Hiking South Lake Powell

Hiking South Lake Powell


By Lake or By Land-Lake Powell Is a Hiker's Paradise

Just a short distance from Lake Powell Wahweap Marina you’ll find some of the best trails you’ve ever hiked—surrounded by gorgeous scenery and affording stunning views of Lake Powell. Some are great for adventurers of all ages—while others are best enjoyed following the lead of a local guide.


Navajo Canyon (East of Wahweap Marina)

Difficulty - Easy

Navajo Canyon is the longest side canyon on Lake Powell that is not a river arm. A narrow riverine canyon, it offers hikes that are up to 12 miles round trip. Be sure to explore Choal Falls while you’re there. The mouth is near Buoy 10 in Arizona and kayaking is the best way to access the canyon’s hikes. Keep your eyes open – you may see horses along the flat streambed.


Rainbow Bridge (North East of Wahweap Marina)

Difficulty – Easy

Rainbow Bridge is said to be the largest known natural bridge in the world. It is an imposing site, well worth the effort required to see it. Native Americans consider the bridge sacred and it is easy to understand why. It’s a beautiful rainbow frozen in stone. Access to the bridge was very difficult through most of its history, requiring long backpacks through rugged canyons. But now Lake Powell’s waters extend up close to the bridge, making it relative easy to hike up to the impressive rock span. You can take a private boat to the bridge, or hop on a tour boat out of Wahweap Marina.

Mouth of Forbidding Canyon, leading to Rainbow Bridge, is located in an arm of Forbidding Canyon, about 50 miles up lake from the Glen Canyon Dam. That’s a long boat ride so be sure to have plenty of fuel and supplies. (The closest fuel is at Dangling Rope.) Courtesy docks at high water extends right up under Rainbow Bridge. But normally the water ends 1-2 miles below. Courtesy docks have been set up about 2 miles from the bridge. An easy trail extends from the docks to Rainbow bridge.

More Details at NationaParkService.com


Labyrinth Canyon (North East of Wahweap Marina)

Located on Padre Bay, Labyrinth Canyon takes a winding path to the south. The bottom slot is sandy and both sides of the canyon can be touched when you extend your arms. The canyon narrows toward the end, culminating in a beautiful sandy beach that’s perfect for swimming.


West Canyon (North East of Wahweap Marina)

Difficulty - Strenuous 

West Canyon is a beautiful slot canyon that combines boating and hiking. Located about 25 miles up lake from Glen Canyon dam, this hike is best accessed from Wahweap Marina. Boat as far as you can up the West Canyon before securing your craft. The slot soon narrows and a stream spreads across its floor. This hike requires you scramble up small waterfalls and wade or swim through various pools of water. The West Canyon hike is challenging but not technical. The canyon becomes more difficult as you get up high, becoming technical on the upper end. You just hike as far as you feel comfortable and then return the way you came in.


Cha Canyon (North East of Wahweap Marina)

Difficulty – Moderate

Cha Canyon is a scenic, narrow canyon located in one of the more remote regions on Lake Powell. A small stream flows through the canyon, allowing vegetation and plant life to flourish. Narrow slots, waterfalls and interesting Ute Indian rock art make this a unique hike.

The mouth of Cha Canyon is located 11 miles up the San Juan arm of Lake Powell. That is a long way from any marina so carry plenty of fuel and supplies. The San Juan arm of the lake is roughly halfway between Bullfrog and Wahweap. The closest fuel is at Dangling Rope, which is closer to Wahweap.

 

Glen Canyon Dam Overlook

Difficulty – Easy

From Hwy 89, turn west on Scenic View Drive, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of Carl Hayden Visitor Center. Take the first road to the right, and park in the parking area at the end of the road. Walk down stairs and over sandstone.

More Details at National Park Services website.


Hanging Garden

Difficulty - Easy to Moderate

Turn off is one-quarter mile (.4km) east of Glen Canyon Bridge (the opposite side from Carl Hayden Visitor Center) on Hwy 89. Trailhead parking is 500 yards (455m) off of Hwy 89. This hike leads you to a luxuriant Hanging Garden on the mesa top high above the Colorado River and Lake Powell.

More details at National Park Service website.


