Lake Powell is a reservoir—the second-largest man-made reservoir in the United States, actually—in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on the border of Arizona and Utah. Known for its many sandy beaches, sparkling blue water, and red-rock landscapes, this fun vacation spot is one of Arizona’s top attractions. Some of the lake’s famous features include the Glen Canyon Dam (located in Arizona) and the Rainbow Bridge National Monument, one of the world’s longest natural bridges (located in Utah).
Recreation is king at Lake Powell with excellent boating, water skiing, jet-skiing, kayaking, and fishing. Boat tours grant visitors a leisurely overview of the lake and its landscapes, or you can charter your own boat for the day. You can also admire Lake Powell from the air by airplane or helicopter tour. A trip to Lake Powell is often combined with other top Arizona sights, including the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Day trips that include Lake Powell depart from the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Flagstaff, and are typically 8–10 hours long.
- Lake Powell temperatures are frequently between 90 and 100°F (32 to 38°C) in summer. Be sure to bring sun protection as needed.
- There are prepared campsites at all of the lake’s marinas, but you are also free to camp wherever you like.
How to Get There
To access the southwestern end of Lake Powell in Arizona, take U.S. Route 89 and State Route 98. Antelope Canyon is four miles (6.5 kilometers) up from the Glen Canyon Dam on Antelope Island. Boat tours often include round-trip transportation from nearby areas.
When to Get There
The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is open year-round, but may have reduced facilities during winter months. July and August may have thunderstorms, and shoulder seasons (May and October) provide the best weather with minimal crowds.
The Best of Lake Powell Boating
Lake Powell is one of the most popular houseboat destinations in the country. But if you’re just visiting for the day, there are plenty of great options ranging from dinner cruises to kayaking that will enable you to access some of the Colorado River’s most scenic slot canyons. Boat trips and canyon tours depart frequently from Wahweap Marina and Antelope Point Marina.