Lake Powell/Wahweap Arizona
Updated: Jan 6
Our brood enjoyed the Lake Powell area for the following:
Renting a power boat and exploring the lake
Wahweap RV park
We came here to hike buckskin gulch via the wire pass trailhead. To our dismay as we were heading towards Wahweap we noticed smoke on the horizon. There was a wild fire at wire pass which closed the road and trail and we were unable to experience maybe the best slot canyon in the world. With any luck we will try again another time. The wire pass trailhead is about an hour from Wahweap.
We stayed in Wahweap at the campground. It is across the street from the beach and boat launch. Wahweap is about 15 minutes from downtown Page, Arizona. The RV park sits atop the hill leading down to the water. It is a full hookup park with 50 amp service. Every site is concrete and it is truly a desert landscape with little shade and minimal trees and shrubs. The bathrooms are clean and dumpsters are located conveniently throughout the park. We were there when it was very hot and windy. We actually watched an awning get destroyed in the wind as the owners left it open during the day while they were gone. We were also surprised to see the police drive through. I think that is the first time we’ve seen a patrol come through a campground. We talked with the officer for a few minutes and had a pleasant conversation.
The beach at Wahweap is a long walk so set expectations for your brood appropriately. It's best to park in the beach parking lot if there is room. From the parking lot the hike is about a third to half mile. We found that a wagon and backpacks helped a lot to get down to the water. There is a paved sidewalk for some of the hike. However, the remainder is stone and sand. The beach is large and has a lot of room to spread out. The water was very warm and refreshing in the 105 degree heat. Note on windy days you will get sandblasted. Literally, the sand is picked up from the beach and pelts your body. It was much more fun to be in the water during high winds. Measure your time and activity. It is a difficult hike back to the parking lot due to the elevation gain.
The boat launch at Wahweap is a spectacle. The Stateline boat ramp reminds me more of a midwest ski slope. The ramp is 10 lanes wide and is composed of brushed concrete. We walked the dogs down to the water one night just to get a feel for the ramp's significance. The ramp is a quarter mile long with steep elevation. When the water level is at a normal height there are two docks to tie up to. The parking lot for trucks and boat trailers has over 400 parking spots. We also enjoyed walking the parking lot to see the trucks and other rigs. We saw a fire truck with a boat trailer and massive pickup trucks and semis.
Horseshoe Bend is the most photographed place in the world it seems. We’ve seen more pictures of Horseshoe Bend than just about anywhere else. Here are some more for you to view. Horseshoe Bend is about 18 minutes from Wahweap. There is a parking fee to see Horseshoe Bend. From the parking area it is a 1.5 mile round trip hike on an asphalt paved trail. Don’t be fooled. This hike is difficult in the heat of Summer and you should bring plenty of water, wear hats and sunscreen and be careful. It does not look as far as it really is. From the overlook the Colorado River is 1,000 feet below. The 270 degree bend is way more majestic in person than in photos.
Lake Powell is a fantastic Lake built by a dam on the Colorado River that provides a lot of recreation, electricity, while preventing floods. The dam can be viewed from the road above. There are pull offs near the dam and a short walk will provide for great photos. Currently lake levels are low and access to the lake is difficult. When we went, we were able to rent a power boat from Wahweap Boat Rentals at the Stateline Marina Boat Docks and explored for a few hours. We rented the 19ft power boat. Size is up to you, but any of these small boats are subject to the same weather restrictions. A 19ft boat will generally behave the same as a 21ft boat. 21ft just has a little more leg room and horsepower for pulling skiers and tubes. We were unable to be out the whole day due to excessive wind causing water advisories and dangerous conditions. We motored into some of the tight spaces including Antelope Creek and Navajo Canyon. We also saw Tower Butte and took the boat by the Glen Canyon dam. Finally, due to our inability to be on the water longer due to the wind or go to Buckskin gulch, due to the wild fire, we got creative. We asked the people at the camp store where we could fish and learned that the boat docks have a fishing pier. Wahweap is a big place so ask for directions. Fishing at the pier was good for a few hours of entertainment.
Toadstool Hoodoos were another geologic feature we considered making time for. However, our itinerary limited our ability to go here too. It’s not far from the Wahweap campground at just under an hour. The features of this area are stone rock formations that are in the shape of mushrooms or toadstools. They were formed over many years of wind erosion. The landscape looks to be similarly developed like Goblin Valley State Park.
Page Arizona and Wahweap have a lot of recreation destinations. We had to adapt due to the wind and the wildfires. However, we had a great time. Although horseshoe canyon is a tourist destination they have kept it focused on the scenic Colorado River and it is a site to see. Lake Powell is a recreation marvel and full of opportunities to rent houseboats, power boats, or just relax by the beach. We would have liked to hike antelope canyon for buckskin gulch and visited the toadstools but the heat and fires caused us to leave the area wanting more. Wahweap is a great stop when visiting the Grand Canyon, Zion, or Monument Valley. Thanks for reading and let us know what you like about the Lake Powell area. We just saw a small portion and are excited to learn and experience more.