Lake Powell was completed in 1963, and forms the second largest man made reservoir in the United States. It covers a large expanse of land on the southern Utah / northern Arizona border. Although hotly debated on the merits of damning, and flooding such a unique wilderness with many primitive cultural sites, Lake Powell does provide unique outdoor opportunities. Boating, hiking, and canyoneering opportunities abound throughout the lakes length. Be forewarned, however, it is rugged country and unforgiving. The lake is huge, covering about 140 miles from Glen Canyon Dam to Hite, in it's upper reaches. Some areas are accessible via car or overland, while many/most are easiest to access via boat.
For a fantastic historical look at the lake from when it was starting to fill, take a look at these pictures from 1962.
Season to visit
Anytime, although canyoneering is best done in the late spring through early fall. Summers can be brutally hot, necessitating early starts, and carrying plenty of water. Canyons on the lake often contain much water, and will require wetsuits in even the hottest times of the year. Powell is home to some of the most beautiful, yet also hard to access and challenging canyons on the Colorado Plateau.
Lake level can have a significant impact on where you can climb out of the lake to the slick rock above, as well as how much of a canyon is accessible. Drought and usage demands in current years are making many amazing canyons that had been submerged since the 1960's, now visible and accessible.
Hiking, canyoneering, or camping on Navajo land requires a permit. Permit information is available at the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation site ( http://www.navajonationparks.org/permits.htm
). Navajo lands make up a large part of the southern side of Lake Powell. Please be respectful, and obtain a permit if accessing these areas. It is also important that if you run into locals while out hiking, be respectful, and don't take pictures without asking first. As a visitor to their land, be respectful to insure continued access.
Lake Powell Classics
The lake is filled with classic adventures of almost all types. Trips such as West Canyon
, Rainbow Bridge, Cathedral in the Desert, and many other attractions leave more to do than time to do them. Most of the trips here will be accessible by land, although there will be some boat trips as well.