Glen Canyon National Recreation Area covers more than 1.2 million acres. The area offers a wide range of activities, including boating on Lake Powell, kayaking the Colorado River, hiking or mountain biking along the Orange Cliffs and the Burr Trail, driving scenic back roads, and touring historic sites.
This area holds deep significance for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. At Hole-in-the-Rock, Mormon settlers painstakingly carved a passage down to the river crossing on their way to a new home east of the Colorado River.
Lees Ferry, at the southern end of the park, was the first ferry crossing over the Colorado, used by Mormon settlers headed into Arizona and others seeking to avoid the 800-mile detour around the canyon.
The Navajo Bridge, the highest steel-arch bridge of its time, opened in 1929, further reducing travel time between Arizona and Utah. The original bridge still stands, although a new bridge was built alongside it to accommodate the weight and speed of present-day traffic.
Defiance House is one of the best-preserved Ancestral puebloan homes, and dates to the mid-13th century. Discovered in 1959, it is named for a pictograph of men fighting with clubs and shields.
A tour of Glen Canyon dam provides an education in the use of hydropower to produce electricity. Visitors also learn how Lake Powell was created, including the fact that it took 17 years for the lake to fill to capacity.