Lake Powell, Utah

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!

4.5.

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?

85 Comments

  1. July 10, 2014 / 8:30 AM

    Beautiful place. . . . beautiful post

    • July 10, 2014 / 9:50 AM

      Thank you! Have you been to Lake Powell? It’s one of my favorite places and holds some of my fondest memories from childhood. 🙂

  2. July 14, 2014 / 4:21 PM

    Looks awesome! I’ve been to Arches National Park and have some great memories hiking and being surrounded by beautiful views of red landscapes.

    • July 14, 2014 / 5:59 PM

      I haven’t been to Arches yet, but I would like to, hopefully soon! 🙂

  3. July 15, 2014 / 1:31 PM

    Yes, I was there. I planned a trip Phoenix-Sedona-Grand Canyon-Lake Powell-Bryce Canyon-Zion National Park-Las Vegas. We rented a car in Phoenix and it was a fantastic trip.

    • July 15, 2014 / 4:51 PM

      Sounds like an amazing trip! 🙂 I still need to get to the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park!

  4. July 16, 2014 / 1:26 PM

    I haven’t been to Lake Powell since I was a small child and I live in Utah! Beautiful photos.

    • July 16, 2014 / 3:27 PM

      I haven’t been in about ten years… I need to get back! I too am from Utah. Salt Lake City… 🙂

      • July 16, 2014 / 3:55 PM

        Too funny…I guess I am too busy exploring the rest of the U.S. and other countries. 🙂

  5. July 16, 2014 / 5:20 PM

    Beautiful pictures and interesting post! Makes me want to go to Lake Powell for a visit!

    • July 16, 2014 / 8:54 PM

      Every one should go to Lake Powell at least once in their lifetime. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  6. July 18, 2014 / 11:54 PM

    Wow, that looks beautiful…Now on my bucket list

  7. July 19, 2014 / 2:36 PM

    Went to Lake Powerll with my kids, who spent their time under the Rainbow Bridge playing with the fantastic echo! If you are cruising Red Rock Country, don’t forget a side trip to Colorado National Monument just south of Grand Junction – it’s amazing!

  8. July 24, 2014 / 6:47 PM

    mesmerizing … I wished I had more time to spend in Utah … would love to visit Lake Powell … thank you for inspiring …

    • July 25, 2014 / 10:08 AM

      Next time you come to Utah, definitely take a detour to Lake Powell. It’s amazing! 🙂 Have a great weekend.

      • July 25, 2014 / 11:47 AM

        Thank you! Great Weekend!

  9. July 31, 2014 / 7:55 PM

    I have been to Lake Powell a couple of times and love it! My husband and I would love to move closer (we are in Minnesota), but haven’t made it happen yet. Thank you for this awesome post! Your pictures make me yearn to get back and explore the orange canyon walls!

    • August 1, 2014 / 9:27 AM

      Minnesota! That’s a long ways from Lake Powell!! I admit I haven’t been in about ten years, it’s time I head back there as well! 🙂

  10. August 1, 2014 / 2:28 PM

    What a lovely post! I’m planning a trip to Utah this fall and you’ve just added one more place to the itinerary! Thanks…:)

    • August 1, 2014 / 3:27 PM

      Thanks, Kate. Enjoy! It’s one of my favorite places on Earth. 🙂

  11. August 6, 2014 / 4:33 AM

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful travels with us!

    • August 6, 2014 / 10:37 AM

      Thanks for reading Carol, Happy to have you here! 🙂

  12. August 6, 2014 / 6:31 AM

    Thanks for stopping by Elle & Pear! I love your photos – especially the ones from Norway, looks like it was a really fun trip!

    • August 6, 2014 / 10:37 AM

      Hey Lauren. I love your blog! Thanks for the sweet words about my photos. Norway was incredible, I hope to go back someday soon.

  13. August 8, 2014 / 3:11 PM

    Wow, I’ve never been to a place filled with such amazing natural beauty. Lovely pictures!

    • August 8, 2014 / 3:56 PM

      Hey Caroline,
      Lake Powell is such a beautiful place. I have provided links and credit to most of the photos, the ones without links or photo credit are mine. 🙂 Sadly, I haven’t been there in about ten years. I guess it’s time to go and take some updated photos! Have a great day!

  14. August 11, 2014 / 2:06 PM

    Hi Krystle,
    Wow, that is an amazingly beautiful place!
    By the way, thanks for stopping by blog!
    Looking forward to see and read more from your travels!
    Cheers,
    Hanne

    • August 11, 2014 / 2:55 PM

      Thanks Hanne! I appreciate you stopping by! 🙂

  15. August 12, 2014 / 11:04 AM

    Great post! Amazing pictures, it makes me want to visit Utah again… thanks for stopping by my blog!

    • August 12, 2014 / 10:25 PM

      Thanks Lina! I want to go back and capture some of my own photos! It’s been too long… Have a great day!

