Boating at Lake Powell
Lake Powell offers many opportunities for the boater. There are bays and numerous side canyons to explore and play. Side canyons offer excellent waterskiing and are out of the way of much of the boating traffic. Sandy beaches offer a chance to get off the boat and explore the shore.
There are five main marinas located along Lake Powell. They offer fuel and repair service. Make sure you have plenty of fuel for your plan explorations especially in the San Juan arm, as there are no marinas in this area. Prepare accordingly. If you are ever interested where to get boating gear, Cabela's offers best Marina and Boating accessories. Discounts for Cabela's may be found online or at local travel guide.
The National Park Service requires that all boats be inspected for quagga and zebra mussel infestations before they are launched.
House boating is extremely popular on Lake Powell. The marinas are filled with private houseboats and rental boats. It is suggested that you plan a minimum of a year in advance to assure you can get a houseboat at the time you desire. Off-season rates are lower and your chance to get a boat is much better. You can also buy a partial ownership in a houseboat to assure you have a week or two in paradise. A true timeshare is illegal on Lake Powell. You must be a true part owner of the boat.
Due to the elevation changes in the lake Lake Powell will be different every visit. Your favorite cove may now be under several feet of water. This means that your Lake Powell experience will never get boring. It also exposes dangers as with submerged rocks that may exist in areas where they were not a problem before. They are dangerous to the boater and the boat. A Lake Powell trip can get spoiled quickly by leaving your lower unit on a submerged rock. Submerged rocks and shoals are not marked outside of the main channel, which includes the entire length of the capstan One and Escalante Arms.
Another hazard to boaters can be the wakes left behind by tour boats or other large boats. The main channel is marked with buoys. The red or none buoys denote the starboard right side of the main channel when heading up lake away from the dam. The number on the buoy is the approximate mileage from Glen Canyon Dam. The green can buoys mark the port or left side of the main channel when heading up the lake away from the dam. They are also numbered with mileage from Glen Canyon Dam. Some of the red and green buoys are lighted and does make navigation at night slightly easier, but night boating is generally not a good idea. White no canned buoys market areas that have restrictions and they mark weightless zones around marinas. The white stick buoys mark underwater obstructions and they have a red diamond on them. The red diamond always means danger went on a buoy.
Storms arise suddenly on Lake Powell and high afternoon winds are common. This can make boating more hazardous. If you're caught in a sudden squall find a side canyon to duck into. These squalls are common but they are usually short. It is specifying cover and waited out rather than try to fight to the storm.
Lake Powell occupies two states, so be familiar with the boating regulations of both Arizona and Utah. Do not operate a boat under the influence of alcohol. It is illegal and most fatal boating accidents involve alcohol. If members of your group are going to be consuming alcohol they should not operate a boat.