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Lake Powell

Lake Powell Lake Powell is located in Arizona and Utah and is about 272 miles north of Phoenix and about 130 miles northeast of the Grand Canyon South Rim. This giant reservoir of water was created when the Glen Canyon Dam was built in 1963 and was named after Civil War veteran John Wesley Powell. who in 1869 explored 1,000 miles of the Colorado River. It took 17 years for the Colorado River to fill the canyon to capacity. This man-made lake has over 2,000 miles of shoreline formed by towering rock cliffs and numerous canyons. Lake Powell is the second largest man-made lake in the country (only Lake Mead is larger) and is more than 500 feet deep in some places. The only way to see this fascinating lake is by water. In addition to bringing your own boat here, you can rent one from an amazing selection of water vehicles, including jet skis, fishing boats, ski boats and houseboats. You can also view the lake by signing up for one of the tours available at Wahweap Marina (800-528-6154 or www.visitlakepowell.com).

Quick Launch to Lake Powell Marina Information
Antelope Point Launch Ramp
Bullfrog Marina
Dangling Rope Marina
Halls Crossing Marina
Hite Marina
Stateline Marina
Wahweap Marina

Established in 1972, the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA) is open 365 days a year. You can get visitor information from the Glen Canyon NRA (928-608-6404 or www.nps.gov/glca www.nps.gov/glca). There are admission fees to the Glen Canyon NRA. The $10 per car is good for one week. The best bet if you plan to visit other national parks during that year is to buy the National Parks Pass for $50. This pass is good for one year and provides admission to all National Park areas. If you plan on visiting either Wahweap or Stateline Marina, you will need to pay either the $10 admission fee or have a National Parks Pass. Both marinas are within the boundaries of the Glen Canyon NRA. A seven-day permit for boats is $10 per boat, $4 per each additional boat. An annual boat pass costs $20 per boat. These permits can be obtained from the ranger station or visitor center at the park or in advance by phone or Internet. You will not need a boating permit if you are renting the boat.

At the southwestern tip of Lake Powell, Page is a town that originated as a work camp for the workers that built the Glen Canyon Dam. It has since been transformed into a tourist destination for visitors to Lake Powell. You can get visitor information from the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (928-608-6404 or www.nps.gov/glca) or from the Page/Lake Powell Chamber of Commerce (888-261-7243 or www.pagelakepowellchamber.org).

There are two main entry points to Lake Powell. The south entrance can be reached by driving north on U.S. Highway 89 past Page, AZ, to the Carl Hayden Visitor Center at Glen Canyon Dam. The Carl Hayden Visitor Center (928-608-6404) is open daily (except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day). The north entrance is at the Bullfrog Visitor Center on Utah Highway 276. An interesting side note: the Bullfrog Visitor Center has a scale model of a slot canyon. This center is only open from April to October (435-684-7400).

Basic boating regulations on Lake Powell are:
  • Children 12 years of age and under are required to wear PFDs.
  • Personal Watercraft operators must follow all boating regulations.
  • No wake within 150 feet of another boat, waterskier, person in water, or harbor area
  • No bow riding in speeds greater than no-wake level.
  • Two people on board when towing a skier.
  • Boat must display an orange flag to indicate when skier is down.
  • No skiing in marked channels, narrow side canyons, or within 500 feet of harbors, mooring areas, and swimming beaches.
  • Boats should have porta-potties; there are 8 floating dumping rest rooms/dump/pump-out stations on lake.

Trip to Rainbow Bridge

During our visit in Spring 2004, the water level in Lake Powell was down by about 117 feet. While this gave us a chance to view some of the canyon walls that were previously under water, it did reduce the lake view from our hotel at Wahweap Lodge. It also transformed Antelope Island from an island to a solid landform, thus blocking us from easy access to the rest of Lake Powell. We rented a 19-foot runabout from Stateline Marina and had to traverse the turbulent Narrows located next to the Glen Canyon Dam. Because of the number of boats and the narrowness of this long canyon (thus the name), the water was churned up into a mass of rough chop. It was definitely not for someone who is easily intimidated.

