Lake Powell Vacations - Houseboat rentals, house boat ownership
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Rainbow Bridge Tours

Rainbow Bridge is the largest known natural stone arch on earth. It spans 275 feet and soars 290 feet above the riverbed below. The bridge is considered a sacred place by the local Native American tribes--namely the Navajo, Hopi as well as Paiute and others.

Below is a schedule of Tour Departures for the 2013 Season.

Rainbow BridgeThe History of Discovery

"Next morning early we started our toilsome return trip. The pony trail led under the arch. Along this the Ute drove our pack-mules, and as I followed him I noticed that the Navajo rode around outside. His creed bade him never pass under an arch. This great natural bridge, so recently 'discovered' by white men, has for ages been known to the Indians."

              Theodore Roosevelt 1913

Rainbow Bridge was known for centuries by the Native Americans who lived in the Navajo Mountain area. They have long held the bridge to be sacred. The Bridge remained unknown to the white man until 1909, when two groups searching for the bridge reported of by the local tribes, joined forces and with the help of a native guide, first laid eyes on the natural wonder on August 14, 1909.

That next year, Rainbow Bridge was declared a National Monument by President William Howard Taft. It remained a remote and difficult place to visit until after World War II, when the availability of surplus army rafts made the trip down the Colorado River easier and a bit safer. The trip still required several days of rafting, plus a challenging 7 mile hike up the canyon. In the 1950's, people were making the trip from Lees Ferry, now below the Glen Canyon Dam, in jet boats, followed by the 7 mile hike. With the closing of the gates on Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, Lake Powell was born, and travel to Rainbow Bridge became much easier. With improved access, more people came to see the natural bridge.

Increased access was not without controversy. The Native American tribes twice sued the government claiming destruction of religious sites and the dispute continues today. However, today the National Park Service, working to provide a more sensitive solution to the impact of increased visitation, has adopted a General Management Plan after much public input, as well as concerns from the major tribes affiliated with Rainbow Bridge. Up Arrow

Visiting the Bridge Today

You'll find that a trip to Rainbow Bridge today is very rewarding. Visitors are asked to please respect this site, which is sacred to many, when visiting. ARAMARK, the park concessionaire, runs guided boat tours to Rainbow Bridge daily from Wahweap Marina. The All-Day Rainbow Bridge Tour includes trips to other nearby canyons and includes a boxed lunch.

All tour boats provide free water, lemonade and coffee. The tour boats have open air seating on the top, perfect for photography, catching some sun, or simply enjoying the beautiful views on the way up the lake. Also, the boats have an interior seating area which is heated in the cooler months. Restrooms are also available on board.

The Full-Day tours stop at the Bridge for approximately 1 hour. Ample time to make the walk from the dock to the viewing area. Boats do not stop for on-lake recreation during the trip (they do stop at Dangling Rope Marina). If your time allows for swimming and exploring the lake on your own, we suggest renting a power boat and making the trip to the bridge yourself.

Tour boats are handicap accessible as is the ramp from the dock to the viewing area. However, when making a reservation please let us know if you require such accommodations. Advance reservations are recommended.

Note: If you have more than 2 or 3 people be sure to compare the price of a tour with the cost of renting your own boat for the day. No special license is required, and you will have more freedom to explore on your way up to the bridge and back.Up Arrow

Boat Tours to Rainbow Bridge


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Rainbow Bridge All-Day Guided Tour
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This tour lasts about 8 hours and includes a boxed lunch and tours to beautiful side canyons.

Cruise

Times

Dates Available

Price

Rainbow Bridge

 8:30am - 12:30pm

Apr 1 - Oct 31

Adult-$116.88
Child- $84.15

Rainbow Bridge Saturday only

    9:00am -2:00pm 

Nov 1 - Mar 31

Adult- $116.88
Child- $84.15


All times are Arizona / Mountain Standard Time. Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings. All tours have passenger minimums (on rare occasions your trip may be moved to another time.) Tour times are subject to change.Up Arrow

How to get to Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge can be reached either by water, or for the more adventurous, by hiking or via horseback. The bridge lies some 50 lake miles from Wahweap, Bullfrog, or Halls Crossing marinas. If you plan to drive your own boat, be sure to fill up the gas tank before you head out. There is a gas dock at Dangling Rope marina some 10 miles from Rainbow Bridge. We highly recommend filling up there before you head back to your camp, or to one of the marinas. Although the lake is full of friendly boaters, running out of gas is never fun.

Also, we don't recommend taking a houseboat back to the courtesy dock at Rainbow Bridge, even though it is possible. It can get crowded in the canyon, and it is narrow at the back. Unless you are experienced driving a houseboat in tight quarters, you may want to consider an alternative, like taking a powerboat, or a tour.

If hiking or horseback riding are more your style, you can reach Rainbow Bridge via the trail from Navajo Mountain Trading Post (14 miles), or on foot via the trail from abandoned Rainbow Lodge (13 miles). Before you leave be sure to check with a park ranger,(Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation 928-698-2808, National Park Service 928-608-6200) to check conditions on the trails, which are not maintained. Also, be sure to pack plenty of water, and don't forget the camera.

A permit is required for these trails and can be obtained from the Navajo tribe. You may write to: Navajo Nation, Parks and Recreation Department, Box 9000, Window Rock, Arizona 86515. If you are hiking, please understand these trails start on the Navajo Reservation. Please respect their land, pack out all your trash, leave gates as you find them, and never remove anything from the reservation. Respecting the land will ensure that it remains open for others to enjoy for years to come.

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Lake Powell houseboat & watercraft rental reservations, houseboat shared-ownership programs, and water toy rentals based in Page, Arizona and serving the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

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