Glen Canyon and Lake Powell
The nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline that wrap around Lake Powell are part of endless itineraries on the water and vast surrounding landscape. Navigate for days, not hours, and never see the same horizon. Inch into slots of sheer canyon walls then step ashore to retrace geologic time across petrified dunes.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area offers more than 1.2 million acres of unparalleled opportunities for land- and water-based recreation. Lake Powell, 200 miles long and the second largest human-made lake in the United States, is widely recognized as one of the premier boating destinations in the world. Stretching from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is graced with scenic views, unique geology, and evidence of 10,000 years of human history.
Lake Powell is named for Major John Wesley Powell, the most important explorer 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.
Boating is the most popular recreational activity at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. A wide variety of watercraft is used to access the deep, turquoise waters and many side canyons; swimming, shoreline camping, and fishing are often a big part of boaters’ plans. And while a boat may be the best way to see Lake Powell and Glen Canyon, there are also several places with vehicle access for scenic driving and great viewpoints. Whether experienced by boat, car, or foot, a visit to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Lake Powell will make memories to last a lifetime.
Travel Tips and Things to do in Glen Canyon and Lake Powell
Staying at Glen Canyon/Lake Powell
For Glen Canyon National Recreation Area hotels, check out the marinas at Wahweap and Bullfrog. Kanab, Utah, is another excellent base camp to adventures on Lake Powell. There is primitive camping and developed campgrounds in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, but not within the boundaries of Rainbow Bridge. Since this is high desert country, expect high summer temperatures and cold winters. Glen Canyon weather ranges from nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit in July and August to freezing overnight temperatures in winter.
Grand Staircase–Escalante Region
Experience 1.8 million acres of outdoor adventure and star-filled night skied exploring slot canyons, slickrock and other geologic wonders.
Zion National Park
Zion National Park’s canyons and mesas boast an especially exquisite beauty, even in a state known for dramatic landscapes. Breathtaking Zion Canyon is the centerpiece of this 147,000-acre parkland.
Glen Canyon and Lake Powell
Lake Powell, Utah 84533