Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
For eons the Colorado River and its tributaries carved breathtaking walls, cathedral-like recesses, and natural bridges out of soft layers of sandstone, creating wonders such as the Grand Canyon and this, its smaller sibling, Glen Canyon. Here, reddish sandstone formations contrast strikingly with the sleek blue waters of Lake Powell.
Named after Major John Wesley Powell, who first explored the river in 1869, this 186-mile-long lake was formed when the Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1966. The 710-foot structure (just 16 feet shorter than the Hoover Dam) not only aided irrigation and harnessed the Colorado’s power, it also created the 1.2-million-acre Glen Canyon National Recreation Area—a prime spot for boaters, swimmers, anglers, and hikers since 1972.
At the Carl Hayden Visitors Center, on the lake’s southwestern shore, ponder exhibits on area history and geology, find out about trails, and arrange a Glen Canyon Natural History Association tour of the dam. Boating is the best way to get around and take in the scenery, though.
Arrange to haul in your own vessel, rent one, or set up guided boat excursions or river-rafting trips through Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas (www.lakepowell.com). This outfit also offers a variety of lodging options both out on the lake—in fully equipped houseboats—or beside it in hotels or at campgrounds with both tent and full-hookup RV sites.
691 Scenic View Dr.
- Page, Arizona 86040
- 37.89007000, -110.40047000
- Carl Hayden Visitors Center: daily 8--4:30, 5 or 6, depending on season.
- Visit Website
- (928) 608-6200