1 Best Sight in Lake Powell, Moab and Southeastern Utah

Lake Powell

Lake Powell, Utah
COLOMBO NICOLA / Shutterstock

With a shoreline longer than America's Pacific coast, Lake Powell is the heart of the huge 1.25-millon-acre Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Created by the Glen Canyon Dam—a 710-foot wall of concrete in the Colorado River—Lake Powell took 17 years to fill. The second-largest man-made lake in the nation, it extends through terrain so rugged that it was the last major area of the country to be mapped. Red cliffs ring the lake and twist off into 96 major canyons and countless inlets with huge, red-sandstone buttes randomly jutting from the sapphire waters.

The most popular thing to do at Lake Powell is to rent a houseboat and chug leisurely across the lake, exploring coves and inlets. Like many tourist spots in the region, the lake's busiest times are in the summer, with peak visitation on holiday weekends. Book far in advance for those dates. It's also important to check with the National Park Service for current water levels, closures, and other weather-related conditions.

Southwest of Bullfrog, Rainbow Bridge National Monument is the largest natural bridge in the world, and its 290-foot-high, 275-foot-wide span is a breathtaking sight. Unfortunately, accessing this wonder is difficult. You can either hike a 14-mile trail from the Navajo Nation or boat in, though the National Park Service had to pull its dock back from the water in 2021 due to low water levels and damage from storms, with no estimate for restoring its original location. Small boats and vessels still have access to the shoreline but getting to the trail requires wading through water and mud. No special permit is needed to boat into the monument, but hiking in from the Navajo Nation requires a permit issued by the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department ( www.navajonationparks.org). The main visitor center for Lake Powell is Arizona's Wahweap Marina, with a campground, general store, restaurants, swimming pools, boat docks, and houseboat rentals.