Glen Canyon National Recreation Area: Lake Powell & So Much More

The Colorado River is dammed on both sides of the Grand Canyon, forming two huge artificial lakes: Lake Mead and Lake Powell.

Encompassing over 1.25 million acres, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area stretches for hundreds of miles from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah.

What makes Lake Powell so memorable is the contrast between the deep clear blue waters and the surrounding landscape—stark red sandstone rocks. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

What makes Lake Powell so memorable is the contrast between the deep clear blue waters and the surrounding landscape—stark red sandstone rocks. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The National Recreation Area offers unparalleled opportunities for water-based and backcountry recreation amid scenic vistas, geologic wonders, and a vast panorama of human history. Outdoor activities are what Glen Canyon is all about. There is something for everyone’s taste.

The second largest man-made lake in the U.S., Lake Powell is without doubt the most scenic, stretching 186 miles across the red rock desert from Page, Arizona to Hite, Utah.

What makes Lake Powell so memorable is the contrast between the deep clear blue waters and the surrounding landscape—stark red sandstone rocks with little or no vegetation and innumerable steep remote side canyons. Spires, ridges, and buttes that once stood high above the Colorado River now form cliffs at the lakeside or are semi-submerged as small islands.

Lake Powell has become a major center for many leisure activities including fishing, swimming, water sports, houseboating, backcountry hiking, and four-wh

Lake Powell has become a major center for many leisure activities including fishing, swimming, water sports, and houseboating. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lake Powell has become a major center for many leisure activities including fishing, swimming, water sports, and houseboating. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

eel drive trips.

It began filling in 1963 following the completion of a dam across the Colorado River near the south end of Glen Canyon, and was not completely full until 1980. In 1972 Lake Powell and the surrounding countryside was incorporated into Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Access to Lake Powell and Glen Canyon by road is very limited. Activities are concentrated at the western edge, near Page, where various beaches, resorts, marinas, and campsites are found along the shoreline.

At the far northeast end of the lake there are basic services and a few tracks leading to the water at Hite, though decreasing water levels have left this village quite far from the shoreline.

The only other paved approach roads are to the Bullfrog and Halls Crossing marinas two thirds of the way up the lake, which are opposite each other and linked by a car ferry.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is open year-round. The highest visitation is during the summer season.

Carl Hayden Visitor Center offers tours of the dam, exhibits, video shows, a relief map of the entire Glen Canyon area, restrooms, and a bookstore.

Wahweap Marina offers boat launch ramps, swim beaches, boat tours, and houseboat and small boat rentals. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Wahweap Marina offers boat launch ramps, swim beaches, boat tours, and houseboat and small boat rentals. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Bullfrog Visitor Center offers exhibits relating to geology and the human and natural history of Glen Canyon, pioneer artifacts, a life-size model of a slot canyon, bookstore, and restrooms.

Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center, near Lees Ferry, offers a bookstore, outdoor exhibits, and self guided walks across the historic Navajo Bridge.

Lake Powell is abundant with camping opportunities, whether you seek developed campsites with RV pads, putting a tent up on a secluded beach, or anchoring your boat in a quiet cove.

There is a National Park Service campground at Lees Ferry. Concessioner operated RV campgrounds are available in Wahweap, Bullfrog, and Halls Crossing. Primitive camping is available at the following vehicle accessible shore line areas: Lone Rock (Wahweap area), Stanton Creek, Bullfrog North and South (Bullfrog area), Hite, Dirty Devil, and Farley Canyon (Hite area). These sites have no facilities except for pit toilets.

Bullfrog Marina RV Park & Campground offers 20 pull-through sites and 4 back-in sites for RVs up to 50 feet in length. All sites have full hook-ups with 30-amp electric service.

Centrally located adjacent to Wahweap Marina near Page, Wahweap RV Park & Campground offers 139 full hook-up sites with 30/50 amp electric service and free Wi-Fi. With a stunning view of Wahweap Bay, sites accommodate RVs up to 45 feet in length. All campsites have charcoal grills and picnic tables. Only a short distance to boat launch ramps, swim beaches, boat tours, and small boat rentals. Our home base while exploring the National Recreation Area, we would return to this 5-star RV park in a heart-beat.

Wahweap RV Park & Campground offers 139 full hook-up sites with 30/50 amp electric service and free Wi-Fi. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Wahweap RV Park & Campground offers 139 full hook-up sites with 30/50 amp electric service and free Wi-Fi. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

With 1.2 million acres of golden cliffs, lush hanging gardens, impossibly narrow slot canyons, and the brilliant blue of Lake Powell to visit, you may find yourself coming back again and again.

Worth Pondering…

Your road is everything that a road ought to be…

And yet you will not stay in it half a mile, for the reason that little, seductive, mysterious roads are always branching out from it on either hand, and as these curve sharply also and hide what is beyond, you cannot resist the temptation to desert your own chosen road and explore them.

—Mark Twain, American author

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