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Ok, this is actually my last post on things I had to do before leaving Page. I had to visit Alstrom Point, Lake Powell’s possibly second most famous viewpoint (I would say Reflection Canyon is first.)
Alstrom Point is in Utah, however it is closer to the south end of the lake, accessed from Page and Big Water instead of Escalante, like Reflection Canyon. Unlike Reflection Canyon, though, you can just drive to Alstrom Point! No almost 20 mile hike involved here.
I knew I wanted to see Alstrom Point on a cloudy day, or at least a day that wasn’t that bright and sunny hazy-can’t-really-see-anything day. And of course as soon as I vocalized this, it was all those bright sunny days.
So we waited and kept an eye on the weather, but thankfully since we just lived in Greenehaven, we could go literally anytime which was so nice.
Time was running out but the day finally came. It was cloudy but not rainy, still sort of sunny sometimes so off we went. The drive isn’t too bad but I would take a Dramamine if you get carsick. I didn’t feel awful but I definitely wished I took it a little earlier than I did.
Off we went, mid-day so we could try and catch the view closer to sunset. We didn’t actually but we drove further and it was so beautiful, I’m not even mad we didn’t see Alstrom Point at sunset.
The drive wasn’t too bad, it went pretty quickly, and it was easy to follow. Google brought us right there. Closer to the end, though, it got a little more rough and we had to slow down a bit but it wasn’t anything impossible.
Until we got to the first slickrock section. There was a van parked here so we hopped out and enjoyed the view a bit. The van guy couldn’t/didn’t make it past this part either and was going to hike the rest of the way and time it for sunset.
We stayed parked here and decided to walk further. Instead of walking on the road, we walked along the edge of the canyon rim, not too close, of course, to the second curve, I guess?
We could still see the parking area from where we were but we didn’t actually go all the way to the end. I still loved the view from where we stopped though.
We hung out here for a bit, just walking around along the edge, enjoying the view. I loved seeing the canyon below and while it would be cool to see it with water in it, I think I liked seeing Glen Canyon dry even more.
The lighting was perfect and right as we were about to turn around the sun peeked out so we stayed a little longer before heading back.
Once we were at the car, we decided to give the slickrock a try and we got sort of far on it but where the rock starts to turn back to road, it was a lot more uneven and blocky almost so we turned around.
Even though we didn’t go all the way to the end, which I’m sure is even better than what we saw, I still really liked it and am so glad I finally got to go before we left.
Instead of just heading home, though, we took a right back on the main dirt road (Sit Down Bench/K8200/NP 230) and drove down there a bit. We ended up parking near what was, I’m pretty sure, the back of Padre Bay.
This road actually keeps going and forks after a while and if you go to the right you would end up way out by Friendship Cove. We didn’t go past this spot though so I don’t know how the road is beyond that, much less all the way to the end.
If you do want to drive out there, definitely have a 4WD/high-clearance vehicle and plenty of food and water. You would for sure need to bring everything you would need with you since it’s so remote out here.
The sunset from here was beautiful (I still had phone service here) and I could see Navajo Mountain glowing pink to my right and a mesa glowing gold with the full moon above straight ahead. It was worth the drive just for this!
Overall, it was a great afternoon and a day trip from Page I would definitely recommend. You could easily spend all day out here exploring or if you’re more limited on time, half a day would still be enough to see at least just Alstrom Point.
Where is Alstrom Point in Utah?
Alstrom Point is a Lake Powell overlook outside of the town of Big Water, right on the Utah side of the Utah/Arizona border. It is 1 hour 18 minutes from Big Water and 1.5 hours from Page. It’s close to them but you need to take dirt roads to get there, that’s why it takes so long. It’s a great slightly off-the-beaten-path thing to do in Page.
Alstrom Point directions
In my head before actually driving to Alstrom Point, it was not something easy to find. I thought you had to know the way, to have directions written down, but you don’t. There were signs along the way and Google Maps took us right there.
In Big Water, you’ll want to get on Smoky Mountain Road/NP 230 which you will follow for about 13 miles before taking a slight right to stay on Smoky Mountain Road/NP 230 for one more mile.
Then you take another right off of Smoky Mountain Road but to continue on NP 230/K8200/Sit Down Bench for about 3.2 miles. Then it’s another slight right onto Alstrom Pt/NP 264/Romana Mesa Rd for 1.2 mile before yet another slight right to stay on that road.
There is a really rough slickrock area and we just stopped there then hiked the rest of the way. Unless you have really good high-clearance, I would recommend this. The drive is actually really straightforward and there are signs all the way to Alstrom Point.
If you bring it up in Google Maps while you’re still in town while you still have service, it should be loaded for the drive out there.
Alstrom Point road conditions
The Alstrom Point road conditions can vary but a high-clearance vehicle is recommended for this drive. A regular car could probably do some of it but I’m really not sure how much. A tour is a great option if you just have a normal car but still want to see Alstrom Point.
