Day Hikes

There is little to no shade, questionable cell phone reception, and no water available on these trails. Be sure to bring enough water; wear sturdy shoes, sunscreen and a hat; and tell someone where you are going. Pets on leashes are permitted. Do not enter any trails through washes or canyons if there is a potential for flash floods!

 

Page/Wahweap Area

Dam Overlook
940 feet (286 m) round-trip
Easy
Trailhead: From Highway 89, turn west on Scenic View Road about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of the Carl Hayden Visitor Center. Take the first road to the right and park in the parking area at the end of the road.
Description: Walk downstairs and over sandstone

Hanging Garden
1 mile (1.6 km) round-trip
Easy to Moderate
Trailhead: The turn-off is 1/4 mile (0.4 km) east of Glen Canyon Bridge (the opposite side of the bridge from Carl Hayden Visitor Center) on Highway 89. Trailhead parking is 500 yards (455 m) off of Highway 89.
Description: This hike leads you to a luxuriant Hanging Garden on the mesa high above Lake Powell. Securely hidden by Jurassic Navajo sandstone, this seep spring quickly takes hostage every drop of rainwater it can absorb. Slowly it liberates this water over time to create a surprisingly lush plant and animal habitat that delights and surprises those who discover it. The desert is astonishingly subtle and delicate. If you walk quietly, you will see and hear more. It can refresh observations and awaken inactive senses with each step you take.

The Chains
Distance varies
Easy to Moderate
Trailhead: Just east of Glen Canyon Dam, take a gravel road heading north off of Highway 89. Pass the Hanging Gardens Trailhead to parking lot below.
Description: Lake shore access is possible depending on the current lake elevation. Please note: The lake is very deep at this location, and good swimming skills are required. Take a walk-a-bout north of the parking lot for a self-guided adventure through slickrock sand formations.

Horseshoe Bend
1.5 miles (2.4 km) round-trip
Easy
Trailhead: Approximately 5 miles south of the Carl Hayden Visitor Center on Highway 89, just south of highway marker 545, turn west on the dirt road that ascends a small hill. Drive a short distance west on the dirt road and park at the base of the hill.
Description: Climb up and down the sandy hill

Antelope Point
Distance varies
Easy to Moderate
Trailhead: Just a short distance from Page on State Route 98, turn north onto Route 222.
Description: Though lacking in developed trails, Antelope Point offers rich opportunity for exploration. Take a walk-a-bout through slickrock formations west of the parking area near the launch ramp. You may discover a perfect spot to enjoy the lake and take a swim.


 

Hwy 89 North

Bucktank Draw and Birthday Arch
Distance varies
Hike time: About 3 hours
Easy to Moderate
Trailhead: Located off Highway 89 at mile marker 9 3/4, about 17 miles northwest of Carl Hayden Visitor Center, this pleasantly simple, easy to moderate hike in a sandy and partial bedrock sandstone draw leads you south to a box canyon, a large arch and a small slot canyon. Park your car on the south side of Highway 89, just at the west end of the metal railing, and head down the sandy slope through the gate into the draw.
Description: The arch is located about 1.5 miles from the road, snuggled in along the western cliffs. When you spot the arch, you will need to traverse 1/2 to 3/4 mile west over sandy uphill slopes. To get directly under the arch requires caution as you scramble up and over loose rocky ledges. Getting to the top requires some work and backtracking to find your way up. The slot canyon is on the opposite side of the box canyon and is fairly easy to spot from the arch. It is worth the cross-country trek to see this very narrow, short slot canyon.
Driving time from Carl Hayden Visitor Center: 20 minutes.

Wiregrass Canyon
6 miles (9.7 km) round-trip
Moderate
Trailhead: From Page, drive north on Highway 89 about 12 miles (19 km) to Big Water, Utah. Between mile posts 7 and 8, turn right, in the opposite direction of the Big Water Visitor Center. Turn right again in 0.3 mile (0.5 km), at a sign reading, “Glen Canyon Nation Recreation Area – State Highway 12.” Drive 4.6 miles (7.5 km) to the Wiregrass Canyon Back Country Use Area and park in the pullout.
Description: This sandy wash takes you through a small canyon and requires some scrambling and detours. Look for cairns (small stacks of rocks that act as trail markers) to lead you out.

Cottonwood Road
Many established trails of varying distances
Easy to Moderate to Difficult
Trailhead(s): 27 miles north of the Carl Hayden Visitor Center, near milepost 18 on Highway 89, the Cottonwood Road winds 46 miles north through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to Cannonville, Utah, where it connects with Highway 12. Traveling north, the road crosses through diverse scenery: badlands that look like a moonscape, the Paria River with its cottonwood trees, up and over the Cockscomb, and the stone monuments of Grosvenor Arch and Kodachrome Basin State Park. Hiking opportunities are numerous and include Hackberry Canyon, Yellow Mountain, Cottonwood Canyon Narrows, the Cockscomb, and Grosvenor Arch. Hike for an hour or take a longer journey — the choice is yours. Books have been published about hiking along the Cottonwood Road. It may help to read ahead if you want to do some serious hiking. The Cottonwood Road is not passable when wet. Check road conditions before traveling.

