With nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline surrounded by multi-hued mesas, Lake Powell is world-renowned for water activities, hiking, and stunning natural rock formations like Horseshoe Bend. More adventure awaits at the nearby Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, where red rock formations, plateaus, and canyons are yours to explore. Here’s our list of the best hiking trails near Lake Powell and Grand Staircase-Escalante.
Best Hikes Around Lake Powell
Horseshoe Bend Hike
Distance: 1.5-miles out-and-back trail
Estimated time: 35 minutes
Laying eyes on Horseshoe Bend is a bucket list item for many. The 1,000-foot canyonside, 270-degree bend, and the mighty Colorado River below create a breathtaking scene and makes it one of the top Instagrammable places in the region. The hike to Horseshoe Bend is the most popular trail in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area due to its spectacular views. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash. Sunrise and just before sunset are ideal times to visit since the sun is no longer at its peak and the temperature is cooler. The Horseshoe Bend parking lot and trailhead are just a 30-minute drive from the Under Canvas Lake Powell – Grand Staircase.
The Wave Hike
Distance: 6.7-miles out-and-back permitted trail
Estimated time: 3 hours
With colorful sandstone naturally painted with orange and red brushstrokes along smooth wavy rock, this hike is a one-of-a-kind visual experience. Only 64 people are permitted to hike The Wave each day to help preserve this stunning natural landscape. Request a permit online or try your luck at getting a walk-in permit if you go early enough. This incredible location is worth the trip! The Wave hike is located less than one hour away from Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase in the north section of Coyote Buttes, between Paria Canyon and Vermillion Cliffs National Monument.
Skylight Arch Hike
Distance: 2-mile out-and-back trail
Estimated time: 45 minutes
This striking natural arch is a sight to behold. You can walk on the arch for sweeping views of Lake Powell, Lone Rock, Castle Butte, and Navajo Mountain and pose for the perfect photo. Skylight Arch is on Stud Horse Point Mesa, about 6 miles outside Page, AZ. The trailhead to the arch requires a little off-roading, so you’ll want to drive a 4×4 vehicle or ATV to navigate the sand, bumps, and potholes. Getting there is a lot of fun, and along the way, you’ll see hoodoos, dunes, caves, and canyons to explore. The trail is dog-friendly as long as your pup is on a leash.
The Chains Hike
Distance: 0.5-mile out-and-back trail
Estimated time: 10 minutes
The Chains is an easy hike along beautiful sandstone that leads to the shores of Lake Powell near the Glen Canyon Dam. Bask in sunny solitude with views of the lake and dam where you can wade in the crystal clear water or cast a fishing line. From the parking lot, head down a curve to the left, then right, and make your way down the trail until you see the water. Wear hiking shoes with good traction for hiking on the smooth rocks.
Best Hikes in Grand Staircase-Escalante
Bucktank Draw and Birthday Arch Hike
Distance: 4.2-mile out-and-back trail
Estimated time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Birthday Arch is in Kane County, UT just west of camp. The natural arch is high up on the cliffs of Bucktank Draw and looks like a skylight. On the other side of Bucktank Draw Canyon, there is a short slot canyon that’s worth exploring.
Toadstool Hoodoos Hike
Distance: 1.8-mile out-and-back
Estimated time: 40 minutes
The Toadstools are a collection of unique, towering mushroom-shaped sandstone hoodoos and balanced rocks. It’s a short and easy hike from the Toadstool Hoodoos trailhead. This area is a photographer’s paradise with otherworldly rock formations and an infinite number of stars visible at night. There are no fees to visit this area and dogs are welcome.
Elephant Slot Canyon
You don’t need to go far to explore a slot canyon when you stay at Under Canvas Lake Powell–Grand Staircase! Take a quick walk to Elephant Slot Canyon, located on the border of camp, where you can weave through narrow red sandstone just steps from your tent.
Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase is an ideal spot to discover the splendor of the American Southwest. Only a 10-minute drive to Lone Rock Beach and just 14 miles from the main Lake Powell Marina, Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase, is your hub for adventure as you hike the trails and explore all this destination has to offer.