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May 1, 2024updated Jun 04, 2024

Adventures in Lake Powell

Arizona’s Lake Powell is a natural playground for fans of the great outdoors

By Kim Ayling

Perfectly positioned in the heart of canyon country, Lake Powell is a haven for all adventure lovers. While it is called a lake, the body of water is actually a man-made reservoir (one of the largest in the US), that was formed in the sixties with the building of the Glen Canyon Dam. Flanked by dramatic sandstone cliffs, the winding lake stretches its way through Glen Canyon and out of Arizona toward Utah, but its waters have also filled a number of other smaller, secondary gorges, which are all but begging to be explored. There are guided tours, but you can also go it alone — choose between kayaks, motorboats, jet-skis or even stand-up paddleboards. There are several marinas on the lake with plenty of rental options. 

Back on dry land, the surrounding ancient rock formations have become must-see monuments in themselves. Don’t miss Rainbow Bridge, the world’s largest natural bridge; the towering Horseshoe Bend; or Bullfrog Basin, a narrow, pebble-floored ravine. The size of the lake means some are better visited via boat, but there’s plenty of shorter hiking trails too. For a new perspective of the world-famous canyons, visit during the annual Lake Powell Balloon Regatta (typically held on the first weekend of November) when hordes of colorful hot air balloons take to the skies. 

The nearby town of Page, which was initially populated as a home for workers building the dam but was previously Navajo land, is a major resort area that now hosts millions of vacationers per year. Far from being just a gateway to the lake itself, Page is also home to two museums, a golf course and several sports fields. Lake Powell’s location also makes it perfect for fitting into extended trips, with the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Zion National Park all close by.

[See also: A Brief Guide to Indianapolis, Home of the Indy 500]

lake powell
/ ©Shutterstock

Where to stay

Visitors to Lake Powell will find a bounty of hotels to choose from, but few match up to Amangiri. It’s more remote than others in the area but, tucked away among the rock and the sand, the resort is a destination in its own right, with guests traveling from far and wide to stay at what has become a cult hotel. Accommodations are varied, from the sprawling four-bed Mesa Home to the canvas-topped Pavilion suites.

1 Kayenta Road, +1 435 675 3999,

Where to eat

The restaurants you’ll find in Lake Powell tend to be on the more casual side, but this is no reflection on the quality of the food on offer. At Antelope Point Marina, on Antelope Island, you’ll find Jádí´Tooh, which surpasses all expectations of a marina restaurant. Situated in a prime spot overlooking the water, Jádí´Tooh serves a decadent menu of elevated comfort foods.

537 Marina Parkway, +1 928 645 5900,

Where to fly

Located ideally close to Lake Powell, Page Municipal Airport makes getting here a breeze. The airport’s only dedicated FBO facility, Million Air Lake Powell, is equipped with a spacious lounge area, conference room and heated hangar space. Travelers can also make use of the dedicated concierge service to complement their Lake Powell vacation.

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Page Municipal Airport, 901 Sage Ave Page, AZ 86040;, +1 928 645 2987,

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