Paddle Board Lake Powell Guide: 7 SUP Spots

Paddle Board Lake Powell Guide: 7 SUP Spots

Embark on a thrilling adventure with our comprehensive guide to paddle boarding Lake Powell, a haven for stand-up paddle board enthusiasts. Nestled in the heart of the American Southwest, Lake Powell's breathtaking landscapes offer an unparalleled paddling experience.

Whether you're a seasoned paddler or a beginner, this guide will navigate you through the serene waters of Lake Powell, highlighting the seven best spots to explore, the optimal times for paddle boarding, cost considerations, and exciting tours and activities available.

Get ready to be mesmerized by the stunning canyons and crystal-clear waters that make Lake Powell a must-visit destination for paddle boarders around the globe.

An Overview Of Lake Powell

Lake Powell is the second-largest man-made reservoir in the United States, with a maximum water capacity that has taken millions of years to carve into the landscape. It spans over 200 miles across Arizona and Utah and presents more than 80 side canyons to explore. This massive water body is home to countless hidden treasures and offers breathtaking sights for visitors to discover.

An Overview Of Lake Powell

Source: freepik

The serene waters of the reservoir contrast beautifully with the red rock canyons in the background, making it a breathtaking location for paddle boarding. If you're looking to discover the most picturesque and secluded spots at Lake Powell, we have compiled a list of our top seven picks for you to explore!

Can You Paddle Board on Lake Powell?

Absolutely! Lake Powell is an excellent destination for paddle boarding. Its stunning red rock cliffs, crystal-clear warm water, and unique slot canyons make it a paddler's paradise.

Best Time to Paddle Board on Lake Powell:

  • You can go paddling at Lake Powell year-round.
  • Although summers can be overcrowded and hot, it's still a great way to cool off.
  • Winters offer a much quieter experience but expect cold temperatures and chilly waters.
  • The shoulder seasons (spring and fall) are ideal, as the reservoir is less busy, and the weather is pleasant.
  • If you plan to visit during the fall, aim for some time between late September and early November.
  • For the spring season, consider visiting in March to early May.

7 Best Spots for Paddle Boarding at Lake Powell

Now! Let's explore the top spots for paddle boarding at Lake Powell with diverse landscapes, from towering cliffs to serene coves.

1. Lone Rock Side Canyons

Lone Rock is a prominent rock formation and a famous landmark that protrudes from the water at Wahweap Bay. This bay is one of the most popular destinations on Lake Powell because of its close proximity to the marina.

Lone Rock Side Canyons

Source: freepik

There is ample space for cruising around and indulging in water sports, which means that even during the peak of summer, it never feels too crowded. This bay is not only famous for its proximity to the State Line and Wahweap launch ramps but also for its vast sandy beach.

  • Water type and skill levels: The calm and clear waters of the bay will be suitable for all levels of paddlers, especially beginners.
  • Launch Points: You can launch directly from Lone Rock Beach.
  • Amenities:
    • Lone Rock Beach is the only beach accessible by car at Lake Powell.
    • During the summer months, the shore will be lined with tents and RVs. It's the perfect spot for a picnic, letting the children play in the sand, having an evening bonfire, or just sitting and relaxing.
    • If you want to avoid the crowds at Lone Rock Beach, head left behind the Lone Rock formation, and you'll find narrow, milky-white sandstone canyons to explore away from the crowds.
    • There are also some great rocks perfect for cliff jumping!

2. Antelope Creek and Slot Canyon

To get to the Glen Canyon Dam from Wahweap Marina, you need to head straight. Make a quick stop to admire the dam's impressive structure from the water. This area is also great for various water sports activities.

After exploring the dam, continue towards Antelope Island while following the channel. Once you reach the confluence of Antelope Creek and the Colorado River, take the first right turn to enter the side canyon. Here, you will find a snaking creek surrounded by towering cliffs.

There are many crags and crevices to climb and explore, along with numerous cliff ledges to jump from. It is also a popular spot for kayaking and swimming, so please note that it's a no-wake zone. If you're interested, you can rent kayaks and paddle boards at Antelope Point Marina. This is an ideal location to spend a peaceful afternoon away from the crowds as you leisurely float through the canyon.

If you follow the creek to its end, you will come across dry land that leads into a stunningly beautiful pastel-colored slot canyon. You can explore this canyon on foot.

  • Water type and skill levels: Calm waters with occasional narrow passages, which are more suitable for intermediate to advanced paddlers.
  • Launch Points: Access directly from Antelope Point Marina.
  • Unique Feature: Paddle through the famous Antelope Canyon slot canyon, surrounded by towering walls. What many people don't know is that this slot canyon is actually the same one that leads to the famous Antelope Canyon.

Note: However, to access Antelope Canyon, you must take a guided tour.

3. Bullfrog Marina Area

Paddle boarding in the Bullfrog Marina area at Lake Powell presents an inviting blend of accessibility and natural beauty. One of the highlights near Bullfrog Marina is the Lost Eden Canyon, known for its serene waters and breathtaking scenery. This canyon, easily reachable from Bullfrog or Halls Crossing Marinas, is particularly suited for paddle boarding due to the wakeless speed regulation, ensuring a peaceful journey through its waters.

The accessibility of Lost Eden Canyon makes it an excellent choice for all levels of paddle boarders, from beginners enjoying the calm to seasoned paddlers exploring the narrow reaches of the canyon. The area's unique geological formations and the clear, tranquil waters of Lake Powell create an unforgettable backdrop for paddle boarding adventures.

  • Water types and skill levels: Calm, wakeless zones perfect for beginners to more challenging routes for experienced paddlers. Lost Eden Canyon, near Bullfrog Marina, is easy to access and is suitable for both beginners and experienced paddlers due to regulated wakeless speed, ensuring a serene paddle boarding experience.
  • Amenities:
    • Campgrounds are also available at Bullfrog Marina and Halls Crossing Marina.
    • Bullfrog Marina offers a comprehensive range of services, including a launch ramp, a convenience store, restaurant options, and even a ferry service to Halls Crossing, enriching the paddle boarding experience with convenience and variety.

Note: For those planning to visit, it's essential to check weather conditions beforehand due to the risk of flash floods in canyons. Ensuring safety through preparedness and adherence to regulations, like keeping speeds low in wakeless zones, guarantees an enjoyable and secure paddle boarding experience.

4. Labyrinth Slot Canyon

Labyrinth Slot Canyon at Lake Powell is a stunning spot for paddling. Accessible via a narrow, pink-brushed sandstone canyon across from Gunsight Bay, it offers breathtaking views of swirling rock formations.

Labyrinth Slot Canyon

Source: unsplash

Labyrinth Slot Canyon offers an experience very similar to Antelope Canyon but without the need to pay for a tour and with the freedom to explore for as long as you want. However, getting there is not as easy as Antelope Canyon, which makes the journey half of the adventure!

To reach Labyrinth Slot Canyon, look for a rock formation across from Gunsight Bay. Turn into the narrow canyon on the right of this rock formation and keep going until the canyon becomes too narrow to navigate. Anchor your boat a little farther back to allow other visitors to explore the canyon easily.

  • Water Type: Calm waters within the slot canyon and narrow, winding passages surrounded by towering cliffs are suitable for intermediate to advanced paddlers.
  • Launch Points: Access from the main lake.
  • Amenities: Limited amenities; remote location.
  • Unique Feature: Depending on the water level, you might need to wade or swim until you reach dry ground.

Note: Make sure to bring life jackets in case the water is too deep. As you approach the entrance to the slot canyon, the stagnant water can be dirty and smelly. Wear water shoes and be prepared to walk a short distance in the water until you reach dry ground. Once you make it to dry ground, prepare to be amazed by the breathtaking beauty of Labyrinth Slot Canyon.

5. Padre Bay

Padre Bay, a vast and picturesque expanse on Lake Powell, is a haven for paddle boarding enthusiasts, offering a myriad of experiences to suit every preference. From leisurely cruises to exhilarating explorations, Padre Bay caters to all levels of adventurers.

One of its prominent features is the Double Arch, affectionately known as the “Toilet Bowl,” a natural rock formation resembling a giant bowl with a hole in the center leading to a hidden cove. Paddlers can glide through the arch or opt for a thrilling jump from its summit into the refreshing waters below.

Another notable sight is the Cookie Jar, a sandstone butte resembling its namesake. Paddlers can circumnavigate the base, admire the intricate rock formations, or venture to the summit for breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and surrounding canyons.

5. Padre Bay

Source: unsplash

Padre Bay also offers ample opportunities for wildlife sightings, including birds, fish, and bighorn sheep. Exploring the bay's shoreline or venturing into its side canyons unveils a diverse array of flora and fauna.

  • Water types and skill levels: The bay's vastness means conditions can vary, with areas of calm water for beginners and more challenging conditions for experienced paddlers due to boat traffic and the potential for sudden winds.
  • Launch points: Starts from major marinas like Wahweap or Bullfrog, where you can launch directly into the lake. These marinas serve as excellent starting points for your journey across Padre Bay or to other nearby destinations.
  • Amenities: Facilities such as fuel docks, convenience stores, restaurants, and even lodging options like the Defiance House at Bullfrog Marina are available to enhance your paddle boarding trip.

6. Double Arch (aka “Toilet Bowl”)

Paddle boarding to Double Arch, also known as the "Toilet Bowl," in Rock Creek Bay is an adventure worth the effort. It takes about two hours to get there from Wahweap by boat. Before you go, make sure to fill up your gas at Antelope Point Marina and check if Dangling Rope Marina is open. To find Double Arch, go into Rock Creek Bay, turn into a cove on the right, and you'll see it. The coordinates are 37.13640 N and 111.17063 W. You can even see it on satellite images before visiting.

The cave is big enough to boat into, with a large hole in the roof you can climb to from outside. Climbing is tough because the rock is steep and hot. People climb from both the right and left sides. Be careful when jumping into the Toilet Bowl from the top; it depends on the water level. If it's too low or too high, it might not be safe. Finding this spot is part of the fun of exploring Lake Powell. You never know what cool places you'll find!

  • Water types and skill Levels: Ideal for experienced paddlers due to the need to navigate through Rock Creek Bay and potentially challenging water levels. Ensure to check the water levels before attempting jumps or entering the cave, as they can significantly impact the safety of these activities.
    • Wahweap Bay: Offers calmer waters suitable for beginners, providing a more relaxed experience with easy access to beautiful beaches and canyons.
    • Antelope Canyon: Recommended for more experienced paddlers. This area involves a round trip of approximately 5 miles and offers the option to explore the famous Antelope Canyon by hiking.
  • Launch Points: Key spots like Antelope Point and Wahweap Boat Ramp for easy access. You also can access the Double Arch from a boat near the Glen Canyon Dam.
  • Amenities: Rentals include essential gear with advisories on bringing food, water, and sun protection.
  • Unique Features: The Double Arch offers a spectacular sight with its massive hole in the cave's roof, allowing for an adventurous climb and jump into the water below. However, caution is advised due to the varying water levels and the potential risks associated with high or low conditions.

7. Rope Swing at Rock Creek Bay

Paddle boarding to the Rope Swing at Rock Creek Bay offers an adventurous twist to the serene experience of gliding over Lake Powell's crystal-clear waters. Located directly across from the enigmatic Double Arch, this spot hides a massive cave, above which an epic rope swing is anchored to the cliff's apex.

Rope Swing at Rock Creek Bay

Source: freepik

The journey to engage with this thrilling attraction involves a daring climb up the steep rock face to a ledge, where you must then haul the swing towards you using another rope. This endeavor, while offering an adrenaline rush, is not without its risks, and those seeking to experience it should weigh the dangers carefully. 

For those preferring a blend of excitement without the precarious ascent, an alternative exists. Simply positioning a boat beneath the swing allows for a spirited leap from the top of the tower as the boat drifts away.

This spot in Rock Creek Bay embodies the spirit of adventure that Lake Powell is known for, offering both the heart-pounding excitement of a high swing over water and the serene beauty of paddle boarding Lake Powell**-** one of America's most picturesque reservoirs.

  • Water types and skill levels: The waters around Rock Creek Bay are suitable for paddle boarders of varying skill levels. The calm waters of Lake Powell make it an ideal location for beginners, yet the adventurous routes to places like the Rope Swing offer challenges for more experienced paddlers.
  • Launch Point: You can access the Rope Swing at Rock Creek Bay directly from the shoreline.
  • Amenities: While amenities are limited, primitive camping is available nearby. Be prepared and bring your own supplies.
  • Unique Feature: The highlight of this spot is the exhilarating rope swing. Imagine swinging out over the water, then letting go and plunging into the refreshing lake. It’s a thrilling experience set against the picturesque backdrop of Rock Creek Bay.

How Much is Paddle Boarding at Lake Powell?

Generally, you can take an unrestricted route that does not require any permit or guide, which is free of cost. You can start your journey at the Antelope Point Launch Ramp and paddle for about 2 miles on Lake Powell until you reach the bottom of Antelope Canyon. Once you are there, you can hike up the Antelope Canyon for about 3 miles until you reach a dead end and have to turn back.

How Much is Paddle Boarding at Lake Powell?

Source: unsplash

However, if you wish to explore the restricted zones of Antelope Canyon, you must buy a guided tour. The cost of these tours ranges from $80 to $200 per person and requires advanced booking. As they are in high demand, it is recommended that you book your tickets as soon as you finalize your travel plans to ensure you get a spot to visit the protected areas of Antelope Canyon.

Paddle Board Tour and Activities at Lake Powell

Lake Powell is a stunning location for paddle boarding. Choose from various tours and activities suitable for all levels to explore the mesmerizing red rock formations and crystal-clear waters. Here are some options:

Paddle Board Tour

Paddle Board Tour

Source: unsplash
1. Antelope Canyon Paddle board Tour:

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Antelope Canyon from a unique perspective—the water. Paddle through the narrow slot canyon, surrounded by towering red cliffs.

  • Duration: Approximately 2-3 hours.
  • Price Range: Prices start at around $100 per person.
2. Lone Rock Side Canyons Exploration:

Discover hidden side canyons near Lone Rock Beach. Explore the majestic canyon walls and enjoy the tranquility of calm waters.

  • Duration: Half-day or full-day options available.
  • Price Range: Prices vary based on tour length and group size.
3. Padre Bay Adventure:

Paddle across Padre Bay, taking in the stunning views of distant mesas and unique rock formations.

  • Duration: Full-day adventure.
  • Price Range: Typically around $150-$200 per person.
4. Rope Swing at Rock Creek Bay:

Combine paddle boarding with a refreshing swim at Rock Creek Bay. Try the playful rope swing for added fun.

  • Duration: Half-day.
  • Price Range: Prices start at approximately $80 per person


    For those looking to enhance their paddle board lake Powell experience, various paddle board tours and activities are available, including:

    • Sunrise and Sunset Paddles: Experience the lake in the magical light of dawn or dusk, with prices starting at around $75 for a group session.
    • SUP Yoga: Combine paddle boarding with yoga for a unique wellness experience on the water, with classes typically priced around $45.
    • Hiking: Lace up your hiking boots and explore the trails around Lake Powell. Hike to Rainbow Bridge, explore slot canyons, or take in panoramic views from overlooks, which is free (unless guided tours are chosen).
    • Boat Tours: Join a boat tour to explore Lake Powell’s iconic landmarks. Visit Rainbow Bridge National Monument, cruise through canyons, and learn about the area’s history, with the prices varying based on tour length and specific itinerary.
    • Scenic Flights: Take an aerial tour to appreciate Lake Powell’s vastness and unique formations. Fly over Rainbow Bridge, Glen Canyon, and the surrounding desert, with the prices varying for airplane or helicopter tours.

    Paddle Board at Lake Powell with iROCKER

    We explored Lake Powell's paddle board havens and found tranquil canyons, thrilling swings, and endless adventure.

    From the Lone Rock Side Canyons to Rock Creek Bay's Rope Swing, Lake Powell offers a diverse range of experiences for all paddle board enthusiasts.

    Make the most of Lake Powell's beauty with iROCKER’S Blue Adventure app. Get insider tips and curated SUP locations to enhance your exploration.

    Download iROCKER’S Blue Adventure app now and start paddling towards unforgettable adventures.

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