National Park Service

Southern Colorado Plateau Network (SCPN)

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (GLCA)

Waterfalls in Coyote Gulch<br />(SCPN photo) Tarantula in the desert sand<br />(SCPN photo) Evening primrose<br />(SCPN photo) Sunlit cottonwood tree<br />(SCPN photo) Blackbrush flowers<br />(SCPN photo) Natural bridge in Coyote Gulch<br />(SCPN photo) Cross-bedded sandstone<br />(SCPN photo) Flower of a pricklypear cactus<br />(SCPN photo) Aquatic macroinvertebrate monitoring on the Escalante River<br />(SCPN photo) Riparian vegetation along Escalante River<br />(SCPN photo) Globemallow in bloom<br />(SCPN photo) Lake Powell<br />(SCPN photo) Small petroglyph panel<br />(SCPN photo) Northern leopard frog at Grand-daddy hanging garden<br />(SCPN photo) Spiny hopsage near Hole in the Rock Road<br />(SCPN photo) Patch-nosed snake at Lee's Ferry<br />(SCPN photo) Prehistoric structure built in a shallow, elevated alcove<br />(SCPN photo) Petroglyph panel<br />(SCPN photo) Tinaja (natural water catchment)<br />(SCPN photo)

Inventory Reports

Monitoring Project Summaries

Monitoring Reports

Monitoring Protocol Documents

University of Wyoming Logo
Park Flora (SEINet)
NPS Logo Official Glen Canyon NRA Website
SCPN park map
Location of Glen Canyon NRA in the Southern Colorado Plateau Network. Click for larger image.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area encompasses Lake Powell , the second largest man-made lake in North America, and covers over 1.25 million acres (505,868 ha) in southern Utah and northern Arizona. It was established in 1972 by an Act of Congress to provide for public recreational use of Lake Powell and adjacent areas, as well as to protect the areas scenic, scientific, and prehistoric and historic features.

Lake Powell comprises only 13% of the recreation area–the remainder consists of upland desert incised by deep canyons, dry washes, and steep cliffs with areas of clay or slickrock badlands.

The bench and upland areas of Glen Canyon NRA support a wide variety of Colorado Plateau plant communities, ranging from the dominant cold desert shrub and shrub-steppe to cottonwood, willow, and tamarisk groves near flowing water, and pinyon-juniper woodland at higher elevations.

Vegetation is complex, especially in riparian zones and springs, with a total of 37 vegetation communities documented in the recreation area. Glen Canyon NRA provides habitat for a diverse array of faunal species, which include 7 amphibian, 311 bird, 64 mammal, 27 fish, and 27 reptile species.

Water resources include the Colorado River and Lake Powell, a number of perennial rivers that flow into the lake, and approximately 600 springs that have been mapped within the boundaries of the recreation area.

The Southern Colorado Plateau Network monitors water quality, springs, integrated riparian communities and upland vegetation and soils at Glen Canyon NRA.

Life Zones at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon NRA ranges in elevation from 3,050 feet (930 m) at Glen Canyon Dam to 7,606 feet (2,319 m) on the Kaiparowits Plateau. While this elevation range technically spans four life zones: from Warm Desert to Ponderosa Pine Forest, excessive aridity prohibits the establishment of ponderosa pines within the park. Average annual precipitation varies significantly with elevation and ranges from 6.4 inches (162 mm) near the dam at Page, Arizona, to just under 10 inches (approx. 250 mm) at the higher elevations.

Glen Canyon Life Zones

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Last Updated: January 23, 2018 Contact Webmaster