Lake Powell and so much more! Encompassing over 1.2 million acres, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area offers unparalleled opportunities for water-based & backcountry recreation. The recreation area stretches for hundreds of miles from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, encompassing scenic vistas, geologic wonders, and a vast panorama of human history.
Its at the end of the Hole in the rock road. Trail leads to the lake. When I went their was about a 10 ft. drop you had to navigate to complete the trail. So this is where I turned around. Still the significance of what the pioneers did made it special. Bring a rope if you want to make it to the lake.
This trail is rated moderate, but please know that Spencer Trail "moderate" is not comparable to Soldier Pass (AZ) "moderate" or even Grey's Arch (KY) "hard." Being In walking/running shape is not the same as being in climbing shape and I learned that fast. This trail was literally a bunch of switchbacks up the face of a cliff. I only made it about half way to the top, and yes, the view was stunning. For comparison, the friend I hiked with is 12 years younger and made it 3/4 of the way before she came back down to get me. Lol. Anyway, if you take your time, rest frequently and stay hydrated, it should be doable (we were pressed for time and climbed pretty quick). Maybe I will hit the stairclimber at the gym over the winter and try again next year. Definitely a bit treacherous in places, so caution is a must!!!
High rating because of the Mormon History. The trail condition did not allow easy access to the lake.
Their was about a 10 ft. drop early in the hike that I did not want to take my grandson down. Would of preferred to have gone to the lake. High rating because the road leads to dozens of hike options that are some of the best in the area. You can easily spend two weeks here and not tire of the area. The road was extremely wash boarded and would of taken over 6 hours to travel their and back if you did it none stop. Easily doable in a two wheel drive SUV when I went. Road conditions subject to change, check with local authorities, or other travelers before attempting.
A simple stroll really, as others have mentioned the trail is often hard to follow due to erosion but it is hard to get truly lost. The trail is a pretty typical look at Desert River passageways with cottonwoods and low laying grasses. The trail does not get that exciting until the turn around point which can be disappointing to those who don't want to hike the full length or those who simply don't have time to hike it.
This is an awesome hike - it's quick, even stopping to take pictures at the end. There are some rocks that you can scale to take you higher so you can take even better pictures. Beware there are no rails or fencing by a 1200 ft sheet drop, so I would advise a different location if you have kiddos. The view is amazing and the hike itself is the easy end of moderate. It does get HOT so bring a water bottle!
This is a super super easy hike. It takes maybe 10 minutes each way and the view is gorgeous. There are no railings and the drop off is over 1,000 feet so be careful if you have kids. If you have a wide angle lens or Go Pro you'll get awesome shots that rival the pros.
We only hiked the first 3 miles or so before having to turn around. Trail guides say this is a 40-45 mile hike ending in the Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. We started at Lee's Ferry at the Lonely Dell trail, which is less than a mile and ends at the trail head for Paria Canyon. The trail is difficult to follow at times due to erosion of the river banks. However much of the trail is on beach sand far from the river itself (we went in April when the Paria was nothing but a shallow stream in most places so the trail does not hug it all the time). The distant canyon walls, occasional giant boulders, Cottonwood trees, grassy shrubs, flowering plants, and many lizards/insects make for a varied hike and many photo opportunities. However the classic descriptions of being hemmed in by high canyon walls is not to be found until 15 miles in or so. Paria canyon starts out wide (or rather ends wide if you hike it from Lee's Ferry and follow it upstream). A beautiful stroll if you don't mind losing the trail every now and again. But since you're in a side canyon, it is difficult to get lost regardless of the trail.
This trail is easily accessed from the Lee's Ferry boat ramp where there is plenty of parking. The trail starts out wide and gently sloping as it hugs the north canyon wall. You immediately see some old rock buildings, a ship boiler stranded on shore, and the top of a sunken steamboat, all remnants of the days when the ferry was active. Maps and trail guides will indicate that the River trail ends at the historical Lee's Ferry, however this is not accurate. The River trail continues for another 3 miles or so and becomes increasingly difficult to follow as some rock falls have obscured the path. We mistakenly followed this to the very end, thinking we would see Lee's Ferry, only to realize we had passed the actual ferry location 3 miles back. There is no sign designating the Ferry so it is easily missed. There are some crumbling rock structures on a sandy slope above the supposed Ferry location, but they are hard to see unless you happen to take the left fork going up the slope as opposed to the right fork going to the river. Once you see these rock structures, head toward the river (there will be beach sand) and imagine how John Lee provided safe passage for travelers to the other side of the Colorado River. This is only an imaginative endeavor as there is no visual evidence or sign to mark this historic site. Because of the ambiguity of the exact location and how the trail continues well beyond the Ferry location, I do not rate this tail highly. If you are simply looking for a nice trail hugging the Colorado River, while being surrounded by high canyon walls, this trail offers it all. Hunting for historical sites is nearly futile, but other than that, this trail is pretty (although I advise not hiking further once the trail "disappears." It only gets more difficult from there and the scenery does not change if you blaze onwards).