Want to go boating on Lake Powell? This guide will teach you exactly where to rent the best boat, the best places to boat on Lake Powell, Lake Powell boating regulations and Lake Powell tips you need to know as a first-timer.
Can you still go boating on Lake Powell?
Yes. Although water levels have decreased over the past several years, you can still definitely go boating on Lake Powell.
There are a few regulations you need to follow in terms of water levels and wake, but these regulations are very simple to follow and won’t really negatively impact your experience boating on Lake Powell.
We’ll go over these regulations below.
Where To Rent A Boat On Lake Powell
The best place to rent a boat on Lake Powell in terms of affordability is Lake Powell Resort & Marinas.
We rented a 19-foot powerboat, which was the cheapest rental available during our trip in September, for one day, and it cost us around $250 USD per person for three people including gas ($750 USD total).
If you’re hoping to rent a larger powerboat, a pontoon, a houseboat or additional water toys (jet skis, tubes, etc.), prices will increase significantly ($1500+ USD). You can see current rental prices here.
But, if you only need a day rental, Lake Powell Resort & Marinas is definitely the place to rent.
Now, there is one caveat. I must admit that our customer service experience with Lake Powell Resort & Marinas was pretty subpar. It seemed as though none of the employees were trained well, and none of them were very smiley.
However, if affordability matters more to you than customer service, I overall recommend Lake Powell Resort & Marinas.
Note: remember to budget for gas if you plan on boating on Lake Powell. Gas stations are limited along the lake, which means the owners can adhere to stereotypical supply-and-demand prices and charge a lot.
To give you a rough idea of how much gas will cost, we spent around $200 USD for three tanks of gas. We were boating on Lake Powell full-throttle basically nonstop throughout the day. And, we were not pulling any additional water toys, such as tubes or jet skis.
Alternatively, you can book this Lake Powell boat tour to avoid the hassle of renting and piloting your own boat. While you don’t need a boater license to boat on Lake Powell, you might prefer to sit back and relax on a guided tour instead.
Where is the best place to boat on Lake Powell?
The best place to boat on Lake Powell is Navajo Canyon from Wahweap Marina. This is where you will see the most iconic red and white canyon walls.
Antelope Canyon is the second best place to boat on Lake Powell if you’re launching from Wahweap Marina.
If you’re launching from Bullfrog Marina or Dangling Rope Marina, the best place to boat on Lake Powell is Rainbow Bridge National Monument.
What is the prettiest part of Lake Powell?
The prettiest part of Lake Powell is Navajo Canyon. Again, this is where you will boat through the best views of the deep red and white canyon walls that you see in Lake Powell photos.
To get to Navajo Canyon in Lake Powell, launch your boat from Wahweap Marina in Page, Arizona. Follow this map north to Navajo Canyon. There will be a few floating signs to help you distinguish Navajo Canyon from the other canyons.
If you’re launching from Bullfrog Marina, which is on the northernmost Utah side of Lake Powell, you may not be able to boat all the way to Navajo Canyon, depending on your boat rental’s distance policies.
Boating On Lake Powell Tips
Next, here are some quick tips for your first time boating on Lake Powell.
- Launch your boat from the marina nearest to the part of Glen Canyon you want to see.
- Remember how big Lake Powell is. The marinas are not close to each other.
- Print a map of Lake Powell before boating (boat rentals should have maps available).
- You do not need a boater license to boat on Lake Powell.
- Budget extra money for gas.
- Know that most Lake Powell gas stations have attendants that will fill your tank for you.
- Wear sunscreen and reapply frequently.
- Bring plenty of drinking water.
- Bring plenty of food and snacks.
- Do not go near wildlife.
- Do not swim near marinas, boat launches or boats with running engines.
- Wash your hands with soap before eating.
- Shower after swimming.
- Follow all Lake Powell boating regulations to avoid injury.
What are some boating regulations at Lake Powell?
Speaking of regulations, here are some of the boating regulations at Lake Powell that you need to follow.
1. Pay the proper entrance pass fees.
In order to enter Glen Canyon Recreation Area, you must pay the proper entrance pass fees.
At the time I’m writing this guide, the Glen Canyon Recreational Area pass fees are as follows.
|Glen Canyon Pass Type
|Standard Entrance – Private Vehicle
|Standard Entrance – Motorcycle
|Standard Entrance – Pedestrian (16+)
|Standard Entrance – Pedestrian (under 16)
|Annual Park Entrance
|America The Beautiful Annual All National Park Pass
All standard entrances are valid for up to 7 days. Find the most up-to-date fees here.
If you are driving a commercial vehicle, click here for commercial vehicle entrance fees.
If you are bringing your own boating vessel, click here for vessel entrance fees.
2. Follow no wake signs.
Furthermore, even though a boater’s safety license is not required to operate a boat on Lake Powell, there are still a few boater safety rules you need to follow.
For example, if you see a slow/no wake sign (mostly near marinas and heavily trafficked canyon entrances), you need to slow your boating speed to no greater than 5 miles per hour.
Antelope Canyon is a no wake zone because of the kayak and paddle boarding tours there. Whereas, Navajo Canyon is not entirely a no wake zone.
3. Obey boating rules of the road.
Likewise, it is a good rule of thumb to review boating “rules if the road” basics before boating on Lake Powell.
While you certainly don’t need to be a boating expert, this video gives a great overview of the general boating rules.
4. Boat within the designated buoys.
Another Lake Powell boating regulation is to only boat within the designated buoys.
The official Lake Powell buoys indicate where large rocks and shallow waters are. So, because the canyon walls are solid rock, disregarding these buoys could result in damage to your boat.
5. You must be at least 16 years old to operate a boat.
If you are 16 years or older, you can legally pilot a boat on Lake Powell without any restrictions. If you are 15 years old or younger, you can pilot a boat on Lake Powell under the supervision of another boat passenger who is at least 18 years.
6. Leave no trace of human waste.
Obviously, it’s imperative to leave no trace of litter while boating on Lake Powell. However, you also cannot leave any trace of human waste.
You must use a public toilet or portable toilet that does not use plastic bags to discard your human waste at Lake Powell. There are public toilets available at most marinas, including Wahweap.
No cat holes are allows in Glen Canyon, as the changing water levels will cause the human waste to float in the lake regardless of whether you dig a cat hole.
7. Clean, drain and dry boats before leaving Lake Powell.
Finally, if you’re operating your own boat in Glen Canyon, you must clean, drain and dry your boats before leaving Lake Powell to prevent the transfer of invasive species.
Is it safe to swim in Lake Powell?
Yes, it is safe to swim in most parts of Lake Powell. However, there are a few areas where swimming is prohibited due to safety concerns and increased amounts of toxic pollution.
Generally speaking, in Lake Powell, do not swim near marinas or launch areas, and do not swim where there is algae growth. You can find all of the current Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (AKA Lake Powell) swimming guidelines here.
Similarly, to avoid water-contamination sicknesses at Lake Powell, do not ingest the lake water, always wash your hands with soap and water before eating, and shower after swimming.
Also, remember that there are snakes and tarantulas that inhabit Glen Canyon, so keep this in mind when choosing a swimming spot.
Rest assured, you will see plenty of people swimming in Lake Powell, so if you follow the guideline recommendations, you’ll stay safe and healthy.
Have any more questions about boating on Lake Powell? Follow me on Instagram and send me a direct message. I’m happy to help!
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