There is so much to see at Lake Powell and it can feel really overwhelming! I’m narrowing it down for you and sharing some hidden gems when it comes to what to see at Lake Powell!
Aside from Disneyland, Lake Powell is our second most frequented vacation. It’s such a relaxing trip and always so fun to be out in the water. When I first went to Lake Powell though, I always wondered what we were going to do besides relax. Haha, I guess I am used to doing a lot of sightseeing on my vacations. Lucky for me, there is plenty to see in Lake Powell! With all of the canyons and bays, there is something new with every turn. With the varying water levels, there is even more to see and explore.
In this post, I am going to share with you what to see at Lake Powell.
What to see at Lake Powell / 6 Hidden Gems
Before we first went to Lake Powell, I had no idea that this was a man-made lake that had filled up Glen Canyon. Because all of the water now spans through a canyon, there are many different and unique features that you can see all over the lake.
*Water levels will determine whether you can access some of these sites and what they will look like.
Cathedral in the Desert
Cathedral in the Desert has become one of my favorite sites in Lake Powell. When you walk in, it looks like a cathedral made of rock! It is located at the end of Clear Creek Canyon on the Escalante River Arm and is about 70 miles from Wahweap Marina and 30 miles from Bullfrog Marina. When we went, we had to hike into the Cathedral, but I’ve seen others who have had to paddle-board or kayak in. You will want to check the water levels because that will determine how or if you can get to it.
I would 100% recommend adding the Cathedral in the Dessert to your list of what to see at Lake Powell if you can! It was such a cool place! As I mentioned, we were able to hike in so we saw walked through the canyon walls that led to the cathedral and the 60ft waterfall. It was a small waterfall, but it was still so beautiful! There was no one there either so we got the place to ourselves!
Where: Cathedral in the Desert
Gregory Natural Bridge
Gregory Natural Bridge is just what it sounds like. It is a natural bridge that has formed in the canyon and its arch has been underwater until 2022! The lower water levels, although not great, have uncovered the arch and a section of the lake that was previously only accessible by foot. The bridge is on Fiftymile Canyon off of the Escalante River Arm and it’s pretty close to the Cathedral in the Desert.
When we went, we were able to actually drive under the bridge and into the small part of the lake on the other side. It was pretty crazy to be able to drive under a part of the canyon like that.
Where: Gregory Natural Bridge
Hole in the Roof (Toilet Bowl)
Ever wanted to swim in a hole? So these are basically holes in the roof of caverns in the rock that, when the water level is high enough, you can climb onto the rock and jump into the hole! It’s super cool! When the water level is low though like it was when we went, you can’t climb up to it, but you can drive your boat under it and swim in the little cavern which is still pretty cool.
There are two of these in Lake Powell, one in Padre Bay and the other in Rock Creek Bay. Since no tour boats go to either, you will need to rent a boat or jet skis to get there. When it comes to what to see at Lake Powell, you do not want to miss this!
Reflection Canyon by Boat
You’ve seen those gorgeous pictures of Reflection Canyon and it is just as pretty in person! However, if you want that viewpoint you see in the pictures, it is about a 20-mile hike round trip. So… yeah. As much as I wanted to see that view, we decided to just drive through Reflection Canyon by boat instead! Although you can’t get the viewpoint you would from above, it is still so pretty! Those rocks jutting out look so massive when you are driving by them.
The water levels will determine how far back you can go, so just be aware of that. It really is super pretty to drive through by boat and is so much shorter than a 20-mile hike.
You’ve heard of it, now come see it! Rainbow Bridge is at the end of Forbidding Canyon. With lower water levels, the hike up is going to be longer than with higher water levels, so just be aware of that! If the water level is super low, the dock won’t be available to park at, so you may have to beach your boat.
It really is super cool and so big! It can be a longer hike (an average of 1 mile, depending on water levels of course) but it’s not too bad. It really is so cool to see. You can even take a tour boat from Wahweap Marina which is super nice! Rainbow Bridge is another thing to add to the top of your list for what to see at Lake Powell.
Where: Rainbow Bridge
West Canyon has been a favorite in the family. It’s a gorgeous canyon with tall walls and narrow passages that really make you realize how tall and amazing this canyon is. If you drive back to the very end of West Canyon, you can even get out and hike. The hikes at the end of West Canyon are some of the best! From what I hear. Haha, we haven’t made it on the hikes yet, just the canyon.
This canyon is also a great place to park your houseboat! There are some nice small beaches there.
Where: West Canyon
That’s a wrap for the top things to see in Lake Powell! These are some of my favorites, but it is such an amazingly huge lake and you are bound to come across something cool! So pack your bags, grab your list for what to see at Lake Powell, and get ready for an amazing vacation!