Glen Canyon Dam is located within a couple miles of the town of Page in the state of Arizona. The town was established in 1957 to provide housing for workers who were building the dam, which today is the second largest such facility on the Colorado River. The Hoover Dam, located on the border of Nevada and Arizona, is the other. This is the southern edge of the sprawling Glen Canyon National Recreation Area that spreads north into Utah.
The town of Page is only about 30 miles upstream from the Kaibab National Forest, and makes a perfect base to explore both the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the Grand Canyon. From Page, you can find excellent Glen Canyon boat charters for houseboat vacations on Lake Powell, one of the premier houseboat vacation destinations in the United States along with Lake Mead (created by the Hoover Dam) and Lake Cumberland (created by the Wolf Creek Dam on the Cumberland River in Kentucky). You can also book Glen Canyon Dam tours to gain insight into the construction and operation of this massive hydroelectric facility and its environmental impact on this part of the Colorado River basin, which created and continues to create controversy.
The Glen Canyon Dam is instrumental in supplying the water and electric power as far away as California’s agriculturally rich Imperial Valley and the city of Los Angeles, southern Nevada and Arizona. Nonetheless, controversy continues. Because of the elimination of river’s natural flooding cycles, new sandbars were created and existing sandbars experienced some restoration. This was a boon to the outdoor recreation industries of camping, hiking, and rafting that provide many of the things to do in Utah and Arizona. However, the virtual elimination of flooding also allowed numerous species of non-native flora to thrive, which adversely affected the wildlife of the region.
This is just one simplified aspect of the complicated environmental impact of just about any dam. Whatever your point of view on the dam is, it is clear that the resultant Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area have created one of the largest and most profitable outdoor resort areas in the United States. The vast majority of Glen Canyon boat charters are houseboats affordable for those on budget vacations. These boats sleep as many as twelve people, making them ideal for families and small groups. They provide the same standard of accommodation and comfort you might expect in modern recreational vehicles, including kitchens, combination living and dining areas, bathrooms, and basic bedroom sleeping quarters. These can cost as little as a couple hundred per person per week. There are a smaller number of luxury Glen Canyon boat charters available, providing upgraded kitchen facilities and roomier accommodations. Utah and Arizona vacations using these accommodations instead of hotels really place you right in the midst of numerous activities, especially swimming and fishing. It is even possible to rent power boats for water skiing and to gain access to islands and shore areas where the houseboats can’t go.
There are flights to Page Municipal Airport and Glen Canyon Dam from Farmington (New Mexico) and Phoenix. If you’re not on flights to Arizona, your other choice is driving, either in your own vehicle or car rentals from any of the major cities in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, or Nevada. All of these states have good highways into the region.