Kayak Horseshoe Bend

Camping in Glen Canyon

River camping in Glen Canyon & Horseshoe Bend

There is a maximum 14-day limit on camping at any campground.
All campgrounds are first-come-first-served. If a campground is full, find a different camping location. All campsites should have three dispersed fire rings; if you do share a campsite, camp in an area that offers you and your nearest neighbor as much privacy as possible.

Camp only in designated camping areas. The designated camping areas have composting toilets and fire rings. There are 3 areas that have composting toilets that are not campgrounds: a series of toilets at River Mile 10 (the Petroglyphs), a couple of toilets (River Mile 7 on river left), and a single toilet on the bench above River Mile 4, on river right.

• Pack out all trash; everything that you bring with you should leave with you. Leave no trace and leave the area better and cleaner than you found it.

• No firewood cutting or gathering. You will need to bring any firewood with you. Do not burn any of your personal trash in fire rings. No ground fires!

• Use the toilets. If you need to urinate, do it in the river or onto the wet sand adjacent to the river.

If you have neighbors, communicate with them about where to set up camp so that everyone has a pleasant experience. Keep noise down and be respectful of others. No loud music; respect the beauty of the dark sky experience and keep lights and lanterns dim. No gas generators allowed.

• If you have extra firewood you did not use, leave it stacked neatly near a fire pit so it can be used by another camper.
• If you are fishing, please give other anglers plenty of room; do not crowd them

Planning your camp upriver

From the boat launch at Lees Ferry, it is a 16 mile stretch of river with 5 designated camp sites. The only way these campsites can be accessed is by boat. All the campsites are based upon a first-come, first-served basis. It is impossible for one to plan on using a specific campsite. The campsite you planned on or wanted to use might be occupied to capacity. You need to be flexible in your planning and execution of which campsite you are going to use for overnight visits in Glen Canyon.

14 Mile-Ropes Trail Campsite: This is the furthest upriver campsite located on the corner of the bend at “river right” (right side of the river when looking downstream), at approximately River Mile 14 (14 miles above the boat ramp at Lees Ferry) or about 2 miles below Glen Canyon Dam. There is a very small beach at the base of a tall cut bank and a worn trail that leads up to the campsites. This campsite is about 30-feet above the river. The small beach area in front does not offer much access to the river for fishing or boat storage. This campsite offers a large camping area with some shade.

Ferry Swale Campsite: Approximately River Mile 11, about 3 miles below Ropes Trail Campsite and 5 miles below Glen Canyon Dam. This is one of the more popular campsites. Expect this camp to be occupied for much of the year and often fills before others. This campsite is perfect for large groups and offers considerable beach access as well as hiking on the bench above the river. It also offers some of the best fishing access, allowing one to cover more than a mile of shoreline. It has limited shade. Large beach area.

Horseshoe Bend Campsite: At the head of Horseshoe Bend at River Mile 9 about 2 miles below Ferry Swale Campground. This is a large campground offering good dispersed camping. Again, like Ferry Swale, this campground often fills first. This area offers plenty of beach and
good hiking on the bench and along the river. It allows one to fish for a mile or more along the river. Has limited shade. Decent beach area with sand and gravel.

8 Mile Campground: This is 1 mile below Horseshoe Bend, on the bench above the river on River Mile right. This is likely the least-used campground in the river corridor. It is a large campsite with some shade. The beach area is adequate to park boats. Hiking on the bench. It’s possible to hike all the way up to Horseshoe Bend Campsite and beyond. Good fishing access. Small beach area

7 Mile Campground: On the bluff at River Mile 7, river left. This campground has no toilet and you can only use it if you have your own approved portable toilet. Gorgeous spot with decent fishing access, but very limited hiking. Small beach.

6 Mile Campground: 6 miles above Lees Ferry and 10 miles below Glen Canyon Dam on river right. This is the first campground you encounter from Lees Ferry and the last one that you will find on the way down river from the dam. Often busy and sometimes full. Be sure to have an alternative plan and option to float to Lees Ferry if this campground is filled to capacity. Very limited hiking and fishing. There is no camping below this campsite until you get to the NPS campground at Lees Ferry. Most of the river front of this campsite is boulder-strewn with no beach.