If you’re wondering what stops to add to your Grand Canyon road-trip itinerary, consider a trip on a house boat on Lake Powell. Being on a houseboat allows you to set off on an outdoor adventure with the comforts of home at hand. Once you’re on board, you’ll be able to explore the incredible scenery of Lake Powell at your own pace. With nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline, Lake Powell is one of the largest human-made reservoirs in the country leaving plenty to be discovered.
Lake Powell was created by the damming of Glen Canyon in 1963 and sits on the border of Arizona and Utah. It’s a two-and-a-half hour drive from the Grand Canyon to Page, Ariz., which sits at the southern end of Lake Powell. The remote access at Lake Powell allows you to hike low-traffic trails, tube through the canyons or simply float in tranquility. With crystal-clear water and vibrant sandstone canyons, you’ll be mesmerized by the landscape as you discover new alcoves, arches and more each day.
“There’s so much you can do on Lake Powell,” says Luis Tena, who works at Lake Powell Resorts & Marina. “It’s especially great for families because it’s fun and safe.”
Sights to See Via Houseboat on Lake Powell
One of the most famous sites on Lake Powell is Rainbow Bridge National Monument located at the southern end. A courtesy dock is available for short-term docking while people make the 2-mile walk to the bridge to gaze up at the massive arch spanning 234 feet. This trail does require a permit.
Venture to Antelope Canyon, another popular destination, which is about 4 miles up from the Glen Canyon Dam on the east side of Antelope Island in Ariz. Here, you can wind your way through the canyon’s twists and turns along the sandstone walls. This is not to be confused with the slot canyon of Antelope Canyon on Navajo land, which attracts photographers from all over the world and cannot be accessed by the lake. The famous slot canyon of Antelope Canyon requires a Navajo guided tour and permit to access it.
Another point of interest to add to your itinerary is Cathedral of the Desert located on the Escalante arm of Lake Powell. After tying off your boat, a short walk away is a chamber with sandstone walls towering 1,000 feet above you. Additionally, across the bay you’ll find remnants of gold mines dating back to the 1880s.
Marinas that Rent Houseboats
In order to start your houseboating trip, you first have to decide which of three marinas to take off from. The first two, Wahweap Marina and Antelope Point Marina are near Page, Ariz. They have the largest fleets of houseboats and recreational watercrafts. Both marinas are located at the southern side of Lake Powell and is the most convenient location if you’re coming from California, Arizona, Nevada or southern Utah.
If you’re coming from Colorado, New Mexico or northern Utah than your best bet is to use Bullfrog Marina located at the northern part of Lake Powell in Bullfrog, Utah. Most people choose their marina based on where they’re coming from, but not all houseboats are offered at both locations so that could affect your choice as well.
There are three additional marinas, Dangling Rope, Hall Crossing and Hite, that don’t offer houseboat rentals, but do offer a variety of services, such as fueling facilities, snack bars and campgrounds.
Which Houseboat to Choose for Your Lake Powell Outing?
Houseboating is a unique way to explore nature with all the comforts of home. The houseboats offered at Lake Powell are equipped with kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms. You can choose from economy, deluxe or luxury houseboats and within each category of houseboat there are different sizes to choose from. The houseboats range from 46 to 75 feet long.
During peak season, you have the option of renting for five or seven days, but during the off season you have the option to rent a houseboat for three days as well. Rates vary depending on the time of year. During peak season from June 20 to August 21 prices are higher.
The cheapest rate at Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas is $1,728 for a 5-day excursion. The most expensive boats can go for more than $10,000 for a 7-day excursion. During the off-season, the prices range from $1,728 for a 3-day excursion, all the way up to $10,000 for a 7-day excursion.
Additional features can be added to enhance your houseboating experience such as a licensed captain to pilot your boat or prepackaged meals for you to enjoy. There are also a variety of water toy rentals to choose from such as jet skis, stand up paddleboards, tubes and more. Rates vary depending on the time of year you plan your trip for.
When Should You Rent a Houseboat on Lake Powell?
If you’re looking for warm water, long days and beautiful sunsets, summer is the best time to plan your trip. It’s the busiest season of the year, so if you’re looking for a quieter getaway, you might want to look into another time of year.
Fall is an ideal time of year to plan your trip if you’re looking for enjoyable temperature, warm water and less of a crowd. And winter is the perfect time to go if you’re looking for complete tranquility. With very few people around you, it’s easy to take in the scenery and tune into nature. The temperatures drop quite a bit however, with an average high of 45 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low of 24 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lake Powell is still relatively calm in the spring as water levels begin to rise. If you’re looking for cooler temperatures and less traffic on the lake, plan your trip in the spring.