Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Walking & Hiking

Backcountry walking and hiking opportunities in Glen Canyon NRA are well-kept secrets. There are few marked trails through Glen Canyon's spectacular and undeveloped areas, some of which have limited accessibility. For information on specific areas to walk or hike, and current conditions and safety tips, contact the NPS at (928) 608-6404.

Several publications describe the area's canyons and hiking opportunities. These are available for sale at NPS visitor centers and at retail stores in the park.

Page/Wahweap Area

The Horseshoe Bend Trail leads to a spectacular vista a thousand feet directly above the Colorado River. The trail is located just five miles south of the Carl Hayden Visitor Center off of Highway 89. The hike is 1.5 miles roundtrip. The Hanging Gardens Trail also is an easy 10 mile hike to a luxuriant desert oasis. Stop in at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center for a free trail guide and directions to the trailhead.

Escalante Canyons 

At the mid-lake region, the lower Escalante River canyons on the lake's north side are noted for their easy, streambed hikes as well as some tricky scrambling over slick rock formations. Access to this area is by boat or from trailheads along Hole-in-the-Rock Road, southeast of the town of Escalante.

Lees Ferry 

Several hikes ranging from one to 34 miles originate in the Lees Ferry vicinity. The River Trail starts just upriver from the historic fort. A self- guiding booklet, available at the fort, helps interpret features seen along this easy path. Walk past the main ferry site to Charles Spencer's steamboat, which still exists from the gold boom years. 

Cathedral Canyon Trail, a moderate 1.25-mile hike through narrow canyons and interesting rock formations, leads you to Cathedral Rapids on the Colorado River. To reach Cathedral Canyon, park at the second turnout on the right as you enter the road to Lees Ferry.

For the hardiest of hikers, the 34-mile trail through Paria Canyon Primitive Area leads from Lonely Dell Ranch at Lees Ferry through can-yon twists to the Paria River at U.S. Highway 89 between Page, Arizona, and Kanab, Utah. This hike requires a permit from the Bureau of Land Manage-ment office in Kanab.