A wide variety of watercraft ply the waters of Lake Powell. All kinds of power boats can be found on the water, of course, often taking advantage of the endless opportunities for camping on the shoreline of Lake Powell, as well as fishing (see our Fishing Guide), water skiing, and tubing in the lake. Houseboating is very popular, allowing for multi-day excursions with a hint of luxury. Personal Watercraft (PWC) are also popular, but remember, children ages 12–17 who wish to operate a PWC in Utah must take a certification course in order to do so.
But it’s not only the powerboats that have access to Lake Powell — sailboats and kayaks are popular as well, especially from the Bullfrog Marina, which is the closest way to the water from Salt Lake City. Another option is to sign up for a boat tour. Regardless of your circumstance, a boating vacation on Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area will supply memories to last a lifetime. This guide provides you with some of the basic information needed to plan a boat excursion on Lake Powell, and also points you in the direction of valuable online resources that can offer additional help.
Lake Powell Marinas
The National Park Service has boat launches and ranger offices at most of the marinas on Lake Powell. It’s always a good idea to check with the rangers on current lake levels, primitive camping options, and to get advice and information on your boating plans. It’s also a good idea to visit the boating page of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area website for the most current information.
Here is a rundown of the marinas on Lake Powell:
Wahweap Bay is the most dynamic center for boat adventures on Lake Powell, including the popular trip to Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Wahweap Marina is located 5.5 miles from the Carl Hayden Visitor Center along Lakeshore Drive (about 7 miles northwest of Page, Arizona). Lodging, food services, gift shops, two campgrounds (one with hook-ups), laundry, showers, and a service station are all found at Wahweap. Full marina services include slips, buoys, boat rentals, tours, repairs, dry storage and fueling.
Contact: Wahweap Marina is operated by the park concessionaire ARAMARK (928-645-2433 at Wahweap or 800-528-6154 for advance reservations; or visit the ARAMARK website. The National Park Service phone number at Wahweap is (928) 608-6200.
GPS coordinates: 36.990639, -111.483460
Reached via S.R. 276 from the north and located on the western side of the lake, Bullfrog Marina offers the second-most variety of services on Lake Powell after Wahweap. Bullfrog is also the closest marina to Salt Lake City. The National Park Service provides a launch ramp, portable toilet dump station, free boat pump-out station, picnic area, fish cleaning station, and paved landing strip for aircraft. The concessionaire, ARAMARK, provides a full range of visitor services, including a lodge, housekeeping units, restaurant, gift shop, grocery store, two campgrounds (one with hook-ups), laundry, showers, service station, boat rental, and boat repair. Boat tours are also available. There is also a post office in Bullfrog. The State of Utah maintains a regularly scheduled vehicle ferry between Halls Crossing and Bullfrog.
Contact: Bullfrog Marina is operated by the park concessionaire ARAMARK (435-684-3000 at Bullfrog, including ferry information; or 800-528-6154 for advance reservations); or visit the ARAMARK website. The National Park Service phone number at Bullfrog is 435-684-7400.
GPS coordinates: 37.517668, -110.744087
Located about 5 miles uplake from Glen Canyon Dam on the main lake channel is Antelope Point Marina. The marina is accessed on land from AZ 98 if coming from the south or by U.S. 89 if coming from the north. Antelope Point has a public launch ramp, day use area, and dump station. Antelope Point Holdings, one of the park's concessionaires, provides boat rental, valet launching, slip rental, boat repair, boat pump-out, a restaurant, snack bar, and a small convenience store.
Contact: Call 928-645-5900 or visit the Antelope Point website for more information.
GPS coordinates: 36.965700, -111.429430
Dangling Rope Marina is accessible only by water. There is no boat launching facility at Dangling Rope. The National Park Service provides a ranger station, restrooms, free boat pump-out station, and emergency communications. During the summer season, interpretive rangers are stationed at nearby Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Services at Dangling Rope include boat fuel, minor boat repair, and a supply store that also has groceries. Note: Dangling Rope is the only place to get boat fuel between Wahweap and the Halls Crossing/Bullfrog area.
Contact: Dangling Rope Marina is operated by the park concessionaire ARAMARK (928-645-2433 at Dangling Rope; or 800-528-6154); or visit the ARAMARK website.
GPS coordinates: 37.122235, -111.082094
Halls Crossing is about 95 miles upstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and directly across the lake from Bullfrog Marina. The National Park Service maintains a Boater Contact Station at Halls Crossing that is staffed intermittently during the summer. It also provides a launch ramp and free boat pump-out station. Visitor services include housekeeping units, grocery store, two campgrounds (one with hook-ups), laundry, showers, service station, and boat repair. The State of Utah maintains a regularly scheduled vehicle ferry between Halls Crossing and Bullfrog.
