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Hiking Lake Powell

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is not known for developed, maintained hiking trails. However, off-trail hiking is available just about everywhere. Just bring plenty of water and navigation tools.

For more information on hiking, check with the National Park Service. And remember to stop in at a visitor center to discuss your plans with a ranger before venturing cross country.

Explore Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Land-accessible Hikes

There are some good day hikes that are on more-or-less established trails.

  • Horseshoe Bend (1.5 mile round trip, view of Glen Canyon and the Colorado River). Fee charged for admission.
  • Hanging Garden (1 mile, a lush alcove with springs and ferns)
  • Wiregrass Canyon (6 miles round trip, a remarkable landscape of slot canyons, hoodoos and natural bridges)

Southern Utah is also renowned for its more technical hikes through slot canyons. Here's an introduction to the canyoneering in Utah. Beyond that, you'll want a good guide or the expertise to get you safely through.

Remember to stop in at a visitor center to discuss your plans with a ranger before venturing to the backcountry.

Water-access Hikes North of Bullfrog Marina

Take your boat or kayak of choice north from Bullfrog Marina for a day (or days) filled with adventuring and hiking. Many of the easily-accessible canyons are marked by noting the buoy numbers — it’s advised to purchase a waterproof guidebook to have full details of each canyon, along with a topographic map. 

  • Moqui Canyon (boat/kayak needed to access, bouy 99)
  • Crystal Springs Canyon (boat/kayak needed to access, buoy marker 104)
  • Forgotten Canyon (boat/kayak needed to access), home to Defiance House ruins and Smith Fork slot canyons
  • Knowles Canyon (boat/kayak needed to access)

Most of these canyons also offer beaches, where you can camp or dock your boat for more exploration.

Technical Slot Canyons near Lake Powell

The hikes are many around Ticaboo and Hanksville en route to Bullfrog Marina. However, many of the Hanksville options are highly technical and will require either advanced skills in repelling and route finding, or hiring a guide (recommended for the inexperienced).  That said, these areas are beautiful and offer diverse options to mix up your trip to the Lake Powell area.

The most famous slots in Hanksville include:

  • Three forks of Leprechaun Canyon
  • North Wash
  • Maidenwater Canyon

These areas require repelling and offer gorgeous red rock narrows and incredible features. To be in a technical slot canyon requires good climbing skills, the proper gear and a sense of teamwork and camaraderie.

Southern Utah is also renowned for its more technical hikes through slot canyons. Here's an introduction to canyoneering in Utah.

Maidenwater Canyon

Photo: Rosie Serago

Maidenwater-Slot-Canyon

Photo: Rosie Serago

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