Just after leaving Big Water you have to cross Wahweap Creek, which isn’t too bad but can be if it has rained recently. The drive to Alstrom Point is not recommended if it is raining and can still be fairly difficult after recent rains.
To go past the first rough slickrock section where we stopped, you for sure need a high-clearance vehicle. We were even nervous trying it in our 4Runner that’s a little higher than normal (I’m not sure how high.)
If you start driving out here and get to a point you’re not comfortable driving with, turn around. There’s no shame in that and it’s going to be a lot cheaper than trying to get your car towed from out here.
The road is rocky, lumpy, bumpy, and has some sandy areas, the last few miles are definitely the worst. If you’re not far from the end, you can alway stop and hike in from there if you’re comfortable with a long hike. Just remember, you have to hike out, too.
Alstrom Point camping
Camping at Alstrom Point is a pretty popular choice and really great if you want to see Alstrom Point at sunset or sunrise. Camping nearby means no driving there or back in the dark, which I know I always prefer.
There is no campground at Alstrom Point, it’s just dispersed camping. You’ll need to bring any food/water/supplies you’ll need for the night and be sure to pack out anything you pack in.
The slickrock area we stopped at would make a good camping spot if your car can’t make it all the way to the end otherwise you’ll have to hike in with all of your gear, which is fine, just be prepared for that if your car can’t make it and you want to be at the end for sunset/sunrise.
There are no facilities here at all: no bathrooms, no water, no benches, nothing except maybe a fire ring, too. You’ll just have to be prepared with anything you would need.
Alstrom Point hike
The hike to Alstrom Point from the really rough and rocky part is about two miles each way (maybe even less) but it’s easy hiking since you’re already pretty much at the high point of this adventure. You can just keep following the road to the end.
We just stopped at the really rough rocky part because we couldn’t get over the rock with our car. Instead of following the road, we walked along the edge (not too close) instead of along the road.
Can you get to Lake Powell at Alstrom Point?
Nope! You just get a really great view of it but there is no way to get from Alstrom Point to Lake Powell without driving back out to Wahweap or Lone Rock.
Is there phone service at Alstrom Point?
Yes! We had service at Alstrom Point and most of the drive there with Charter Spectrum and Verizon. Some spots we didn’t have service on the way or we did but it was really bad, but I was surprised how much we got. I would plan to not have service just in case, but you never know.
Is there a fee for Alstrom Point?
Nope! If you want to visit Lake Powell at Lone Rock or Wahweap though, you will need to pay the $30 park entrance fee. A national park pass will cover that though if you have one.
National Park Pass + Other National Park Deals
- If you’re planning on visiting multiple parks (3 or more) on this trip or within the year, I would highly recommend getting a national park pass. It’s $80 but will pay for itself in about three trips to parks. It’s so worth it and I buy one every year! They’re also great for gifts for the park lovers in your life.
- To help plan the best national park trip ever, this Ultimate National Park Planning Bundle is perfect! You get two ebooks and a planner, saving 50% by getting them as a bundle! If you want all the details, this is the bundle for you. Buy the Ultimate bundle here.
- This National Park Planner (one of the ebooks from the bundle above) is perfect if you just want some guidance in your planning. Buy the planner here.
- Get yourself a little National Park notebook to write all about your adventures while you’re on the road. These from Field Notes are all very cute! If you want one for all of the NPS sites (400+!) then this one is for you!
- Before your trip, get some national park apparel for your trip! Homage is donating 5% of sales from the national park collection to the National Parks Conservation Association this year. Buy national park shirts here.
- Consider reading some of these books set in national parks before your big trip, on your adventure, or once you get home to take you back to the parks until next time.
- Planning a big national park trip? Check out these other posts: National Park bucket list, Make the most of a National Park trip, National Park camping packing list, My favorite National Park hikes, More National Park hikes I love, Underrated National Parks.
Alstrom Point in 2022
Because of the extremely low water level of Lake Powell in 2022, the view from Alstrom Point is going to look a little different. This doesn’t mean, in any way, that the view is bad now. It’s still incredible there is just less lake visible.
I think it might even be more impressive since you can see a little more of what it might feel like to experience Glen Canyon before Lake Powell. If you’ve seen pictures of high water here, just know you won’t be seeing that right now. It’s still beautiful though!
Is Alstrom Point at Lake Powell worth it?
Yes! I’m so glad I got to do this before we left and I really enjoyed it. I thought it might end up being overrated but I think I was wrong. It’s a great view and we pretty much had it to ourselves. It is definitely worth it.
Lake Powell books and maps
- Lake Powell Map (the Stan Jones map is the best one, I have like, three)
- Boaters Guide to Lake Powell
- Where the Water Goes
- Monkey Wrench Gang
- Cadillac Desert: The American West and its Disappearing Water
- Dead Pool: Lake Powell, Global Warming, and the Future of Water in the West
- Science Be Dammed: How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River
- Downriver: Into the Future of Water in the West
- Hayduke Lives!
Alstrom Point photos
Have you been to Alstrom Point in Utah? What did you think of it? Do you want to go?