A white boat labeled "National Park Service" is beached in a sandstone alcove. Lifejackets and gear are on board. Four people are on the beach.

NPS Photo/Graffiti Removal & Intervention Team


The staff of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area want you to have an enjoyable and relaxing time while visiting the park. We also want you to be safe and to treat the resources here with care, so that future generations may enjoy them as well.

Four black and white icons clockwise from left: the sun, a cloud with lightning, a person falling down on rough terrain, a water bottle.

Desert Safety
The desert can be a harsh and unforgiving environment, especially if you are not accustomed to it. Make sure to drink plenty of water, at least a gallon per person per day (soda, alcohol, coffee and tea don't count). Also make sure you eat during the day to help electrolyte replacement. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and light comfortable clothing. Use sunscreen. Curtail strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day.

Image of poster for lifejacket safety. A picture of a lifejacket alone on a beach next to pictures of children who have drowned in Lake Powell because they were not wearing lifejackets.
Click this image to see a full-size version of this poster (pdf 3.4MB).

Personal flotation devices, or lifejackets, save lives. Since Lake Powell was created, almost 150 people not wearing lifejackets have drowned.

Boaters are required to carry a lifejacket of proper size for every passenger in the boat. Children 12 years of age and younger must wear a Type I, II, or III U. S. Coast Guard approved lifejacket when the boat is underway. It is recommended that children always wear a lifejacket when they are around water, even if they are not on a boat.

People on personal watercraft must wear a life jacket regardless of their age, as must anybody being towed by a boat (skiing, tubing, etc).

Small boat with lifejacket-wearing passengers leave a small wake.

Boating Safety
Stay aware of your surroundings when you are on the water. Be aware of wakes and waves that bounce back and forth between canyon walls. Slow down when passing boats. Look at the size of the wake, not the size of the boat. Depending on hull design, even relatively smaller boats can produce serious wakes. Approach large wakes at a 45-degree angle.

Bow riding (sitting on the top front part of the boat) is illegal unless the boat is designed for people to ride in the bow section (the bow section will have seats).

All boaters must know and follow applicable state & federal boating requirements, as well as carry all required equipment on their vessels. Copies of this information are available at visitor centers. Please check our boating page for more information or visit the U.S. Coast Guard's Boating Safety Resource Center. Additional information is available from the states of Arizona and Utah.

do not swim near docks icon

Do Not Swim at Marinas

Don't swim in marinas: Electrical faults from vessels can electrocute swimmers; boat traffic and propeller strikes can maim or kill. Read more about the dangers of electrocution while swimming here.


Wildlife Dangers
Desert creatures of all sizes can hurt you if you are not careful. Please be aware of biting and stinging animals, arachnids, and insects. A few venomous animals live in the park, including rattlesnakes, scorpions and black widow spiders. While a scorpion sting is likely to be mild (like a bee sting), anyone bitten by a black widow spider or rattlesnake should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

While no cases of the Zika virus have been reported in the United States, if you are planning to continue your travels south of the border, please read about this mosquito-borne threat here.

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a potentially deadly disease spread by infected wild rodents, especially mice. People become infected when the virus becomes airborne - when dust is stirred up or nests are disturbed, especially in confined spaces. Recently, cases of this respiratory disease have been confirmed on the nearby Navajo Nation. Learn more about how to protect yourself from Hantavirus here.

Water fills a small canyon. The canyon used to be flat sand before the flash flood came.
Flash flood damage at Hobie Cat Beach in Bullfrog.

Flash Floods
Flash floods are the artists who carve the intricate curves of slot canyons. They are also the assassins of anyone who may be in their paths. Do not enter a slot canyon if rain has been forecast. Even if the skies above you are clear, a storm hundreds of miles away may have triggered a flash flood in your area. Flash floods can also create damage in more open areas, as well.

Click here to view a video on flash flood safety.

A series of pictures showing the rapid decent and disappearance of a boy jumping off a cliff into the water. A speed indicator is on the left of the poster. Text at the bottom indicates the boy died, and there is a law against cliff jumping.
Click on this image to see a full-sized version (pdf file 4.24MB)

Cliff Jumping
It is prohibited for any person to jump or dive off of rock cliffs, ledges, or man-made structures (excluding vessels).The NPS does not advocate or promote the activity of cliff jumping or diving regardless of the height from the water surface. For the purpose of this restriction cliff, ledge, or man-made structure is defined to mean any formation of rock or soil, or structure, or combination thereof having a height of 15’ or more from the surface of the water.

The back of a houseboat with a swim slide directluy above the clearly marked "Death Zone," the engines and exhaust.
On some houseboats, carbon monoxide can collect under the swim platform.

Carbon Monoxide
The National Park Service continues to stress the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) and boats. This odorless, tasteless gas can kill you. The gas replaces the oxygen in your lungs and if you do not receive oxygen soon, the damage may be fatal. While past emphasis has been on houseboats, studies show that all boats can collect dangerous levels of CO. Any time generators and/or engines are running, CO is produced. Do not allow passengers to congregate around engines or the backs of boats when engines or generators are running. This is especially important when you may enclose the boat for warmth. In boats that vent CO out the back, this deadly gas can collect under the swim step and spaces under the boat. The CO remains there long after engines and generators have been shut down. Don't play or swim under the swim step or under the boat. Use carbon monoxide detectors. Always be aware of the dangers of CO around your boat.

Exerpt From Boating Safety Circular 88 on boating and carbon

Last updated: January 17, 2018

Contact the Park

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.

Contact Us