Lake Powell, Utah: Where it all Began

Many times I have asked myself where (and when) I caught the travel bug. Ever since I can remember, I’ve yearned for exploration and I often find myself wondering about what else is out there. As you know, my fear of not having enough time to explore this amazing place we call Earth is a big factor in why I do whatever it is that I do.

As a child, we would take yearly trips to Lake Powell. I remember how excited I would get in the days leading up to our trip. The night before we would leave, it was like the night before Christmas; I could barely sleep because I was so excited and full of anticipation. Looking back, I’m pretty sure that’s where my love of traveling began.

Lake Powell is a place that you must visit at least once in your life! Located in the South-Eastern part of Utah, Lake Powell is fed by the Colorado River and was created when the Glen Canyon Dam was finished back in 1969. Lake Powell is the second biggest man-made reservoir in the United States, right behind Lake Mead.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell from Space

Heading south towards southern Utah, the mountainous landscape gives way to the vast desert. The further south you travel, the more red and barren the landscape becomes; red rock, red sand, and sagebrush for as far as the eye can see. It’s about a six-hour drive from Salt Lake, a little more if you are pulling a boat. When we get close I begin searching for the sliver of turquoise water that is Lake Powell. As the lake is surrounded by the red sandstone cliffs it is always almost hidden from view until you are almost there.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell

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Lake Powell has some of the most breathtaking scenery I have discovered in all of my travels. The red sandstone walls rise far above the magnificent clear blue water. Small coves and channels give way to secret beaches and hidden campsites. No matter how many times we visit, I always find myself in awe at the amazing natural beauty surrounding me. There are six marinas that provide access to the lake, the three main ones are: Bullfrog Marina, Halls Crossing, and Page/Wahweap in Arizona. In total, there is 1,900 miles of shoreline. We usually launch the boat at Bullfrog Marina, and the first item on the itinerary is finding a camp spot to call home for the duration of our adventure.

Aside from boating and the amazing views, the best part about Lake Powell is the hidden secrets and numerous historical sites located within its boundaries:

  • Try locating and then hiking to the multiple Anasazi Indian Ruins located throughout the cliffs of Lake Powell. Sometimes the ruins are hidden from view until you hike up the trail and explore.
  • See Rainbow Bridge. The world’s largest natural bridge is a National Monument as well as a sacred religious site. Standing near the bridge, you begin to feel insignificant as the true size and scope of the bridge begins to set in. It is another reminder of how big this world actually is.
  • Hole in the Rock has an interesting story behind the canyon; the fact that horse-drawn carriages and wagons made it down this cliff is mind-boggling. It is even more amazing to see with your own eyes.

On our yearly trips we’ve hiked to the different Indian Ruins multiple times, explored secret waterfalls, hiked to Rainbow bridge, and even practiced our gymnastic skills by doing back-flips and back-handsprings all the way down Sand Mountain located somewhere near Moki Canyon.

Anasazi Indian Ruins

Photo Credit: www.DynamicPhotoWorkshops.com

Lake Powell

Rainbow Bridge

Photo Credit

Left: Looking up at Hole-in-the-Rock from Lake Powell. Right: Top view of Hole-in-the-Rock. Can you believe Pioneers took their horses and wagons down this cliff?? INSANE!

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Lake Powell

Clockwise top left: Backflips down Sand Mountain, Cliff jumping, secret waterfalls, and The Tapestry Wall

After a fun day of exploring, boating, hiking, and more, we head back to camp to begin dinner and settle in for the night. That is when Mother Nature treats you to the best part of it all: the dark night sky filled with too many stars to count. The problem with visiting Lake Powell once is that it will keep you coming back again and again.

Lake Powell

Photo Credit

Have you been to Lake Powell?

17 Comments

  1. September 5, 2012 / 8:27 PM

    wow… beautiful place…

  2. elleseesyou
    September 6, 2012 / 7:44 AM

    I went there in 1998 I think? It was beautiful

  3. September 9, 2012 / 5:07 AM

    wow looks amazing! Another place for my Bucket List it seems!

    • September 9, 2012 / 10:34 AM

      Yes, indeed. It’s not Fiji, but Lake Powell has its own kind of beauty. 🙂

  4. September 10, 2012 / 9:53 PM

    What a great place to boat on. Beaches everywhere I assume.

    • September 10, 2012 / 10:00 PM

      Thanks for stopping by John. There are a lot of beaches on Lake Powell, and there are also a lot of cliffs. The lake is really deep in some parts and I always find it amazing to swim right next to a 200 foot vertical wall of red rock knowing that the wall/cliff also extends another 200 feet below to the bottom of the lake. (Does that even make sense?) 😉 It’s unlike any other lake I’ve ever visited. But there’s plenty of beach to go around. Have a wonderful night!

  5. November 6, 2012 / 4:42 AM

    Wow. Beautiful pictures! I had no idea that this place existed. I pinned it so I won’t forget. Like you, my travel bug hit early, when I travelled to Germany in high school. I’ve been stamping my passport ever since.

    • November 7, 2012 / 2:58 AM

      It’s an amazing place. You should definitely visit sometime! 🙂

    • November 28, 2012 / 12:01 PM

      I did not. It was found on google. It looks like it was taken on one of the main channels, but I’m not 100% sure. Have fun. Lake Powell is an amazing place, I can’t wait to go back one day. It’s been way too long since my family and I have visited.

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