  16. August 14, 2014 / 10:48 PM

    Stunning! It is places like this that keep begging me to go for a long postponed “great American road trip”…

    • August 15, 2014 / 9:55 AM

      Hi there Celia! Thanks for stopping by. A Great American Road Trip sounds so awesome! i’ve got to do that one day as well! 🙂

  17. September 19, 2014 / 4:34 PM

    Beautiful! Love the pictures. When I looked at some of the pictures I was almost caught up in a trance.

    • September 21, 2014 / 8:05 AM

      Ridgeman,
      Lake Powell will do that to you. So many beautiful views everywhere you look. 🙂

  18. September 23, 2014 / 9:47 PM

    Krystle,
    After seeing Lake Powell I am ready to visit there! I am part Cherokee and I love exploring Native American sites and the Rainbow Bridge is amazing! How is the water so blue in Lake Powell? It is so beautiful and I cannot wait to be there in person!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Between nature and weddings I don’t know which draws me more. These are locations that would make good honeymoon spots for nature lovers. Always looking for locations for my brides and grooms. I am going to check out some of your other posts now. Very interesting and the pictures are great!

    • September 24, 2014 / 10:59 AM

      Thanks for stopping by!! You would LOVE exploring Lake Powell. The Anazai ruins there are incredible; it’s worth the hike to see these beautiful (ancient) homes and the pictographs. I hope you get a chance to visit soon, and I’m looking forward to reading your future post about Lake Powell. 🙂

      For the honeymooners: They could rent a houseboat at one of the marinas, which would make an excellent floating honeymoon retreat! 🙂 And once they have settled on the beach location to anchor the houseboat they could take a smaller boat out to explore the rest of the lake and go up canyons that a houseboat wouldn’t be able to. Hiking, camping, swimming, wakeboarding, it’s an amazing vacation for honeymooners, families, couples, friends, anyone. 🙂 (Now I’m itching to get back here!) 🙂 Have a fabulous day!

  19. September 28, 2014 / 1:46 PM

    I love Lake Powell. We took a boat and went into Antelope Canyon. What an amazing experience!

    • September 29, 2014 / 10:00 PM

      Such a beautiful area!

  20. October 20, 2014 / 12:03 PM

    I must say that having been raised in the desert I’m not usually a fan of desert lakes but your pictures are truly amazing. Lake Powell definitely owes you a debt of gratitude for this amazing bit of publicity! Jan

    • October 20, 2014 / 3:22 PM

      Hi Jan,
      I wish I could take credit for most of the amazing photos above, but most of them aren’t mine. I have provided links to the original posts if you want to browse those locations and daydream. 🙂 I need to get back to Lake Powell soon and take some updated photos for my own inventory. Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!

  21. October 30, 2014 / 6:41 PM

    Oh you make me want to visit this place! I heard a old man somewhere on my last road trip talk about this place but didn’t know it looked like this or had all the things you talked about! Now I have to go! I can’t believe I’ve missed it all this time. Thank you for opening my eyes!

    • November 1, 2014 / 6:37 PM

      I hope you get a chance to go soon, it’s an amazing place. 🙂

      • November 1, 2014 / 6:39 PM

        It sure looks and sound like it! Great job!

  22. December 8, 2014 / 2:32 PM

    Lake Powell is such an amazing place..Nice job!

    • December 8, 2014 / 2:48 PM

      Thank you. 🙂 One of my favorite places on Earth. Thanks for stopping by.

  23. December 13, 2014 / 8:17 AM

    Thanks for posting. I have many great memories at Lake Powell.

    • December 14, 2014 / 12:07 PM

      Hi Michael,
      Some of my favorite childhood memories were made at Lake Powell. Thanks for visiting!

  24. December 25, 2014 / 6:18 AM

    What a beautiful looking place I have never been to Lake Powell, it should now be one of my destinations!
    Thank you for sharing this. 🙂
    ~Carl~

    • December 25, 2014 / 8:04 PM

      Hi Carl,
      Thank you for stopping by. I would recommend a visit to Lake Powell any day. 🙂 In fact, I keep trying to get my family to go back, hopefully one of these years we will get back there, as it’s one of my favorite places on Earth. Have a great day.

  25. February 2, 2015 / 1:00 PM

    Beautiful! I moved here from Tucson and before that , I lived in Hollywood for 23 years. The Southwest is the glory of the mainland.

    Thanks for liking my poem On Kauai. I appreciate the approval more than I can say.

    Brent Kincaid, WordMusic.

    • February 2, 2015 / 1:30 PM

      Hi Brent,
      I need to do some more exploring closer to home. Hopefully this year I will get to some of the National parks (Canyonlands/Zions/Grand Canyon/etc) before it gets too hot. Thanks for stopping by.

  26. February 2, 2015 / 3:01 PM

    I have a friend who lives in Kanab Utah and before they got to elderly, the drove and camped all over Zion and environs. I have yet to make it up there, but I bet I will before I fall into that aged crap that seems to be racing up behind me.

    Cheers and Aloha.

    Brent

  27. February 9, 2015 / 3:32 PM

    Excellent images. I’ve visited most of your places. . . .you did a great job with the camera.