Paria Rimrocks - Toadstool Trail
1.5 miles round-trip
Moderate
Trailhead: Drive north on Highway 89 from Glen Canyon Dam. Turn into the dirt parking area on the right just past Mile Marker 19. Slip through the hikers gate, sign the register, and head up the wash. Maps are available at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in Big Water.
Description: Dirt trail with minor scrambling required over trail obstacles. When you think you are at the end, guess again. Scramble up the trail obstacle and find your way to the hoodoo garden.

Pareah Townsite
Hike time: 30-60 minutes
Easy
Paria Movie Set, Pahreah Cemetery, and Pahreah Town Site are located 5 miles off of Highway 89 near Mile Marker 30.5, about 39 miles from the Carl Hayden Visitor Center. A 5-mile dirt road leads to the structures and artifacts that tell the story of many former inhabitants who settled or visited the area — and of a once-ideal Hollywood movie set for some of our most memorable Western films. Both Paria and Pahreah are pronounced the same: They rhyme with Maria. The Paria River runs slow and muddy most of the time, but occasionally it will exceed its banks. Use caution, but feel free to go ahead, as this river will beckon you to cross it and walk upstream or in stream to get a stronger sense of the area’s rich history.
Driving time: 45 minutes.


 

Lees Ferry Area

Cathedral Wash
3 miles (4.8 km) round-trip
Moderate
Trailhead: After you turn off Highway 89A onto the Lees Ferry access road, drive 1.3 miles. The trailhead is at the pull out on your left. You can access both upper and lower Cathedral Wash from this parking area.
Description: As you descend into the rocky wash, you will travel through the Kaibab Limestone and Toroweap Formations of the Grand Canyon Group. Many interesting formations and fossils may be seen, along with plants and desert critters. As you reach the bottom of the wash, you will be awe struck by the beauty of the Colorado River. Some rock scrambling required.

Lonely Dell
1 mile (1.6 km) round-trip
Easy
Trailhead: Park by bridge over Paria River. Walk up gravel road closed to vehicles. Take a walk through the gate to the orchard, ranch, and cemetery beyond.

Paria Canyon
The entire canyon is 45 miles (72.4 km) one way. Take a day-trip into and out of the canyon as you see fit. Overnight hikes along the Paria River require a permit from the Bureau of Land Management.
Difficult
Trailhead: Trail ends at Lonely Dell Ranch
Description: Sandy wash and multiple river crossings

River Trail
2 miles (3.2 km) round-trip
Easy
Trailhead: Lees Ferry at launch ramp parking area
Description: Mix of gravel to rocky to sandy terrain that passes historic structure and hugs Colorado River

Spencer Trail
4.4 miles (7 km) round-trip
Difficult
Trailhead: Lees Ferry at launch ramp parking area. Divert from River Trail at posted junction.
Description: a 1,700-foot (518.2 m) rocky climb up switchbacks.


 

Bullfrog

Pedestal Alley
3 miles (4.8 km) round-trip
Easy to moderate
Trailhead: From the Bullfrog Visitor Center, take Highway 276 north about 4.4 miles (7 km) to the marked junction with the Burr Trail. Turn left onto the Burr Trail and go about 4.8 miles (7.7 km) to the Pedestal Alley parking area. The trailhead is across the road from the parking area.
Description: The trail is sandy and rocky, and you must cross some washes. Spring and fall are the best times for this shadeless hike.

Red Wash
1 mile (1.6 km) round-trip
Moderate
Trailhead: Marked path from the Bullfrog Visitor Center parking lot.
Description: A hike along the sandy bottom of a short slot canyon. Be prepared to climb in and out of the wash, and even get muddy and wet.

Defiance House
Appx 1 mile (1.6 km) one-way, distance varies with changing lake level
Easy to moderate
Trailhead: Accessible only from the water. Boat into Forgotten Canyon as far as lake levels allow. Pick up the sandy trail and follow into wash. Keep an eye on the cliff to your left to spot the pictographs that inspired the "Defiance House" name. The trail diverts out of the wash and heads up to the Defiance House archeological site. There are steps leading up to the structure. Pets are not allowed in the site.


 

Escalante

These hikes are all accessed off Hole-in-the-Rock Road, a rough, unpaved road that requires high-clearance vehicles. Check road conditions before heading to the trailhead. Learn more on the BLM's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument website.

Dance Hall Rock
0.2-0.5 miles (0.1-0.8 km) round-trip
Easy
Trailhead: On the Hole-in-the-Rock Road 36.5 miles south from Highway 12, turn east at the BLM interpretive sign and continue to the parking area.
Description: Hike at your leisure over sandy/rocky terrain into a natural red rock amphitheater.

Devil's Garden
0.1-0.5 miles (0.1-0.8 km) round-trip
Easy
Trailhead: On the Hole-in-the-Rock Road 13 miles south from Highway 12, turn right at the sign for Devil's Garden. Continue 1.5 miles to the parking area. Picnic tables, grills, and pit toilets provided by BLM. No overnight camping.
Description: Hike at your leisure over sandy/rocky terrain among hoodoos and arches.


 

Check out our Commercial Use Authorization page for guided hiking services.

Last updated: March 20, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 1507
Page, AZ 86040

Phone:

(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.

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