Nature’s Wonderland

A look at Lake Powell

October 2015 Feature Jeffrey V. Shirts

The Colorado River and the Grand Canyon represent the power of nature, scarcely seen elsewhere. Through two billion years of water erosion, the sandstone, limestone, and shale washed away down the banks of the river leaving a canyon that stretches 277 miles marking one of the most visibly stunning vistas on earth. The Grand Canyon is less than 100 miles from gorgeous Lake Powell, which Houseboat magazine readers recently voted as one of the top houseboating lakes and communities in the nation.

What makes Lake Powell so attractive to Houseboaters? Just about everything. In fact, in addition to the scenic surroundings and natural wonders, Lake Powell is nationally known for being a hotspot of lively houseboating activity with over 100,000 houseboaters visiting the lake each year.

The mighty Colorado River is diverse in landscapes and formations. Springing from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, the river flows through Moab, Utah, just south of Arches National Park, and continues to form Lake Powell. Down 186 miles of the lake, the river continues into the Hoover Dam Reservoir of Lake Mead just southeast of Las Vegas, Nev., and is buttressed by the dam. Draining from the concrete, the water flows into the ever-popular Lake Havasu in Arizona and California before finally flowing into the Gulf of California. Covering 1,450 miles, the river is the fifth largest in the United States and is the principal water source for most of the Southeastern US.

Boating Paradise

Centrally located in the Colorado River, Lake Powell straddles the border between Utah and Arizona. Home of the impressive Rainbow Bridge National Monument, Lake Powell is typical of high deserts, with warm days and little rainfall; however, experienced boaters know that the lake is perfect in the fall, with moderate temperature and few storms.

Lake Powell is more than 185 miles long, offering nearly 2,000 more miles of shoreline than the entire west coast. The almost one hundred named and numerous smaller unnamed canyons define the shoreline. Lake Powell is also the second-largest man-made lake by surface area in the United States, with the largest surface area and volume. Lake Powell is the reservoir of Glen Canyon Dam, finished in 1956, and took until 1974 to completely fill.

Wahweap & Bullfrog Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas

Along the southern shore of Lake Powell, firmly situated in the Arizona side of the lake, is the impressive Wahweap Marina. Wahweap Marina is not only a full-service marina for private boat owners; it also provides a fleet of rental houseboats and offers lodging, hospitality, and dining services including the Rainbow Room. The Rainbow Room is the premier restaurant with views of Wahweap Bay and Castle Rock and there is also the Wahweap Grille, plus Latitude 37—a floating restaurant that offers live entertainment on the weekends. There are also plenty of shopping and opportunities to memorialize visiting the lake. For visitors to the area, Lake Powell Resorts and Marina offers guided boat tours from Wahweap Marina, including a tour to Rainbow Bridge.

“All of our boats are equipped with amenities for a terrific vacation on the lake,” says Scott Mcginn, vice president of operations at Aramark, “Full kitchens. Televisions. Some with hot tubs. We have it all.”

The marina offers an inventory of 117 houseboats, 110 powerboats and water toys.

The marina is also equipped with two launch ramps, and full services including captain services, mechanical services, cleaning and fueling. Houseboat rentals are available in sizes from 46-foot one-bedroom boats, to 75-foot six-bedroom boats.

“The newest additions to our houseboats are seven Axiom Star vessels,” says Mcginn. “The Axiom Star vessel is a new spin on traditional houseboats, being more contemporary. The Axiom is very popular even among legacy boaters. The boat takes it to a new level through the amenities, including the look and feel.”

On the northern side of Lake Powell sits Bullfrog Marina. Services of the Bullfrog Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas are similar to those offered at Wahweap, being full service with everything needed for houseboating. The marina also provides the restaurant Anasazi, which offers a wide variety of meals and food options although the south end location with more services tends to be a little more popular.

Antelope Point Marina

Located in between Antelope Island and the southwestern shore of Lake Powell floats Antelope Point Marina. Just outside of Page, Ariz., Antelope Point Marina is the one of the newest additions to houseboating services and marinas on Lake Powell. Focusing on service and providing a unique and robust experience, Antelope Point is a full-service marina, store and restaurant with a unique and striking architectural design, reminiscent of Arizona’s Sedona artistic influences.

Antelope Point offers several houseboats for rent at a variety of different sizes. Starting with the 50-foot Forever Houseboat and increasing in size and capacity to the magnificent 75-foot XTreme, there is a houseboat to fit any size family or budget. With completely furnished and ready-to-go houseboats, you’ll be set for the trip-of-a-lifetime.

In addition to rental houseboats, everything needed for water fun and adventure is available at this marina. In fact, Antelope Point provides brand-new and upscale services catered to both new and returning boaters to Lake Powell. The marina offers other watercraft rentals, including powerboats, PWCs and towables such as waterskis, wakeboards, kneeboards, tubes and more. Slip rentals are also available, as are two launch ramps, a fuel dock, dry storage and boat transport and hauling. The marina also provides the Antelope Point Marina Village, a floating, full-service restaurant on the water. For those renting a houseboat at Antelope Point, concierge services are available.

Antelope Point Marina is the closest destination to Lake Powell’s eponymous island that dominates the southwestern lake. Along the east side of the island, 4 miles from the Glen Canyon Dam, is the mouth of Antelope Canyon. The canyon is a slot canyon, formed from the erosion of caused by the Colorado River. Antelope Canyon offers a windy waterway full of kinks and bends while leaving everyone with an exciting boating adventure.


Known for its impressive location and vistas, Lake Powell is home to hiking, horseback rides, and of course fishing. It would be a shame to visit Lake Powell and not try and see Rainbow Bridge. With plenty of hiking available, and cool water for water sports, there is something for everyone’s preference. Other marinas on Powell include Halls Crossing, Hite Marina and Dangling Rope.

Lake Powell is an excellent fishing lake and home to smallmouth and striped bass, walleye, catfish, crappie and bluegill. With a depth of 560 feet, the lake is one of the deepest in the nation and is home to bountiful fish.

From Our Peeps

“We’ve houseboated on Lake Powell for 10 years running,” wrote Kathy Moacanin. “Lake Powell is the best ever!”

Lake Powell, of course,” added Barbara White when asked to vote on the best houseboating lake. “Lake Powell is a piece of heaven on earth!”

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