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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Glen Canyon Dam Overlook, AZ

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Guide 31 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northeast > Hotevilla
3.1 of 5 by 7
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0.21 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,201 feet
Elevation Gain -82 feet
Accumulated Gain 72 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 15 min
Kokopelli Seeds 0.57
Interest Seasonal Waterfall
Backpack No
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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5  2015-03-06 cw50must
5  2014-06-02 Stoic
56  2013-05-10
Northern Arizona Trek - May 2013
3  2011-04-17 BubbaSue
14  2010-07-10 PaleoRob
3  2010-06-12 amcole6
2  2009-03-18 keepmoving
19  2008-04-23
Horseshoe Bend Overlook Trail
Page 1,  2
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 137
Routes 111
Photos 5,253
Trips 942 map ( 2,097 miles )
Age 38 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Sep, Oct → Any
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:13am - 6:25pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Geology Nearby
Culture Nearby
Quick view of Glen Canyon Dam
by PaleoRob

Likely In-Season!
The Glen Canyon Dam Overlook (sometimes called "The White House" by locals) isn't much of a hike. It's a simple down-and-back to a viewpoint on the rim of Glen Canyon. It certainly isn't a destination hike, and generally doesn't take more than 10 minutes to hike down, look at the river, and hike back.

The view however, is spectacular. At the base of the well-marked trail is a viewing area. Directly upstream from the viewing area lays Glen Canyon Dam, one of the largest dams in the United States, and the reason for Lake Powell's existence. From this vantage point the size of Glen Canyon Dam becomes very obvious. It's a huge concrete wedge spanning the entire width of Glen Canyon, dwarfing its power plant at its base. Depending on the time of your visit, you may see rafts being loaded up on the right hand side of the dam. These are one day float trips that run the remaining 18 miles of Glen Canyon from the dam down to Lee's Ferry, and provide a great way for the day visitor to experience Glen Canyon. Floaters are bussed down to the base of the dam via a 2 mile long tunnel cut through the cliff directly beneath the overlook. Built back in the late 1950s, the tunnel was built to facilitate the movement of heavy equipment from Page to the base of the dam. The tunnel starts near the Maverik gas station, and is guarded to prevent unauthorized access. It is a harrowing ride through the dark, narrow, wet tunnel.

Looking left from the viewpoint, the Colorado River makes a sweeping right hand turn before bending left and disappearing around the corner past The Ropes. Often times fly fishermen can be seen in the shallows, attempting to catch some of the Blue Ribbon Rainbow Trout that are found in the Colorado's clear, cold water. Before Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1963, the Colorado River ran brown and warm most of the year, though occasionally rafts of ice would float down during the winter and spring melt. With most of the sediment from upriver now trapped in Lake Powell, the water became shockingly clear. The water from Lake Powell is run through turbines in the dam and released at its base, and is drawn from a Lake Level where the sunlight never reaches. The water in the river is now just around 40 degrees year-round, making the river perfect for non-native Rainbow Trout and the algae that they eat. Incidentally, its that very algae that makes the river appear green. Across the canyon from the overlook, you may be able to get a glimpse of a thin arch high on the canyon wall, near the right-hand bend. During a rain storm, a handful of muddy waterfalls make a dramatic plunge off the canyon's rim down to the bottom, spraying everything at the base of the cliffs with muddy water. A very impressive sight.

After taking in the excellent panoramic view, turn around and make the quick hike back to your car.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2007-08-04 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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Glen Canyon Dam Overlook
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    I'm not sure where the numbers came for the default Distance and AEG on this hike. Yes it is short and easy, but a 2' AEG? Actually I really liked this short hike. Some of the area is very close to a mini-Wave. The terrain is made up of so many thin layers that have been sculpted into all sorts of shapes. Wandering around the hill between the parking lot and the cliff edge is fascinating.

