Note: The Glen Canyon landscape has changed significantly due to the ongoing drought in the American Southwest, and is an ever-changing and dynamic region. For the most up-to-date information on water levels and closures, we suggest you visit https://www.nps.gov/glca/learn/changing-lake-levels.htm.
This story was created in partnership with Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas.
That’s what morning is like on Lake Powell. It comes on you slowly, allowing you a quiet moment.
That’s why you take that few moments to yourself at daybreak, where it’s just you and the lake, because soon your day begins in earnest.
Lake Powell straddles the border between Arizona and Utah and is one of the most popular land-locked aquatic recreation areas in the United States. This is not only because of its sheer size at 24,322,000 acre feet, but because of the rugged beauty and geologic wonders surrounding its shores.
The natural wonders of the place read like a who’s who list of features; Antelope Canyon, Defiance House cultural spot, Cathedral in the Desert, The San Juan Goosenecks, Hole in the Rock Crossing.
Of course, not to mention Rainbow Bridge National Monument would be to ignore one of the lake’s most impressive and alluring spots.
Rainbow Bridge exists because of time, wind, water and rock. Located in the rugged, isolated canyons in the vicinity of Navajo Mountain, Rainbow Bridge was known for centuries by the Native Americans who have long held the bridge sacred. Often described as the world’s highest natural bridge, it is one of the wonders Lake Powell.
America’s Premier Recreation Destination
Lake Powell was created by the flooding of Glen Canyon by the Glen Canyon Dam. This reservoir led to the creation of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a popular summer destination.
Though the lake itself is the second largest man-made lake in the continental US, there is only one resort located on the shores of this massive body of water, and a stay there is as impressive as the lake itself.
One Stop Shop
Lake Powell Resort is the gateway to all things Lake Powell.
Located just outside Page, Arizona, Lake Powell Resort has numerous options for any visitor. The resort itself has everything from industry-standard double rooms to full size suites. With a number of great amenities and restaurants, you can kick back by the pool as you watch the colors change on that western horizon. Take a boat tour, dinner cruise, or rent a powerboat for an afternoon of exploring canyons and enjoy a picnic on your own secluded beach.
Feel like a slightly more rugged stay?
The resort has you covered. Rent out one of their Airstream travel trailers and enjoy the ability to sit around your private campfire before retreating to your comfortable and tastefully appointed trailer.
From the resort there are a myriad of things to do. Not only can you take a boat to the aforementioned Rainbow Bridge on the upper lake, you can take a boat tour to Antelope Canyon on the lower lake.
The Most Beautiful Slot Canyon In The World
Antelope Canyon is another of those one-of-a-kind type of geologic formations that seem to only exist in the American Southwest. A slot canyon known for its narrow and high walls, the canyon is reachable from the lake side by boat. Lake Powell Resort offers a round trip cruise to the lower 4 miles of the canyon. Well worth the trip, Antelope Canyon is another unforgettable destination available through the resort’s boat tours.
If a stay on the shore of Lake Powell is not quite an immersive enough experience, this won’t be a problem. You can rent houseboats from the lake’s Wahweap Marina and pilot your own craft. A team of dedicated instructors will give you a full education on how to safely operate your boat.
Stretch Your Legs
But the wonders of Lake Powell aren’t just based on the water.
From the resort you have access to a number of land based activities. There are hundreds of miles of trails to give you a chance to stretch your legs. Hikes like Navajo Canyon, Labyrinth Canyon and the unsurpassable Hanging Garden are a great chance to explore some of the lake’s side canyons and secluded spots.
Hanging Garden is a seep located on the mesa high above the Colorado River and Lake Powell. Securely hidden by Jurassic Navajo sandstone, this seep spring quickly takes advantage of every drop of rainwater it can absorb. Acting as a reservoir of its own, the spring lets out water slowly to create a surprisingly lush plant and animal habitat that seems almost otherworldly in this vast desert landscape.
And of course, no trip to the area would be complete without a hike to Horseshoe Bend. One of the most instantly recognizable photo spots in the world, the trail to Horseshoe Bend is a 1.5 mile round trip that will take you to one of the most dramatic pieces of scenery on earth.
Begin Your Adventure
But to get to any of these things, you first must go to Lake Powell. There is so much to do here you couldn’t fit it all in a year. But that is okay, it just means you will have to come back again.
And it all starts with that first ray of light in the morning; that first light of sun shining over the shores of Lake Powell.