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“Incredible Vistas From The Water” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lake Powell

Lake Powell
Ranked #261 of 1,020 things to do in Utah
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Straddling Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, Lake Powell and the surrounding Glen Canyon National Recreation Area offer many leisure activities.
Western States
Level Contributor
58 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Incredible Vistas From The Water”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2012

I wish everyone could visit Lake Powell National Recreation Area at least once in their life. The best way to describe it for those who have been to the Grand Canyon is to imagine it full of water. We have gone to Lake Powell numerous times over a period of 25 years. Renting a house boat is a good way to see it, but the price of that has gotten pretty rediculous if you ask me. If you have a boat great, if not, find a friend who does. Over the years we have toured the entire lake including all canyons, some of which require you back out as they get quite narrow. Either Bullfrog Marina in Utah or Wahweep outside of Page, Arizona are good starting points. Viewing Rainbow Bridge will require a hike as the water level is lower than when we saw it years ago. It is worth the effort. It's impossibe to explain the beauty of the entire area. Everyone we have taken has been blown away by the beauty. There are RV parks and camping areas at both Bullfrog and Wahweep as well as lodges and restaurants. In summer months the water is wonderful for swimming and all other water activities. Even during the 4th of July week there was still pleanty of room on the water.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank PattyWesternStates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
49 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Home Sweet Houseboat”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2012

We rented a "luxury" houseboat for 5 days in Lake Powell. I put the word luxury in quotes as the boat did not measure up to the photos or description at all. It's a LOT of work to get ready for the trip. A LOT of work when you are there and a LOT of work to unpack and clean up when you get home. That being said, the kids all had a great time and said it was the best family vacation we have ever taken. And these are kids who have traveled all over the world. I'm glad I did it, but would not do it again.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank beachescape_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
Level Contributor
32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Beautiful Views!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2012

We decided at the last minute to take the boat tour on Lake Poweel to get to Rainbow Bridge and boy oh boy are we glad we did. Well worth the trip.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank EKErnst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynnwood, WA
Level Contributor
96 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
“Lake Powell House-Boating (wonderful, relaxing time)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2012

We spent 5-days on Lake Powell on a 46’ Expedition houseboat we rented from Aramark out of Wahweap Marina just north of Page, AZ. It was a wonderful, relaxing vacation. It was our first trip to the lake and we learned several things that I thought I would share.

Be patient – our experience with the check-in process at Wahweap was poor. While we didn’t have to wait very long for initial service we did wait over 2-hours to be checked-out once we reached out boat. Unless they guarantee that a staff member will be with you very soon use this time to start moving gear from the lot to the boat. Station someone on board to wait while others use the carts to move gear. Once the staff member arrives call the “captain” back to the boat continue the process.

Regarding the initial paperwork – they will try to sell you a liability waiver for about $30 per day. They tell you that if you damage the boat you are responsible for 100% of the cost unless you buy the insurance. If you buy the insurance you are only responsible for $1000. Check your policies before heading down and talk with your agent. Our homeowner’s policy covered the boat and our gear while on board. Our deductible was $1000. Buying Aramark’s insurance would have done nothing for us. Personally, I don’t think you need it. If you don’t operate like an idiot, take it slow (our boat only went about 7 mph) and are attentive I think you will be fine. It’s a personal decision but if they weren’t making money off the insurance they wouldn’t be selling it.

Come prepared – buy whatever you need in Page before heading to the boat. Everything at the dock is severely overpriced. Buy your personal watercraft fuel in town. Gas at the marina was a bit over $5. In town it was about $3.50. Buy your ice in town. Eight pounds of ice at the marina was over $5. In town it was $2. Firewood off the dock was $8 a bundle. I recall seeing it in Page for half.

Regarding preparation…know YOUR boat – Aramark has on-line info on the different boats. It turns out that this list is VERY GENERIC. We thought our boat (the 46’ Expedition) was going to have an inferior refrigerator (RV style) and a toy tank (for pumping gas from your houseboat tank to your PWC tank). Our boat had a great, full size fridge that ran off the batteries. Had we known this our menu would have been much more expansive. Our boat did not have a toy tank. I left my spare tanks at home thinking I didn’t need them. I had to buy extra tanks from the marina store (double the price) and hope that I could use my PWC enough before I ran out or got to the other marina (many miles away & not really the way we wanted to go). Moral of the story…don’t assume anything about the boat. Call Aramark and ask questions. Get ahold of the dock staff and not just the reservations folks. It will save you unnecessary headaches and surprises.

One more thing about the boat – check it out fully before you leave. Your staff checkout is cursory. We found that a top deck speaker didn’t work, an outlet didn’t work and the depth gauge didn’t work. Of course, we discovered all this after we were on the lake. Take the extra 15 minutes to check the outlets, lights, TV/stereo, etc before you go.

Bring a good map and a GPS – we had good maps but not a great one. I regretted this. I don’t suggest buying the Boater’s Guide to Lake Powell as a house-boating guide. The information in it is more about hiking and I didn’t think the book flowed well. It didn’t do me any good. I would suggest a detailed USGS map of the entire lake area you plan on exploring. Those offer great detail and if you know how to use a map they are all you need. We brought both a handheld and our car GPS. The handheld had more detail so we used it at times but the car GPS was good while navigating the main lake. It showed the lake’s basic outline and your direction of travel. It also tracked the mileage and showed your speed. It was nice to have.

Our boat – we rented the 46’ Expedition. It was a great boat. We were a family of five and it was perfect. That said, if your group is multiple families I would not suggest this boat. There was only one bedroom on it and while they say it sleeps 12 that would be very tight. If you are multiple families go bigger or something with more quarters. Our boat had to 60HP outboards on back and an efficient generator. We only used about $200 worth of gas and we went from Wahweap past Rainbow Bridge and back. We didn’t run the AC so we only had to run the generator a few hours a day to charge the batteries. The generator on the Expedition seemed quite efficient. But, if you use the AC you MUST run the generator. Be prepared for a much bigger fuel bill if you run it all the time.

Lastly, I suggest you get away from the “populated” areas – the closer we were to Wahweap the busier the lake was. If you like things more “remote” get up-lake. We motored from Wahweap to Oak Bay the first day and spent two days there before moving halfway back (Rock Creek). At Oak there were only a few other houseboats. At Rock Creek there were more. Our last night was in Face Canyon and we had a tough time finding a beach. On the way back from Face to Wahweap it felt like rush hour traffic.

House-boating on Lake Powell is great. The lake is vast and the scenery is great. I think next year we will do it again but will try the other end of the lake. Armed with the knowledge gained from our first trip I am thinking the second time will be even better.

I hope this write-up helps someone avoid some of our pitfalls and makes their experience a bit better… remember…you’re on vacation…slow down…be patient…HAVE FUN!

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
50 Thank Bill_from_Washington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntley, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lake powell nothing to do”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2012

There is nothing to do at Lake Powell/Page unless you have a boat. Their hotel is nothing special for the price. We took a boat ride to antelope canyon which was very boring. Now we sitting in our room wondering what to do next. We just came from Grand Canyon which probably was a mistake to compare the two . There are no trees - just a big cement parking lot. Two little pools.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Fairdidley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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