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Lake Powell   |  Kane County Office of Tourism

Winter in Lake Powell

Lake Powell sprawls across Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, winding its tentacles into red-rock crevices, slot canyons and Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Boisterous, water-splashing crowds spill into the high desert area for summer, but in the wintertime, lake life unveils its softer side — a serene scene for fishing, boating, hiking and off-roading. If undisturbed is what you seek, Lake Powell in the winter delivers.

Glen Canyon and Lake Powell

Winter Activities in Lake Powell

Winter Fishing & Boating

Anglers and boaters delight in year-round activity on Lake Powell. The water does not freeze over, except at its northernmost point. Houseboat owners use the winter to get their vessels ready for summer use. Houseboat rental companies stay open for those willing to brave the cold in exchange for first pick of sites, supreme solitude and prime stargazing from a top-deck hot tub. 

Fishers reap the most rewards on the wintry lake, including fishing tournaments in the late winter, a 250-mile out-and-back Winter Solstice Run (via Uplake Adventures) on jet skis, and plenty of striped bass, crappie and walleye that rise out of water depths to enjoy cooler water near the surface. Boat rentals are available at both Wahweap and Bullfrog marinas during the winter.

Winter Hiking

Lake Powell hikers benefit from cooler temperatures and, again, fewer crowds in the winter. Glen Canyon National Recreation Center presents off-trail hiking accessed by land, water-accessed hikes and technical slot canyon hikes. If Grand Canyon National Park is on your bucket list, Toroweap is open year-round and offers a most spectacular view (North Rim, however, is closed during the winter). Whereas summer explorers dodge challenges like no shade, extreme heat and dangerous wildlife, winter trekkers enjoy ideal conditions.  

Winter Off-Roading

Off-roaders gas up their engines and hit the trails in side-by-sides, UTVs, ATVs and OHVs like Jeeps and Land Cruisers. According to Captain Ray at Ticaboo Resort, these thrill-seekers benefit from the occasional 60- and 70-degrees weather spurts.

If undisturbed is what you seek, Lake Powell in the winter delivers.

Photo: Jay Dash

Hiking trails are open year round for winter trekkers.

Photo: Jay Dash

Hiking through the Henry Mountains.

Photo: Rosie Serago

Winter Weather in Lake Powell

No doubt, it’s chilly at and around Lake Powell during the winter months. Freezing lows prevent in-the-water play, but highs in the 40s and 50s paired with desert sunshine add warmth for out-of-water activities during the day. In fact, winter in Lake Powell offers ideal hiking conditions without the bugs, snakes and extreme heat that comes with summertime play.

October: 73/48 F (23/9 C)
November:
59/36 F (15/2 C)
December:
48/28 F (9/-2 C)
January:
48/27 F (9/-3 C)
February:
54/32 F (12/0)

Utah Weather

Winter Travel Tips

  • Check weather apps frequently to avoid sudden extreme weather.
  • Pack winter layers — gloves, coats, hats, wool socks, and moisture-wicking underlayers — to tolerate the morning and evening chill. 
  • Check campground sites for the most updated closures and weather advisories. 
  • There is an entrance fee to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Fee. In addition to the regular entrance fees to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, separate permits are required for boating on Lake Powell. Learn more.
  • Contact a Southern Utah guide or outfitter for a winter tour of adjacent areas like Grand Staircase, Vermilion Cliffs, Wave (by lottery), White Pocket, Buckskin Gulch, Paria Canyon, Wire Pass and South Coyote Buttes (by lottery).

How to Visit Southern Utah in Winter

Robbers-Roost_Hiking_Southern-Utah_Winter_Burr-Andrew_2019

The Complete Winter Camping Packing List for Staying Warm in Southern Utah

Written By Jeremy Pugh

For most travelers, Southern Utah winters prevent comfortable camping, and occasional snowfall can make outdoor adventure a little more challenging. With a little extra planning, good layers, and the right equipment, however, you can enjoy Utah's national parks in the solitude of winter.

Winter in Southern Utah, Southeastern, Southwestern, Solitude, Responsible Travel, Camping and Backpacking

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Lone Rock Campground

Photo: Austen Diamond

Winter Camping & Lodging

Along Lake Powell’s 1,960-mile shoreline, campgrounds and houseboats rentals offer the closest lake lodging options, however, some campsites have limited amenities through the cold season. As nighttime temperatures dip below freezing, visitors will be happiest with access to heat and electricity. Defiance House Lodge sits conveniently on Bullfrog’s North Shore and Wahweap Campground supplies RV hookups, plus fire rings, showers, laundry facilities and free wi-fi.

Nearby towns offer the most amenities for accommodations. Kanab offers the biggest Utah hub for visitors to establish a basecamp en route to Lake Powell’s Wahweap Marina and Dixie National Forest. Ticaboo, Utah is 13 miles from North Lake Powell’s Bullfrog Marina and Bordertown Page, Arizona is just 8 minutes from Wahweap Marina.

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