Glen Canyon Dam to start charging for Tours

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC

Beginning on January 5th, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Glen Canyon Natural History Association will charge $5.00 per adult with a discount for children and seniors. For as long as tours having been going at Glen Canyon Dam they have been free of charge while tours at Hoover Dam have been paying. Currently to tour Hoover Dam it costs $10.00.

I wrote a post a couple of months ago about the Top Ten Things to do Under 5 Bucks at Lake Powell and Tour the Dam was high on the list. From 1996 to late 2002 I worked in the tour program at Glen Canyon Dam and loved the time I spent there. After the September 11th attacks our tour program was closed for two weeks. When we reopened we had a security program in place which included folks having to sign up for the tour, go with a guide and be tracked. Security was also put in place at the entrance to the Carl Hayden Visitor Center. 

Glen Canyon Dam Face

In order to keep up with public demand for the tour, more guides were hired and trained. Security personnel on the dam were increased as well. All of these things have been paid for out of the sale of power from the Glen Canyon Power Plant. However, Barry Wirth, the regional public affairs officer for the Upper Colorado area Bureau, explained it is time to recover at least a portion of the cost of running the tour program.

It will remain free to enter to Carl Hayden Visitor Center and the Glen Canyon Natural History Association run bookstore.  There are talks given by not only tour guides but local park rangers as well, that occur at the large map in the middle of the visitors center which will also remain free. Movies in the auditorium run all day every half hour and free to the public as well.

To enter the Carl Hayden Visitor's Center there are no bags, purses or backpacks allowed in the building, and everyone goes through a metal detector.


Lake Powell Through Visitor Center Window


Visit The Lake Powell Real Estate Blog for more information on this and other things Lake Powell!

Comments (5)

Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038 - Downingtown, PA


A sign of the times.....and with all the cut backs in funding for things like has to happen.  Looks like fun.

Oct 19, 2008 02:32 AM
Heather Rankin
Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC - Page, AZ
Lake Powell Real Estate

Dan - It is fun! It was a blast to work there and I loved being able to share with people how electricy is made, why we store water.

We had talked about charging for tours after Sept 11th becuase that was such a huge change. Prior to that folks could just wander around on the dam and down in the poweplant unattended. We had a "tour route" to follow but basically it was a pretty open deal. The new secuirty issues after Sept 11 really caused the cost of keeping the tour program open to skyrocket.

I think $5.00 is still very reasonable and half the price of the Hoover Dam tour :-)

Oct 19, 2008 10:59 AM
Amy Sorensen
ERA Utah Properties - Kanab, UT

A stop at the Dam was always an adventure for me as a child.  We used to just hop on the elevator and just explore the areas open to the public.  From there it went to going down with a guide.  Then, it got so busy you were lucky to catch a tour.  I know that it costs money to have the guides available, but this is a disappointment.  My husband and I stopped at the Hoover Dam one time and were in shock at the price of parking and getting in to even the visitor's center.  Nothing is free at the Hoover Dam!

Oct 21, 2008 09:28 AM
Heather Rankin
Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC - Page, AZ
Lake Powell Real Estate

Amy - Yes, i think the situation is still better here than at Hoover. It will be interesting to see how they implement the charging process come January. As far as I can tell school groups are still going to be free.

I do miss the freedom to go explore the dam on my own time schedule. Before I went to work there, I spent hours wandering around as I was so fascinated by it. Some of the magic is gone for sure.

My hope is the charging will allow for more guides so the ability to get "on" a tour will be increased. Here's hoping we never get as crazy as it is at Hoover!

Oct 21, 2008 10:00 AM
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Nov 29, 2008 06:24 AM
Jerry Becker
Jerry Becker and Associates - Littleton, CO
Littleton, Colorado

That's dam expensisve!

Nov 29, 2008 08:10 AM