Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is an unparalleled location for water-based and backcountry recreation. Here, visitors will find scenic vistas, geologic wonders, and a panorama of human history. Additionally, the controversy surrounding the construction of Glen Canyon Dam and the creation of Lake Powell contributed to the birth of the modern-day environmental movement.
The park offers opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, backcountry hiking, and four-wheel drive trips. Glen Canyon is also home to Lake Powell, the second-largest human-made lake in the United States and also considered a premier boating destination.
Lake Powell is a literal watering hole for visitors to have a splashing time. Hiking, boating, swimming, and fishing are popular pastimes with the stunning, red-rock canyons as a backdrop in this Southern Utah hotspot.
Whether on land or water, over two million travelers gather with family and friends each year to experience the second-largest manmade reservoir in the United States. Encompassing over 1.2 million acres, with multiple marinas and a national monument nearby, there’s no lack of sights to see.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Rainbow Bridge National Monument
A Navajo, sandstone beauty, the Rainbow Bridge National Monument is the world’s tallest and longest known natural bridge. It holds significance to the native people in the area and continues to inspire many of the 300,000 visitors each year.
The natural Rainbow Bridge was created from sand dunes up to 5,000 feet deep that hardened to rock, only to be eroded by Bridge Creek later in the last glacial period. The bridge spans 275 feet across Bridge Creek in an almost perfect arch. The top of the arch is 42 feet thick and 33 feet wide.
In 2018, this isolated and remote bridge was designated as an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. This status not only offers protection to the area but also takes into account its pristine night skies where the stars can clearly be seen.
The arch is only accessible via a 2-hour boat ride on Lake Powell followed by a 1-mile hike, or by hiking overland for several days from a trailhead on the south side of the lake.