Lake Powell attracts 80% of the same amount of visitors to the Grand Canyon. As well as being a great place for enthusiasts of boating, bird watching, fishing, photography and water sports, nearby Antelope Canyon is well known both for its spectacular rock formations and is a place of significance to Navajo history and culture.
Lake Powell is a beautiful man-made lake, 186 miles in length, which lies partly within Utah and partly in Arizona. It’s is surrounded by cliffs of colored sandstone and has a shoreline of 1,960 miles- more than the entire state of California. The lake was formed in Glen Canyon where the Colorado and several rivers and their tributaries once flowed.
Migrating and breeding birds are attracted to the area. Clean lake water has increased the numbers of ducks, geese, gulls, grebes and terns. Bald eagles visit in fall and winter, when they feed on fish from the lake, and there is a growing population of peregrine falcons.
Castle Rock rises over the waters of Lake Powell like a stone fortress. Like other cliffs and rocky outcrops it is a natural formation sculpted by erosion of the soft sandstone.
Historic sites and natural formations around the lake are easily accessible by boat. These include Crossing of the Fathers, the Hole in the Wall Rock and the Rainbow Bridge National Monument.
Padre Bay and the Crossing of the Fathers, which is now located below the waters of Lake Powell, are named after two holy fathers and their companions who cut steps into the rock at the only place they found where the Colorado River could be safely crossed.
The Hole in the Wall Rock is where pioneer Mormons enlarged a crack through the rocks in order to lower their wagons into Glen Canyon.
The spectacular Rainbow Bridge, a natural rock bridge over the lake, is 275 feet in length and 33 feet wide.
Antelope Canyon highly popular with photographers because of the rock formations, known as slot canyons, which have been formed by flash floods slowly wearing away the sandstone over millions of years. Antelope Canyon is just one of many canyons surrounding Lake Powell.
The Crack Canyon, also known as Upper Antelope Canyon, is a deep slot canyon that can be entered on foot, when led by a Navajo Guide. The spiral rock arches of the Corkscrew Canyon, or Lower Antelope Canyon, is also accessible on a guided tour.
Our favorite walk:
Davis Gulch – 5 miles – best approached by boat.
Why we love it:
This narrow curving canyon is an exciting place to explore.
Walk at least as far as the Bement Arch, a natural bridge 100 feet high.