Lake Powell - Glen Canyon NRA

Biking - Auto - 4WD Touring

Overview - Map - Description - Things to Do - Camping/Lodging - Nearby

Lake Powell is more than just a fantastic recreation area. Awesome in its dimensions and complexity, its desolate beauty makes it an experience never to be forgotten.


Precautions, Rules, Regulations
  • Pack out everything you pack in. Carry out all trash and food scraps. Avoid feeding wildlife, for human food is harmful to wild animals.
  • Always take plenty of drinking water with you.
  • Leave your trip itinerary with someone so you can be located in case of car trouble or other mishap.
  • Check with a ranger or other official for road and weather conditions before you start out.
  • Leave the scenery as it is. Do not write or carve on rocks; do not disturb plants or wildlife. Take only pictures; leave behind nothing.

Auto Touring

Hole-in-the-Rock Road

Runs from Escalante, Utah to the Hole-in-the-Rock on the western shore of Lake Powell. There are other sections of this trail on the east side of Lake Powell. This 62-mile drive (one way) follows the general route of of the original Hole-in-the-Rock expedition of 1879. Most of the road is on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), however the last approximately 5 miles are within the boundaries of Glen Canyon NRA. Most of the road on BLM land is passable to high-clearance, two-wheel drive vehicles in dry weather. The last few miles within Glen Canyon are best traveled by foot, bicycle, or four-wheel drive vehicle. There are numerous side-roads that leave this main road. Nearly all of these are only recommended for four-wheel drive.

Persons traveling this road should carry plenty of water (at least one gallon--one liter--per person per day) and be equipped to get themselves out of any difficulty they might encounter. This road is not routinely patrolled by any agency. Temperatures can range over 100° F in summer to near 0° F in winter. Sudden heavy rains, especially in summer months may make this road impassable. If you are caught near the end of the road during a heavy storm, you may not be able to make it back to the paved highway, even with a four-wheel drive. Check with the Interagency Visitor Center in Escalante for latest road conditions and travel information.

The Burr Trail

For 70 miles (one way), the Burr Trail takes the adventurous traveler into some of Utah's most beautiful and extraordinary country. Views of the Henry Mountains, the colorfully contorted Waterpocket Fold, red Circle Cliffs, and Long Canyon all await the traveler who wishes to drive this interesting back road. Numerous hikes and side trips are available for those with the time and inclination.

John Atlantic Burr was born in 1846 aboard the SS Brooklyn somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. He and his family lived in Salt Lake City, then later moved south and established the town of Burrville, Utah, in 1876. John Burr soon developed a trail to move cattle back and forth between winter and summer ranges and to market. This cattle trail through the rough, nearly impassable country around the Waterpocket Fold, Burr Canyon, and Muley Twist Canyon came to be known as the Burr Trail.

Today, the road which connects Bullfrog and Boulder, Utah, and which passes through the painted rock country of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Capitol Reef National Park, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land is known as the Burr Trail.

Please Note: Although in dry weather the Burr Trail is easily accessible to passenger cars, wet weather may make the road impassable even for 4WD vehicles. Check with rangers or local officials for weather and road conditions. Recreational vehicles are not recommended.




Mountain Biking

The backcountry and primitive roads of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are a great way to enjoy the scenery of the Colorado Plateau. As more and more people turn to biking as a means to reach these scenic areas, it's important to keep in mind some safe and ethical riding practices.

Bicycles are vehicles and can do much damage to fragile desert soils and vegetation. Help protect this special place by not riding cross-country, across slickrock, or on foot trails or closed roads. STAY ON DESIGNATED ROADS AT ALL TIMES. There are NO AREAS where you may ride a bike along or from the shoreline of Lake Powell. Carrying bicycles on boats is not recommended.

Overnight camping along roads within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is permitted. You may also HIKE away from roads to camp without your bike. Carry a lock to secure your bike on the road. Riding or pushing your bike off road is not allowed. Remember always to carry all of your trash back out with you. PACK IT IN; PACK IT OUT!

Carry plenty of water - a MINIMUM of 1 gallon (4 liters) per person per day. You should also have a repair kit, extra tire tube and pump, and a first aid kit. Be prepared for temperature extremes and sudden storms. Carry rain gear and polypropylene or wool for strong winds. In summer, ride early or late in the day to avoid intense midday heat. ALWAYS wear a helmet and gloves for safety. Terrain here can be extremely rugged. Watch out for other cyclists and vehicles. Use extreme caution on steep descents.

