Lake Powell / Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Lake Powell is part of what is known as Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and it lies in the southern center of the state of Utah. This 186-mile long lake also crosses slightly into Arizona , but it is positioned primarily within Utah.
Southern Utah / Northern Arizona
Lake Powell was created in 1963 by placing a dam on the mighty Colorado River and the result has pushed water back into many winding finger canyons and has created nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline. This shoreline is longer than the coast line of the west coast of the United States. With the red rock Navajo sandstone formations creating a colorful backdrop for the blue-green waters of Lake Powell, there are few places that are more scenic than this. Lake Powell is the United States' second largest man-made lake and it took 17 years to fill.
Water levels rise and fall depending on the amount of snow and rain received in the area that feeds multiple rivers such as; the Colorado River, the Green River, the San Juan River, the Escalante River and the Dirty Devil River. All of these rivers and many small tributaries are sources of water for Lake Powell which was named for Major John Wesley Powell, the man who explored and mapped the Colorado River in the late 1860's and early 1870's.
Planning Your Trip to Lake Powell
- Lodging/Dining: There are many dining and lodging options near Lake Powell in the Page Arizona area.
- Fees and Permit information can be found on the National Park Service website.
- How to Beat the Crowds: Peak season is May-September, anytime from late October to early April.
- Are permitted at marinas leashed. There are also plenty of pet friendly accommodations in the area.
Lake Powell Location & Directions
Visiting Lake Powell
Millions of annual visitors experience Lake Powell with boating, kayaking, fishing, swimming, sightseeing and to explore the many scenic side canyons. Lake Powell’s crown jewel is Rainbow Bridge, the world’s largest natural bridge. Rainbow Bridge stands 290 feet high, spans 270 feet across, and is 42 feet thick. The Navajo revered this natural wonder and called it Nonnoshoshi, meaning “rainbow turned to stone.” Rainbow Bridge was virtually inaccessible until the creation of Lake Powell but today it can be reached via personal boat, boat tours and via scenic flights.
Getting to Lake Powell
From East Zion the drive by vehicle to Lake Powell's closest access points is about 80-90 minutes. There are multiple marinas for boat/watercraft rentals, boat tours, and the main nearby city is Page, Arizona. Lake Powell is an easy day trip experience as you hub and spoke on your vacation stay in the east Zion National Park area.
Nearest airports to Lake powell
Trying to decide which airport you should fly into to visit Lake Powell? Here are four options:
- MCCARRAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT in Las Vegas: Major airport with direct flights from many foreign and domestic destinations. Four and a half hour drive.
- SKY HARBOR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT in Phoenix: Major airport with direct flights from many foreign and domestic destinations. Four and a half hour drive to the park.
- ST. GEORGE REGIONAL AIRPORT: Regional airport with limited commercial flights. Three-hour drive to the park.
- CEDAR CITY REGIONAL AIRPORT: Flights from Salt Lake City are available. Three-hour drive to the park.
- SALT LAKE CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Major airport with direct flights from many foreign and domestic destinations. Six-hour drive to the park.