Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the more commonly asked questions by visitors to the park. These questions are divided into three areas: General, Downlake (Wahweap, Glen Canyon Dam, lower half of Lake Powell) and Uplake (Bullfrog, Halls Crossing, Hite, upper half of Lake Powell). If you have specific questions about your visit to Glen Canyon NRA, you may call 928-608-6200 or email them to: e-mail us.


Q: How big is Glen Canyon National Recreation Area?
A: The Recreation Area takes up 1.25 million acres (505,868 hectares) across the states of Arizona and Utah.

Q: How big is Lake Powell?
A: Lake Powell is only 13% of the National Recreation Area, but one of the largest man-made lakes in North America. At full pool (3700' elevation) it is 186 miles (299 km) long, has 1960 miles (3161 km) of shoreline, over 96 major side canyons, and a capacity of 27 million acre-feet (32 million cubic meters). Its maximum depth (at Glen Canyon Dam) is 561 feet (171 m).

Q: What time is it?
A: This gets a little complicated, so hang on.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area follows Arizona time, which is Mountain Standard Time year-round.
* The state of Arizona does not switch to Daylight Savings Time in summer.
* Within the state of Arizona, the Navajo Reservation does switch to Daylight Savings Time.
* Within the Navajo Reservation lies the Hopi Reservation. The Hopis do not switch to Daylight Savings Time.
* The state of Utah does switch to Daylight Savings Time.
* Exception: Dangling Rope Marina, which is in Utah, does not switch to Daylight Savings Time. They run on Arizona time.
Simple, huh?

Q: How can I get to Rainbow Bridge?
A: Rainbow Bridge is only accessible by boat or by a fourteen mile (one way) hike. Tour boat trips are available. If you choose to hike, you must have a permit from the Navajo Nation.

Q: Where are the hiking trails along the lake?
A: There are no designated hiking trails along the lake itself. However, you may walk the shoreline on most areas of the lake. There are few shoreline areas that are accessible by vehicle. However, there are some that require only an easy to moderate walk from your vehicle. Keep in mind that many shorelines have uneven terrain and steep banks. Always use caution when walking along the shore. For other day hikes, visit the hiking page.

Q: Are there any jet ski restrictions?
A: Personal watercraft use is allowed in nearly all areas of the lake. At current lake levels, there are no restricted areas for personal watercraft. Keep in mind that Arizona and Utah have specific regulations regarding the age of operators of personal watercraft.

Q: Are two-stroke motors allowed?
A: Two-stroke boat motors are allowed on the lake. However, there are restrictions on two-stroke personal watercraft motors.

Q: Where can I fish from the shore without a boat?
A: Fishing is allowed from nearly anywhere along the shoreline. While there are few roads that go to Lake Powell shores, there are several where it is an easy to moderate walk to the shore. Fishing is NOT allowed from the marinas, except on designated fishing docks.

Q: How much does it cost to get a fishing license? Which do I need, Arizona or Utah?
A: A fishing license is required from the state in which you wish to fish. Complete information on fishing can be found on the fishing page.

Q: How do we get our non-motorized vessels, like kayaks and canoes, to remote areas like the Escalante Arm?
A: Park concessioners Aramark and Antelope Point may offer shuttle services to kayakers and others. Contact them directly for prices and availability.

Q: Why do we need a portable toilet when we can just use one of the floating restrooms? Can we dig a cathole instead?
A: Glen Canyon NRA requires that every party camping within one-quarter mile of the lakeshore have a portable toilet system for containing solid human waste. This has been a requirement at Glen Canyon NRA for many years. The park has found that most visitors find traveling to and from the floating restrooms, especially after dark, inconvenient. The lake level at Lake Powell fluctuates 20-50 feet a year. A beach that was out of the water and good for camping may be under water later. Any waste that was buried will be released by wave action and mingle with the water, making it potentially unsafe. Lake Powell is one of the cleanest reservoirs in the United States. We need everyone's efforts to help us keep it that way.

