“…we have a curious ensemble of wonderful features – carved walls, royal arches, glens, alcove gulches, mounds, and monuments. From which of these features shall we select a name? We decide to call it Glen Canyon.” – Major John Wesley Powell, August 3, 1869…Major Powell named a little-known stretch of the Colorado River. It lay between the treacherous Cataract Canyon and the (as then) unknown Grand Canyon and provided a brief respite for the weary explorers. Millions of people enjoy Glen Canyon every year. This recreational area is located along the Arizona-Utah border. Boating is the most popular recreational activity at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. A wide variety of watercraft is used to access the waters and many side canyons; swimming, shoreline camping, and fishing are often a big part of boaters’ plans. Houseboating is very popular on Lake Powell.
Glen Canyon consists of 1.25 million acres of land and water – with Lake Powell only 13% of the park, most of the landscape is backcountry, of which 51% is proposed wilderness area. It is some of the harshest land in the country, but also some of the most beautiful. The recreation area stretches for hundreds of miles from Marble Canyon and Lees Ferry in northern Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah.
Glen Canyon offers people desert hiking, backcountry adventure, and water-based recreation on 15 miles of Colorado River and 186 mile-long Lake Powell held back by Glen Canyon Dam. Lake Powell is the second largest human-made lake in the United States and is one of the best boating destinations in the southwestern part of the country.
Lake Powell is named for Major John Wesley Powell, one of the most important explorers of the Colorado River Basin. The Glen Canyon Dam, at 710 feet, is the fourth highest dam in the country. The story behind the building of the dam and creation of Lake Powell is one of the more interesting and controversial examples of human’s attempts at controlling nature. Construction on the dam began in 1959 and the project was completed in 1964 (it took three years of round-the-clock work just to pour the concrete). Two years later the power plant began generating electricity from its reservoir. Glen Canyon Power Plant produces around five billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric power annually.
—- Location —-
Access to Lake Powell and Glen Canyon by road is somewhat limited. Activities are concentrated at the western edge, near Page, Arizona where various beaches, resorts, marinas and campsites are found along the shoreline, with lots of facilities available in town. To get to Page, AZ. You can fly into Phoenix (PHX), Arizona or Las Vegas (LAS), Nevada and rent a car from either city. It will be a 5-hour drive from Phoenix and just over a 4-hour drive from Las Vegas.
—- Park Camping —-
Camping is allowed anywhere along the lake shore outside the developed areas. Camping in Glen Canyon NRA requires an entrance fee in addition to a nominal camping fee at the following primitive camping areas where toilets are provided: Lees Ferry, Lone Rock, Stanton Creek, Dirty Devil, Hite and Farley Canyon. Otherwise, There are no facilities. Boat campers must have a portable toilet or toilet facilities on their vessel. The amount of camping is dependent on the lake level. On average, Lake Powell has 1960 miles of shoreline. Approximately 150 miles of this is able to be camped on at any given time. Primitive backcountry camping is permitted within the National Recreation Area away from the Lake Powell shoreline. Please bring plenty of water and pack out all trash.
—- Free Camping —-
Based on https://freecampsites.net/#!Page,+AZ,+USA there are 10 free campsites within 32 miles of Page, Arizona.
—- Area Camping —-
—- Hiking & Biking —-
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is a popular summer spot for hikers and mountain bikers. You can choose to hike around the lake by taking the 5-day Rainbow Trail. Family hikers might enjoy Explorer Canyon, where surviving petroglyphs dot the grottos. Rainbow Bridge National Monument — one of the largest known natural bridges in the world — is administered by Glen Canyon. The monument is located within Navajo Tribal Lands. Mountain bikers must stay on established roadways within the recreation area, but quite a few challenging dirt roads can be found both in the recreation area and on adjacent federal lands. In the Hite, Utah area, the Orange Cliffs are particularly popular among mountain bikers.
—- Things To Do —-
At 710 feet tall, Glen Canyon Dam is the nation’s highest concrete arch dam. From April through October, 45-minute guided tours depart from the Carl Hayden Visitor Center and descend deep inside the dam via elevators. Exhibits tell the story of the dam’s construction, complete with all kinds of astounding technical facts. Three different videos spotlight various aspects of the region. You can also decide to take the Panoramic Lake Powell Tour, which takes you by a double-decker boat out to Gunsight Bay and back. This is an excellent option for those who don’t want to deal with the logistics of renting their own boat.
—- References —-