Sapphire blue water contrast with towering red sandstone cliffs, a postcard worthy shot that can only be seen in Northern Arizona. The 186-mile Lake Powell straddles the Arizona-Utah border, with six major side canyons and close to 2,000 miles of coastline. Complete with sandy beaches, there is more than enough to explore when you rent a houseboat from Lake Powell Marina.
The second largest man-made reservoir, Lake Powell was created to provide drinking water and generate electricity for Los Angeles and Phoenix, as well as for recreation. It provides enough water annually to accommodate 30 million families in Arizona, Nevada and California. With millions of vacationers visiting Lake Powell each year, 100,000 explore the lake by houseboat annually. The bridge and the dam were completed in 1963 after which time it took 17 years for the Colorado River to completely fill it in.
Lake Powell Marina, the largest freshwater marina in the US is located within Glen Canyon National Recreation area with a number of water-based and back country activities. The recreation area stretches for hundreds of miles from Leese Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, covering incredible views, geologic masterpieces and an abundance of human history.
Beaches to laze on, canyons to hike through and miles of water to motor through while you while away the time gazing at vibrant red rock formations along the coast.
The 75’ houseboat rentals have 5 cabins and 3 heads (bathrooms for the landlubbers),and a hot tub on the top deck with a curving slide into the water. The galley is complete with full-sized stove, wine fridge, dishwasher and full-sized fridge and faces a comfy sitting area with fireplace and wide screen tv.
It’s recommended that you also rent a powerboat to tow behind you, so you have more ways to explore. Some people bring kayaks too. Fish are plentiful on the lake with striped bass, large and small mouth bass, Blue Gill, Crappie and Walleye.
Half day to full weekend courses are run to train future renters with detailed instructions on how to captain your own boat. Part of the course is not only how to start and navigate the boat, but how to dig an 8 ft. hole on a beach, which is always near the mouth of a canyon, so that if you decide to sunbathe, swim or fish, your anchor is well secured. You also learn how to tie on and tow a power boat. However, there is a system in place to deliver your houseboat to one spot, get you settled, then dock you when you are finished.
Perfect for multi-generational families and groups of friends.
Antelope Canyon Boat Tour: arrange through the Lake Powell Lodge: 1 ½ hours in length, the tour offers headsets in several languages to help fill in detailed information on the area. It is no surprise that Antelope Canyon has been used for movie sets, tv shows and music videos because of the incredible rock formations along the coast with displays of arches, monuments, walls, mesas and buttes in the canyon itself. Just when I thought I had seen every type of rock formation, the boat would wind around a curved rock revealing new colours, textures and shapes. This high-walled Navajo Sandstone side arm of Lake Powell is famous not only for its coloration but also for its famous slot canyons. Antelope Canyon is over 10 miles long. Well worth the time to view this enjoyable tour.
Wilderness Adventure Float Trip: A four hour guided interpretive river raft excursion experiencing the grandeur of the Colorado River in a 32-passenger float. The relaxing trip keeps you dry with fabulous views. The knowledgeable guide and driver shared the region’s history from the mining culture to the legend of John Doyle Lee. Petroglyphs Beach was a worthwhile stop viewing well preserved 5,000-year-old hand carved images of bighorn sheep and other ancient canyon dwellers. Highly recommended.
Horseshoe Bend: The following morning after the float trip, we hiked to the top of the cliffs of Horseshoe Bend to look down to the Colorado River where we had rafted the day before. Stunning rock formations along jaw-dropping cliffs. Go early in the morning as it gets very busy.
Where to stay: Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas, part of the Glen Canyon Dam Recreation Area, Lake Powell has waterfront property and outdoor activities, and magnificent lake views from every window and the surrounding rock formations make this a popular place to stay. Small patios outside of the basic rooms are a nice addition. Two restaurants within the lodge have seasonally changing menus highlighting local meats and vegetables in delicious combinations. Outdoor terrace and a pool. www.lakepowell.com