Q: Can we use something else such as a paint bucket or other home-made device?
A: Yes, some visitors make their own portable toilets using buckets, PVC pipe, or plastic ware. The only requirement is that it NOT utilize a plastic bag. When the device is dumped at a portable toilet dump system, the plastic bag can clog the system. The only exception is if visitors are using one of the new polymer-based waste bag containment systems. These are marketed under a variety of names, including ReStop and WagBag. The chemical used in these systems actually neutralizes the human waste into a harmless polymer. The plastic bag can then be properly disposed of at any dumpster.

Q: Why can't I go cliff diving?
A: The regulation against cliff diving is made under the authority of the park superintendent as part of the Superintendent's Compendium. After reviewing the number of serious injuries and fatalities related to cliff diving, it was the park's decision that this activity was too impactful to the safety of visitors and was incompatible with other recreational values of the park. It is prohibited to jump or dive off anything higher than fifteen feet.

Q: Are there lifeguards at Glen Canyon?
A: No. Swimming is at your own risk. If you are a non-swimmer or a weak swimmer, you should wear an approved life jacket any time you are near water. Children should always wear life jackets when near water, even on the shore. Even strong swimmers should wear life jackets when they're boating alone or during rough water. Never swim alone, during rough water, or during a lightning storm.

Q:What is the white line along the shoreline?
A: It's sometimes referred to as the 'bathtub ring' and is caused by the calcium carbonate and other hard minerals in the water that attach themselves to the sandstone leaving behind a white mark. The top of the white mark is the high water mark.

Q: How long did it take for Lake Powell to fill?
A: 17 years - Lake Powell started filling in 1963 and reached full pool for the first time in 1980.

Q: What must I do if my boat has been in waters other than Lake Powell in the last 30 days and I am not sure if there are zebra or quagga mussels on it?
A: You will be questioned at the entrance station or at the top of the launch ramp. The park will have your boat checked to see if it might be contaminated with zebra or quagga mussels. It may be determined that your vessel needs a professional hot water wash. Get more information on our Mussel Update page.



Wahweap, Carl Hayden Visitor Center, Page, Glen Canyon Dam

Q: How tall is the dam?
A: 710 feet from bedrock to the crest.

Q: When was the dam built?
A: Construction started in 1956 and was completed in 1963. The powerplant was completed in 1966.

Q: Are they going to decommission the dam?
A: There are no plans at this time to decommission the dam.

Q: Why is the water colder in the river below the dam than in the lake behind the dam?
A: The water that goes into the powerplant, and subsequently into the river, comes from near the bottom of the lake. That water does not circulate to the surface and remains a constant 46-48 degrees.

Q:How has the dam affected the native fish?
A: Before Glen Canyon Dam, the Colorado River ranged in temperature from 48-68 degrees. It also flooded in the spring moving vast amounts of sand and silt downstream that built up the beaches and shoreline as well as provided habitat for the native plants, animals and fish. Now, the water coming from the dam runs cold and clear and the native fish cannot live in the main river channel. Of the 4 native endangered fish species (Humpback Chub, Razorback Sucker, Colorado Pikeminnow, Bonytail Chub), only the Humpback Chub lives in the river corridor between Glen Canyon Dam and Hoover Dam.

Q: Is anything being done to help the endangered fish?
A: Yes. The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) has implemented their Adaptive Management program in which they create a floodlike situation in the river below the dam in order to move sand and silt downstream. This helps build up the beaches and shoreline, removes non-native fish eggs, and provides habitat for the native fish to spawn. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), along with BOR, the National Park Service, and other agencies is working to help these native fish recover.

Q: Who was Carl Hayden?
A: Carl Hayden was an Arizona senator and a supporter of water development in Arizona including the building of Glen Canyon Dam.

Q: Is Antelope Slot Canyon part of the national park? Do they accept the National Park Pass?
A: Antelope Slot Canyon is operated by the Navajo Tribal Parks and Recreation Department and is on land owned by the Navajo Nation. Because it is not part of the National Park System, they do not accept the National Park Pass for admittance. Please note: Antelope Point Marina does accept the National Park Pass for admittance.



