hope this information has been helpful for you as you plan your Horseshoe Bend proposal! There’s nothing I love more than helping couples make their dream proposals and elopements come true (I wrote a guide on pulling off a surprise Sedona proposal) – and this is one dream that’s too good not to do!
When you propose at Horseshoe Bend, you just might fall in love with the whole experience. If you start dreaming about a Grand Canyon elopement – you’re in luck! Check out my guide to that, too.