PAGE, Ariz. - The City of Page and the National Park Service have teamed up to upgrade the Horseshoe Bend overlook in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Construction began in November and crews are currently working to install a rim viewing area with safety railing, a new trail which will be ABA-accessible and two new shade structures with benches along the trail.
Discussions around upgrading the area started a few years ago due to the influx in visitors and the lack of amenities.
“We did a study and found there are 300 people per hour during the main season that come out,” said Korey Seyle, a Page city councilmember.
With millions of visitors to the area every year, officials began to worry that the photos that made the area famous might go wrong.
“With social media all it would take, in my opinion, is a couple more years of not managing this landscape, this iconic view and all of a sudden instead of seeing photos we are proud of, we will see photos of trash, human waste and potentially public safety issues,” said William Shott, superintendent for the NPS at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. “We don’t want to ruin it. We want to preserve this.”
Phase one of the two-phase plan is slated to be completed before summer. Phase two is still pending future funding but will include upgrades to the front entrance, expanded parking, and a visitor station with restrooms and seating.
Eventually, the National Park Service would like to expand the trails to connect with those in Page and closer to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. A new fee system is also likely to be implemented in the coming years but has not yet been discussed at length by officials involved.