Houseboating on Lake Powell, Arizona

My husband and I recently experienced a truly unique vacation–floating for 5 days aboard a 54-foot houseboat on Lake Powell in northern Arizona. This houseboating trip was the most relaxing and scenic getaway we've ever taken.

Lake Powell was formed in 1962 when the Glen Canyon Dam was completed near Page, Arizona, forcing the blocked Colorado River to flood Glen Canyon. It took 18 years to create the 186-mile-long lake, named after explorer John Wesley Powell, who discovered Glen Canyon in 1869.

The striped rock formations along the lake's shoreline are so pretty; they seem to change color as the light changes. Sunrises and sunsets here are awesome, as bright reds and oranges fill the sky.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument is one of the most famous features along Lake Powell. It's a natural arch that's 290 feet high and spans 275 feet. To put that in perspective, the U.S. Capitol is 288 feet high and 350 feet wide.

During our trip, we traveled about 50 miles before turning around and heading back to the Wahweap Marina on the west end of the lake, north of Page. Along the way, we spotted eagles, ravens, egrets and blue herons.

Each evening, we'd find a suitable place to beach the houseboat. We had to dig the anchors into the shore so we wouldn't drift away during the night.

The warm water was great for swimming, and the fishing was good, too. For dinners, we cooked out on a gas grill on the back deck.

Easy to pilot, the boat was nicely furnished and quite roomy, with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, dining room and living room. There also was an upper deck where we could sit and enjoy the view. Darold and I rolled out our sleeping bags there every night to sleep under the stars. We've never seen so many bright and beautiful stars!

It was an absolute treat–a trip we'll always remember.

Fast Facts

Lake Powell straddles the north-central Arizona and south-central Utah border. It's part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, managed by the National Park Service.

For details call the Carl Hayden Visitor Center at 1-928/608-6404.

Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas is the park service's official watercraft rental vendor. It operates six marinas on Lake Powell; one of them, the Dangling Rope Marina, is only accessible by boat and does not rent boats. The company offers six kinds of houseboats, ranging in size from 36 to 59 feet. For more information call 1-800-528-6154.

More to See

Page is on U.S. Highway 89, just outside the far northeastern end of Grand Canyon National Park. It offers a variety of scenic and recreational opportunities. For details call the Chamber of Commerce at 1-928/645-2741.

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