    • February 9, 2015 / 4:46 PM

      Thank you! Not all photos on this post are mine. I have linked back to the original sources where possible 🙂 Glad you’ve had a chance to visit, there’s nothing like watching a sunset in one of the many canyons in Lake Powell.

  28. February 12, 2015 / 12:04 AM

    Nice post. I remember visiting Lake Powell many years ago as a teenager and being mesmerized by its beauty.

    • February 12, 2015 / 10:01 AM

      Thank you, Diane. It’s incredibly easy to be captivated by its beauty. Glad you’ve had the chance to visit.

  29. February 20, 2015 / 11:38 AM

    You have a nice gift for writing a travel blog. Nice work.

    • February 20, 2015 / 12:31 PM

      Thank you very much. I appreciate that. 🙂

  30. July 6, 2015 / 4:04 PM

    Thank you for liking my poem Wish List, on my blog WordMusic. I appreciate the approval.

    Oh, and I moved here to Kauai from Arizona. So we both appreciate the southwest for it’s natural beauty.

    Brent Kincaid

    • July 9, 2015 / 11:06 AM

      Hi Brent,
      Thanks for stopping by. I would love to move to Kauai one day, lucky man!!!

  31. July 9, 2015 / 2:14 PM

    It is paradise. But, bring your source of income with you. The median house price here is around 750K, and a piece of crap you wouldn’t consider living in is over 3K. Just a warning.

    Brent

  32. July 22, 2015 / 6:20 PM

    My wife and I were in Utah for the last three years in May. This year we went to the Arches, it is absolutely beautiful out there and the locals are really down to earth friendly! Great story you truly sound like you are living life to the fullest! 🙂

    • July 23, 2015 / 6:27 PM

      May is a great time to visit. 🙂 I’m really excited to head to Arches and check it out. Glad you like it so much here!

    • August 2, 2015 / 4:42 PM

      It’s an incredible place 🙂

  33. August 14, 2015 / 5:36 AM

    I did the big five in Utah (Zion, Bryce, Arches, Capitol Reef and Canyon Lands) but have not gone to Lake Powell. Definitely want to check it out. Beautiful pictures and great post!!

    • August 16, 2015 / 9:08 PM

      Hope you get to go soon, it’s beautiful! We have yet to visit the Big Five but we are starting with Arches and Canyonlands in October. 🙂 I can’t wait! I’m hoping to get to the Grand Canyon soon as well.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Have a great night!

      • August 19, 2015 / 4:54 AM

        You are going to LOVE Arches and Canyonlands. They are both magical, beautiful places. Let me know if you want any tips of the hiking there 🙂

        • August 19, 2015 / 11:28 AM

          Yes, I will take all the advice I can get! Delicate Arch is the highlight, but what was your other favorite hike in Arches? Any other “can’t miss” activities?

          • August 21, 2015 / 4:58 PM

            You inspired me to write a blog post about this!! Check out my new post about Arches and definitely check out the Devil’s Garden!!

  34. August 24, 2015 / 6:16 PM

    I love Lake Powell! DId a houseboat there a while back. Thanks for posting, Krystle!

    • August 24, 2015 / 6:44 PM

      Mary, Thanks for stopping by. It doesn’t get better than a houseboat on Lake Powell. I’m hoping to get back there soon! Keeping my fingers crossed 🙂

  35. September 23, 2015 / 10:01 PM

    An item on my bucket list is to do Lake Powel on a houseboat for a week. I think, however, I will wait until the lake comes back.

    Brent

    • September 25, 2015 / 9:50 AM

      Brent,
      There is nothing better than a houseboating trip on Lake Powell. I hope that the lake rises back to higher levels at some point too…
      Have a great day!

  36. Sara M.
    November 5, 2015 / 7:35 AM

    I’ve never travelled outside of Canada. Hoping to take a week and visit Arizona/Utah in September 2016 with my husband. Would like to rent a Jet Ski and spend the day exploring Lake Powell. The landscape is the extreme opposite of what I am used to. It should be an incredible trip.

    • November 5, 2015 / 12:07 PM

      Sara,
      You will LOVE it. They also have dinner cruises that take you around Lake Powell and short excursions that allow you to hike to Rainbow bridge. Let me know what you think! 🙂
      xoxo
      -Krystle

  37. January 10, 2016 / 4:55 PM

    Thanks for the like. I’ve been to Lake Mead. Also Lake Isabella in California, which isn’t much of a lake anymore.

    • January 10, 2016 / 5:05 PM

      I have yet to visit Mead but I hear it’s similar to Lake Powell. 🙂 Hopefully we’ll be able to visit one day soon.

  38. May 5, 2016 / 10:04 AM

    On our visits to Utah, we’ve been avoiding Lake Powell. We thought that, due to the drought, it had little water. Looks like we’ve been missing out.

    • May 6, 2016 / 8:20 PM

      I would encourage you to check it out sometime. 😀 the water levels are definitely lower than years ago, but it’s still beautiful!
      When you visit Utah where do you go?

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