Q. Where is Lake Powell Located?
A. Lake Powell is located primarily in southern Utah and crosses over into Arizona at Navajo and Antelope canyons, as well as the Glen Canyon Dam. According to visitation research, Salt Lake City, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Diego are the most common major cities from which visitors flee to take advantage of the incredible scenery, expansive beaches and private coves on Lake Powell.
Q. How big is Lake Powell?
A. You'll be surprised only if you've never been - Lake Powell is 186 miles long and has about 1,960 miles of shoreline. There are 96 major canyons, some over 20 miles long! There are hundreds, if not thousands of beaches, alcoves and private spots to park a houseboat or powerboat. The lake is home to large populations of Smallmouth, Largemouth and Striped Bass, as well as Crappie, Walleye Pike, and Catfish.
Q. When was Lake Powell created?
A. Glen Canyon Dam began constuction in 1956, and closed its floodgates in 1963. It took 17 years to fill Lake Powell to full pool.
Q. Who manages the Recreation Area?
A. Lake Powell is part of the Glen Canyon Nationa Recreation Area - part of America's National Park system. The National Park Service, a division of the United States Department of Interior, provides oversight of the lake in cooperation with a number of state and federal agencies. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Fish and Game Department, as well as the Arizona Game & Fish Department work to manage the fishing and habitat at the lake. The US Coast Guard, the Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management, as well as Utah and Arizona state & county law enforcement also have juristiction and responsibilities in the area.
Lake Powell has one primary concessionaire, ARAMARK, as well as many Independent Business Permit holders that provide services of all types to the nearly 3-million visitors to the recreation area annually. ARAMARK provides most all services, including rentals, lodging, fuel, waste facilities, maintenance and engineering at the lake. They have been officially recognized by the Federal Government on a number of occasions for championing environmental changes (such as converting Dangling Rope Marina to 100% solar power in 1998 and converting all new houseboats to gray-water containment) and providing innovative engineering solutions such as floating waste facilities throughout the lake.
Q. Other than houseboating, what else is there to do in the area?
A. Lake Powell is in good company in the western United States. The Grand Circle - America's largest concentration of National and State Parks, Monuments and Recreations Areas - is literally all around Lake Powell. From Page, Arizona at the southern end, you are a few hours from the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Monument Valley, and many others. From Halls Crossing and Bullfrog, you are but a few hours from spectacular Mesa Verde National Park or Arches National Monument.
Whitewater rafting down the Colorado River, 1/2 day float trips from the base of Glen Canyon Dam and tour boat rides to amazing Rainbow Bridge National Monument are available from Wahweap Marina. And much, much more...
Q. Is the lake and area safe enough for my family?
A. A good question to ask! Lake Powell is a rugged and remote place with limited facilites once you get away from the full-service marinas. There are, of course, no lifeguards on the beaches, and it is real nature out there! But we are fortunate that there are few serious injuries and even fewer fatalities given the potential.
It is important to watch the weather when hiking in the area as flash floods can be a common occurence during certain times of the year. When on the water or parked in a houseboat, life jackets should always be on children (and anyone that cannot swim). Never dive into the lake from cliffs or ledges! If you must be a daredevil, always jump feet first! And do not drive on Lake Powell at night. (All rental craft are prohibited from driving at night).
Most importantly, do not use drugs or alcohol when out on the lake and especially when driving a boat. Over 80% of fatalities on Lake Powell in the past years have been attributed to alcohol.
Q. Does the lake freeze in winter?
A. Nope! Okay, so it can get a little icy in the backs of a few of the northern canyons and that water sure feels like it could freeze around February, but generally the climate in this area is too warm to freeze such a big pond.
Q. Why can't I rent a private houseboat on the lake?
The rental concession on the lake is handled by a single professional concessionnaire for a good reason. The concessionaire must take on the cost and responsibility of many environmental and management concerns at the lake. Dock maintenance, waste and utilities management, recycling efforts and improvements are largely handled by the concessionaire. The investment here is in the hundreds of millions of dollars and is repaid under contract with the revenues created through rentals, restaurants, etc.
A legal alternative to renting a houseboat is "buying" a houseboat - or buying a share of a houseboat. Commonly (and erroneously) referred to as a time-share, a shared-ownership boat can be a rewarding and luxurious way to enjoy Lake Powell as from 4 to 26 different owners share in the upkeep, storage and enjoyment of a top-quality boat.
Q. What are the dangers of Carbon Monoxide and boating?
A. As you probably know, Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced by internal combustion engines. Generators, boat motors and charcoal briquets are the most common sources of CO when boating or camping.
The US Coast Guard recently recalled all houseboats and similarly designed watercraft with "rear-venting" generator exhaust for retrofitting with safer "side-venting" systems. A number of CO related accidents have been attributed to houseboats on Lake Powell as well as other lakes with houseboats. Now, before you get too nervous - RENTAL BOATS ON LAKE POWELL ALL HAVE SIDE VENTING GENERATOR EXHAUST. Rental houseboats also have CO detectors in their cabins as well. This doesn't mean that you can be complacent around Carbon Monoxide, you must still follow your houseboat instructor's direction and review the safety instructions for your houseboat. It just means that your rental boat is designed to be the safest possible craft.
Q. Can you fly to Lake Powell?
A. Yes, regular daily flights with Great Lakes Arilines arrive at the full-service airport in Page, Arizona from both Phoenix and Denver. There are landing strips at Bullfrog and Hall's Crossing Marinas as well.
Q. Tell me about guided tours available in the area?
A. You can take a comfortable tour boat ride to Rainbow Bridge National Monument, take a guided hike through Antelope Canyon - the famous slot canyon on the Navajo Reservation, take a half-day raft trip down the Colorado River from the Dam to Lees Ferry. There's even a new tour on Lake Powell on Kayaks from a local outfitter based in Page. Many of these tours are appropriate for school and church groups (with group discounts) as well as families, seniors and individuals.
Q. Isn't part of Lake Powell on an Indian Reservation?
A. Lake Powell provides the northern border to the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation. The waters of the lake are in the National Recreation Area and are federal lands. Access to Navajo Mountain and areas south of the lake are via permission of the Navajo Nation. Please inquire about a permit prior to exploring these lands.
Q. What are the Fees to get into the Recreation Area?
A. Lake Powell is inside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The National Park Service charges a small fee for entrance and parking while using the lake. These fees help pay for staffing, improvements and utilities in the area. Given the level of improvements in the past years, the fees are still very low. Cooperation of all visitors in recycling, refuse removal and minimal impact, keep these fees low. Here are the rates;keep in mind you can use your National Park Pass or Golden (Age, Eagle, and Access) for park entry;
Per Individual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 3.00
Per Vehicle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10.00 (1-7 days)
Annual Pass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$20.00 (Over 7 days)
National Parks Pass . . . . . . . . . . $50.00
Per Boat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10.00 (1-7 days)
Annual Boat Pass . . . . . . . . . . . . $20.00