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    Glen Canyon Dam: how to visit the suggestive dam on Lake Powell

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    Joel Fulleda

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    La Glen Canyon Dam it is located near Page and it is thanks to its construction, which took place between 1956 and 1966 along the Colorado River, that Lake Powell was created. It is part of the complex of Glen Canyon operated by the National Park Service, and its happy location puts it on the path of most people planning an Arizona tour.

    Personally I found it a fascinating, even if not indispensable, stage that can prove useful as a short stop in transit, observing something unusual (unless you already plan to visit Hoover Dam) from everything you have had the opportunity to see. until this moment.


    • What is Glen Canyon?
      • The attractions of the park
    • How to reach the dam
    • business hours
    • What to visit
    • Tour prices
    • Glen Canyon Dam in elicottero
    • Glen Canyon Dam in barca
    • Glen Canyon Dam Overlook
    • Accomodation

    What is Glen Canyon?

    Before talking about the dam, a few words about Glen Canyon. In fact, there are many who read the name in tourist guides or on maps go a bit confused, without understanding what the boundaries of this blessed canyon are.

    Let's do some order: as partially anticipated, officially the Glen Canyon is a National Recreation area managed by NPS, and therefore its few paid areas are accessible with the parks card or with a special ticket. This geographical area follows the course of the Colorado River and of all its main tributaries (Escalante River, San Juan River are the most relevant) up to the point where the famous Grand Canyon is born.

    The main attraction of the immense Glen Canyon is the Lake Powell a Page, so much so that the Carl Hayden Visitor Center it is located right here, a stone's throw from the Glen Canyon Dam (the other is in Bullfrog, in another area of ​​Lake Powell).

    The attractions of the park

    Indeed Glen Canyon is much wider and extends for many miles between Utah and Arizona. Looking at the map below, you can see how the park boundaries go far beyond Lake Powell and the outskirts of Page, which appear to be just the southern end of the park. The area actually extends as far as Mexican Hat (east), Escalante (northwest), Green River and Canyonlands (northeast). This means that it is not possible to visit Glen Canyon all at once, but that instead you will be able to see its beauties at various times of a tour of the West, even after days.

    Here are the main places of interest that are part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area:

    • Lake Powell: 60% of Glen Canyon can be considered Lake Powell. The whole artificial basin is located within the park boundaries and has a huge variety of things to see, not all easy to reach: one above all, the Rainbow Bridge National Monument. The most popular part of the lake, as well as the most visited, is Wahweap Marina, near Page.
    • Horseshoe Bend: this bend in the Colorado River is one of the most photographed spots in all of Arizona. It is located south of Page and is one of the main treasures of Page and Glen Canyon. Admission is free but you have to pay for parking.
    • Read Ferry: This small marina on the Colorado River marks the southern end of the park. At this point, also called Marble Canyon, the Glen Canyon ends and the Grand Canyon begins. Admission is free.
    • Hole ‘n the Rock Road: Glen Canyon is not just rivers and lakes, but also canyons and gorges to explore. On the Hole’n the Rock Road, accessible only by deviating from UT-12, there are plenty of canyons to explore. But the most famous is the Reflection Canyon, a meander of Lake Powell, accessible via a path whose start is just down the road. Want to know more about Hole 'n The Rock Road? We talked about it here. Access to the street is free.
    • Gooseneck State Park: on the eastern side of the park is the San Juan River, a very important tributary of the Colorado River. One of the most beautiful views in the area belongs to the Gooseneck State Park, a hidden gem a stone's throw from Monument Valley and the Valley of the Gods, just outside the confines of Glen Canyon. Being a State Park, it requires a separate fee: the card is not accepted.
    • Muley Point: one of the most beautiful views in the west, little to say. This viewpoint is also located on the eastern side of the park. To reach it from Mexican Hat you will have to take the fearsome dirt road called Moki Dugway.
    • Canyonlands: maybe you didn't know, but the Orange Cliffs Unit of the remote Canyonlands district “The Maze” is part of Glen Canyon.
    Horseshoe Bend
    Gooseneck State Park
    Muley point
    Reflection Canyon

    But now let's talk about the diga in Glen Canyon.

