The Chains

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 1 mile
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 3680 - 3765 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: The Chains
Fee: none
Attractions: Slickrock hiking, fishing




The Chains is an area near the Glen Canyon Dam in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Page, Arizona. The Chains is a day use area that provides fishing access in the deep waters near the dam. The Park Service also lists it as a short day hike where visitors can 'Take a walk-a-bout north of the parking lot for a self guided adventure through slick rock sand formations'. For this post we hike a 1 mile loop around the area that includes views of the dam, Antelope Island and portions of the Wahweap area of Lake Powell.


To get to the Chains Area follow the directions for the Hanging Garden trail. Continue past the Hanging Garden trailhead on the gravel road until you arrive at the Chains parking area.


For this post we made a loop around the sandstone dome behind the restroom.


Various routes can be followed heading toward the lake.


The slickrock is somewhat terraced which makes it easier to pick a lateral line to hike.


The Glen Canyon Dam can be seen from the cliffs above the lake. Viewing the dam from the lake side isn't near as dramatic as it is from the river side.


Fishermen can be seen on the lower cliffs. The water at this point is probably a good 500 feet deep. Swimming is permitted here but swimmers should take into consideration the deep water and steep banks that can make it difficult to get out of the water.


To the north the Wahweap Marina and surrounding area can be seen. Antelope Island is just across the channel that is closest to the Chains.


For this post we continued hiking around the mountain on the wavy slickrock.


A saddle in the ridge between two of the hills served as a good route back to the trailhead.


Like other hikes that don't have any particular destination the Chains won't necessarily leave you with much of a feeling of achievement. It is nice to see the dam from the lake point of view though and the scenery is also nice enough. Taken with a tour inside the Carl Hayden Visitor Center, a hike across the bridge at the dam, the Hanging Garden and Dam Overlook trails the Chains sort of completes a visit to the Glen Canyon Dam. You probably won't want to leave the Page area without also visiting the Horseshoe Bend Overlook and taking one of the Antelope Canyon tours. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.