Added by Derrick Lytle
- Old abandoned park service trail
- No crowds
- Lots of vert
- Distance: 3.5 miles, elevation loss 800 feet
The Ropes Trail is an old hiking trail below Glen Canyon Dam that has long since been abandoned by the park service. It is also one of the few trails that leads down the steep walls into the canyon. Let me say that again, it's steep.
Take Highway 89 from Page going north and take the old radio tower road, a dirt road on your left, and follow it to the end of the road and park in the dirt parking lot.
From the parking lot, head toward the river over the desert for about one mile in a general southwest direction. You'll see a few power lines leading over the river. Beneath one, you'll see a short metal rod with an eyelet at the top drilled into the sandstone. That's the start of your descent into the canyon. These poles used to have metal cabling on them, but it has since been removed. You may find some rope on there, but be careful with it. It may not be trustworthy.
Scramble down the rock piles over the cliff and follow the poles in the ground. At the biggest cliff face there will be a long metal cable, the rope, that descends over the cliff to the bottom layer of sandstone.
This part is steep. Use caution. You will essentially be rappelling down the cliff, on a metal cable, with no harness. Again, please use caution. The sandstone is very tacky and the descent isn't terribly difficult, but you will get banged up pretty bad if you fall. Some parts of the cable are slightly frayed and metal pieces stick out that can hurt you, so I would recommend a pair of gloves to protect your hands.
At the bottom follow the river toward the dam and you will come across a sandy beach, depending on the water level, along with a bathroom (bring your own toilet paper) and some camping spots complete with grills.
If the water level is low, you'll find a nice sandy beach. If it's high you can still enjoy the water. This is mainly a camp area for rafters but it's first come first serve.
To get back out, follow the same route climbing the cable you came down on and scrambling up the rocks. Be careful.
There is a service road that is blocked off that makes the hike very short but it is closed and I imagine that driving on a closed road can lead to some serious problems so I do not recommend it. Just hike in across the desert.
Beside the river, there's no water so pack in your own and if you want you can filter it from the river.
This is not a dog or family friendly hike. You can die on this.
- Toilet paper
- Good shoes
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
ReviewsLeave a Review
Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!
More Adventures Nearby
Hike The Shaw Butte Trail
Arizona / Shaw Butte Trailhead
The Shaw Butte Trail is a short loop hike that leads you to the top of Shaw Butte in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve.
Hike the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail in Chiricahua National Monument
Arizona / Sugarloaf Mountain Trailhead
This short hike is spectacular at sunset. Park in the parking just beyond Echo Canyon right off of the park's scenic eight mile drive.