Lake Powell is an outdoor wonderland. If you love water adventures, Lake Powell is your mecca. And it’s huge. It has lots of room for waterskiing, jet skiing and wakeboarding, houseboating, fishing and kayaking. It has room for adrenalized sports and relaxing pursuits. Lake Powell has more shoreline than the Atlantic coast. That translates into thousands of secluded inlets, private nooks, romantic coves and picturesque canyons. The only hard part will be deciding which adventures you want to do, and which amazing corner of the lake you want to do it in.
Kayaking offers perhaps the most intimate way to interact with the lake. Sitting right on the water allows you to trail your fingers through the water, and looking over the side you can often spot fish swimming below you, as you paddle along at a pace that’s slow, and contemplative. Kayaking also allows you to explore Lake Powell’s many hidden niches. Some of Lake Powell’s most amazing slot canyons are simply too narrow to be accessed any other way. Your guide will take you to some of his or her favorite places. After paddling for a while you’ll stop for a swim, or a hike, or walk to a scenic overlook and take some photographs.
You can jig for smallmouth, bluegill and carp. You can catch striped bass casting or trolling. Personally, I prefer casting a fly. Best of all, you don’t need to be a pro to catch fish at Lake Powell. Fishing at Lake Powell tends to follow cycles that are at least somewhat predictable. If you’re not an expert who knows what those cycles are you can hire a guide who does, and then it’s “fish on.”
Boating and Jet Skiing
A powerboat is the most versatile way to see and experience the lake. A boat opens up Lake Powell and all its possibilities. You can go waterskiing, and wakeboarding. You can take your boat fishing, or go camping in beautiful Padre Bay. And, of course, you can also use it for the pleasures of boating. Whether you’re boating or jet skiing always watch for shallow rocks in the water. Hitting one at high speeds is very dangerous. If you can’t see what may be lying beneath the water due to reflection or refraction slow down as you proceed.
There are very few things in this life more exhilarating than skimming across a glassy lake on a jet ski. Jet skis are small, nimble, and very fast. They’re capable of speeds of 65 miles per hour. They’re quite simple to use; just turn the key, rev up the throttle and you’re gone.
When jet skiing always follow some rules of courtesy. Stay away from fishermen. Don’t wake kayakers or canoeists. Be conscious of the noise your jet ski makes and try not to disturb others who are out enjoying the peace. Lake Powell is big enough to accommodate all types.
Take a boat tour
If you have limited time to spend at Lake Powell but you still want to get out there and explore its most splendid attractions you might consider taking a boat tour. Both Antelope Point Marina and Lake Powell Resorts and Marina at Wahweap offer several options for touring the lake.
Explore the Lake Powell side of world-famous Antelope Canyon – perhaps one of the most photographed slot canyons on Earth – with Antelope Point Marina. This personalized tour takes you from Antelope Point Marina down lake along the Colorado River’s original channel to the canyon opening along sheer red rock cliffs. Safely navigable, the narrow canyon – with towering walls of ancient Navajo
The only hard part will be deciding which adventures you want to do, and which amazing corner of the lake you want to do it in.
sandstone – is awe-inspiring and unique.
The new Panoramic Tour leaves Wahweap Marina at about 5 p.m. and arrives at its destination, beautiful Gunsight Bay, just as the evening sun bathes the cliff walls, which surround it on two of three sides, in shades of pink, vermilion and violet. Be sure you have a full memory card. Or you can go to world-famous Rainbow Bridge. It’s a 50-mile scenic cruise each way and when you arrive at Rainbow Bridge you’ll have an hour and a half to walk closer to the bridge and take some photos. Or try the dinner cruise. The two hour dinner cruise, which departs each evening from Wahweap, takes its guests on a scenic tour around the lake while they dine in comfort, with Lake Powell’s transcendent scenery drifting by outside your window.
Beach Time at Lone Rock
The opposite end of the spectrum from jet skiing is beach time, and a visit to Lone Rock is the perfect way to spend a day at Lake Powell if you’re on a budget. Once there you can play fetch with you dog. Our dog loves chasing a stick out into Lake Powell’s warm water. Or just relax in a beach chair with a good novel. When you start getting hot wade out and take a refreshing swim.
Lone Rock has a huge, long beach. It’s a great place for large groups and families to spend a day together. It has a wakeless zone so if you have a boat or jet-ski you can bring it right into the beach. Houseboats are also allowed to park there. Overnight camping is allowed too.
The one downside to visiting Lone Rock is that it has deep sand and vehicles, especially two wheel drive cars with low clearance, can easily get stuck. But, you can always park a little farther away before the sand gets soft and walk down to the beach. You’ll have to pay a park entrance fee but everything else is free.
The latest craze to hit Lake Powell is stand up paddleboarding. Stand up paddleboarding is the most serene and zenful of Lake Powell’s many water sports. I recommend taking your board back into a secluded slot canyon where you can hear the waves lapping softly against the cliff walls, and the canyon wren’s peaceful diminuendo. As you glide slowly along you can feel yourself relax as your energy drops into a lower, slower, more in-tune frequency. Paddleboards are very buoyant, wide and stable. After a quick lesson and five minutes of practice you’ll be an expert.
Houseboating combines all the advantages of camping with the familiar conveniences of home. Plus a houseboat serves as the perfect home base for an extended stay on the lake, giving you more time to do more of the amazing things we’ve listed above. And because of its size you can bring more of your lake toys with you.
When your day of play is over it’s nice to have a cool, dry place to return to where you can take a hot shower, conveniently cook dinner, with a warm, cozy bed to fall into at the end of your busy day playing on the lake.
My favorite part of houseboating is building a campfire on the beach, or kicking back in a chair on the rooftop deck while we watch the cliff walls transition through the warm end of the color spectrum as the sun sets. And it’s especially nice for those times when the weather turns bad to come inside and play cards, or watch a movie while staying warm and dry.