Scenic USA - Arizona

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state parks and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.


Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Photo by Ken Reece
Ken Reece Photography

     Surrounding the canyon it was named for, the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area follows the Colorado River for 180 miles from the Orange Cliffs, near Canyonlands National Park in Utah, across the Arizona border to Lees Ferry. Before 1963 the Colorado River moved through Glen Canyon unabated. Today, plenty of hostility is still directed toward Glen Canyon Dam for taking away their canyon and creating a cesspool called Lake Powell. Opponents guess if Major John Wesley Powell were alive, hed been vehemently opposed to the Glen Canyon Dam project. Human impact on this fragile environment is also significant, considering its thousands of visitors every year.
     Both sides of this controversy argue over a million acres of recreation land and the second largest reservoir in America, doubling as a huge aquatic playground. Its inviting blue waters are the obvious draw, but hundreds of miles of scenic drives cut through a land of colorful buttes, towering cliffs and dramatic mesas. On the plus side, this protected land holds a rich abundance of adaptive plants and desert animals. Over 300 species of aquatic and migratory birds have been identified in the region.
     The Arizona section is home to the historic site of Lees Ferry. In 1864 a group of Mormons set up the first ferry crossing, paving the way for settlers into a new Arizona territory. This picturesque scene captures the beauty of colorful sandstone with a glimpse of the contrasting Colorado waters. Here, only a minute portion of Glen Canyon NRA resides in Arizona.



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