    Oh yes, there is also a view of the dam.
    Glen Canyon Dam Overlook
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    Northern Arizona Trek - May 2013
    Sarah’s Grad and Northern Arizona Trek - May 2013

    4 days
    3 nights
    791 miles by truck
    110 miles by boat
    324 digital images
    1 Master’s Degree celebration
    1 Slot Canyon
    1 Natural Bridge
    1 Vintage Mary Colter designed hotel
    1 Mother’s Day

    With my daughter Sarah’s graduation from ASU with a Master’s in Clinical Speech Pathology, my parents made the trek down from Canada to celebrate the achievement. Considering that Mother’s Day would be over the weekend, a road trip was in order :next:

    Friday May 10th
    11am to 3pm Sarah’s grad @ ASU
    3pm drive from Ahwatukee to Flagstaff – 161 miles, 2hrs 26min per Google Maps
    Fairfield Inn Flagstaff, 2005 South Milton Road, Flagstaff, AZ – Confirmation #85054171 & 85054171
    5pm – 9:30pm Lowell Observatory 2nd Friday Science Night, 1400 West Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, Arizona
    ASU Clinical Speech Pathology :next:
    Marriott Fairfield Inn, Flagstaff AZ :next:
    Lowell Observatory :next:
    Beaver Street Brewery :next:

    After Sarah’s graduation ceremony held at Wells Fargo Arena on the ASU main campus, friends and family gathered at our Ahwatukee home for some good eats and an opportunity to personally congratulate Sarah. As the day wound down, it was time to head out on a road trip to Northern Arizona to take in some sights my parents only thought they could view through other people’s photographs. First destination – Flagstaff AZ to catch the “2nd Friday Evening Event” at Lowell Observatory on Mars Hill. The evening event was just about to wrap-up when we arrived 9-ish, but we still were able to walk the grounds and see the various telescope installations. Checked into the Marriott Fairfield Inn – rooms were scarce since NAU grad ceremonies were also on this weekend! Had time for a late evening stroll to Beaver Street Brewery – a Flagstaff visit requirement…

    Saturday May 11th
    8am drive from Flagstaff to Page AZ – 192 miles, 3hrs 15min per Google Maps (note Hwy89 closed at Echo Cliffs)
    Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas, 100 Lakeshore Drive, Page, AZ 86040 - Confirmation # 80002356H
    Upper and/or Lower Antelope Slot Canyon guided or self-guided hike
    Mars Hill :next:
    Hwy 89A Kachina homage :next:
    Tuba City Dinosaur Tracks :next:
    Upper Antelope Canyon :next:
    Glen Canyon Dam Overlook :next:
    Horseshoe Bend Overlook :next:
    Wahweap Marina Walk – Glen Canyon NRA :next:
    Lake Powell Resort & Marina :next: ... tions.aspx
    Big John’s Texas BBQ, Page AZ :next: ... beque.html

    After our complimentary breakfast at the Flagstaff Marriott Fairfield Inn, we checked out and returned to Lowell Observatory to trek around the grounds in daylight – quite the contrast from the previous evening’s “stumble in the dark”… We met “Big John” performing some of the morning chores around Lowell and he invited us into the Pluto Observatory for a private tour prior to the official visitor opening at 9am. “Big John” was a fount of information giving us the history of the site, including all the construction obstacles and the competitive nature of the academics in the race to discover planets in their predicted mathematical location. Once we’d had our fill of astronomy, we hit the road towards Page AZ. After an obligatory stop at my favorite Kachina site (kicking myself that I failed to take a geocoded photo with my iPhone), we bounced our way up Highway 89 towards the detour around the sinkhole (check out :next: and ... lapse.html ), via Hwy 160 through Tuba City to Hwy 98 near Cow Springs to approach Page AZ from the SE. This detour easily adds another hour onto your drive from Flagstaff to Page. We elected to do the Upper Antelope Slot Canyon tour rather than the Lower Slot Canyon, only because of the flat terrain. I recalled multiple ladders and rock butt slides when exploring the Lower Antelope Slot Canyon. Our Navajo Guide, Frankie, was full of facts about the canyon formation and pointed out the mostly unnoticed features within the slot canyon. Unexpectedly, Frankie is quite the digital photo buff and helped set up shots for most of the visitors. He knew my Canon cameras beyond any of my abilities. After Antelope Canyon we drifted into town to find a late lunch/early dinner joint – Big John’s Texas BBQ fit the bill. We checked into our rooms at the Lake Powell Resort and Marina (NPS Annual Pass came in handy once again to gain entrance into the Wahweap section of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area), freshened up prior to some sunset exploration around Glen Canyon Dam and Horseshoe Bend Overlook.