Contact: Halls Crossing Marina is operated by the park concessionaire ARAMARK (435-684-7000 at Halls Crossing, including ferry information; or 800-528-6154 for advance reservations); or visit the ARAMARK website. The National Park Service phone number at Halls Crossing is 435-684-7460.
GPS coordinates: 37.473953, -110.718660
There are no marina services available at Hite, but there are primitive boat launches and other visitor services. Boat launching is at your own risk and 4WD is recommended. The Hite Ranger Station has emergency services, visitor information, public restrooms, and a fish cleaning station. A convenience store is open daily except during the winter season with gasoline and diesel fuel available year round. Lodging and RV full hookup sites are available upon reservation with the park concessionaire ARAMARK. RV and portable toilet dump stations are also available, as well as potable water.
Contact: Contact the Hite Ranger Station for current conditions at Hite (435-684-2457).
Hite is operated by the park concessionaire ARAMARK (435-684-2278 at Hite; 800-528-6154 for advance reservations); or visit the ARAMARK website.
GPS coordinates: 37.867249, -110.396563
Popular Boating Destinations on Lake Powell
Wahweap Bay is the most active center for boat excursions on Lake Powell, including the popular trip to Rainbow Bridge National Monument. The stone arc of Rainbow Bridge is composed of Navajo sandstone on a base of Kayenta sandstone. Rainbow Bridge spans 275 feet, reaching a height of 290 feet above Bridge Creek and ranging from 33 to 42 feet thick. Whether you take your own boat or sign up for a boat tour, a memorable excursion to Rainbow Bridge National Monument is at least a half-day adventure, and it includes a mile-long hike to get a good view of the natural bridge.
A shorter boat trip with awesome scenery is to Gunsight Bay. Expect this excursion to take a couple hours at least, and make sure you have your camera ready to capture the amazing views of Gunsight Butte.
Antelope Canyon is another popular boating destination in the southern reaches of Lake Powell, accessible from Wahweap. At ten miles long, this narrow canyon showcases some of the most amazing Navajo Sandstone architecture ever produced by Mother Nature. Nearby Navajo Canyon, with its 600-foot high walls, is another amazing spot to check out.
In the northern reaches of Lake Powell, destinations accessible from Bullfrog Marina and Halls Crossing include Moqui Canyon, Good Hope Bay, and the Escalante Arm, as well as many others. Click here for more information on boating destinations in northern Lake Powell.
If you don’t have a boat but want to check out some of the premier boating destinations mentioned above, one option is to sign up for a boat tour. Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas (Aramark) provides boat tours on southern Lake Powell out of Wahweap Marina. Contact them at 1-800-528-6154 or at www.lakepowell.com. In the upper Lake Powell area, Lake Powell Northlake Special Charters provides boat tours. Contact them at 435-684-3062.
Read more about the scenic boat tour experience of Lake Powell.
No boat of your own? No problem! Glen Canyon NRA has two concessionaires who rent boats on Lake Powell. Antelope Point Marina rents houseboats, cruisers, water toys, and kayaks. Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas rents boats and toys of many shapes and sizes out of Wahweap and Bullfrog Marinas. For complete contact information see the Marinas section above.
Kayaking on Lake Powell
There is no more intimate way to experience a body of water than from the cockpit of a sea kayak or on a stand up paddleboard. Kayaking is a popular activity on Lake Powell. Whether you want to do a two-hour tour near a marina or head out on a multiday kayak-camping trip, the options are incredible.
Out of Wahweap some popular day-trip destinations for kayakers include Lone Rock, Warm Creek Bay, and Padre Bay. Out of Bullfrog some popular excursions are to Moqui Canyon, Lost Eden Canyon, and the Escalante Arm. Visit the kayaking page of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area website for more information on kayaking — including safety information that is of utmost importance!
Fees and Permits
In addition to regular entrance fees to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, separate permits are required for boating in Lake Powell. A motorized vessel costs $16 for a 7-day permit; each additional motorized vessel in a group costs $8. There is no fee for launching a kayak.
A detailed map of Lake Powell and its canyons is crucial to any boating adventure. Maps can be ordered online or purchased in local marinas. Also handy for boaters is a map of floating restrooms and pump out stations.
Remember, when boating on Lake Powell, stay safe! Carry plenty of water and a good map. Boating at night is not recommended. Always keep an eye out for approaching storms. Keep in mind that lake levels fluctuate and can sometimes be a lot higher in the summer than in the winter. This means the shoreline can be quite different at one time of the year than another, an important point to remember when navigating. Unmarked underwater hazards exist, so be aware and keep an eye out.
It is important to know and understand federal and state boating regulations when recreating on Lake Powell. The United States Coast Guard website is a helpful resource, as is the Utah State Parks website boating page.
* Flickr CC The Greater Southwestern Exploration Company