A maze of mirror-like waterways and wide-open channels weave along the Utah-Arizona border, where Lake Powell visitors can enjoy countless outdoor activities with an impressive desert backdrop. Walls of red-hued sandstone give way to bright skies during the day and come alive with stars at night to awe even the most discerning stargazer. The area encompasses more than 1.25 million acres to explore, including Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Horseshoe Bend, The Wave, and more must-see natural attractions. Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase will be your hub for adventure as you explore all this awe-inspiring location has to offer. We’ve curated five ways to enjoy the adventure of a lifetime.
1. Ride Around on Two Wheels
Mountain biking is one of the best ways to cover ground and connect with nature around Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. There are plenty of trails to choose from including Alstrom Point Trail (8-miles), Warm Creek Road (13+ miles), Crosby Canyon Road (13 miles), The Rim Trail (10.5-miles), and Grand Bench Road (38 miles one-way). Riders will be rewarded with spectacular outlooks and sweeping views of the desert landscape, Lake Powell, and towering red rocks. An electric bike tour is a fun way for riders to take in the desert scenery with the help of a pedal-assisted motor. If you book a 2-hour long tour, an experienced guide will cater the experience to your group as you take in the expansive views of Glen Canyon, Vermillion Cliffs, and the Kaiparowits Plateau.
2. Explore Hiking Trails
Immerse yourself in the great outdoors and choose your on-foot adventure from one of the many hiking trails in the Lake Powell, Glen Canyon, and Grand Staircase-Escalante areas. The most popular and photo-worthy hiking spot in the area is Horseshoe Bend because of its must-see panoramic views. Its 1.5-mile round-trip distance makes it an easy hike and the perfect sunset spot for all experience levels. Other short day hikes in the area are the Dam Overlook (940-feet), Hanging Garden (1-mile), Antelope Point (various distances), and The Chains (various distances). If you’re looking to explore Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the hike to Pedestal Alley (3-miles) is perfect for hikers of all skill levels who want to spot vertical rock formations and desert landscapes. There is little to no shade on most trails, so make sure to wear sun protection and bring plenty of water.
3. Go Off-Roading
The desert is your playground when you rent a four-wheeler or UTV. Our Adventures Concierge can help you book your epic ride and get you in the driver’s seat of an unforgettable adventure. Explore the best of Lake Powell and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument when you go “off-road” for a thrilling experience that offers incredible views. Some of the top trails include Wahweap Hoodoos Trail to spot other-worldly rock formations, the Burr Trail Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Road, and Hell’s Backbone OHV Trail.
4. Rent a Boat or Paddle Craft
Lake Powell is a world-renowned boat lover’s paradise and for good reason. Here, you can rent a powerboat, pontoon boat, Baja ski boat, or jet skis, in addition to non-motorized options like a stand-up paddleboard or kayak. With its labyrinth of waterways and narrow canyons that curb the wind and wakes created by other boats, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding your slice of mirror-flat water paradise for your paddle craft. If you’d rather tow behind a boat, water skiers and wakeboarders will find plenty of runways here. There are several marinas surrounding the lake, but Wahweap Marina is a popular hub for boat excursions including the popular trip to Rainbow Bridge National Monument, and watercraft rentals, and is only 15 minutes from Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase.
5. Take a Float Trip Down the Colorado River
If a laid-back adventure is more your speed, take a half-day 15-mile float trip down the gentle Colorado River to take in the peaceful grandeur of the surrounding area. You can choose between motor-powered or oar-powered rafts for your adventure starting at the foot of the Glen Canyon Dam. From there, you’ll enjoy a different perspective of Horseshoe Bend as viewed from the water, see historic Lees Ferry, or just explore the coves around Lake Powell that wind through soaring red rock canyons.
There’s an adventure for everyone in the Lake Powell-Grand Staircase area. If you’re looking for even more thrill-seeking activities or family-friendly experiences, our Guest Experience Coordinators are here to help you plan an unforgettable adventure. Under Canvas Lake Powell – Grand Staircase is the perfect basecamp for exploring the wonders of the American Southwest without sacrificing the comforts of home.