    Sunday May 12th
    7:30am to 1pm boat tour to Rainbow Bridge – confirmation # 80002356O
    2pm drive from Page AZ to Winslow AZ via Hopi Lands – 241 miles, 4hrs 22min per Google Maps
    La Posada Hotel, 303 E 2nd St, Winslow, AZ 86047 - Confirmation#72185 for Rm115, #72184 for Rm125
    7:30pm Mother’s Day dinner reservation at Turquoise Room in La Posada per Jonny
    Lake Powell boat tour to Rainbow Bridge :next: ... idge-.aspx
    Rainbow Bridge via Lake Powell :next:
    Walpi Hopi Village :next: and
    La Posada Walking Tour :next:
    Turquois Room :next: Mother’s Day, 3 people, $235 including tip…

    Mother’s Day – Up at dawn to catch an early breakfast and check out of our hotel rooms prior to boarding our Rainbow Bridge tour boat at 7am :next: . Besides our Captain’s Derek and Theresa, I think I may have been the only other Arizona resident on that boat that day. Had a chance to chat with visitors from France, Germany, and England – many who had seen the bridge on previous vacations. Interesting that there was instant recognition by our fellow boaters – we all were on the Upper Antelope Canyon trek the day before and were all staying Saturday evening at the Lake Powell Resort! I failed to note the time extension for the tour :next: “The Castle Rock Cut is currently closed due to low lake levels. This tour will last approximately 7 - 7.5 hours total.” Hopefully this won’t impact our 7:30pm dinner reservation at the Turquoise Room in Winslow AZ… The lower lake levels also tacked on an additional half mile for the hike to Rainbow Bridge (hope I didn’t burn out my parents’ wheels tackling Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend the day before). Mission accomplished :next: . Upon returning to Wahweap Marina, we grabbed some cold refreshments and jumped in my F-150 for the backcountry tour through Navajo and Hopi Lands. Didn’t have enough time to stop at Coal Mine Canyon ( ), but we did have just enough for a drive-by of Old Oraibi and Walpi on the Hopi mesas. We arrived at La Posada in Winslow before 6:30pm – plenty of time to freshen up prior to another gastronomic gem served up by Chef John in the Turquoise Room :next: and ... _McClendon’s_farm_prepare_for_Mother's_Day_Special_Event/ . After dinner we had a chance to explore the eclectic La Posada then sit out back to do some trainspotting…

    Monday May 13th
    8am drive from Winslow AZ to Ahwatukee via Mogollon RIm – 183 miles, 3hrs 16min per Google Maps
    La Posada Walking Tour :next:

    Mother’s Day – The Day After… Gathered at 8am in the Turquoise Room for morning breakfast (don’t know where I found the space for breakfast after that huge Sunday meal) and a daylight stroll around the hotel grounds before taking the Hwy 87/Mogollon Rim route home through Payson.

    More photos to follow... ;)
    Glen Canyon Dam Overlook
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    What the heck are these crazy birds doing up here anyway! Spent all day chasing condors around Page. Best moment was when 5 condors popped up over the rim at HSB right in front of me...then flew off for town. Doh! Made the trip a total of 4 times, decided it was easier to compile all of them into one log.
    Glen Canyon Dam Overlook
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    Geeze, seems like every time they do an experimental release from the dam, I've got some time constraint and have got to jog up and down to see it within my time frame. Pretty neat. A lot better light and weather now than in 2004. What a noise that water coming out of the penstocks makes, even on the canyon rim. Pretty exciting stuff.
    Glen Canyon Dam Overlook
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    Part of a 3-day weekend adventure to the Paria River Slot Canyons with my daughter Hannah and Mike Mattes.

    Started our "Gentleman's Hike" from the Glen Canyon Lodge Motel in Page AZ with a hearty breakfast at the local Denny's. Needed to "kill" an hour before entering the 9:00 am lottery draw for passes to the Wave at Coyote Buttes.

    The Glen Canyon Dam Overlook provided a nice diversion to pass the time...

    Permit $$

    Glen Canyon Recreation Area National Park
    Glen Canyon Entrance Fee - 1-7 Day Vehicle Pass - $25

    Boat fees additional, follow provided NPS link above.

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Flagstaff, drive north on US89 to Page. Pass the Wal-Mart and the 1st right hand turn for Lake Powell Blvd. Pass the NPS headquarters, and turn left at the Denny's onto Scenic View Drive. If you pass the second exit for Denny's or reach the dam, you've gone too far. Make a right at the sign for the senic view, and park in the parking lot.
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