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Frequently Asked Questions about Lake Powell

This FAQ was developed as a result of years of answering Lake Powell vacation questions. We have attempted to address the most frequently asked questions, but we realize we may not cover all of them. Please take a moment to see if your question has been addressed here before you send us e-mail. We're delighted to help you make the most of your vacation.

Unlike other reservation companies, we DO NOT charge a reservation fee to use our service. We recommend that BEFORE YOU GIVE A CREDIT CARD, you understand how much you are paying the reservation service to process your request.  Understand that often times all boats may be sold out on a given date and submitting a request does not guarantee a reservation!  You do not pay more to rent a houseboat through Canyon Country Online, LLC reservations.  Inquiries for availability welcome.

We have a much larger, more detailed FAQ at:
www.houseboatfun.com

TOPICS:

What should we plan on doing during our Lake Powell vacation?  We want to see as much as possible.

What fun things can you recommend for the kids?  Do we have to spend a fortune?

Do cell phones work on Lake Powell? Is there a marine operator?

I've never been on Lake Powell before. What should I know?
What should I bring?

 

What should we plan on doing during our Lake Powell vacation?  We want to see as much as possible.

Lake Powell is almost 200 miles long and has over 1,800 miles of shoreline.  Unless you have a boat that can cruise at over 30 miles an hour, you aren't going to see much in three or four days.  If you want to explore the narrow canyons, you'll need something small enough to navigate throught the winding passages.

In the past, visitors had to choose between comfort and speed and some opted to chug along (in relative comfort) at 10 m.p.h. or so, seeing very little of the magnificent beauty of the area.  Even if you had a week or two to explore, you had to budget for the high cost of fuel that many older boats consumed.  This year, that has all changed.

What is really exciting is the new class of luxury cruisers which offer comfort and convenience, but can move at around 50 m.p.h. or more.  You will have toilet facilities, fresh water, sleeping area, stereo, etc. -- and be able to waterski behind tsome models.  These come in a variety of models from deck boats, cuddy cabin cruisers and sport cruisers.  This means one boat for sightseeing, waterskiing, fishing and overnighting -- at quite a cost savings.  You'll probably save money on fuel, too.  You can see these boats at www.doopowell.com and www.skylite.net.

Every trip should include a trip to Rainbow Bridge, the world's largest stone arch.  Unfortunately, Rainbow Bridge is about 50 lake miles away from Wahweap Marina and unless you want to waste an entire day getting there and back, you'll need a powerboat or cruiser.  You will hear over and over again how the big fish are "biting in the backs of canyons", so you'll need a smaller vessel if you plan on angling for the big one.  Most deck boats are ideal for fishing.

Great places to explore include the canyons around Antelope Island, West Canyon and those off Padre Bay. 

If you plan on hiking, you'll need a boat which can get you up to the shore and allow you change locations for a good starting point.  There are a number places to hike along Lake Powell, with the discovering being half the fun.

What fun things can you recommend for the kids?  Do we have to spend a fortune?

If you have children, you're probably on a budget, so I have kept that in mind.  First on your list should be the free tour of Glen Canyon Dam.  Not only is it educational, most kids seem to love it (this is a required tour for every visitor to our home).  .

You will also want to visit the John Wesley Powell Memorial Musuem in Page.  There is a small donation requested at the door.  You can view the exhibits or see any number of videos on the history of the area.

In Page near Lakeview Elementary School is the Nature Trail (you can pick up guides at the Museum).  You'll see wildlife and have fabulous views of the Lake.  If you appreciate the trail system, please pass along your compliments.

A spectacular viewing area is Horshoe Bend at the city limits.  You can obtain directions from the Museum (there's a pullout for parking).  This is a short hike to a 280 degree bend in the Colorado River.  There's no entrance fee.  There's also no fence, so if you have little ones, we don't recommend it.

Along the lines of a paid tour, we believe a ground tour to Antelope Canyon to be your best bet.  The cost is reasonable and there are a number of competing companies which keeps the cost down.  See our web pages at:  slots.htm or visit www.antelopecanyon.com.

Most kids will enjoy a day at Picnic Beach near Wahweap Marina.  Except for the entrance fee into the park, it's free.  This beach was set aside for families to enjoy swimming, so you shouldn't have to worry about personal watercraft, vehicles, etc.  Many local families use this beach.  There's no life guard and no restrooms.  We recommend you pack a cooler and bring something to sit on, such as a blanket or chairs.  Lake Powell Resort offers fun activities for children below the lodge, including a water slide and beach umbrellas for the adults.

Fishing is great and you don't need a boat.  There is a fishing dock near the marina store at Wahweap Marina.  Because the dock is in Arizona, you won't need a Lake Powell stamp. You'll need a license and supplies, but there's no cost to fish from the docks.  We recommend you purchase your bait, supplies and license in Page (you'll save money).  You can get these items at Stix Market.  Fred's Liquor store sells licensess if need to purchase soda pop (they will give you free ice).

The National Park Service offers some wonderful educational programs, you can get more information at the Museum.

Do cell phones work on Lake Powell? Is there a marine operator?

Cell phones work on Lake Powell as long as you have line of sight to Navajo Mountain. Basically, if you are in the main channel or out in an open bay, you probably can make a connection or move to a location that will get you a connection. You will not be able to get a connection in the backs of canyons or in places where the walls are high. A cell phone is strongly recommended when hiking or in other isolated areas.

A marine operator can place an AT&T call through Channel 26 based in Window Rock.

It's always a good idea to have a marine radio on a lake as big as Lake Powell.  We strongly recommend you do not venture out without one.

Please be advised that anyone with a radio on the lake can hear your conversation.

Cellular Phone Coverage

The southern end of the lake has cellular phone coverage that extends up to around Dangling Rope Marina. The main channel of the lake is best signal strength. Once you get past Padre Bay signal strength gets weak in canyons. Moving to the main channel usually works.

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I've never been on Lake Powell before. What should I know? What should I bring?

You should start by reading our Guide to Visiting Lake Powell.  If you are in the planning stages of your vacation, it is much easier to depart from Wahweap Marina.  We strongly recommend this option.

Page, Arizona offers scheduled air service, grocery stores, boat rental companies, tour operators and a number of lodging options.  Because of the competing businesses, you will be able to shop for the best price.  You should realize that there are little or no services other than those provided by the marina surrounding the upper portion of the lake (Bullfrog, Hall's Crossing and Hite marinas). While the marinas do have small convenience stores should you forget anything, you should strive to bring all necessary items with you. Please note that there are no pharmacies at the uplake marinas (a few are in Page), so DO NOT forget any medication.  As you can see, Wahweap Marina offers a better selection of services.

We recommend you plan menus before departing and forget cooking (who wants to wash dishes on vacation?) You should remember that people tend to eat more (especially children) due to increased activity and the fact the meals are generally a highlight of the day.  Bring a cooler. Sandwiches with chips are easy to prepare and clean up. We recommend disposal plates, napkins and utensils.

Here's our list for items you shouldn't forget:

  • medications
  • paper towels
  • suntan lotion
  • sunburn lotion
  • lip balm
  • binoculars
  • camera gear
  • fishing gear and extra bait
  • personal stereo
  • ski equipment
  • flashlights

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Rates and amenities subject to change.

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Page and Lake Powell, Arizona
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Canyon Country Online, LLC