Glen Canyon Dam to Lee's Ferry, AZ | HikeArizona
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Glen Canyon Dam to Lee's Ferry, AZ

Guide 16 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.3 of 5 
204 16 0
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 15 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,123 feet
 Interest Ruins, Historic, Seasonal Waterfall & Perennial Creek
 Backpack No
 Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
19  2022-03-10 ultrazona
49  2021-09-15 ultrazona
37  2020-10-10 chumley
27  2019-07-04 ddgrunning
1  2018-04-22 ssk44
16  2015-08-18 azbackpackr
15  2015-06-10 azbackpackr
24  2011-07-11 PaleoRob
Page 1,  2
author avatar Guides 172
Routes 229
Photos 6,096
Trips 1,129 map ( 2,527 miles )
Age 41 Male Gender
Location Pocatello, ID
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Apr, Oct, Mar, May → Early
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:49am - 6:26pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Floating on down the Colorado
by PaleoRob

  Likely In-Season!
Glen Canyon is a touchstone for western river runners. It evokes redrock canyons buried beneath the still blue waters of Lake Powell. Not all of Glen Canyon is submerged, however. Fifteen miles of the Colorado River runs through lower Glen Canyon between Glen Canyon Dam and Lee's Ferry. With a kayak, you can explore this remnant!

The canyon can be blazingly hot in the summer, and the water is hypothermia-inducing year-round. There is very little shade anywhere along the river banks and no place to easily get out of the canyon. Fishing boats and float trip tours can roar up and down the river creating wakes with little regard to a small kayak.

In 1963 the diversion tunnel gates at Glen Canyon Dam were closed, forever sealing the fate of Glen Canyon upstream of the new dam. Most river runners wrote all of Glen Canyon off as a loss and moved on to the Grand Canyon, the Green, or other rivers here in the West. Though, not all of Glen Canyon was submerged. Until 1980, when Lake Powell filled for the first time, much of the extreme upper reservoir was riverine. And, sitting just below the dam, stretched 15 miles of un-dammed Glen Canyon. This area can still be explored by those willing to get their kayak hauled up the river near Glen Canyon Dam.

To kayak this stretch of river, you need to have your kayak "backhauled" up towards the dam by the float trip concessionaire - Colorado River Discovery. They have information at their website, or they can be reached at 887-522-6644. Prices depend on the number of people and the number of boats. Once you have been backhauled to the furthest upstream gravel bar, you will need to rig your kayak and shove off into the current. This is generally a one day trip with good flows, but it can be stretched out if you want to hike or fish.

Water Sources
You are on an unsilty river, but it is recommended that you bring all you need.

Several developed campsites can be found along the river banks. These are the only legal campsites in Glen Canyon.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your kayak trip to support this local community.

2011-06-05 PaleoRob
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

     Permit $$

    Glen Canyon NRA National Park
    Glen Canyon Entrance Fee - 1-7 Day Vehicle Pass - $30

    Boat fees are additional, follow provided NPS link above.

    Paved - Car Okay

    To kayak trip
    From Flagstaff
    Travel north on US89. Upon reaching the junction of US89/US89A at Bitter Springs, turn left onto US89A. Follow US89A north, and turn right after crossing Navajo Bridge, at the sign pointing towards Lee's Ferry. A few miles down is a self-serve fee station for entrance. Follow this road down to the boat ramp (there are signs at junctions). Park in the gravel parking lot just past the boat ramp, and meet your backhaul down at the loading dock on the river. There is a campground at Lee's Ferry and lodging nearby at Marble Canyon, Vermillion Cliffs, and Cliff Dwellers.
    page created by PaleoRob on Jun 05 2011 7:46 am

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