Located at 4,000 ft above sea level and over 100 miles from the closest major city, Lake Powell epitomizes what it means to be one of the world’s top SUP destinations. The incredible canyons and natural landscapes are simply unlike anywhere else on earth. Imagine paddling through 500 foot deep red rock canyons that romantically meander for miles. Glide through narrow slots just wide enough for your board. Rent a houseboat with family and friends and disappear for a week at a time while exploring hidden spots few have ever seen.
Lake Powell is named after explorer John Wesley Powell, the first documented person to float the length of the Colorado River. The lake is over 150 miles long and very remote. Other than the section near Page, Arizona there are not any services, restaurants, hotels or gas stations along the lake with the exception of some basic conveniences at the marina in Bullfrog, Utah in the far northern section of the lake. Word to the wise, come prepared!
In summer the temperatures are in the upper 90s (over 36 C)and the water temp is in the low 80s (approximately 27 C) making it a paddle paradise unlike no other. There are not any sharks, alligators, leeches or other nasty creatures in the lake, just a few harmless river fish. The only things to be cautious of are the afternoon wind and thunderstorms. Be sure to take plenty of water when you are out paddling and exploring the area as you may become dehydrated quickly in the dry desert heat.
How to Get There
Lake Powell is located in the high desert within the boundaries of the scenic Glen Canyon National Recreation Area on the Arizona – Utah border. Glen Canyon was the name of the tranquil section of the Colorado River which once drifted through the warm red rock canyons which, after the building of Glen Canyon Dam in 1966, became the stunning blue waters of Lake Powell. Page, Arizona is the only city near the lake. It is a long drive to get there but well worth the adventure. The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is managed by the National Park Service and entrance passess can be purchased in advance online or at the gate to the recreation area upon arrival.
Page, Arizona is:
- 130 miles from Flagstaff, AZ
- 273 miles from Phoenix, AZ
- 379 miles from Las Vegas, NV
- 385 miles from Salt Lake City, UT
- 540 miles from Los Angeles, CA
- 630 miles from Denver, CO
In addition to the overland routes, airline service to Page is available from Phoenix and Denver via the aptly named Great Lakes Airlines.
Around Town and the Local SUP Shop
SUP rentals are available at Lake Powell Paddleboards in Page, Arizona. This is currently the only SUP shop in the region and the outgoing staff will be more than happy to share their local knowledge and assist you in planning for your excursion.
In Page you will find dozens of hotels and restaurants, a movie theater, mountain bike rentals, shopping and a museum. Check out the Dam Bar, the Ranch House Grill and Bonkers Restaurant for good food.
During the summer there are thousands of visitors from all over the world descend upon Page, the majority of which are here to see the famous Antelope Canyon.
Where would I stay?
You can stay in a hotel in Page, Arizona. There are many to choose from and the best way is to use Priceline to find a good deal. You can also camp at a few spots along Lake Powell. A popular campground is Lone Rock Beach, on the Utah side where you can literally camp right on the beach. Be advised, Lone Rock Beach is a remote campground without any services. If roughing it isn’t your style, there are fully developed campgrounds with showers, toilets and electricity at Wahweap Marina and Lake Powell Campground in Page.
- The lake holds up to 27 million acre-feet of water and is 560 feet deep at the dam. That amount would cover the state of Ohio with one foot of water!
- The lake is 186 miles long, and with 96 major side canyons with more small ones; Lake Powell has more than 1,960 miles of shoreline—more than twice the length of the California coastline.
- Hundreds of colorful sandstone side canyons, coves and natural wonders make region a paradise for house boating, fishing, photography and of course stand up paddleboarding!
- It took 17 years for the Colorado River to fill the lake. The lake began filling in 1963 and reached full pool for the first time in 1980.
- Lake Powell is the second largest reservoir in the United States after Lake Mead.
- Time zones:
- The state of Arizona does not switch to Daylight Savings Time in summer.
- Within the state of Arizona, the Navajo Reservation does switch to Daylight Savings Time.
- Within the Navajo Reservation lies the Hopi Reservation. The Hopis do not switch to Daylight Savings Time.
- The state of Utah does switch to Daylight Savings Time.
Confused? Just be sure to turn off the automatic time zone updater on your phone while here!
- Two of the most famous natural wonders in the world are in the area: Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.
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