Lake Powell offers almost 2,000 miles of shoreline and almost
100 side canyons. It is a place of great, open bays and big vistas. It is
also a place of secluded beaches, coves, and hidden slot canyons. Some of
these colorful slot canyons may be only as wide as your boat and hundreds
of feet high! That paradox of wide-open and intimate places enchants millions
of visitors every year.
Intro to Area |
What to Do |
How to Get There |
Where to Stay |
Enter the Lake Powell Travel Guide and try
our interactive point-and-click map to learn about the area's top
attractions. The guide also includes a list of campgrounds, a complete place listing,
and useful links for area services and information.
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Lake Powell is home to magnificent Rainbow Bridge, the largest natural bridge
in the world. It is home to the wonderful canyons of the Escalante River,
with their bridges, arches, waterfalls, Indian ruins, and other great
attractions. Lake Powell offers all kinds of recreational activities.
Houseboating is extremely popular as are beach camping, fishing, water skiing, and
Introducing the Lake Powell Area
Glen Canyon Dam, constructed between 1956 and 1963, was the last giant dam
complex to be built in the United States. Standing 710 feet tall, it created
and impounds Lake Powell, the nation's second largest man-made lake.
Before the dam's coming the area was among the most remote places in the U.S.
outside of Alaska. Few people knew about the area's wonders. The city of Page
did not even exist. Now with towns and roads and boat travel, Lake Powell and
Canyon Country are visited and enjoyed every year by millions of people from
all over the world. Access is easy, and every kind of tourist amenity and
service is readily available. However there are still remote and unspoiled
places for those who want to get away from it all. The lake is so large that
privacy is easily found.
The dam was originally built for water storage and hydroelectricity. However
Lake Powell's recreational popularity has created a significant tourism
industry. Houseboating has become an extremely popular way to get away from it all
and enjoy the outdoors. The lake offers all manner of water sports and recreation.
The wealth of facilities and services is also a boon to travelers who wish to
visit canyon country's great scenic wonders such as the remarkable Rainbow Bridge
which was once so remote that the first recorded visit by non-native people
was not until 1909. Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce Canyon National Parks are
all within three hours drive of Page.
What To Do?
There are endless possibilities for self-guided and guided activities in the
Lake Powell area. You can focus on sightseeing or recreation or both. Lake Powell
of course offers all kinds of water sports and activities. Houseboating is
extremely popular but it is expensive and requires advance reservations. Power
boats can be rented at the marinas. Personal watercraft is available in Page. Guided
fishing trips are available. You may also go swimming, snorkel, scuba-dive, or
go hiking. You can even go on a helicopter tour. Other activities include
jeep trips, horseback riding, and raft trips. And most of the area's parks,
monuments, and forests offer good camping, hiking trails, and backpacking.
How to Get There?
The nearest major U.S. cities are Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona. Both
are equidistant (five hours driving) from Page, Arizona, in the heart of canyon
country, Las Vegas to the west, Phoenix to the south. International travelers
often fly to Los Angeles, California (five hours drive from Las Vegas) and rent
From Phoenix, drive north on Interstate 17 to Flagstaff, east
on I-40 to the highway US-89 exit. Head north on US-89 to Page.
From Las Vegas, drive north on I-15, exit just north of St. George, Utah,
east on Utah-9. To visit Zion National Park, continue on highway 9 to US-89.
The more direct route goes south on Utah-59 at Hurricane. The road becomes
Arizona-389 which meets US-89A at Fredonia, Arizona. To Page and Lake Powell,
head north on US-89A to Kanab, Utah, then east on US-89.
The rugged canyon country surrounding Lake Powell and the Colorado River
watershed has a climate typical of the high desert
regions of the American Southwest. Summers are hot with
daytime highs often exceeding 100° F. in July and August.
Winters are cold but not bitter with highs dropping below 50° F.
in December and January. The most pleasant
seasons are spring and fall. Year-round recreation is possible
as long as you dress warmly in the winter. Accommodations and
services are generally discounted in the late fall and winter.
The climate is extremely arid: precipitation is about six inches
per year. Light, steady rain (and, rarely, snow) comes with winter storms.
Occasional heavy thunderstorms occur during the summer.
The prevailing dryness makes the warm summers more comfortable.
Where to Stay?
Flagstaff, Arizona, and St. George, Utah, are small cities and have extensive lodging,
restaurants, and recreational facilities. Page, Arizona, is the center of activity
in the Lake Powell region, and has extensive tourist amenities and many attractions
and guided activities. Wahweap Marina in on the lake and is extensively developed
for tourists and visitors including restaurants and lodging. Uplake (just east
of the Escalante River), Bullfrog Marina offers extensive services but is a lot
less congested than Wahweap. Marble Canyon near Lee's Ferry offers food, lodging,
and camping, as does Jacob Lake. Most of the parks and monuments have campgrounds. There are also
private campgrounds with additional amenities (electricity, showers).