July 6, 2008

Glen Canyon Dam

Ready for another chapter in the Southwest USA tour? The journey continues on to Glen Canyon Dam.

Glen Canyon Dam is the reason for Lake Powell’s existence. It is an impressive and grand structure, with a crest length of 1560 feet and stretching 710 feet high. Managed by the Bureau of Reclamation, the dam provides water storage and electricity for the region. It was dedicated in 1966, and there was a lot of controversy at the time about it flooding the Glen Canyon. We got several looks at it: from the Highway 89 arched bridge just outside of Page, from the air, and at its base near the powerhouse.

aerial view of Glen Canyon Dam, looking south
Colorado River view of the dam, visitor center, highway bridge, and powerhouse
floating down the Colorado River and looking back at the dam
Before going on our raft trip down the Colorado River, we were transported by a bus to the base of the dam through a spooky 2-mile tunnel. The tunnel was built in the late 1950s to help build the dam and move in equipment for the powerhouse. At various intervals during the dark ride, we saw bolts of light where side tunnels had been cut to the canyon walls (for removal of rock).

Once we got off our bus, we donned hard hats for our walk down to the dock for boarding the rafts. We had to protect our noggins in case of something falling from the bridge overhead. I guess it would help muffle any large bonking noise upon impact, LOL!

a side tunnel hole in the canyon wall
Come back and visit later to see some pictures from our raft trip down the Colorado River and ancient petroglyphs!


  1. The photos are fantastic! Rafting is for ladies who are much braver than I am.

  2. Thanks, Brenda! Hey, there's nothing to it. This wasn't whitewater rafting, with helmets, screaming, and soggy underwear, LOL! It was a float trip! You sit calmly in a big rubber raft and glide along on the water, letting the river guide do all the work with the motor. You just sit there and enjoy the beauty!

  3. Hey, you guys are almost in my backyard!

    Have a wonderful raft trip, I am looking forward to pics..

  4. We had a great raft trip and wonderful vacation. Can't wait to getting back out there in September!

  5. Is that hole the tunnel? Fabulous photos! Where are you going in September?

  6. Hi, Cindra! That is one of the side tunnels for the main tunnel down to the powerhouse. The side tunnels were used to remove the rock chiseled out and to provide some light. The side tunnels empty right into the Colorado River. I took that photo looking up from the raft, while we were motoring away from the launching dock.

    We're taking another Tauck tour to the west - this time to eastern Utah and western Colorado. More great national parks! I'll post a map itinerary of that trip sometime in September before we go. I'll be taking and sharing more "journey" pictures of what we see!


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