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Lake Powell, at least North Lake Powell, usually gets passed up on Utah Road Trips. And it shouldn’t be, for good reason. No, it’s not great for budget trips, but it’s totally worth it to splurge on a boat rental for a day, or even to take a week and gather all your friends to split a houseboat rental. Trust me, it’s worth it and it’s an awesome way to explore the lake.
So, here I am. ready to convince you to put Lake Powell on your bucket list and add it to your Great American Road Trip. I promise, it’s awesome, even if you can only make it to the much more accessible Wahweap Marina just a short drive from Page, Arizona.
And hey, if you can’t make it to Lake Powell, there are tons of books about Lake Powell and the Colorado River you can read that will make it feel like you’re there.
Tips for visiting Lake Powell:
- If you’re short on time, stop at Wahweap which is closer to Page. This is perfect if you’re visiting Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend. It’s also much closer to the Grand Canyon.
- If you have more time or are going from Moab to Capitol Reef, which you also shouldn’t skip, head to Bullfrog for a couple days. It’s much more remote though, so prepare for that. I’m talking three hours from a grocery store and one restaurant. Totally worth visiting.
- Some notable canyons to visit: Cedar, Knowles, Smith Fork, Iceberg, Forbidding (the home of Rainbow Bridge,) Forgotten, Moqui, Four Mile, and tons more.
- Take time to Explore the Escalante and San Juan river arms. Cathedral in the Desert is easy to visit towards the beginning of Escalante, just make sure you don’t get stuck if you take your powerboat in far. Jet skis or kayaks are perfect for this.
- If you do rent a boat, get kayaks or paddle boards so you can get into some smaller area that the boat can’t get to.
- Get the Boaters Guide To Lake Powell for some of the best insider info. Pick up a map, too, to help your navigation.
- All canyons are labeled with bouys at the canyon entrance. There are also mile marker buoys to help with navigation. It starts at the dam and goes up that farther north you go.
- The only places to get gas are Bullfrog, Halls Crossing (the two farthest north,) Dangling Rope (near Rainbow Bridge, in the middle, but more south,) and Wahweap (farthest south, near Page.)
- If you have jet skis, bring extra gas cans so you don’t run out.
- I get burned to a crisp whenever I’m on the water, so don’t forget sunscreen!
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Have you been to Lake Powell? What do you think of it? Do you want to go? What’s your favorite canyon?