Safety

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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.

The dangers here are real, but most can be avoided by good planning, a watchful eye, and smart decision making.

 
Red circle with slash through drone icon

FAA graphic

No Drone Zone

Launching, landing or operating unmanned or remote controlled aircraft in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument is prohibited.

Department of the Interior Secretary's Order 3379 mandates a cessation of all non-emergency unmanned aircraft. This order supercedes any existing regulations as of January 29, 2020 and will remain in effect until further notice.


TITLE 36 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS
PART 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
1.5 Closures and public use limits
(a)(1) Visiting hours, public use limits, closures

Unmanned Aircraft: Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft* from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge Monument is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent.*Unmanned Aircraft defined: The term "unmanned aircraft" means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

Read more about unmanned aircraft in the national parks.

 
five people wearing face masks standing behind plexiglass
Staff at Escalante Interagency Visitor Center using health precaution techniques

NPS

COVID-19 Precautions

National Park Service Public Health Service Officers Recommend that Everyone Should Take the Following Routine Precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or do so into your elbow. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands again.

  • Practicing social distancing and avoid congregations of 10 or more people. In the office, keep 6 feet of separation between yourself and others to reduce the potential spread of infection.

  • Use virtual tools instead of holding in-person meetings.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

  • Most important, if you experience flu symptoms or any serious infection or virus, please stay home to avoid exposing others.

Follow this web page for the latest public health updates from the National Park Service: https://www.nps.gov/coronavirus

 
Picnic table and grill buried by muddy flood
Flash flood through a campground

NPS

General Safety

Fireworks and Campfires
No fireworks are allowed within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, not even sparklers. Wood and charcoal fires are allowed in grills and fire pits at developed picnic areas or campgrounds and at shorelines 100 feet from vegetation.

Alcohol
The consumption or direct possession of an alcoholic beverage by a person operating a vehicle or vessel is prohibited. Glass bottles and Styrofoam are prohibited in the park.

Weather
Find information on the weather, forecasts and lake levels on Glen Canyon’s Weather Page.

Lightning
Desert thunderstorms carry the double threat of flash floods and lightning. They occur most often during the monsoons in summer. Be wary of nearby storms.

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. Be flash flood aware:

  • Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of lightning, and/or increasing wind, that may be signs of an approaching thunderstorm.

  • Listen for the sound of thunder. If you are in a canyon, you may hear the storm before you see it.

  • If you do venture out and recognize thunderstorms nearby, head to port or safe shelter as quickly as possible. Get to higher ground if you can

  • If storms or flash floods are predicted in your area, even if you do not see storm clouds or feel rain, STAY OUT OF NARROW CANYONS.

Flash floods can also create damage in more open areas, as well.View a video on flash flood safety.

 
Woman wearing proper desert attire and holding camera looks over landscape
Smart desert fashion means a hat, sunglasses, and light colored clothing. Plus sunscreen.

NPS

Desert Safety
The desert can be a harsh and unforgiving environment, especially if you are not accustomed to it.

Drink Plenty of Water
Drink plenty of water, even when you are not thirsty, your body can lose large amounts of water without you realizing it. Be aware of balancing fluid and electrolyte levels. Have with you at least 1 gallon (4 L) of drinking water per person, per day.

Take It Easy In The Hot Summer Days
Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, loose fitting, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight. Minimize direct exposure to the sun. Sunburn reduces your body's ability to dissipate heat. Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Slow down: reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors. Watch your pets: ground temperatures in the sun are higher than air temperatures. Our buddies close to the ground need protection fro the heat too.

Watch for Signs of Trouble
If you feel dizzy, nauseous, or a headache, get out of the sun immediately and drink water or sports drinks. Dampen clothing to lower body temperature. Be alert for symptoms in others.
Heatstroke is caused by prolonged exposure to high temperatures or by doing physical activity in hot weather. Symptoms include high body temperature, lack of sweating, flushed skin, rapid breathing and unconsciousness.
Hypothermia an emergency in which your body loses heat faster than it can replace heat and it can occur even at temperatures above freezing. Symptoms include uncontrollable shivering, slow or slurred speech, memory lapses and incoherence and exhaustion. Immediate treatment includes giving victim warm, non-alcoholic drinks, seeking shelter from the weather and getting the victim into dry clothes.

