Lake Powell is a massive man-made reservoir situated on the Colorado River spanning across Utah and Arizona. This stunning destination has been a place I’ve been wanting to explore since I relocated to Cali over a decade ago. Needless to say, I was super excited to cross Lake Powell off of my bucket list. What makes this road trip extraordinary was the opportunity to collaborate with The Lake Powell tourism board and Under Canvas Lake Powell, granting me a truly unique glamping experience. As the icing on the cake, I had the pleasure of embarking on this breathtaking road trip accompanied by my partner and our two fur babies as we trekked from Los Angeles to Arizona and Utah’s serene desert.
HOW LONG SHOULD I VISIT
Lake Powell encompasses not only natural wonders but also a rich cultural experience. Spend your days on the water kayaking or embark on an exhilarating hike through the hidden antelope canyons. Lake Powell is a haven for adventurers. I spent four days in Lake Powell boating, hiking, and rafting through the Colorado River. You can honestly do this trip in 3 days, however because of our long drive from California ( 8 hours). We opted for four days to allow plenty of rest and recovery upon our arrival. With this in mind, I recommend allocating a minimum of three days to fully immerse yourself and take advantage of all of the unique experiences offered.
If you are traveling to Lake Powell by air, the nearest airport is located in Page, Arizona. This is where you can also rent a car. If feasible, it is recommended to opt for a 4-wheel drive vehicle, as this will allow you to explore off-road locations that are truly worth visiting. Lake Powell is rather remote, and considering the high temperatures especially during the summer months, it is essential to pack an abundant supply of snacks, water, and sunscreen if you are planning to take a road trip like we did from Los Angeles to Lake Powell.
TOP 5 THINGS TO DO
Antelope Canyon: The Lower Antelope Canyon is located within the Navajo Nation, and is one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. This awe-inspiring experience offers two touring options: Kens Tours and Dixies Tour. Personally, I opted for Dixies tour due to availability during the morning slot I made my booking. This is not an ordinary tour, it truly is a sacred and breathtaking experience. To ensure your spot, I recommend booking at least a week in advance, particularly during peak season. For photography enthusiast seeking to capture the canyons beauty, its nearly impossible to take a bad photo here. However, I suggest visiting early in the morning to avoid the crowds and take advantage of optimal lighting. If you’re unable to secure an early morning reservation your best bet is going later in the day before closing. Undoubtedly, Lower Antelope Canyon ranks among the world’s most photographed landmarks.
Wilderness River Adventure: Experiencing Horseshoe Bend from above is an incredible, but embarking on an adventure from the Colorado River offers a unique thrill of its own. To make the most of your day, and this experience, I suggest opting for an earlier tour, this will give you plenty of time to relax or explore other attractions afterward. The journey commences at The Wilderness River Adventures Headquarters, where you’ll join your group and board a bus for a scenic 2-mile tunnel drive. It’s important to note that this is a half-day tour, and while we anticipated a lengthy day, we found ourselves unprepared. Be sure to pack lots of snacks, and liquids for your trip. Some people had small coolers with fruit, crackers, and refreshing juices. As you cruise through the captivating landscapes of Vermillion Cliffs, Glen Canyon Dam, and Marble Canyon, you’ll encounter breathtaking vistas. Along the way, a stop at a riverbank allows you to take refreshing dip in the cool waters and admire intriguing petroglyphs. Although the excursion may prove to be a long day, the reward it offers makes a it undeniably worthwhile.
Horseshoe Bend: Horseshoe Bend offers a quick 1.3 mile round trip hike that truly lives up to its name. The entrance fee of $10 covers both parking and admission. While there are tour guides services available, we chose to explore it on our own, which I believe is the best approach. Originally, I had hoped to witness the breathtaking views during both sunrise and sunset, but due to our schedule we decided on a sunset visit instead. Horseshoe Bend attracts over 2 million visitors every year. It is undeniably vast, providing plenty of space to capture stunning photos. I absolutely loved my visit to Horseshoe Bend, exuding a tranquil and surreal experience. I highly recommend visiting during sunrise or sunset.
Explore Lake Powell: The highlight of my Lake Powell visit was undoubtedly the exhilarating boat exploration. There are several options available for exploring, including boats, jetskis, and kayaking. I recommend starting early in the morning to enjoy the calm waters and cooler temperatures. I would allocate at least half a day for this experience, and ensure you have plenty of snacks, water, and refreshing juices. When we ventured onto the water, we were uncertain about what to expect. I suggest downloading a map of the lake beforehand to easily navigate the scenic points you want to explore. Some notable highlights include: Lone Rock Beach, Rainbow Bridge National Monument (unfortunately was closed during our visit), Hole in the roof (also known as the Toilet Bowl), Cookie Jar in Padre Bay, The Sand Hill, and the Labyrinth Slot Canyons.
Among them, my favorite part of the lake was venturing through the labyrinth canyons. We cruised through the narrow passageways, and it truly became the highlight of my day. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where further progress is possible only by getting out of your boat or jets and continuing on foot. Since we had our two pups with us, we decided to cruise through the narrow passage ways and didn’t proceed all the way. However, I heard that fully exploring the slot canyons is an absolutely amazing experience, where you can essentially have the slot canyons all to yourself. There are also tour companies that offer guided kayak trips to these hidden canyons. Regardless of the method you choose to explore the lake, breathtaking views await you.
Hike The New Wave Trail: It has been a dream of mine to visit the Wave in Arizona however due to the limited amount visitors allowed each year, and the competitive lottery I was super excited to hear that there is new hike trail, called The New Wave. The New Wave is located in just outside of Page, Arizona. We stopped at The New Wave on our way back home to Los Angeles, which was perfect because we didn’t have time for a long hike. It was a short, but sweet 1.25 mile hike. Parking is free, admission is free, and there is no permit needed which makes The New Wave trail an amazing alternative if you’re unable to win a permit to the original wave.
UNDER CANVAS LAKE POWELL: For a luxurious glamping experience, consider a stay at Under Canvas Lake, Powell. Perched on a canyon rim, this extraordinary camp resort offers upscale safari inspired accommodations. Indulge in the comfort of king size beds, plush linens, and private ensuite bathrooms. Under Canvas Lake Powell is the dreamiest of dreams. Picture yourself basking in golden hued sunrises, witnessing vibrant sunsets, and embracing the warmth of cozy fires. Delight in the sight of rainbows, snuggle beneath plush blankets and savor yummy complimentary smore’s. Under Canvas Lake Powell provides the ultimate haven for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and those yearning for tranquility. Spend your days unwinding on the lake , and your evenings cozying up under the starry skies.
LAKE POWELL RESORTS AND MARINAS: Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas offers affordable rooms with stunning views of the Lake. Conveniently located next door to Wahweap Marina in Page, AZ. This is a perfect location for those looking to explore the lake by boat or Jetski. The rooms are a bit outdated, however they were clean, dog friendly, & offered a medium sized balcony overlooking the lake. You’ll find Driftwood Lounge for comfort food on property, and The Rainbow Room restaurant offering stunning panoramic views of the beautiful red rock buttes