One of the most picturesque lakeside destinations that can possibly be imagined is located next to the town of Page, Arizona. The word “imagine” truly is apropriate in this case, because the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is one of the most surreal looking landscapes on the face of this planet. The multi color sandstone landscape surrounding Lake Powell has been carved by wind and water over eons of time. The contrasting colors create a visual effect that simply makes visitors stop to stare in awe!
The Glen Canyon Recreation is a beautiful place to beat the summer heat and the unique terrain makes Lake Powell a boater’s paradise like no other! Cool Colorado River lake water combined with wide open spaces and plenty of fresh air to breathe sure does sound like a dream come true when planning a vacation trip. Even though nearly one million visitors flock to this destination each year, the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area guarantees plenty of room to roam, because the shoreline of Lake Powell actually is longer than the entire coast of California.
Most of Lake Powell is navigable and there are several lakeside marinas. Watercraft rentals are available at the public marinas and in the nearby city of Page, Arizona. Page is the base camp for adventure in this region and this town is large enough to have extensive outdoor outfitter shopping options. Those who haul their own boats to the lake will find well maintained boat launch sites and plenty of marine supply shops nearby. Page also has dry dock boat storage yards, for those who have designated Lake Powell as their second home. Lake Powell certainly is a boaters paradise and the picturesque Glen Canyon setting is absolutely captivating when floating around.
Exploring the amazing Glen Canyon landscape surrounding Lake Powell will provide memories that will last a lifetime. Some of the most unique rock formations, hidden coves and natural bridges in the entire west can be found by following the hiking trails. The famous Rainbow Bridge National Monument is located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and this gigantic red sandstone arch is a spectacular sight to see. The easiest way to get to places like Rainbow Bridge is by boat, so the skippers definitely have the advantage in this vast recreation area.
Most of the scenic sights in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are not accessible by passenger car. In fact, automobile access to points of interest in Glen Canyon are limited to only a few miles near the Glen Canyon Dam and at the two crossings on the other end of the lake. The only way to see the natural landscape in this vast recreation area is by hiking, boating, 4x4 or horseback riding. Recreational vehicle rentals and horse rentals can be found in Page. Navajo guided tours into the majestic Antelope Canyon are also an option. Antelope Canyon is a very popular destination, so booking tours in advance is best to do.
For those who tour by passenger car, the scenic overlooks along U.S. Highway 89 will provide beautiful views of the south end of the Glen Canyon Recreation Area. Along this section of highway a visitor will see Lake Powell, the surreal Glen Canyon landscape, Glen Canyon Dam and the neighboring Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. On the east side of the dam there are two local parks that offer great views and these two sites are perfect for an afternoon picnic.
On Highway 89, the Glen Canyon Dam is the prime attraction and this huge dam is an engineering marvel that draws plenty of visitors each day. The Glen Canyon Dam is over 700 feet tall and it was built in the mid 1900s as part of a major land reclamation project to create a water reservoir in this desolate region. The entire history of this project is on display at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center, which is actually is a museum that is well worth checking out.
Cool clean lake water to splash around in and a beautiful landscape to explore sure does sound like a dream come true when the oppressive heat of summer arrives in the Southwest! There is so much to see and do at Glen Canyon, that spending only one day at this place is not enough, especially when considering the long drive to get there. The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area truly is a vacation destination that deserves planning an extended stay, so camping or house boating are the best options. One view from the highway is all it takes to be captivated by this place, so just plan on sticking around for a while!
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