Lake Powell Sightseeing
- Destinations, Things to Do
Lake Powell Sightseeing
Lake Powell is a natural wonder with over 1900 miles of shoreline north of the Arizona/Utah border. The lake is notorious for its breathtaking red rock canyon views and natural arches. Its remarkable and unparalleled scenic beauty as well as its rich history will leave you in a state of perpetual wonderment and have you coming back for more. For this reason, Lake Powell is the number one houseboat destination in the country! The following are just a handful out of seemingly infinite possibilities of the must-see stop overs while you're on your houseboat vacation.
The top sightseeing destination on Lake Powell is Rainbow Bridge natural arch. It's situated about 50 lake miles from either Wahweap/Antelope Point marinas from the southern end of the lake, or about the same distance from Bullfrog marina on the northern end. Rainbow Bridge is dubbed as the "rainbow turned to stone" by the Navajo people. The bridge has a deep spiritual significance as special prayers are offered before passing under the bridge, and failure to do so is believed to bring misfortune. Although, the National Park Service began requesting visitors to refrain from passing under the monument for preservation. The sandstone bridge stands 290 feet high and is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is not to be missed! Boat and air tours are offered daily from Wahweap marina, or if you happen to be houseboating nearby, there is a courtesy dock just over a mile from the monument.
Horseshoe Bend is another must-see. Just south of Page, Arizona near Wahweap or Antelope Point marinas sits a sharp curve in the Colorado River around an incredible rock formation. The colors of the surrounding rocks change with the position of the sun, and the water sparkles as it flows in shades of blue and green. The hike to this gorgeous site is only 1.5 miles round trip over sandy hills and across gentle sandstone inclines. Horseshoe Bend is below the Glen Canyon Dam, so it is not accessible by houseboat, but make sure to stop over on your way in or out of the Page area.
Only 23 lake miles from Wahweap marina sits Padre Bay, a very popular area for houseboat stopovers. It's the largest bay of Lake Powell which stretches seven miles across and nine miles long with gorgeous views of monuments such as the Domingues Butte, Tower Butte, Cookie Jar Butte and Boundary Butte (so named as it straddles the Utah/Arizona border). From Padre Bay are several back shoots like Kane Wash Canyon which is great for kayaking and exploring.
Nearer to the Bullfrog area (northern Lake Powell), be sure not to miss the excitement along the Escalante River Arm (about 30 lake miles from Bullfrog marina.) The Escalante River Arm is home to three-roof Anasazi ruins with wall paintings and petroglyphs, caves and arches, as well as Fortymile Gulch and the Grand Staircase formation. Fortymile Gulch as it heads up Willow Gulch is great for hiking and exploring the red rock canyons and desert pools. Broken Bow Arch is a wonderful surprise along the way as it sits on the north side of the gulch, about a half mile from the confluence.
These suggestions are merely scraping the surface of all of what the naturally beautiful Lake Powell has to offer. The lake is yours to explore: the canyons, arches, petroglyphs, buttes, caves and ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings. No matter where you are on the lake, there is something to explore and marvel at. The Stan Jones' Lake Powell Map is a perfect resource in planning your visit as it includes a full listing by area of Lake Powell's glorious sights, and it's less than $5 to order online.
What are your favorite sights to visit on Lake Powell? Please share in the comments below.