The Glen Canyon Dam Arizona - Orlando / Florida Guide
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The Glen Canyon Dam
Situated in the northern part of Arizona, on the outskirts of the town of Page, stands the Glen Canyon dam.
This concrete arch dam straddles the mighty Colorado River between the upper and lower River basin at Lees Ferry. The reservoir formed by the damn is known as Lake Powell and is the second largest man made lake in the USA the largest being Lake Mead formed by the Hoover dam in the lower basin of the Colorado River.
Situated on highway 89, alongside the dam is The Carl Hayden Visitor Center, operated by the National Park Service. Here you will find maps and exhibits detailing the dams construction and history and there are several short videos on the same subject. There are large picture windows from which you can view the dam without the need to venture outside when the summer temperatures are searingly hot. There is a small gift shop and although there are restrooms there are no refreshment outlets.
If visitor centers are not your thing then it is still worth a stop here just to take some photographs of the awesome scenery. Parking is free and you can park up and cross highway 89 to walk the footbridge alongside the road. Here you will have fantastic views in both directions.
From the visitor center it is possible to take a tour of the dam, provided by volunteers from the Glen Canyon Natural Association. Tours are allocated on a first come first served basis and it is advisable to book in advance. Reservations must be made and paid for in person at the visitor center and are accepted 24 hours in advance. If you aren' t able to book it is worth just turning up as they do have cancellations and no shows.
The tour lasts about 45 minutes and you will be able to visit the dams workings in the power generation room.
The guides know their subject well and work hard to make it interesting, informative and amusing. Our guide told us that the concrete with which the Glen Canyon dam was constructed is quick drying and only takes thirty years to cure as opposed to The Hoover Dam which will take a hundred years and is still drying out!
As you might expect from a federal power plant facility, there is a heightened level of security with a metal detector in place. Bags and purses are not allowed, nor is any sort of weapon, no food is allowed and photography is not permissible. You can take a clear bottle of water into the facility which is advisable as it can get quite warm.
The cost of the tour is $5 for adults with a 50% reduction for children, cheap compared with The Hoover Dam which is twice the price!
Tours take place daily, in the morning at 9. 15, 10. 15 and in the afternoon at 1. 15 and 2. 15.
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