    How to reach the dam

    The parking of the Carl Hayden Visitor Center it can be reached very easily as it is located along the course of the US-89. If you are coming from the west, and are heading towards the city of Page, the car park will remain on your left before crossing the bridge over the Colorado River. On the contrary, if you are exiting Page you will first have to cross the bridge and then on your right you will find the entrance to the visitor center.

    business hours

    The opening hours of the Carl Hayden Visitor Center are as follows:

    • Summer (mid-May to mid-September) 8 am - 6 pm
    • Winter (November to February) 8 am - 4 pm
    • Rest of the year 8 am - 5 pm.
    • Closed on Christmas, Thanksgiving and January XNUMXst.

    In case there are any last minute changes, the recommendation is always to check for any changes from the official website.

    What to visit

    The visitor center offers some interesting ones international with audio and video contributions regarding the history of the site and the construction phases of the dam. Obviously, as in any self-respecting tourist site, there is a gift shop it's a book store. From the parapet near the car park and inside the Carl Hayden Visitor Center it is possible to observe suggestive views of the dam and the surrounding area.

    If you want to deepen your knowledge of this area in the following section you will find all the information to take advantage of a tour of the dam.

    Tour prices

    As far as prices are concerned, a clarification needs to be made. If you intend to stop by car at the parking lot and just have a look at the dam complex and the visitor center, you will not have to pay any type of entrance. This is the option I chose, not because I wanted to save money but because my wife is afraid of the dams and therefore she forced me not to take any tours. To maintain a family quiet, I therefore had to give up my purpose.

    If, on the other hand, you are intrigued, and you have no obstacles that prevent you from taking a tour of the structure, you can take advantage of the service offered by the Glen Canyon Conservancy.
    The prices of the service are as follows:

    • Children up to 6 years: free
    • Children from 7 to 16: $ 2.5
    • Adults: $ 5
    • Over 65 anni: 4$

    The tour has a duration of 45 minutes in groups that have a maximum capacity of twenty-five people. The frequency with which they are carried out varies according to the time of year.

    • From November to February: one departure every two hours (8:30 am, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 14:30 pm)
    • From March to May 15: one departure every hour (8:30 am, 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 13:30 pm, 14:30 pm, 15:30 pm)
    • From 16 May to 17 September: one tour every half hour (from 8:30 to 10:30 and from 12:30 to 16:00)
    • From 18 September to 31 October: every departure every hour (8:30, 9:30, 10:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, and 15:30)

    Timetables updated to June 2017

    The only way to book a tour is by going to the Carl Hayden Visitor Center no later than 24 hours in advance.

    Glen Canyon Dam in elicottero

    Another, even more fascinating, way to observe this structure and the natural beauty that surrounds it is to take advantage of the many helicopter tours that fly over the dam along with other wonders such as Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell. By clicking below you will find all the tours available:

    Check out the helicopter tours above Glen Canyon Dam

    Glen Canyon Dam in barca

    Boats departing from Wahweap Marina (Lake Powell), in addition to taking you into the meanders of the lake, allow you to admire the dam from a unique perspective. If you want to know how to book a cruise and what to see during the tours, read our in-depth analysis at the link below.

    Info on the Lake Powell cruise

    There are also many other tours of various kinds dedicated to the Glen Canyon area; you can find them on this page.

    Glen Canyon Dam Overlook

    If you want to enjoy an unusual view of the dam and the Colorado River path before forming the much better known Horseshoe Bend you can go to Glen Canyon Dam Overlook. It is very easy to reach as it is at the end of Page's Scenic View Rd: here you can find more information.


    If you want to visit the Glen Canyon Dam and the attractions of the area, I recommend that you base yourself in Page. At the link below, our targeted suggestions for accommodation in the city.

    Where to sleep in Page

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