Operation Glen Canyon

This is a pretty cool  28 minute video documentary on the first four years of construction of Glen Canyon Bridge and Dam. Thank you Donna for posting this link on our Facebook page!


Easy Does It!

Photo Courtesy of the LeGate Family. Undated.

Hey all, we’re on a road trip for the month of July but I wanted to stop long enough to get this amazing picture posted. This is my first post via email, so I hope it looks ok when posted. If not, I’ll tweak it later. Gene LeGate sent this pic to me a few days ago (thanks Gene!). I don’t know who took it, what building it was (it looks like one of the Butler Buildings used for the first school), where it was being moved to, or why. But here’s what I do know: it’s being moved away from town and it was a rainy day.

If you have some info about this picture and what was going on, please leave a comment. It seems like something like this would have drawn some attention.

Friday Freebie: How To Navigate a Foot Bridge

From my archives. Undated and source unknown.

Here’s a little something to take into your weekend. Remember, always wear a helmet. Especially if you’re crossing a footbridge 700+ feet above a canyon floor, with minimal or no side rails.


Something You’ll Only See Here

Photo: A. E. Turner, USBR
Source: The LeGate Family

This photo is undated, but I think it must be 1957ish. The handwritten caption on the back reads,

“In bottom of canyon upstream from bridge. Concrete form for diversion tunnel shown here. To the bottom left is tunnel (mile plus long) which will connect the power house to top of canyon wall and to Page.”

There are a couple of things that need pointed out on this photo. The writing I cited above mentions a diversion tunnel and a tunnel that goes to the top of the canyon wall. Those are two different things. The opening mentioned on the left of the picture is the bottom of the tunnel that runs from there to the top of the canyon and comes out behind the old Country Club an golf course. That tunnel is still in use. The lower opening to the tunnel that you see in this picture is now on the downstream side of the dam and comes out near the power house. The next time you’re there, look down and you’ll see it. It’s interesting that the back caption says this tunnel WILL connect the top to the bottom, as it was still under construction at the time of this photo.

The concrete form mentioned in the picture is the round object on the right. There were two diversion tunnels that re-directed the Colorado River water around the dam site during construction. In future posts, I’ll be sharing some pictures with you of construction inside those diversion tunnels, as well as the upper spillways which connected to the diversion tunnels.

Notice the roadway in the center of the bridge and the road protruding out from the canyon on the right side. The present-day visitor’s center is located on the right side of this picture by the road. Also notice the netting that hung off the bottom of the bridge to catch falling workers and material. The cables that spanned the canyon are clearly visible and it looks like there is another roadway support being set at the time of this photo. This view is long gone!


Bridge Under Construction

Photo: A. E. Turner, USBR 8/6/1958 Courtesy of the LeGate family.
Photo: A. E. Turner, USBR
Courtesy of the LeGate family.

The back caption on this photo dated 8/6/1958 reads, “Men working on bridge. View point for visitors in background.” I’ve mentioned the old visitor’s center and the lookout point in a few of my previous posts. You can see the parking lot in the background on the Page side of the canyon in this picture. Access to the parking lot and lookout was from US 89, just above this photo. The camera angle is pointing almost directly to Manson Mesa and Page.

You can see the walkway coming off the right side of the parking lot. It looped back to the covered lookout point below the parking lot. You can see some people there (just in front of the guy in white) taking advantage of the good view. Yours truly took advantage of that view countless times too. The guy at the bottom of the picture looks like he’s carrying something pretty heavy. The guy in front of him looks to be texting. 🙂

This picture looks to have been taken just past the center of the bridge on the Page side of the bridge as you can see the arch beginning its downward slope on the left toward the canyon wall. You can get  good look at the net below too.

Dam Construction

Early 60s Dam Construction
1962 Dam Construction

This is a great shot of Glen Canyon Dam under construction from 1962. I don’t remember where I got this picture but it’s one of my favorites because this is how I remember the dam. I spent a lot of time on or near the bridge during this time, watching the dam go up. I must have rode my bike out there a lot with friends just to hang out and watch the construction. It never got old.

From the bridge, the trucks and workers below looked like toys. I remember that elevator on the wall of the canyon. I would watch it carry workers up and down for what seemed like hours. It probably was hours. That was one positive about growing up there. My feet would hit the floor in the morning and I was gone all day.

To the right of this picture, just downstream of the bridge, was the original visitor’s center and lookout. The road down to the old lookout is still there, as is the lookout and parking lot, if anyone’s feeling adventurous.


Glen Canyon Dam Construction Site

Glen Canyon Dam Construction Site. Undated. Source is most likely the USBR.
Glen Canyon Dam Construction Site. Undated. Source is most likely the USBR.

Here’s an incredible shot of the Glen Canyon Dam construction site. The picture is undated, but it has to be pre-1960 or 1960 at the latest. This was probably taken just about the time we moved there, or a little before. This is looking downstream. The ropes (for those who are familiar with those) are just around the curve in the canyon. Page is to the left side of the canyon on Manson Mesa and the present day visitor’s center is on the right. The original visitor’s center was eventually built (“built” isn’t the right word – the original visitor’s center was a pre-fab building that was later moved into town and placed near the football field as the LARC center. I don’t remember now what that acronym stood for) on the left side of the bridge in this picture and there was a short road down to a lookout point. That road and the lookout point are still there, but chained off so no one can enter.

This is a sweet picture that captures a moment long since past, not to mention under water.


More Extreme Rock Climbing

Glen Canyon Dam and Bridge Site

These two pictures show the approximate location of the two climbers (the spot marked XX). The spot marked with the B is the beehive rock formation located by the present day visitor’s center. This is the present site of Glen Canyon Dam and bridge. Both of these photos were imbedded in a Word document that someone (Brian Keisling?) sent to me a number of years ago and the document was ascribed to Greg Woodard. I don’t know who took the actual photos. These are dated 1955.

The picture below provides a good look at the river at the future site of Glen Canyon Dam and Bridge. The spot marked XX is the approximate location of the two climbers in my previous post. This shot also provides a good look at the beehive mountain (I hesitate calling it a mountain, but I can’t think of a better word). You can see the beehive cave plainly visible on the left of the picture. I probably climbed up to that cave dozens of times growing up there.

Glen Canyon Dam ad Bridge Construction Site