Moving upstream along the Colorado river from the Grand Canyon is Glen Canyon, with a dam of the same name, and the town of Page, Az, which started as a construction camp for the dam and the bridge.
Originally, the location was very isolated and a long way from any roads or rail lines. It was selected as the best location for the building of the dam, but the only way from one side to the other was a several hundred mile overland route.
So one of the first requirements was to build a bridge, which itself is a marvel of engineering.
The north end of the bridge, with the visitor center perched on the edge of the cliff.
And another view of the visitor center taken from the base of the dam. It is about 500' above the water on the low side of the dam. The dam itself is about 700' high, and extends well below the bottom of the river channel to ensure it was on solid rock. The base of the dam is several hundred feet thick, while the top is a mere 25'. Concrete pouring went on around the clock for many months continuously.
This is one of the actual concrete pouring buckets that was suspended from a crane and cable system to deliver the concrete to the working area.Some of the concrete content appears rather course, judging by this sample on display!
I showed up early in the morning, in time to go on a full tour of the dam, which for $5.00 was well worth it. Security was tight, and behind the mirrored glass of the visitor center are armed guards, metal detectors and screening worthy of any airport.
The tour includes a view of the huge turbines and generators that create the power.
At the base of the dam there is a tunnel coming out (you may have to blow this pic up to see it), and a whole batch of river rafts. Apparently this tunnel originates about two miles away and is large enough to accommodate even large tour buses - as they bring guests for the commercial raft tours below the dam.
Below the dam, the water is calm and green, unlike the original muddy torrent of the Colorado river. Attempts are made to somewhat mitigate this change by periodic releases of large water volumes to re-build the downstream sandbars and beaches. But of course, none of the silt entering the reservoir from above ever gets past the dam.
Water levels are well below capacity, and I don't believe it has been full since the 90's? Only time will tell whether the present drought is part of a cycle, or whether it is an indicator of global warming and future climate trends.
View of the dam from several miles upstream.
And, hanging the camera over the edge of the dam itself.