While simply exploring the lake's maze of canyons on a narrated tour is satisfying enough for many visitors, the most popular activities are still houseboating, water-skiing, riding personal watercrafts, and fishing. Five marinas (only Wahweap is in Arizona) help boaters explore the lake. At the Wahweap Marina (tel. 888/896-3829 or 928/645-2433), about 5 miles north of the Glen Canyon Dam, you can rent various types of boats, along with personal watercrafts and water skis. Rates range from $450 to $800 per day, depending on the type of boat. Personal watercraft go for $450 per day, and sea kayaks rent for $50 per day. A variety of boats, including ski boats and kayaks, can also be rented at Antelope Point Marina, 537 Marina Pkwy., Navajo Rte. 22B (tel. 928/645-5900). Expect to pay $375 to $425 per day for a ski boat and $30 to $45 per day for a kayak.


Smallmouth, largemouth, and striped bass, as well as walleye, catfish, crappie, and carp, are all plentiful year-round in Lake Powell. Because the lake lies within both Arizona and Utah, you’ll need to know which state’s waters you’re fishing in whenever you cast your line out, and you’ll need the appropriate license. (Be sure to pick up a copy of the Arizona and Utah state fishing regulations, or ask about applicable regulations at any of the marinas.) In Wahweap, you can arrange licenses to fish the entire lake at Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas (tel. 928/645-2433), which also sells bait and tackle and can provide you with advice on fishing this massive reservoir. Other marinas on the lake also sell licenses, bait, and tackle. The best season is March through November, but walleye are most often caught during the cooler months.

If you’d rather try your hand at catching enormous rainbow trout, try downstream of the Glen Canyon Dam, where cold waters provide ideal conditions for trophy trout. Unfortunately, there isn’t much access to this stretch of river. You’ll need a trout stamp to fish for the rainbows. If you want a guide to take you where the fish are biting, contact Bill McBurney at Ambassador Guide Service (www.ambassadorguides.com; tel. 928/606-5829); his rates are $400 for a half-day and $700 for a full day.


The 18-hole Lake Powell National Golf Course, 400 Clubhouse Dr.; tel. 928/645-2023) is one of the most spectacular in the state. The fairways wrap around the base of the red-sandstone bluff atop which sits the town of Page. The views stretch on forever, and in places, eroded sandstone walls come right down to the greens and fairways. Greens fees run $39 to $52 for 18 holes.


If you’re looking for a quick, easy hike with great views, head north on North Navajo Drive from downtown Page. At the end of this street is the main trail head for Page’s Rimview Trail. This trail runs along the edge of Manson Mesa, upon which Page is built, and has views of Lake Powell and miles of red-rock country. The entire loop trail is 8 miles long, but if you want to do a shorter hike, then just head east (clockwise) from the trail head and walk for as long as you care to. If you happen to have your mountain bike with you, the trail is a great ride.

At Lees Ferry, a 39-mile drive from Page at the southern tip of the national recreation area, you’ll find three short trails (Cathedral Wash, River, and Spencer). The most interesting is the 2-mile Cathedral Wash Trail, which follows a dry wash through a narrow canyon with unusual rock formations (beware of flash floods). The trail head is at the second turnout after turning off U.S. 89A. The River Trail, a 2-mile round-trip hike along the river, starts at the Lees Ferry boat ramp about 5 miles north of U.S. 89A at Marble Canyon. The 4-mile round-trip Spencer Trail, which branches off the River Trail, leads to the top of a 1,700-foot cliff for spectacular views of Marble Canyon.

Canyoneering backpackers may want to try the famed Paria Canyon Trail, which runs from Utah (trail head on U.S. 89) to Lees Ferry. Between 38 and 47 miles long (depending on where you start), it follows the meandering route of a narrow slot canyon. Hiking Paria is a challenge—but a life-changer, too. Paria Canyon hikers must apply online in advance for a permit (https://www.blm.gov/az/paria/index.cfm?usearea=PC); the cost is $5 per day per person and another $5 a day if you bring your dog.


If roaring engines aren’t your speed, you might want to consider exploring Lake Powell by sea kayak. While afternoon winds can sometimes make paddling difficult, the air is often quite still in the morning. With a sea kayak, you can even explore canyons too narrow for powerboats. Kayak tours of Lake Powell are organized by Twin Finn Diving, 816 Copper Mine Rd.; (tel. 928/660-0778), ranging in length from a couple of hours to 5 days and in price from $90 to $1,200. Twin Finn rents kayaks, too; call for prices and to reserve a craft. Guided kayak trips are also offered by Kayak Powell (tel. 888/854-7862), which charges $95 for a half-day tour; $495 for a 2-day tour. Kayak Powell also rents kayaks and canoes, ranging from $35 to $60 per day. In Page, Lake Powell Paddleboards and Kayaks (tel. 928/645-4017) rents both those watercraft: a kayak goes for $30 a day and a paddleboard for $40 a day.


While most of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area consists of the impounded waters of Lake Powell, the recreation area also contains a short stretch of the Colorado River that still flows swift and free. To see this stretch of river, try a float trip from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry . Operated by Wilderness River Adventures (tel. 888/922-0822) from March through early December, these half-day trips in motorized rafts cost $94 for adults and $83 for children ages 4 to 15. Try to reserve at least 2 weeks in advance. Kayak Powell (see above) offers all-day self-guided kayak and canoe trips on this stretch of the Colorado River at regular boat rental rates.


If you’re just looking for a good place for a swim near Lake Powell Resort, take the Coves Loop just west of the marina. Of the three coves, the third one, which has a sandy beach, is the best. The Chains area, another good place to jump off the rocks and otherwise lounge by the lake, is outside Page down a rough dirt road just before you reach Glen Canyon Dam.

Oh Say Can You See —

The entire Colorado Plateau is a region of one spectacular view after another, but two scenic vistas in the Glen Canyon area merit special mention.

As you drive down the hill from Page on Lake Powell Boulevard (the road toward Glen Canyon Dam from Page), go straight through the intersection instead of turning right toward the dam. Here you’ll find a parking area and a short path to the Glen Canyon Dam Overlook, a viewing platform perched on the edge of sheer cliff walls. Far below lie the clear green waters of the Colorado River, while upstream looms Glen Canyon Dam.

If you’re up for a short hike, grab the camera and head to the Horseshoe Bend viewpoint. Horseshoe Bend is a huge loop of the Colorado River, and the viewpoint is hundreds of feet above the water on the edge of a cliff. It’s about a half-mile to the viewpoint from the trail head, which is 5 miles south of the Carl Hayden Visitor Center on U.S. 89, just south of milepost 545.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.