Frequent snacking on easily digested, high-energy foods is much better than eating two or three large meals a day. Some good choices might be fruit, breads, granola bars, fruit and nut mixtures, and similar items. Visitor use at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is increasing. If you're looking for solitude, plan on visiting less popular sections of the park and avoid weekends and holidays.

Listed here are several roads appropriate for biking within different parts of the recreation area. Mileages are given only for sections within Glen Canyon NRA. Open roads are numbered. Please refer to the official Glen Canyon NRA brochure for road locations (brochure may be obtained at park visitor centers and ranger stations). Most roads continue for miles outside the recreation area on adjacent lands. For information on these areas, contact the local Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices. Mileages are approximate. Road conditions are subject to change. Check locally for the latest information.



Warm Creek Road
13+ miles. A popular road from Big Water, Utah, to various points. This road is rocky and very muddy when wet.
Crosby Canyon Road
13 miles from Big Water to the lake. Part of this road runs through a wash, so be on the lookout for flash floods during storms.
Alstrom Point Road
8 mile sandy spur off Warm Creek Road to a spectacular overlook.
Grand Bench Road
38 miles one way from the junction with Warm Creek Road. This road contains sandy and difficult terrain, making it a very strenuous trip.

Bullfrog / Escalante

Hole-in-the-Rock Road
13 miles from the Glen Canyon NRA boundary to the overlook of the historic crossing. This road is only intermittently maintained within the recreation area and is very rocky.
Purple Hills
12 miles from the Glen Canyon NRA boundary to Purple Hills. This rough road provides views of the Circle Cliffs.
Burr Trail
The first 8 miles of this popular road are within Glen Canyon NRA. This road is well-maintained and has both unpaved and chip-sealed sections. The entire road is 70 miles in length from Bullfrog to Boulder, Utah, and connects with many interesting side roads. This road receives much vehicular traffic, so watch out for cars and trucks.

Halls Crossing / San Juan

Hole-in-the-Rock Road
10 miles of this historic trail are within Glen Canyon NRA. This is a continuation of the pioneer trail from Escalante. (See Bullfrog/Escalante above.) This entire section of the trail from SR 276 provides for excellent long-range trips. The road is unmaintained, rough, and rocky, with steep and/or sandy stretches.
John's Canyon
8-mile spur from SR 316. This rocky road provides some hiking access to John's Canyon. The road is closed beyond 8 miles, on the west side of John's Canyon at the National Recreation Area Boundary.

Orange Cliffs

Flint Trail
It is 53 miles between Hans Flat and Hite. This is a rocky road with sandy portions and steep grades on the switchbacks. Camping south of Clearwater Canyon is currently permissible with no permit.
North Hatch Canyon
3 miles within Glen Canyon NRA. The entire road offers interesting geologic views along with Indian and cowboy petroglyphs. This extremely rough road eventually leads to the Dirty Devil River. Fording the river to Poison Spring Canyon is not always possible.
Panorama Point/Cleopatra's Chair
It is 10 miles from Hans Flat to Cleopatra's Chair. This moderately rough, rocky road leads to excellent views.
Land's End/Big Ridge
Spur road. It is 16 miles from the Flint Trail to Land's End. This road covers a generally flat, wooded terrain to scenic views.
Standing Rocks
13-mile spur from the Flint Trail. This road has sandy and rough slickrock sections. Access to the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park is provided.
Brown's Rim
4 miles within Glen Canyon NRA from SR 95 junction along Brown's Rim. This maintained dirt road provides a possible loop trip through BLM lands back to SR 95.
Blue Notch
It is 9 miles from the Glen Canyon NRA boundary to the lake shore. This is a remote road with steep terrain.
Elaterite Basin
26 miles one way from the base of the Flint Trail switchbacks to the Buttes of the Cross and the Green River. This road has some sandy sections.

Camping in the Orange Cliffs north of Clearwater Canyon is by permit only. Requests are handled by Canyonlands National Park and will be accepted ONLY by mail or fax. For further information, call 801-259-7164 or 4351.


Overview - Map - Description - Things to Do - Camping/Lodging - Nearby


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