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Horseshoe bend


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This is an amazing area of the Colorado River just south of the Glen Canyon Dam where the river makes a sharp bend to the East and then back to the West. If you have a wide angle lens on your camera you can get a pretty good shot of the complete bend. If you have an iPhone, you can use the panoramic feature to capture the complete shot. This hike is about 1.3 miles round trip and declines about 135 feet in elevation. The walk consists of sandstone and loose sand and is a good, short workout. Take plenty of water as there is no shade. It's best to do this hike in the early morning or late afternoon. You might catch a great sunset as you view the bend to the West.

Horseshoe Bend Details
A view down onto the Glen Canyon Dam


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There are a couple of ways to get different views of the Glen Canyon Dam. You can go the Carl Hayden Visitors Center and take the tour down into the dam or travel across the Glen Canyon Bridge for a view from above the dam. My personal favorite is the hike to the scenic view area just downstream from the dam. A short 0.12 miles and only an 82-foot decline, the walk takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure to wear good shoes as you climb down slick sandstone to the view area. This is a great place for some nice photos.

Dam Overlook Details
The innkeepers near a cliff wall covered in plants


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Located just to the east of the Glen Canyon Dam off of HWY 89 this hike leads you to a luxuriant Hanging Garden, a desert oasis on the mesa top high above the Colorado River and Lake Powell. Securely hidden by Jurassic Navajo sandstone, this seep spring takes every bit of rainwater that it can hostage. 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. You will see and hear more if you walk quietly. It can refresh observations and awaken inactive senses with each step you take. Round trip this hike is approximately one mile from where you start.

This is also the same area where you access the Chains! Currently, this is about a two-mile walk to get to the area where you can swim at the lake.

Hike details
A tight slot canyon


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Water Holes is not too well known and is visited much less often than Antelope Canyon. The drainage runs east-west about seven miles south of Page, meeting the Colorado River a short distance above Lees Ferry, passing under US 89 at milepost 542 and extending about five miles southeast, where it branches into three main forks, then a dozen or so smaller ones.

Water Holes is a branched drainage that forms several beautiful slot canyons, cutting through the red Navajo sandstone rocks. Located only 5.2 miles on HWY 89 as you turn off of Lake Powell Blvd, it flows into the short section of Glen Canyon that remains intact; very similar to Antelope Canyon the watercourse extends on either side of the main road (US 89) and becomes much deeper downstream, with a number of sheer drops. Various narrow passageways both west and especially east of the road have exceptionally pretty rock formations with the curved, delicately colored sandstone characteristic of this region, here nicely illuminated. Although the canyon is often very narrow, in general, it is not too deep for sunlight to be excluded. Also like Antelope, Water Holes becomes a wide sandy wash above the lower narrows. DO NOT GO past the power lines as this part of the canyon is permitted to Hummer Tours and travels into Secret & 4th Canyons. If you want to see these you must take a tour with Hummer Adventures out of Page.

Access Restrictions: All of Water Holes Canyon lie on Navajo land and so a hiking permit must be obtained. The best place to acquire the permit is at the Tribal Parks Office next to the Leche-e Chapter House, three miles south of Page on the Copper Mine Road; it can be purchased at the office on the day of the visit, or in advance by postal applications (see

Waterhole canyon details
Lake Powell, surrounded by cliffs


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A unique pleasure for the out of way traveler. You will need a higher profile vehicle to make this trip and sometimes the roads are not passable even to 4-wheel-drive vehicles. Accessed just outside the community of Big Water, UT on the Warm Creek Road this is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area. This view has been photographed in countless magazines and publications. It is truly an awesome place to visit and photograph. It is also a great way to see a little further up lake into the Padre Bay, Gunsight Butte, Dominguez Butte, Boundary Butte and Padres Butte. See a little closer view of Tower Butte and the best view of Gunsight Canyon! It's a great place for sunsets and sunrises but be careful and make sure you can find your way back. Very few signs are provided and things tend to look different in the dark.

Check out this Britney Spears Video of the Padre Bay & Gunsight area!

Alstrom Point Details
A box canyon with high walls


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This is a wonderful view overlooking the Paria Buckskin Canyon area looking towards the Lee's Ferry. This beautiful canyon stretches out of a very awesome slot canyon. This overlook is accessed from the backside (South side) of the community of Big Water, UT and you will need a ATV or very good 4-Wheel-Drive vehicle to access it. You will have to navigate dirt roads with deep soft sand. It is bordered by wilderness area so you have to stay on the established dirt roads. In addition you will have some very interesting views of Lake Powell to the East and the Paria Plateau to the South.

Paria Canyon Overlook details
An old petroglyph of an animal


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This is a mostly level hike into a box canyon, and is recommended for all ages. The route starts on a sagebrush flat, then drops into a sandy wash. No motorized or mechanized vehicles are allowed


A short walk takes hikers to a nearby rock art panel with both petroglyphs (images pecked into the rock) and pictographs (painted images). The panel is located on the first stretch of sheer, high wall you'll encounter on your left side as you walk west.


One mile round trip to the rock art panel and back. Hiking another quarter-mile west past the panel will take visitors to the end of the box canyon.

Catstair Canyon details
A narrow slot canyon


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This easy 1.7-mile one-way hike gives you access to the longest continuous slot canyon in the country, Buckskin Gulch. It offers a variety of day and overnight hiking options. Many hikers will start their trip at the Wire Pass trailhead, enter Buckskin Gulch after 1.7 miles and travel either up or down the canyon. There are multiple 4-9 foot tall moderate obstacles requiring scrambling up and down boulder piles.


To access Wire Pass from Highway 89, travel east from Kanab 38 miles, turning right onto House Rock Valley Road (BLM Road 1065) just before the sharp left turn markers. Or travel west from Page, Arizona 34 miles on Highway 89 over the dam, past the Paria Contact Station (which has updated road and canyon conditions) and turn left onto House Rock Valley road just after the sharp right turn markers. Drive south on House Rock Valley Road, an unmaintained gravel road approximately eight miles crossing Buckskin Gulch to the trailhead parking area located on the right(west) side of the road. To access Wire Pass from Highway 89A, drive to the base of the Kaibab Plateau and turn onto House Rock Valley Road (BLM Road 1065) heading north into Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Follow BLM Road 1065, an unmaintained gravel road, 21 miles to the Buckskin Gulch trailhead.

BLM Road 1065 is not maintained.  A four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle is highly suggested. High clearance vehicles are suggested. The road is impassable when wet.

Permits, Fees, Limitations:

Group size is limited to 10 people in this permit area. Groups larger than 10 must split into smaller groups and begin hiking on separate days and are not permitted to travel or camp together within the permit area.

Permits for day hiking can be obtained at the self-serve pay stations (see photo). The fee is $6.00 per person/dog, per day.

Overnight trips into Paria Canyon and Buckskin Gulch is $5.00 per person/dog, per day and is limited to 20 people per day (dogs do not count against this total). You must purchase a permit in advance on-line. Human waste bags will be provided free of charge at the Paria Ranger Station, Kanab Field Office, and Arizona Strip District Office. Their use is mandatory.

Canyon details