What to do off the water in Lake Powell
If you’re not familiar with Lake Powell already, then you’re soon to realize how remote and otherworldly it really is. How remote and otherworldly? Well Planet of the Apes (the Charlton Heston version) was filmed there. The destination is the lake itself. However, there are some things I recommend doing off the water at Lake Powell as well.
Glen Canyon Dam Tour. Glen Canyon Dam is impossible to miss on a trip to Lake Powell. You’re likely to experience it both by car (as you drive over the bridge) and by boat. However, you can also get a tour of the ominous concrete arch dam. Guided tours run daily year-round and take approximately 45 minutes, giving guests a backstage pass to what happens behind the walls of the 700-foot tall dam. Be advised that since it’s a federally owned facility, strict security measures are in place, so leave any bags, food, and beverages behind, although photos are in fact allowed.
Wesley Powell Museum. When you’re ready for a little break from the water, sunshine, and heat, then head to the Wesley Powell Museum. Here, you’ll find a little bit of everything about Lake Powell the local area, and the man who helped make it happen, John Wesley Powell. The museum houses interpretive exhibits, local artwork, and a historic collection. The Wesley Powell Museum is open every day, except Sunday, and is just $5 for adults.
Hiking. With its location near some of America’s most famous national parks, including Zion and the Grand Canyon, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Lake Powell has great hiking. Most hiking trails can be accessed by car, while some can be accessed by boat as well. Some of the best hiking can be done at Lees Ferry, where several hiking trails originate. The more advanced hiker may consider Paria Canyon, at Lees Ferry, which is a 30+-mile hike, or Rainbow Bridge, which is over 25 miles round-trip. You may just want to take a boat to Rainbow Bridge since it’s accessible by boat.
Biking. Seeing Lake Powell by bicycle is another unique, alternative way to experience the nooks and crannies of the area. In the northern section of the Lake Powell recreation area is the Flint Trail, a rough, yet often-traveled road that takes you through the Orange Cliffs. Another popular biking and off-roading trail is located in one of the most remote parts of Utah, located adjacent to Lake Powell, called Hole-in-the-Rock Road. The trail is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is named for the unusual geological formation on the southeastern end of the trail.
Antelope Canyon. The great thing about Antelope Canyon is that it’s accessible by both boat and car. For those accessing it by boat, you may wind through the narrow waterways of the canyon and never see another person. However, you’re likely to see many others if you access it by car, which most people tend to do. One of the most photographed slot canyons in America, Antelope Canyon is located near Page and easily accessible, although you’ll need a guide at both Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, since it’s located on Navajo land. Arrive early in the day if you want to beat the heat (and the crowds).
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