From Bullfrog or Wahweap marinas, the 2,000 miles of shoreline that make up Lake Powell are full itineraries on the water and surrounding landscape. Navigate for days, not hours, and never see the same horizon. Inch into slots of sheer canyon walls then step ashore to retrace geologic time across petrified dunes.
Lake Powell is the second-largest reservoir in North America and represents only a portion of the 1.2 million-acre Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Hundreds of colorful sandstone side canyons, coves and natural wonders make Lake Powell a paradise for houseboats, kayaks and photographers, and shifts in the Lake Powell water level create shifting shores and changing landscapes. The lake is also a renowned bass fishery. Its otherworldly setting deep in the heart of Southern Utah make it a truly unique vacation destination.
Lake Powell Weather and When to Visit
Expect warm weather that approaches 100 F and pleasantly warm water throughout the summer. This is Lake Powell's peak season. Early fall receives rain and cooler air, but warm water can linger well into October depending on current conditions. There is also typically increased availability of rental equipment and accommodations. Throughout the year, daytime and nightime temperatures can differ by as much as 30 degrees. Winter and spring see cooler waters, but intrepid adventurers in wet suits can take to the water skis in the spring and fishers will love spawning populations. While nightime air temperature drops below freezing in the winter, most of Lake Powell doesn't freeze, providing an intriguing cold weather fishery.
Leave Las Vegas or Salt Lake at dawn and be on the water by lunch. Then plan on spending some time relaxing, playing and exploring the depths of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
From Salt Lake to the Bullfrog Marina, take take U.S. 6/191 then south on S.R. 24 after a short westward run on I-70. Bullfrog Marina is 70 miles south of Hanksville.
From Las Vegas to Wahweap, take I-15 to S.R. 9 and S.R. 59 with a dip back into Arizona before skirting Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Annual Pass holders for the national park might opt for the scenic route along S.R. 9 through Zion Canyon (or pay the entrance fee) and the Mt. Carmel-Zion Scenic Byway to U.S. 89. Wahweap Marina is 7 miles north of Page, Arizona.
Where to Stay
The two major marinas of Bullfrog and Wahweap are accessible by automobile and offer overnight accommodations. Overnight accommodations and campgrounds are also available at Halls Crossing and Hite Marinas. Visitors can rent boats and watercraft at Halls Crossing and Bullfrog Marinas.
The Charles Hall Ferry, which accommodates cars and motor homes, operates almost year-round (though on a minimal schedule in winter months) between Bullfrog and Halls Crossing, call (435) 684-7423 for schedules and pricing. Always check current marina conditions before heading to the lake.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument
Known to the Western world since 1910 and indigenous people for centuries prior, Rainbow Bridge is one of the earth's largest natural bridges.
Lake Powell's largest bay adds miles of water for wakeboarding, powerboating and skiing, along with sheltered coves to park the houseboat.
West Canyon and Labyrinth Canyon
Explore one of the lake's many unique side canyons at West Canyon, then with personal watercraft get even deeper into Labyrinth.
Glen Canyon was the name of the tranquil section of the Colorado River that once meandered through red rock canyons which, after the building of Glen Canyon Dam in 1966, became the stunning blue waters of Lake Powell. The lake takes it name from explorer John Wesley Powell, the first documented person to float the Colorado River.