Photo: Gary Ladd

Photo: Gary Ladd

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.


How Do I Register?

Who can register?

Field Institute classes are open only to adults over the age of 18.

What does my course fee include?

All course fees include expert instruction, lodging during the course,  delicious meals and snacks, coffee, tea, and juice.

What time should I be at the dock for the first day of the Lens on the Lake trip?

We meet at the Wahweap Marina Boat Rental T-Dock between 10:00 - 10:30 AM (Mountain Standard/Arizona time) for loading of the houseboat and introductions and orientation. The houseboats will sail promptly at 11:30 AM, all participants must be on board with gear loaded or risk missing the trip.

What locations are we likely to visit during the trip?

We almost always stop at Rainbow Bridge. It is very likely that we will photograph Weathering Pit Ridge near Cookie Jar Butte, the “Splotchy Rocks” and “Craig’s Bathtub” of Last Chance Canyon, “Vivid Rock” along the main channel near Dangling Rope Marina, Oak Bay or Secret Canyon (depending on lake level), Cathedral in the Desert (an Escalante tributary), the “Great Alcove” of Fiftymile Canyon (an Escalante tributary) and “Pool Canyon” near the mouth of the Escalante. Weather conditions, trip duration and the current lake level sometimes influence where we can visit. Depending on these factors and others we also sometimes visit Dominguez Rock, Echo Canyon (both near Padre Bay), West Canyon, Rock Creek’s “Potty Arch,” Cathedral Canyon, Twilight Canyon, Anasazi Canyon, “Forest Alcove,” and Reflection Canyon. We, of course, can’t see all of these locations in one trip but we do try to visit the most photographically interesting depending on season, weather and lake level. Whenever possible, we like to add a little extra exploration to the itinerary.

If I need to arrive the day before a trip or leave the day after, where should I stay for the night?

For lake-based courses, the lodge at the marina - Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas - is the most convenient as is the Wahweap Campground, but there are plenty of options in the town of Page, Arizona. Download a partial list of options (PDF).

What time will the houseboat return to the dock on the last day of the Lens on the Lake trip?

We will dock back at Wahweap Marina by mid to late morning.

What will the weather be like for the Lens on the Lake trip?

Remember, Lake Powell is in the desert. The weather can be fickle, but you can be sure it will cool off up to 30 degrees at night. Daytime highs will usually be in the 50s-60s, but can be as high as the 80s or as low as the 30s. Nighttime lows in the 30s-40s, but can be as low as the 10s-20s. Rain or snow is unlikely, but still a possibility. Check the weather before departing for Page for the latest conditions.

What should I pack for the Lens on the Lake trip?

Houseboats have limited storage space; please, only bring one piece of soft luggage (or duffel bag) in addition to your camera gear. For a more complete list of what to pack, download Lens on the Lake: What Should I Pack? (PDF)

Do houseboat-based trips provide bedding?

Linens are provided (sheets, pillows, blankets, towels) for houseboat berths, however we are not usually able to run heaters at night, so the houseboat can get chilly after bedtime. You will need a good sleeping bag – one good enough to get you through temperatures in the 40s. In the morning and during much of the day we can fire up the generator and warm up the boat when needed.

What are the accommodations on a Lens on the Lake houseboat trip?

Each of the houseboats we use feature two cabins, and two downstairs bunk areas. All cabins and bunks have the same limited storage. In planning our trips, we usually provide the cabins to couples and the bunks to single participants.

Can I camp on a houseboat-based trip?

Yes, you are welcome to camp off-boat during houseboat-based trips such as Lens on the Lake. You may also enjoy sleeping below the stars on the boat's top deck. Each boat usually accommodates two couples in the staterooms, and two individuals in the lower bunk areas for sleeping and gear storage, but you may choose to use it as gear storage and sleep in the fresh air under the night sky.

Do I have to pay the National Park Service entrance fee at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area?

Yes, all field school participants are required to pay the entrance fee of $15 or present a current America the Beautiful Pass, Senior Pass, Volunteer Pass, or Access Pass.

Will I be able to charge batteries, cell phones, computers, or other electrical devices when on a Lens on the Lake houseboat trip?

Yes, we run the houseboat's generator at various times of the day when charging is easy. We don't want you find yourself without charged camera batteries, so when need be, we can run the generator at other times as well. 

Will my cell phone work on a field school course?

Though cellular telephone services are available in some areas of our parks, those services are not consistent or reliable. Assume that you will not have cell phone coverage – this includes your iPad or computer cellular modems.

What time is it?

Because Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the Glen Canyon Field School are on Arizona Standard Time (Arizona does not participate in Daylight Savings Time), all field school courses in Glen Canyon NRA and Rainbow Bridge National Monument will operate on Mountain Standard Time. Because Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is entirely in the state of Utah, all courses on the Monument will be subject to Daylight Savings Time. 

What if I have health or dietary restrictions?

Once registered, all participants will be required to fill out a Risk Waiver and Health Questionnaire so that our trip leader(s), captain(s), purser(s), and other course staff will be aware of your specific needs. 

What is your cancellation and refund policy?

  • Registration payments are fully refundable, less a $35 per course processing fee, if cancellation takes place at least 30 days before the course.
  • No refunds will be made for cancellations received fewer than 30 days before the start of the course.
  • We reserves the right to cancel a course up to 30 days before the first class day. If we cancel, you will receive a full refund.
  • We regret that we cannot make exceptions to the refund policy for any reason, including, but not limited to, illness, travel delays, emergencies, or weather. We strongly urge you to take out accident, baggage, and trip cancellation insurance through a travel agent. Travel insurance can help protect you against financial loss if you must cancel or interrupt your trip.