Following the trend of other tourist destinations imposing a special tax for visitors, Horseshoe Bend in Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park is now introducing an entrance fee. Concerns about overcrowding and conservation have led to the new rule at the popular photo site — a dramatic rock formation where the Colorado River takes a sharp U-shaped turn. Now, to access the overlook, all visitors will be required to pay to park in a designated parking lot near a newly built entrance station.
The fee will cost $10 for passenger vehicles, $5 for motorcycles, and between $35 an $140 for commercial buses, depending on passenger capacity. If all parking spots are full, visitors will be asked to leave and return another time. This is an attempt to address heavy traffic in the area and make the tourism footprint less detrimental to the environment. In addition to helping preserve the site, the entrance fees will also be used to fund Horseshoe Bend’s upkeep, as well as the surrounding area.
Instagram has undoubtedly fueled the popularity of Horseshoe Bend, with millions of images posted of the site each year. In 2018 nearly two million people visited the landmark, which officials claim is placing a heavy burden on its infrastructure.
The National Park Service advises that the best time to find parking at the new lot will be before 10:00 AM and between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM.