What to Do in Lake Powell (Top 10 Family Destination)

Rainbow Bridge

It seems like every day, another travel organization is putting out a list of the “top family destinations.” Today, Cheapflights.com says they have identified the Top 10 Family Destinations. No word on how this list was compiled, but among the top destinations are Barcelona, Spain and Sydney, Australia.

Closer to home, they also list Washington, DC, Williamsburg, VA and Lake Powell, UT. Lake Powell? I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never even heard of Lake Powell, though the press release does tell me that Lake Powell is the second largest man-made lake in North America.

So, I decided to dig in to Lake Powell to find out just what makes this one of the most popular family destinations in the United States. Here are four must-do activities in Lake Powell [I can already tell you that Lake Powell is now on my list of places to visit with the kids. It’s just beautiful.]

  • Glen Canyon Dam: Tours of this dam and power plant last less than one hour and are offered four times a day. Your kids will enjoy videos, photos and Native American artifacts that are on display as part of the tour. Make reservations up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Lake Powell Boat Tours: Several boat tours are available from Wahweap Marina, near Page, AZ. Best bets for kids are the Canyons Adventure Boat Tour or the Antelope Canyon Boat Tour. Both are less than three hours and offer beautiful views along the Colorado River.
  • Natural Bridges National Monument: Three natural bridges were formed when streams eroded canyon walls. Cliff dwellings and pictographs can be found in the monument. Hiking trails lead to each bridge. The trail to Owachomo is easiest, though all trails may be hiked by children. Ask a ranger about the Junior Ranger program so your kids can get a badge for completing age-specific activities.
  • Rainbow Bridge National Monument: The world’s largest known natural bridge at 290 feet high, Rainbow Bridge National Monument is considered sacred by the Navajo culture. There are many ways to enjoy this monument, whether by hiking, kayaking, camping or taking an air or boat tour.

If you like the outdoors, there really is so much to do in the Lake Powell area, but keep in mind that the lake is large and there will be some driving between monuments. For example, while Rainbow Bridge and Natural Bridges are both on Lake Powell, there’s some 60 miles between the two monuments.

Have you been to Lake Powell, UT? I’d love to hear about your experiences and whether you also believe it deserves to be among the top ten family destinations.