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; www.lakepowell.com), you can rent various types of boats, along with personal watercrafts and water skis. Rates range from $400 to $584 per day, depending on the type of boat. Personal watercrafts go for $335 per day, and sea kayaks rent for $46 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; www.antelopepointlakepowell.com). Expect to pay $375 to $425 per day for a ski boat and $30 to $45 per day for a kayak.
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. Rentals are available at Twin Finn Diving, 816 Copper Mine Rd. (tel. 928/645-3114; www.twinfinn.com). Sea kayaks rent for $45 to $55 per day, and sit-on-top kayaks for $35 to $45. Multiday kayak tours are operated by Hidden Canyon Kayak (tel. 800/343-3121 or 928/645-8866; www.diamondriver.com/kayak), which charges $760 to $1,000 for 4- to 6-day trips. Guided kayak trips are also offered by Kayak Powell (tel. 888/854-7862; www.kayaklakepowell.com), which charges $95 for a half-day tour; multiday tours range from $495 for a 2-day tour to $895 for a 5-day tour.
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. If you'd like to see this stretch of river, try a float trip from Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry. These trips are operated by Colorado River Discovery (tel. 888/522-6644 or 928/645-9175; www.raftthecanyon.com) between March and November. Half-day trips in motorized rafts cost $84 for adults and $74 for children ages 4 to 11. Try to reserve at least 2 weeks in advance. Spring and fall, this company also offers full-day oar-powered raft trips ($161 for adults and $151 for children). Kayak Powell offers all-day ($49) and overnight ($99) self-guided kayak trips on this stretch of the Colorado River.
If you have a boat (your own or a rental), avail yourself of some excellent year-round fishing. Smallmouth, largemouth, and striped bass, as well as walleye, catfish, crappie, and carp, are all plentiful. 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 (tel. 800/256-7596; www.ambassadorguides.com).
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. Although the desert may not immediately jump to mind when considering a scuba-diving vacation, the view underwater at Lake Powell is as scenic as the view above it. To explore the underwater regions of the canyon, contact Twin Finn Diving, 816 Copper Mine Rd. (tel. 928/645-3114; www.twinfinn.com), which charges $45 a day for scuba gear and also rents snorkeling equipment.
If you have a fear of heights, there are a couple of places in the Page area that you should never visit. On the other hand, if you want some great views, then don't miss the following two scenic vistas.
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 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.
Other Outdoor Pursuits
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, I recommend the stretch of trail heading east (clockwise) from the trail head. 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 2-mile Cathedral Wash Trail is the most interesting of the three day hikes and follows a dry wash through a narrow canyon with unusual rock formations. The trail head is at the second turnout after turning off U.S. 89A. Be aware that this wash is subject to flash floods. The River Trail is a 2-mile round-trip hike along the river and starts at the boat ramp. The 4-mile round-trip Spencer Trail, which begins along the River Trail, leads up to the top of a 1,700-foot cliff for spectacular views of Marble Canyon. Lees Ferry is also the southern trail head for famed Paria Canyon ★, a favorite of canyoneering backpackers. This trail is between 38 and 47 miles long (depending on where you start) and follows the meandering route of a narrow slot canyon for much of its length. Most hikers start from the northern trail head, which is in Utah on U.S. 89. For more information on hiking in Paria Canyon, contact the Arizona Strip Interpretive Association/Interagency Visitor Center, 345 E. Riverside Dr., St. George, UT 84790 (tel. 435/688-3200; www.blm.gov/az/st/en/fo/arizona_strip_field.html).
The 18-hole Lake Powell National Golf Course ★, 400 Clubhouse Dr. (tel. 928/645-2023; www.golflakepowell.com), 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 $36 to $69 for 18 holes.