Bullfrog, Halls Crossing, Hite

Q: How long is it (time and distance wise) from Bullfrog to Boulder via the Burr Trail ?
A: Passing through Glen Canyon NRA, Capitol Reef NP, and Grand Staircase Escalante NM, the Burr trail is one of America's premier scenic back country drives. Driving time from Bullfrog Visitor Center to Boulder is about 2 ½ hours, while continuing on to the Escalante Visitor Center will make the total trip about 3 hours. The trip can take longer depending on how many stops are made along the way. Part of the trail is paved, the unpaved part is accessible via a typical passenger car most times of the year. Check with the Bullfrog Visitor Center for current road conditions. One way mileage is approximately 67 miles.

Q: How long does it take to drive from Escalante via highway 12 to the Hole in the Rock via the 4-wheel drive trail ?
A: The trail is approximately 55 miles one way and is a high clearance 4 wheel drive vehicle trail. The last 6 miles of the trail are not well marked and crawls over slide rock. The trail is very slow going, most visitors who make the journey, will camp over night. The majority of visitors to Glen Canyon will visit Hole in the Rock via boat.

Q: How long does it take to travel from the Bullfrog/Halls Marinas to Rainbow Bridge via boat?
A: The average time is 3 to 4 hours for a standard speed boat. The trip is approximately 50 miles down lake from Bullfrog. Individual boat speeds will vary. The engine size and tonnage of individual boats will determine the trip length. House boats will take considerably longer.

Q: Is there a place to swim at Bullfrog?
A: There are not any official swim beaches at Bullfrog. However, Hobie Cat beach is a popular swimming area. Visitors will also swim near their camps at the Stanton Creek Primitive Campground. All swimming is at your own risk, there are no life guards on duty.

Q: How long does it take to travel from Bullfrog Marina to the Defiance House archeological site via boat?
A: Individual boat speeds will vary. It typically takes about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Depending on lake levels there is usually a short walk to the site. Stop in the Bullfrog Visitor Center for current hiking conditions.

Q: How long does it take to travel from Moab UT to Bullfrog Marina at Glen Canyon?
A: The average drive time is about 3 hours via interstate 70 to highway 24 through Hanksville and down to Bullfrog. One way mileage is approximately 170 miles.

Q: How long does it take to travel from Bullfrog Marina at Glen Canyon to Capitol Reef National Park?
A:The average driving time via highway 276 to highway 95 is about 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours. One way mileage is approximately 117 miles.

Q: How long does it take to get from Salt Lake City to the Bullfrog district of Glen Canyon?
A: Driving time is about 4 ½ to 5 hours from the city center. One way mileage is approximately 300 miles

Q:Can I rent a boat at Bullfrog?
A: Yes Houseboats and speed boats are available for rent at the Aramark boat rentals office. You may contact or call 800-528-6154.

Q: Are there any hikes near the Bullfrog district?
A: There are several short walks within the Bullfrog Uplake district, including the Pedestal Alley trail, the Campground Nature trail, and several unofficial slot canyon trails that the Bullfrog Visitor Center rangers can suggest depending on the weather. Trails outside the Bullfrog Uplake district are considerable, and include hikes on BLM land in the Henry Mountains and those off of the Burr trail in Capitol Reef National Park.

Q: Where does the name Bullfrog come from?
A: There are no bullfrogs in Bullfrog. Most historians believe the area was named after the Bullfrog Rapids that occurred on the Colorado River at the confluence of Bullfrog Creek. Also, legend has it that the area is named after a rock formation on Mt. Ellsworth in the Henry mountains. The rock formation is visible from Highway 276 going towards Bullfrog. See if you can notice it.

Q: I have seen articles on Cathedral in the Desert. Where is it? Can we hike to it?
A: Cathedral in the Desert is a geologic feature in Glen Canyon that was covered by Lake Powell. It gained notoriety recently when low lake levels once again exposed this area. It is located at the end of Clear Creek Canyon in the Escalante arm. It is a large overhanging alcove with a pour-off waterfall. At current lake levels most of the Cathedral has again been inundated. It is possible to hike to the Cathedral but it is a long and strenuous hike that may involve some technical canyoneering. Most visitors boat to it.

Last updated: April 11, 2018

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 1507
Page, AZ 86040


928 608-6200
Receptionist available at Glen Canyon Headquarters from 7 am to 4 pm MST, Monday through Friday. The phone is not monitored when the building is closed. If you are having an emergency, call 911 or hail National Park Service on Marine Band 16.

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