Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA) offers unparalleled opportunities for water-based & backcountry recreation. The recreation area stretches for hundreds of miles from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, encompassing scenic vistas, geologic wonders, and a panorama of human history.
Additionally, the controversy surrounding the construction of Glen Canyon Dam and the creation of Lake Powell contributed to the birth of the modern day environmental movement. The park offers opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, backcountry hiking and four-wheel drive trips.
Must See & Do
Whether you’re just looking for a quick walk, a day hike, or a multi-day backpack trip, Glen Canyon has something to offer. The hikes listed here are only the beginning. If you are out camping on the shores of Lake Powell or anywhere in the backcountry you are welcome to explore the many side canyons, slickrock hills, and passageways through washes into slot canyons or hanging gardens. Just stay safe.
Approximately 5 miles south of the Carl Hayden Visitor Center on U.S. Hwy 89, just south of highway marker 545, turn west on the dirt road which ascends the small hill. Drive a short distance west on the dirt road and park at the base of the hill. Climb up and down sandy hill. Distance is 1.5 mile round-trip.
Just a short distance from Page on highway 98, turn onto the Antelope Point road. Though lacking in developed trails, Antelope Point offers opportunity for exploration. Take a walk-a-bout through slick rock formations west of the parking near the launch ramp. Perhaps you will discover a perfect spot to enjoy the lake and take a swim. Distance varies.
Paria Rimrocks – Toadstool Trail
Explore the Paria Rimrocks on this moderate 1.5 mile round trip hike leading to hoodoos and balanced rocks. Drive north on highway 89 from the Glen Canyon Dam. Turn into the dirt parking area on the right just past Utah mile marker 19. Slip through the hikers-gate, sign the register, and head up the wash. When you think you are at the end, guess again; scramble up the trail obstacle and find your way to the hoodoo garden. Maps are available at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in Big Water. Driving time 30 minutes; dirt trail– some scrambling required over trail obstacles 1.5 miles round trip. Moderate.
Grosvenor Arch is a unique sandstone double arch teetering atop stony stilts. The site is well maintained and has an outhouse restroom and cement benches. There is a concrete sidewalk that goes almost to the base of the arch which is handicap accessible. Take state route 12 south of Cannonville for approximately 9 miles. This is a paved road to the Kodachrome State Park turnoff. Continue on Cottonwood Canyon Road, a graded dirt road, for another 10 miles to the Grosvenor Arch parking lot.
Although in dry weather the scenic drives are easily accessible to passenger cars, wet weather may make the road impassable even for 4WD vehicles. Check with rangers or local officials for weather and road conditions. Recreational vehicles are not recommended.
Paved road stretching 72 miles between Kanab, UT and Page, AZ. Views of the Vermilion Cliffs and Kaiparowits Plateau. Access to Paria Movie Set.
Scenic Byway – HWY 12 “All American Highway”
Paved road winding 124 miles from HWY 89 to Torrey, UT. Views of vast slick-rock benches and canyons. Access to Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, Calf Creek Recreation Area, Dixie National Forest, and Anasazi State Park Museum.
Scenic Backway-Johnson Canyon/Skutumpah Road
Paved road traveling north 16 miles from HWY 89 to the #501/#500 Junction. Dirt road for the next 34 miles heading northeast to Cannonville, UT. Subject to flooding and washouts. Road passes through the cliffs that make up the “Grand Staircase”.
Scenic Backway-Cottonwood Road
Dirt and clay surface road meandering 46 miles between HWY 89 and Kodachrome Basin State Park. Flash flooding frequently washes out sections of this route. Road follows along the scenic Cockscomb monocline. Access to Grosvenor Arch.
Scenic Backway-Hole-in-the-Rock Road
Dirt road reaching southeast for 57 miles one way. Last 6 miles before Hole-in-the-Rock overlook are rough and rocky. Four-wheel drive vehicles required. Highly prone to washouts and flash flooding. Access to Devils Garden.
Scenic Backway-Burr Trail
Paved road for the first 31 miles traveling east from Boulder, UT. Road turns to dirt at the Capitol Reef National Park boundary. Highlights include panoramic vistas and sweeping sandstone cliffs. Access to Deer Creek campground.
Off Highways Vehicle (OHV)
Use Off-highway vehicles are permitted within the Monument on designated roads. Cross-country travel is prohibited and OHVs are not permitted on hiking trails. Check at a visitor center for maps and information before riding.
One way to see and enjoy the vast backcountry of the Monument and adjacent Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is to spend several days hiking. Most routes are unmarked and traverse a wide variety of canyon and slickrock terrain. Visitor center staff can help you choose routes that fit your time and ability. Stop at a visitor center for route descriptions, maps, locations of water sources, weather forecasts, and current road conditions before starting out. A free backcountry permit is required. Map and compass skills are recommended.
Bicycles are only permitted on designated dirt roads. Visitor center staff can help you choose rides to fit your time and ability.
Page, AZ, Summer hours 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (call for days); Winter hours (Nov – Feb) daily, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Rest of the year daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. 928-608-6404. Tour of the Dam 928-608-6072
Bullfrog Visitor Center
Bullfrog, UT, Open intermittently beginning in May. Call ahead for exact times. 435-684-7423
Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center
Near Lees Ferry Open daily mid-April to mid-October, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; weekends only, early April and November, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 928-355-2319
The Glen Canyon Recreational Area is open year-round and entrance is only $15 for one single, private, non-commercial vehicle and all its passengers and is good for seven days.
* Interagency Annual Passes & Interagency Lifetime Passes are honored at all National Parks, National Monuments, & Federal Recreation Sites.
Distance From Cedar City
151.77 Miles east on Hwy U-89
With one of the largest shorelines there are several primitive camping no fee options available as well as several developed camping areas. For a list of campsites visit www.nps.gov/glca
Hotel rooms inside Glen Canyon Recreation Area on the lake are available at Wahweap and Bullfrog. To make lodging reservations at Wahweap or Bullfrog (800) 528-6154. There are also numerous motels in Page, Arizona.