Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area encompasses more than 1,200,000 acres straddling the Arizona - Utah border. The construction of Glen Canyon Dam (between 1956 and 1964) and the subsequent flooding of the canyon and creation of Lake Powell was one of the catalysts leading to the creation of the modern environmental conservation movement. The filling of the lake took 17 years, and in that time many archeological and geological treasures were lost under the water. Recently, drought conditions caused the water level to drop precipitously and some of those treasures reappeared (the Cathedral in the Desert is one of the more famous ones) but the lake level has again risen over the last couple years to inundate most of those places again. In normal years, lake levels vary between 20 and 50 feet. Lake Powell is almost 186 miles long with 1,986 miles of shoreline.

Because of the state line that crosses Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, certain things are a little different. One of these things is Daylight Savings Time. Utah switches to Daylight Savings Time while Arizona does not. The Navajo Reservation in Arizona switches to Daylight Savings Time while the Hopi Reservation inside the Navajo Reservation does not. And the Dangling Rope Marina in Utah runs on Arizona time. So if you need to get to somewhere before they close for the day, you need to know where you are and where they are and what time it is in both places.

Another of these "different" things is personal watercraft (jet skis, in particular). In Arizona a 12-year-old can go for a spin on his own, while in Utah, a lone operator must be at least 18. Fishing rules, regulations and fees are also different.

One thing that stays the same no matter where you are on the lake: if you are camping within one quarter mile of the water you must have a portable toilet system for containing human waste. There are floating restrooms scattered around on the lake but they are hard to find and use after dark. Digging a cathole doesn't work too well when the land you are camping on today is under 20 feet of water next week. The portable toilet system you use can be just a solid plastic bucket but it has to be more than just a plastic bag (and don't use a plastic bag to line the plastic bucket: when you dump it at a waste disposal point that plastic bag will clog that system).

Another thing that stays the same no matter where you are on the lake: to jump or dive off anything that is higher than 15 feet is prohibited. There were far too many serious injuries and fatalities brought on by folks jumping off the cliffs in bad spots...

Most folks who visit Glen Canyon for extended periods of time rent houseboats from either Aramark (present at several of the marinas around the lake) or Antelope Point. There are marina facilities at Wahweap, Antelope Point and Lee's Ferry in Arizona, and at Bullfrog, Hall's Crossing and Hite in Utah.