Hanging Garden

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 1.4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 3824 - 3866 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Hanging Garden
Fee: none
Attractions: Scenic trail




The Hanging Garden trail is located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area near Page, Arizona. The trail leads to a sheltered alcove with a natural spring fed seep that waters a healthy growth of ferns and stream orchids. The trail is unsheltered and treeless until it reaches the Hanging Garden where shade can be found in the alcove and surrounding brush. As it goes in most alcoves such as this care should be taken to avoid any poison ivy.


The trailhead is on the east side of the Glen Canyon Dam a little over 1 mile from the Carl Hayden Visitor Center. If driving from the Visitor Center turn left on the first graveled road that you come to after crossing the dam. The turnoff is marked with a hiker sign. The parking area is a short distance down the road.


From the parking area follow the sandy rock lined trail that follows a shallow wash toward the red slickrock sandstone domes.


During the spring and early summer months the trail is also lined with wildflowers making it like a stroll through a desert garden.


The trail changes to slickrock as it reaches the petrified domes of sandstone. From there the path leads through a gap on the north side of the larger hill.


As the trail passes through the gap is transitions back to a brief stretch of sand. The alcove of the Hanging Garden lies directly ahead at this point.


The last stretch of the trail climbs the wavy slickrock below the alcove. Some photographers are pretty good at taking pictures of the waves and streaks in the sandstone.


Right before the Hanging Garden there is a short sandstone bench to scramble up.


The spring that seeps through the rock keeps the areas foliage well watered.


Besides the obvious ferns that fill the alcove there are numerous stream orchids as well. As near as we could tell there were none of the other wildflowers that are commonly found in areas such as this like columbines and monkey flowers. The Park Service offers free ranger guided tours to the Hanging Garden and they would know for sure what wildflowers can be found there throughout the course of the year.


One plant that is common to springs and seeps is poison ivy and there is some of that growing here. Be sure not to touch or brush up against it. The oil will get on your clothes and end up in your vehicle and everywhere else. The oil is not only on the poison ivy itself but on the ground and rock that it touches. The oil remains year round even when the leaves have fallen.


Looking north from the Hanging Garden are some attractive distant views of the Wahweap area of Lake Powell.


If you continue down the road that passes through the Hanging Garden trailhead you will come to an area called 'The Chains'. The Park Service lists it as another place to go hiking in the area. It is also popular with fishing from the bank in the area of the dam. The Hanging Garden trail is a short hike that is easy to get to when visiting in the Page area. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.