Horseshoe Bend Trail

Difficulty - 
Easy

Approximately 5 miles south of the Carl Hayden Visitor Center on U.S. Hwy 89, just south of highway marker 545, turn west on the dirt road, which ascends the small hill. Drive a short distance west on the dirt road and park at the base of the hill. Climb up and down sandy hill and across a gentle sandstone incline. 

More Details at National Park Services website.


Antelope Canyon

Difficulty - Moderate

Antelope Canyon is one of the most famous and most photographed canyons on earth. You see it on magazine covers, posters and coffee table books. It is beautiful - you gasp with wonder when you see sunlight dancing on the canyon's sculpted walls. Most people enter the canyon because they want to take photographs. You don’t really hike through it, you position and shoot your camera for incredible pictures. The canyon is located on Navajo Nation land and a Navajo-licensed guide must accompany you.

More Details at National Park Services website.


Antelope Point

Difficulty - Easy to Moderate

Just a short distance from Page on highway 98, turn onto the Antelope Point road. Though lacking in developed trails, Antelope Point offers opportunity for exploration. Take a walk-a-bout through slick rock formations west of the parking near the launch ramp. Perhaps you will discover a perfect spot to enjoy the lake and take a swim.

More Details at National Park Services website.


The Chains

Difficulty - Easy to Moderate

Just east of the Glen Canyon Dam, take a dirt road heading north off of highway 89. Lake shore access is possible depending on current lake elevation. Please note: the lake is very deep at this location and good swimming skills are required. Take a walk-a-bout north of the parking lot for a self-guided adventure through slick rock sand formations.

More Details at National Park Services website.


Bucktank Draw and Birthday Arch

Difficulty - Easy to Moderate

Located off Utah Highway 89 at mile marker 9¾ or 17.3 miles from Carl Hayden Visitor Center, this pleasantly simple, easy-to-moderate hike in a sandy and partial bedrock sandstone draw leads you south to a box canyon, a large arch, and a small sized slot canyon. Park your car on the south side of Hwy 89 just at the west end of the metal railing and head down the sandy slope through the gate into the draw. The arch is located approximately 1.5 miles from the road snuggled in along the western cliffs. 

More Details at National Park Services website.


Wiregrass Canyon

Difficulty – Moderate Effort

From Page, drive north on Hwy 89 approximately 12 miles (19 km) to Big Water, Utah. Between mileposts 7 and 8 (at the Big Water Visitor’s Center), turn right (away from the VC). Turn right again 0.3 miles (0.5 km) from the junction of Hwy 89 - there is a sign at this intersection that reads “Glen Canyon Nation Recreation Area – State Highway 12”. Drive 4.6 miles (7.5 km) to “Wiregrass Canyon Back Country Use Area.” Park in the pullout provided.

More Details at National Park Services website.


Cottonwood Road

Difficulty - Easy to Moderate to Difficult

Twenty-seven miles north of Carl Hayden Visitor Center, near milepost 18 on Hwy 89, the Cottonwood Road winds 46 miles north through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to Cannonville, Utah, connecting with Hwy 12. Traveling north, the road crosses through diverse scenery: The badlands that look like moonscape, by the Paria River with cottonwood trees, up and over the Cockscomb, the stone monuments of Grosvenor Arch and Kodachrome Basin State Park, eventually leading to Hwy 12.

More Details at National Park Services website.


Paria Rimrocks - Toadstool Trail

Difficulty – Moderate

Explore the Paria Rimrocks on this moderate 1.5 mile round trip hike leading to hoodoos and balanced rocks. Drive north on highway 89 from the Glen Canyon Dam. Turn into the dirt parking area on the right just past Utah mile marker 19. Slip through the hikers-gate, sign the register, and head up the wash. When you think you are at the end, guess again; scramble up the trail obstacle and find your way to the hoodoo garden. 

More Details at National Park Services website.


Pareah Townsite

Difficulty – Easy

Paria Movie Set, Pahreah Cemetery, and Pahreah Town Site are located 5 miles off of Utah Highway 89 at approximately mile marker 30.5 or about 39 miles from the Carl Hayden Visitor Center. A five-mile dirt road leads you to the structures and artifacts that tell the story of many former inhabitants who settled or visited the area; and of a once ideal Hollywood movie set for some of our most memorable western films. 

More Details at National Park Services website.