Rainbow Bridge Canyon Our goal was Rainbow Bridge, the worlds largest natural bridge, approximately 49 miles east from the dam. Although you can take a boat tour to the bridge, we chose to rent a boat and do it ourselves. We bought a Styrofoam cooler and filled it with drinks and food to last a full day. The round trip took us around seven hours, with only two stops along the route. The first stop was Rainbow Bridge, secreted in a canyon between Markers 49 and 50 on the south side of the lake. The canyon was astounding. We were fortunate to start early in the morning and thus arrived at the canyon well before other boaters and tour boats. We were amazed by the quiet surrounding us as we navigated the myriad turns and dead ends of the canyon until we arrived at the docks for Rainbow Bridge.


Trail to Rainbow Bridge There are restrooms at this docking area. A park ranger is on hand to answer any questions about the Rainbow Bridge. The ranger also sells water and books about Lake Powell. Because the water level was so low, there was about 1-1/2 mile hike back to this national monument. The hike consists of rocky and sandy trails traveling up and down alongside a canyon wall. The parts of the trail that are shadowed are very welcome, because the sun was intense. There is a dry riverbed that, when the lake is at full level, would normally eliminate this hike.


Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge is about 290 feet high and its arch spans 275 feet across the floor of the (now dry) riverbed. It consists of red sandstone and is 42 feet thick at the top of the arch. Although it was established as a national monument in 1910, Native Americans have long considered this arch a sacred religious site. It is expected that all visitors show the proper respect of an ancient sacred location when standing at its base. Just a side note, you can get to Rainbow Bridge by land. It is a 14-mile hike across a Navajo Reservation. You must have a permit to hike.

Getting back on our boat, we had our lunch and then departed the dock area to travel through the canyon to the lake. On the way out we encountered a lot more boats entering the canyon to visit the Rainbow Bridge. It was an entirely different environment on the return trip. Gone was the ghostly silence that followed us through our arrival trip through the canyon. We met a different boat coming in around every curve.

Back on the lake, we headed directly to the Dangling Rope Marina to top off our fuel tanks for the trip back. You cannot make the round trip between Wahweap and Rainbow Bridge on one tank of gas with a boat our size. Dangling Rope is approximately five miles west of Rainbow Bridge on the return trip to Wahweap. It is not easy to spot because it is tucked away in a small canyon on the north side of the lake. This marina is inaccessible by car. The kids who work the marina stay on site for a week or more at a time in a group-housing unit. The girl who filled our tank told us she found the job on-line and had a choice between working at Stateline or Dangling Rope. She was very glad she had chosen Dangling Rope because the room and board was free, while the Stateline Marina workers had to pay for their rooms. In addition, she said the Dangling Rope house was much nicer with better amenities.

Traveling back through the Narrows on our return trip, the water was so rough that our new Styrofoam cooler broke in half, pouring ice cold water across the floor of the boat. After fueling the boat, we returned to Stateline Marina with only a few minutes left on our rental time. We would have loved to explore some of the numerous canyons along the way, but time did not permit. The only way you could even begin to explore this beautiful lake is to rent a houseboat and tow a small boat or jet ski behind for canyon exploration.

Other points of interest on Lake Powell include Glen Canyon Dam, which took ten years to build and was the last dam built on the Colorado River. The dam is considered the beginning point for Lake Powell and is at Mile Marker 1, with Wahweap Bay located further east of the dam. We did not have the opportunity to see Hole-in-the-Rock, which is located at Marker 66. This huge crevice was built by Mormon pioneers in the winter of 1979-80 so they could get their wagons and cattle to the canyon bottom. The Hole-in-the-Wall Road is 55 miles long and is best traveled with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Other historic and geographical sites are Defiance House in Forgotten Canyon and Stevens Arch.

