Lake Powell

I’ve just moved to northern Arizona (from Michigan) and I’m looking forward to my first trip to Lake Powell. I expect to be heading up to Page within the next few weeks and would like to know about good access points and any advice you have for paddling in Lake Powell.

Lake Powell
Pick up the Stan Jones map which you can find mostly anywhere in Page and the Boater’s Guide to Lake Powell. The Stan Jone’s map list all of the 93 slot canyons for only $6.00. Included in the guide by Michael Kelsey is hiking, camping, geology and history. Of coarse check out the national park service web site for the recent updates due to the low water situation.


Lake Mead
The eastern arm of Lake Mead ain’t bad either. If Powell is having access problems do to lake levels Mead is good to. There you can paddle upstream, on the Colorado, towards the mouth of the Grand Canyon if you want.

Powell can get tricky with the waves from the houseboats bouncing off the cliffs in such a narrow area. Drunks are a problem too. I’d suggest you call the different marinas around the lake. That’s where the secure parking is anyway.

We were out there in April of 2000
At the time we did not know from kayaks. We rented a bare bones houseboat (when Hite was still open). We had our dog along too. It was without doubt one of THE nicest trips we ever took. I think about that trip often 5 years later.

We had a 36 foot boat (dubbed it The African Queen) and cruised for 9 days at a very relaxed pace. We dragged a skiff behind us to get into the ends of the canyons. We hiked everyday into remote areas off the lake. It was fantastic. At night we would find some out of the way spot and usually had the cove we were in all to ourselves.

One evening we got a taste of what high season must look like. We were out on the lake later than normal. We headed for the end of a canyon that looked promising. Upon turning the last corner we found 4 huge 65+ foot boats with TV’s, Stereos,generators, Jet skis and the beach littered with lawn lawn chairs and play sets. Needless to say we backed out and had to beach about 1’4 mile away as it was getting dark. We were buzzed by the jetskis until it was after dark…

If you have a flexable schedule I would highly recommend going when school is back in session. September or even October if possible. Go somewhere less popular in the summer, but go. The place is awe inspiring!

Temple Bar looked nice
(Lake Mead)

Lake Meade/Powell

Access to the Grand Canyon is closed at Pearce Landing due to low water making Sandy Point the only place to launch heading to Temple Bar. Anything north is now sand bars.

Lake Meade is low but Temple Bar is not so bad you have campgrounds available. Lake Mohave and the Colorado River has plenty of water. You’ll get alot of boat traffic at Katherines Landing.

At Lake Powell Stateline, Hite and the access around Castle Rock is closed. Antelope and Bullfrog is recommended for canoes, kayaks and I think smallboats only. Halls is open for those larger boats so if you launch there be ready for alot of boat traffic same at Wahweap. Many of the 4 wheel drive access points is closed to the lake. Defience House is closed and Rainbow bridge is now a 1.5 mile hike.

If you find that spot Lake Powell is showing features not seen in 65 years.


I would reccommend Gregg’s Hideout over Temple Bar or South Cove on Mead. It’s a dirt road to the put-in and there’s no access for power boats. The camping is primitive but there’s great day trips in both direction.

Pearce Landing has great hiking now that the lake is lower. You can hike the high water ledges that have formed aroung the lake. You can work your way to the mouth of the Grand Canyon on foot now.

Spring time sunsets are incredible at Pearce Landing. The Grand Wash Cliffs face the west and are lit up as the sun sets.

Lake Mojave has some nasty powerboat problems according to kayakers I’ve talked to. It’s best to go there during the week in the off season.

I once paddled my 14’ sit-on-top kayak down the Escanlante into Lake Powell. Now that was a trip.

Lake Powell
I have explored Lake Powell for the last 20 years. It is very different now because of such low water levels. However, it is still worth it and my suggestion to you would be to rethink launching at Page. You will find more isolation and quiet coves in the northern part of the lake. I suggest launching at Hall’s Crossing or Hite Marina. Have a great time!

Hite is closed
It was antifreeze-green back in October 2002 and has since closed due to complete drying up.

I have heard Bullfrog is closed now, too.

you’ll forgive me but:
That is "F"ing incredible!

Lake Mead/Black Canyon
Lake Mead is about 90’ low right now, making paddling in there a lot more interesting(fun, that is). If you decide to come this way instead of Powell, check out Black Canyon (just below Hoover Dam… see trip report under NV). It’s a better destination for Fall-Spring, but is still much more tolerable than L.M. in the summer. Today’s temp in the Lake Mead - Hoover Dam area was a cool crisp 116 degrees. BRRRR…

Kayak access
Just confirmed today that the National Park Service’s boat ramp at Antelope Point is open to kayakers and any watercraft not requiring trailer launching. The ramp turns to gravel and is adjacent to the Antelope Point Marina construction project.

I went a couple of years ago
and another time back in 1990 as part of a Cataract Canyon rafting trip. It is probably the coolest looking lake I have ever seen.