A beginner's guide to Lake Powell
Lake Powell is one of the most captivating holiday spots in the country. Until you have seen the contrast of Lake Powell's blue-green water lapping against the lunar backdrop of her burnt orange rock, you truly haven't seen all the beauty of the American Southwest.
What to do
Lake Powell is recognised as a national recreation area, but there are so many activities to take part in around the lake, you could get away with calling Lake Powell a national outdoor amusement park.
First and foremost, the main activity at Lake Powell is to get out on the water. The clarity of the water here is unmatched anywhere inland in the United States and with more than two thousand miles of coastline - which is more than the entire West Coast of the United States - there is sure to be a hidden sunny stretch of the lake just for you.
Jet skiing, tubing and kayaking are all popular activities on the lake, but nothing says Lake Powell quite like renting a boat and spending a day lazily exploring her shores at your own pace. A typical day on the water consists of ambling up and down the lake making periodic stops for swimming, exploring hidden canyons, anchoring on a beach to enjoy the sunset and have a barbecue, then finding a place to dock just in time to have a front row view for the starry nights that the American Southwest is well known for.
You will be able to spot plenty of natural wonders like Gunsight Canyon and Cathedral in the Desert from your vantage point in the water, or you can take a short walk from shore and admire the likes of the one and only Rainbow Bridge; one of largest natural arches anywhere in the world.
One of the other great things to do at Lake Powell is, ironically, get off the lake and explore some nearby sights. Due to its location, Lake Powell is a great base for exploring many other signatures of the American Southwest's Grand Circle. The most breathtaking of the bunch, and conveniently near the lake, may be Antelope Canyon. The thin slot canyon, which is world renowned for its curvy windswept walls is only a quick jaunt from Lake Powell. Antelope Canyon is a sacred place for the Navajo Nation, so you must be accompanied by a native guide in order to visit it. Once there, you will quickly discover that is a a spot where even an amateur photographer can take images that look like they were created on a Hollywood soundstage.
Where to eat
While grilling lakeside may be the most popular dining experience at Lake Powell, every once in a while, you may want to let someone else do the cooking. To satisfy those cravings, head to the town of Page for the Blue Bakery and Wine Bar which serves up a quirky coffeehouse atmosphere with fresh baked goods and is a perfect place to enjoy a morning snack. Even though Page is hundreds of miles from Texas, you can still grab a slice of the Lonestar State at Big John's Texas BBQ, which, like many classic barbecue restaurants, is housed in a converted petrol station. You will find all the staples of American barbecue here, including their signature beef brisket. For a more refined dining experience, the Rainbow Room offers stunning views out to the lake and a full dinner menu offering American classics with a southwest flair.
Where to stay
Lake Powell is located on the border of Utah and Arizona, but many hotels are located in Page, Arizona. An exception to that rule is Lake Powell Resort, located directly on the lake, six miles from Page. Providing lakeside accommodation, this resort is home to the aforementioned Rainbow Room and two pools that both feature a desert background. Another great option is the southwest-inspired Courtyard by Marriott located in a serene desert location near a championship golf course. The Courtyard lets you get your feet planted back on solid ground and fully relax at night after a day out on the lake.
More information and to book: Holidays in Lake Powell enjoy a diverse range of activities but the best way to quickly get to grips with this beautiful lake is through a guided boat trip, which can last up to three hours and also include trips to Rainbow Bridge, the famous red stone archway.
Article written by Julia Evans.