Perhaps you have heard of Lake Powell. Conservationists, city planners, and water rights attorneys surely have, but Lake Powell has reached a broader audience in recent years due to the perceived crisis surrounding its rapidly dropping water levels. Experts have wildly different opinions on how to address this issue, and no matter what view you find persuasive; there is no question that this issue needs to be addressed in a timely fashion. But, on a sunny, bluebird sky day this last week, you probably would not have guessed that there was anything amiss in this water lover’s paradise.
History of Lake Powell
Long before Lake Powell existed, there was a small group of intrepid explorers who navigated the Colorado River’s winding course through this natural wonder. Led by the intrepid scientist, John Wesley Powell, a small group of 9 men floated the length of the Colorado River through what is now known as Glen Canyon and it was Powell itself who bestowed the name upon this place – “So we have a curious ensemble of wonderful features – carved walls, royal arches, glens, alcove gulches, mounds, and monuments. From which of these features shall we select a name? We decide to call it Glen Canyon.” – Major John Wesley Powell, August 3, 1869.
Straddling the border of Arizona and Utah, Lake Powell is formed by the 700’ high Glen Canyon Dam and the Colorado River, which are both found inside the region known as the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Glen Canyon Dam was a monumental engineering feat that took over ten years to construct. When it was completed, and the waters of the Colorado River backed up to fill in the canyon, the second largest man-made lake in the country was born. With over 3 million visitors in 2021, this area deserves the amount of attention it receives as its meandering canyons, towering buttes, and imposing towers draw eager visitors from all over the world. Totaling almost 2000 miles, Lake Powell has more water-soaked shores than the entire length of the west coast of the United States! Not only does that lake help supply hydroelectric power to almost 6 million homes and businesses in the southwest, that water covers and fills one of the most majestic natural areas in the world.
Furthermore, those fluctuating water levels mean that the shoreline is continually evolving and opening up new areas where you can explore and play. As water levels recede, some areas of the nearly 100 side canyons of Glen Canyon are being exposed that have not seen human visitors in over 50 years! Some areas of the canyon are still under several hundred feet of water hiding spectacular geographical features that few people alive today can claim to have seen with their own eyes. It is astonishing to imagine what wonders remain hidden when one considers that when Glen Canyon was in its natural state, it was often compared to the more famous abyss downstream known as the Grand Canyon.
So, now that you know a little bit about Lake Powell and Glen Canyon, where does one begin their Lake Powell Luxury Adventure?
Where and how to play
Lake Powell has four marinas that service this water wonderland. Fluctuating water levels mean that occasionally one or more of the services these marinas offer will be suspended. But, not to worry; numerous options still exist to ensure your luxury adventure goes off without a hitch.
To truly experience Utah and all the magic that Lake Powell offers, rent a houseboat or two for your group and head out for a few days on the lake. From 46’ boats that accommodate up to 6 people all the way up to 75’ floating palaces explicitly designed for Lake Powell that will comfortably house a group of 12, there is bound to be a vessel that suits your needs.
And don’t just stop with the houseboat. To round out your aqua arsenal, you can rent jet skis, tubes, stand-up paddle boards, canoes, and pontoon boats. Whether you are excited to relax and soak up the sun from your luxury boat’s deck or prefer more adventurous options that allow you to explore the lake from an up close and personal perspective, your possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Other things to explore
Lake Powell sits in an area of land known as the Colorado Plateau, which is home to the greatest concentration of federally and state-protected land in the lower 48. This means that when your luxury adventure is done, there is still a myriad of areas to explore. Places like Rainbow Bridge, Hole in the Rock, Antelope Canyon, Escalante Grand Staircase, and the Vermillion Cliffs are just a few of the unique geological features one can explore in the Glen Canyon area.
Live that lake life!
Now that you know a little bit more about Lake Powell and all the options for a luxury adventure this region offers let’s check it out together! Contact us today to learn how EXP Journeys can help craft a fantastic vacation for you, your friends, and your family!