Lake Powell Marinas

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Marina Name Stateline Marina
Address  
   
Phone Number 928-645-1111
Web Site  
Email Address  
Directions by car 1-1/2 miles west of Wahweap Lodge along Lakeshore Drive
Directions by boat Wahweap Bay, north east of the Glen Canyon Dam, on the southern side of the bay, west of Wahweap Marina
VHF Radio  
Launching Fees  
Hours of Operation  
Boat slips Boat rentals
Boat services Launch ramp
Restrooms Shuttle service
Small shop Boat fuel

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Marina Name Wahweap Marina
Address Four Miles North of Glen Canyon Dam
  Page, AZ 86040
Phone Number 928-645-2433
Web Site  
Email Address  
Directions by car 6 miles north of Page and 4 miles from Glen Canyon Dam, just off Hwy 89
Directions by boat Wahweap Bay, north east of Glen Canyon Dam, on the southern side of the bay, east of Stateline Marina
VHF Radio  
Launching Fees  
Hours of Operation  
Boat slips Boat tours/rentals
Boat services Auto service
Lodging: Lake Powell Lodge Camping/RV Park
Restaurants Boat fuel
Showers Laundry
Restrooms Ranger station
Shuttle service Small store

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Marina Name Antelope Point Marina
Address BIA Hwy N22B
  Navajo Nation, AZ 86040
Phone Number 928-645-5900
Web Site www.azmarinas.com
Email Address  
Directions by car Hwy 89N to Hwy 98 (1 mile before Page, AZ - turn east on 98 - approximately 5 miles to Antelope Point turnoff
Directions by boat Marker #4 in the Narrows
VHF Radio  
Launching Fees  
Hours of Operation  
Special Information This marina was previously just a launch ramp. It is undergoing major renovation. Year following each amenity listed below indicates year of completion.
Launch ramp - 2003 Restrooms - 2003
225-room lodge - 2008 300 leased slips w/power and water- 2003
120 rental boat slips - 2006 80 courtesy slips - 2006
30-acre dry storage - 2003 RV and campground - 2007
Showers - 2006 Boat store - 2003
Auto and trailer parking - 2003 Fuel and propane - 2003
Pump-out services - 2003 Golf cart shuttles - 2003
Rental houseboats and power boats - 2003 Trailer storage - 2003
Laundry facilities - 2006 Restrooms
Boat maintenance - 2003 Tour boats - 2006

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Marina Name Dangling Rope Marina
Address  
   
Phone Number 928-645-2969
Web Site  
Email Address  
Directions by car Inaccessible by car
Directions by boat Between Marker 40 and 43, about 42 miles from Glen Canyon Dam, on north side of Lake Powell, back in a cove
VHF Radio  
Launching Fees  
Hours of Operation  

Boat fuel Boat repairs
Boat slips Ranger station
Restrooms Small store

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Marina Name Halls Crossing Marina
Address Halls Crossing
  Lake Powell, UT 84533
Phone Number 435-684-7000
Web Site  
Email Address  
Directions by car Bicentennial Hwy to Highway 276, past Cal Black Airport
Directions by boat Between Marker 93 and 95, about 94 miles from Glen Canyon Dam, on south side of Bullfrog Bay
VHF Radio  
Launching Fees  
Hours of Operation  
Boat slips Boat tours/rentals
Boat services Auto service
Lodging: Three-bedroom family units Camping/RV Park
Restaurants Boat fuel
Showers Laundry
Restrooms Ranger station
Shuttle service Small store
Toll ferry to Bullfrog Marina Airstrip

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Marina Name Bullfrog Marina
Address Bullfrog Basin
  Lake Powell, UT 84533
Phone Number 435-684-3000
Web Site  
Email Address  
Directions by car Bicentennial Highway 95 to Hwy 276 to marina
Directions by boat Between Marker 93 and 95, couple of miles north into and on east side of Bullfrog Bay
VHF Radio  
Launching Fees  
Hours of Operation  
Boat slips Boat tours/rentals
Boat services Auto service
Lodging: Defiance House Lodge Camping/RV Park
Boat fuel Restaurants
Showers Laundry
Restrooms Ranger station
Shuttle service Small shops
Airstrip Medical services
Post office Toll ferry to Halls Crossing Marina

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Marina Name Hite Marina
Address Hite Marina
  Lake Powell, UT 84533
Phone Number 435-684-2278
Web Site  
Email Address  
Directions by car Directly off Bicentennial Highway 95
Directions by boat Just past Marker 139, about 140 miles from Glen Canyon Dam
VHF Radio  
Launching Fees  
Hours of Operation  
Boat slips Boat rentals
Boat services Auto service
Lodging: Three-bedroom family units Primitive campgrounds
Restaurants Boat fuel
Showers Small shops
Restrooms Gas station
Ranger station