By far the most popular activity in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is boating. On a private boat or a rental, almost two million visitors enjoy the deep turquoise waters of Lake Powell.
There are fees for your boat to enter Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Services and Locations
There are four marinas on Lake Powell, two of them with ramps where you can launch a private vessel. For the latest launching conditions check our Changing Lake Levels page. Services (like convenience stores and boat gas) and hours of operation vary at each marina.
Public Launch Ramps
Wahweap State Line/Auxiliary
Hite Public Ramp North Wash
*Hite area ramps are mainly used for small vessels. Conditions and river levels vary.
When You Need to Go
Plan ahead to keep Lake Powell Pure. Those camping on shorelines need a human sanitation device (portable toilet) that does not use plastic bags to contain the waste.
Digging a cat hole is not allowed because the area could be covered with water later, resulting in your human waste floating in the lake.
Don't dump your tank in the lake. There are floating restrooms/pumpout stations on Lake Powell. They are marked with a special icon on the park map. There are also boat pumpout or dump stations at many of the marinas.
Any time that you do recreational activities (swimming, water skiing, making sand castles, etc.) on the beaches or in the waters of Lake Powell you are strongly encouraged to follow basic hygiene practices:
Do not ingest the water
Wash your hands before eating and touching your eyes or mouth
Shower with soap after participating in any water activities
Wash your hands after handling fish, gathering up your water gear and toys, changing out of your swimming suit, etc.
Do not enter the water if you have open sores or cuts or if you are currently sick with diarrhea as one of your symptoms
All boaters must follow federal and state regulations and carry all required equipment on their vessels.
Stay aware of your surroundings when you are on the water. Check out the Safety page before you embark.
Bow riding (sitting on the top front part of the boat) is illegal unless the boat is designed for people to ride in the bow section (the bow section will have seats).
Watch your limbs! Approaching a dock with your arm or leg to brace your vessel is not a great idea, unless your idea is to crush your fingers or toes.
Be sure to look at a weather forecast before your day on the water. Afternoon storms can rise out of calm mornings. Check the National Weather Service Marine webpage for 3-day forecasts and specific information on Lake Powell conditions. Mouse over Lake Powell on the map for an overview, then select either Arizona or Utah side for in-depth area forecasts.
Boaters are required to carry a personal flotation device (also known as PFD) of proper size for every passenger in the boat. Children 12 years of age and younger must wear a Type I, II, or III US Coast Guard approved lifejacket when the boat is underway. It is recommended that children always wear a lifejacket when they are around water, even if they are not on a boat.
People on personal watercraft must wear a life jacket regardless of their age, as must anybody being towed by a boat (skiing, tubing, etc).
Lake levels fluctuate throughout the year. The lake may be many feet higher in the summer than it is in the winter, translating into a very different shoreline to contend with. Use a good map to navigate. There are many unmarked underwater hazards in Lake Powell. Boating at night is not recommended.
Use the red and green navigational buoys to aid your travel. These buoys indicate deepest water. Numbers on main channel buoys are APPROXIMATE mileage from Glen Canyon Dam.
Be aware of wakes and waves that bounce back and forth between canyon walls. Slow down when passing boats. Look at the size of the wake, not the size of the boat. Depending on hull design, even relatively smaller boats can produce serious wakes. Approach large wakes at a 45-degree angle. Bouncing on wakes might sound like fun, but compression injuries are very common on Lake Powell.
Operating in excess of 5 mph or creating a wake is prohibited in harbors, marinas, designated swimming areas, and other areas marked "No Wake".
Rainbow Bridge National Monument and Antelope, Labyrinth and Lost Eden Canyons are also wakeless zones.
Do not allow passengers to congregate around engines or the backs of boats when engines or generators are running. In boats that vent CO out the back, this deadly gas can collect under the swim step and spaces under the boat. The CO remains there long after engines and generators have been shut down. Don't play or swim under the swim step or under the boat. Use carbon monoxide detectors.
You can camp anywhere on the shorelines of Lake Powell except in developed marinas and within the boundaries of Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Learn more about primitive shoreline camping on the Camping page. Houseboaters must know how to properly anchor a houseboats—staking damages the shoreline, creates risks to others, and is considered vandalism. All campsites are required to have a portable toilet unless toilets are available on the vessel or within 200 yards of the campsite. Do your part to keep Lake Powell Pure.
Children ages 12-17 who wish to operate a personal watercraft (PWC) in Utah must take a certification course in order to do so. Classes must be taken online through the Utah State Parks website.
PWC are not allowed on the Colorado River at Lees Ferry.
Clean. Drain. Dry.
Because quagga mussels have been confirmed both above and below the dam, all boaters and fishermen must clean, drain, and dry their boats and all equipment after contact with these waters.
Educate yourself on the threats of aquatic invasive species (AIS) and state regulations in place to prevent their spread. In addition to ecological impacts, quagga mussels have devastating financial impacts on marina infrastructure and boats.
Do Your Part
Ensure your watercraft and equipment are clean, drained, and free of aquatic hitchhikers. Exiting Lake Powell
Remove debris when you pull your anchor
Pull your plugs and leave them out
Clean debris, then drain all water from engine and interior compartments. (A technician can assist you if the inspection station is open.)
Prepare for watercraft inspection—leave compartments open and accessible
Visit the NPS watercraft inspection and decontamination stations
Without proper decontamination, quagga mussels can clog internal systems on boats resulting in engine failure and boat fires. Check state regulations (AZ, CO, Utah) regarding mandatory dry times and decontamination. Check out these Lake Powell FAQs from the state of Utah.
Boat Rentals & Tours
There is no need to feel left out if you do not have a boat of your own. There are two park consessioners who rent boats on Lake Powell.