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Welcome to
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

PO Box 1507
Page, Arizona 86040
Phone:
(928) 608-6200

GPS: 37.49, -112.47


View Larger Map 


Explore the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area!

Encompassing over 1.2 million acres, 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 vast panorama of human history.

Plan Your Visit

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, at the heart of the "Grand Circle," provides unique and refreshing opportunities for travel-weary visitors. Stay for an hour and take a tour of Glen Canyon Dam, or stay for a week to camp on the shores of Lake Powell in a houseboat. 

With 1.2 million acres of golden cliffs, lush hanging gardens, impossibly narrow slot canyons, and the brilliant blue paradox of Lake Powell to visit, you may find yourself coming back again and again. But if this is going to be your first visit to Glen Canyon NRA, these pages can help you to plan your amazing Glen Canyon adventure.

History

Glen Canyon has been home to people for thousands of years.  Archaic and prehistoric Indian cultures roamed and lived in the canyons. 

Later, a vast panorama of explorers, miners, ranchers, historic Indian tribes, and others left their mark here. In more recent times, a few hardy homesteaders, river runners, and uranium miners lived, worked, or played among the canyons until they were filled by the waters of Lake Powell.

Today, Glen Canyon still provides the opportunity for modern day explorers to seek their own adventures, whether it be on the water or in the backcountry. Many of the stories of Glen Canyon are the stories of people.

Nature

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA) preserves and protects 1.2 million acres of the Colorado Plateau, a vast landscape of colorful buttes, mesas, canyons, and cliffs. Arid to semi-arid, the region supports a complex and often fragile ecosystem. 

Plants and wildlife have developed unique adaptations to the hot, arid conditions of their environment and contribute to the rich diversity of life in the area. Typical of the Colorado Plateau, the highly diverse vegetation of Glen Canyon NRA forms different communities that create important habitat for a diverse range of animals including amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and invertebrates.

Wildlife in Glen Canyon NRA is a reflection of the Colorado Plateau, changes in land use, and environmental factors. The creation of Glen Canyon Dam in 1963 radically changed the surrounding environment by creating Lake Powell, which spans 13% of Glen Canyon NRA and is the second largest reservoir in the United States. 

Over 300 species of birds have been documented in the area, a diversity of species that was unknown prior to construction of the dam that can be attributed to the colonization of Lake Powell by aquatic birds and migratory birds. In addition to playing vital roles in the desert ecosystem and animal communities, wildlife also provides outstanding recreational opportunities including sport fishing and bird watching.

Glen Canyon Dam and other dams provide energy and water which support agriculture and growing populations. The creation of Lake Powell also created new recreational opportunities and increased visitation to the area, causing a greater human impact on the often fragile resources of the region.

The human imprint on this environment has increased through time due to the cumulative impacts of grazing, fire suppression, water development, and the introduction of nonnative species. Some nonnative species are successful at spreading and invading an area, disrupting its ecology by out competing native species, disrupting food chains, and changing nutrient cycles.  Currently about 11% of the plants in Glen Canyon NRA are nonnative and can pose threats to sensitive habitats including hanging gardens and other native plant communities.

Native species are an integral part of the Colorado Plateau ecosystem.  Several rare and federally listed plant and animal species are found Glen Canyon NRA: Jones cycladenia, alcove primrose, southwestern willow flycatchers, the northern leopard frog, Colorado pikeminnow, humpback chub, and razorback sucker. 

The continued protection and preservation of these unique resources will contribute to the changing diversity of the ecosystem and biological communities of the Colorado Plateau and Glen Canyon NRA. Scientific study and observation of these resources will add to our understanding of this unique environment.

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