By Lake or By Land-Unrivaled Hiking Awaits
Lake Powell is the epicenter of some of the greatest hiking in the American Southwest. At sunrise, the magical landscape turns from purple to pink, as you wind your way up spectacular trails and begin a hike like none you’ve experienced before. While many trails are accessible by land, others require shuttling across Lake Powell by boat—making the adventure even greater.
Just two pieces of advice before you hike these magnificent trails: (1) Take plenty of water and (2) don’t forget your camera!
Aleson Arch (South of Bullfrog Marina)
Aleson Arch is a 100-foot span between Iceberg and Rincon. Park your boat all the way in the back of the coven and look for a break on the right side of the rock ledge. This marks the trail leading to the top and offers an easy hike to the top of the mesa. Once above the rock ledge, cairns mark the well-used path. Follow it around to the right to climb up to the base of the arch. Early morning hikes deliver the best light for pictures, so keep your camera handy.
Davis Gulch (South West of Bullfrog Marina)
Located about 5 miles up the Escalante arm, Davis Gulch is accessible by boat from Bullfrog Marina. You can also hike into Davis Gulch from Hole in the Rock Road. The Escalante arm of Lake Powell is one of the most scenic parts of the lake and many people consider the area their favorite. While the river arm offers plenty of good hikes, Davis Gulch is the most popular. It is a beautiful canyon with a sandy canyon bottom and flowing stream. Trees and other vegetation add to the beauty while making the canyon cool and inviting.
Smith Fork (North East of Bullfrog Marina)
Smith Fork is a beautiful slot canyon above Lake Powell, up lake from Bullfrog Marina. It is enjoyable to boat through its winding, narrowing concourse. From the water's edge you can hike into the slot, going as far as you feel comfortable. Hiking is fairly easy on the lower end and becomes increasingly difficult as you proceed up canyon. Hike up the canyon until you start to get tired, or until the going becomes rougher than you want, and then return to your boat. Alternately, you can drive jeep roads to a ridge above the canyon, climb down in and then hike down-canyon to the lake. Good climber can free climb down from the rim. Others may need a rope.
Black Hole of White Canyon
The Black Hole is a dark slot in White Canyon, located in the Hite Marina area above Lake Powell. The hike through White Canyon to Black Hole is a great semi-technical adventure hike. Access is easy and permits are not needed. This hike is popular with families and youth groups. However, it is a challenging route carrying an element of danger. To get through the canyon you must swim through several long, cold pools of water, in addition to wading/swimming short pools and scrambling up/down dryfalls and chokestones.
The Escalante arm of Lake Powell is one of the most scenic parts of the lake. Many people consider this area their favorite for boating. All of the side canyons coming in the Escalante arm provide good hiking opportunities. Davis Gulch is the most popular because it offers easy hiking in a beautiful canyon with a sandy canyon bottom and flowing stream. Trees and other vegetation add to the beauty and make the canyon cool and inviting.
Burr Trail & Pedestal Alley
From Bullfrog Visitor Center take Highway 276 North approximately 4.4 miles (7 km) to the marked junction with Burr Trail. Turn left onto Burr Trail and go about 4.8 miles (7.7 km) to Pedestal Alley parking area. The trailhead is across the road from the parking area.