grand canyonFROM LAKE POWELL

Lake Powell to Grand Canyon Travel Guide

Lake Powell to Grand Canyon 

Lake Powell is located within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in both Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.  The only city on or near Lake Powell is Page, AZ, which has all amenities visitors need. Lake Powell was created due to the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam.  The dam began filling in 1963 and did not fill completely until 1980.  Glen Canyon NRA was created in 1972 for both recreation and preservation of Glen Canyon and Lake Powell, which makes up 13 percent of the National Recreation Area. Lake most high desert areas summers are hot at Lake Powell, but if you’re into boating, swimming or kayaking this is the time to be here.  Spring weather is unpredictable, but except for strong winds can offer some great weather.  Fall offers the best overall climate, especially for hiking the many trails and canyons in Glen Canyon NRA.  Winter is fairly mild with highs in the 40’s to 50’s and lows around freezing. Read the guide below to learn more.

Lake Powell to Grand Canyon Travel

Driving Distance from Lake Powell to Grand Canyon

  • Lake Powell to Grand Canyon North Rim is 112 miles, a 2 hour 20-minute drive.
  • Lake Powell to Grand Canyon East Rim is 111 miles, a 2 hour 5-minute drive.
  • Lake Powell to Grand Canyon South Rim is 241 miles, a 4 hour 15-minute drive.
  • Lake Powell to Grand Canyon West Rim is 285 miles, a 4-hour 50-minute drive.

Lake Powell to Grand Canyon Car Rentals and Shuttles

Lake Powell Car Rentals: There are several car rental agencies in Page Arizona, or you can pick up a rental car at any major airport you fly into.

Lake Powell Shuttles: There are a few companies that offer shuttles to Powell, but if you want to check out all the parks in the area your best bet is to have your own car.

Grand Canyon Tours from Lake Powell

There is no shortage of activities at Lake Powell and Glen Canyon NRA.  For boating enthusiasts there’s water skiing, wake boarding, houseboats and just plain boating.  There is also human powered boating in the form of kayaks, which can be a one-day trip or a multi-day adventure.  Fishing is also popular on Lake Powell for large striped bass, while the Lee’s Ferry area below the Glen Canyon Dam offers great trout fishing.  Land based activities include hiking, mountain biking, canyoneering and scenic drives.  Several Grand Canyon Tour Guides have guided trips that include Antelope Canyon.

Best Restaurants at Lake Powell and on the drive to Grand Canyon

The Lake Powell Marinas and hotels have basic shopping and restaurants. If you need to do any serious shopping Page is your best bet and has a major grocery store and a Wal Mart.

Best Hotels at Lake Powell near Grand Canyon

Even on Lake Powell itself there are accommodations in the form of houseboats that are readily available for rentals at one of the several Lake Powell Marinas.  Aside from the houseboats hotels rooms in Glen Canyon NRA are available at Wahweap and Bullfrog marinas.   Bullfrog, Wahweap, and Halls Crossing also have RV parks and campgrounds.  Outside of the NRA the town of Page, AZ has many lodging options as well as RV parks and campgrounds.  Dispersed camping along the shores of Lake Powell and the NRA is free.  Glen Canyon NRA also has three developed campgrounds with small nightly fees. Lake Powell is a great place to spend a night or two before traveling to your Grand Canyon hotel.

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Popular hotels near Lake Powell

Learn More About Lake Powell

If you’re coming to Lake Powell to rent a houseboat, swim, wakeboard, or waterski Mid-May to Mid-September is your best bet and the time when Lake Powell receives most of its 3 million annual visitors.  Hiking and other activities that don’t involve getting in the water are most enjoyable in the late spring and fall just like Grand Canyon hiking.  Entry Fees for Glen Canyon/Lake Powell are $15 per vehicle.  Fees for private boats for 1-7 days are $16 for the first motorized vehicle and $8 for each additional motorized vehicle.  You can also get an annual pass for $30.  Camping in designated campgrounds varies in cost, but backcountry campsites are free.  The general cost of goods and services in the Page/Lake Powell area are fairly high.

  • Environment of Lake Powell: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is 1.2 million acres, 13% of which is Lake Powell.  Located at 3,700 feet in elevation Lake Powell is a large man-made Lake in a desert environment.   Lake Powell and Glen Canyon NRA are in Canyon Country, and canyons dominate the landscape both above and below the Lake.  Geologically speaking Glen Canyon is a very diverse area with sedimentary rock ranging from the Kaibab Limestone to the Straight Cliffs Formation.  The Navajo Sandstone is a dominant layer along Lake Powell and forms many of the canyons, arches and buttes you see from the shore. The biggest danger at Lake Powell is boating accidents, be sure to be safe when you on the water.  Summers at Lake Powell are hot so drink plenty of fluids and remember your sunblock.  If you are hiking any canyons in the park be aware of local conditions and storms as flash floods do occur.
     
  • Lake Powell Plants and Animals: Like most of the Colorado Plateau Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon NRA are home to an ecosystem with great diversity of plants and animals.  Glen Canyon is home to 850 species of plants, several of which are listed as federally threatened, and 11% of which are invasive species.  The animal life at Glen Canyon is also diverse with a multitude of mammals, birds, reptile, amphibians and fish.  Due to the Lake, there is nearly 300 species of birds, many of which are migratory and aquatic species not found in this area before the construction of the dam.  Many new fish species like striped bass and brown trout have been introduced to the area, that along with changes in water temperatures and sediment levels have decimated native fish populations.
     
  • Lake Powell Culture and History: The history of Glen Canyon starts long before Lake Powell.  People have inhabited this area for nearly 12,000 years starting with the Paleoindians, but it was the Ancestral Puebloans that left the most notable mark on the land with large Cliff Dwellings and other evidence of their agrarian settlements.  Mormon Pioneers, miners and other Native American tribes like the Navajo also settled this area, and some of them still leave near Lake Powell today.

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