Travel Prepared to Survive
Check Road Conditions before you leave AND at the nearest ranger station if you take an unpaved road. Do not trust your vahicle or cell phone's GPS to take you on a road your vehicle is able to drive on.Carry extra drinking water in your car in case of emergency. If your car breaks down, stay with it until help comes.

Backcountry Travel
Avoid hiking in the heat. Hikers and backpackers need to be self-reliant and well prepared. Always plan, carry detailed maps and let someone know your plans.

 
Man wearing life jacket, hat, and sunglasses drives powerboat over Lake Powell with seated passengers also wearing life jackets
Ensure you have all the required safety equipment on your vessel.

NPS/GRIT

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.

Before going out on the water, check weather forecasts and look for storm warning flags at marinas. If a storm breaks while you are out, seek shelter in a protected cove immediately and wait until the storm passes. Lightning is also a hazard on open water.

Water levels on Lake Powell change throughout the year. Always approach the shore with caution and watch for shallows and submerged debris.

Many persons who drown never intended to enter the water. Always wear a life jacket. All boaters must have required safety equipment on board their boat.

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.

 
Back of houseboat at waterline highlighted with red circle and labeled Death Zone
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.

 
Lifejacket being worn by man boating through canyon
Wearing a lifejacket could save your life.

NPS

Water Safety

Lifejackets
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).

Swimmers
There are no lifeguards or designated swim beaches. Swim at Your Own Risk.

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 electric shock drowning.

Recreational Water Advisory
Anytime that you do recreational activities (swimming, water skiing, making sand castles, etc.) on the beaches or in the waters of Lake Powell you are strongly encouraged to follow basic hygiene practices:

  1. Do not ingest the water

  2. Wash your hands before eating and touching your eyes or mouth

  3. Shower with soap after participating in any water activities

  4. Wash your hands after handling fish, gathering up your water gear and toys, changing out of your swimming suit, etc.

  5. Do not enter the water if you have open sores or cuts or if you are currently sick with diarrhea as one of your symptoms

Get updates and read more about Lake Powell Water Advisory.

 
A ranger kneels at a cliff edge with tiny life jacket visible floating in water far below
Don't make the leap.

NPS

Cliff Jumping

Sadly, there have been multiple deaths in Lake Powell due to cliff jumping. Realize if you leap from 50 feet up, you could be going almost 40 miles per hour when you hit the water. The higher the jump off spot, the faster the velocity upon impact.

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 feet or more from the surface of the water.

 
Scorpion at base of concrete wall

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.

It is illegal to feed animals in the park. Providing wild animals food may have a negative impact. Wildlife need only the natural habitat elements - food, water, and shelter - provided by their environment.

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.

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.

 
Group gathers around smiling ranger holding selfie stick
Check out the Story Map for smart photographing

NPS Graphic

Keep Safety in the Picture

Come and capture your adventure in the park. Check out these quick tips on how to avoid photography-related hazards when visiting our national parks.

Picture-perfect tips presented in this NPS Story Map.

 
Logo for the Powell Watch Program with illustration of eye

Powell Watch

Are you tired of seeing your fellow boaters dump their trash and human waste on beaches? Did you find graffiti carved on canyon walls or other damage to the landscape? Help us out on Lake Powell by being part of our neighborhood watch program.

If you see any resource damage or illegal activites, send an email to our Dispatch Center, who can process accordingly and notify law enforcement. If you can, include coordinates and/or photos with your report. Send to GLCA_Dispatch_Center@nps.gov.

This is an information only platform. In an emergency, call 911 or hail National Park Service on Marine Band 16.

Last updated: October 8, 2020

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.

Contact Us