Camping at Lake Powell
Lake Powell can offer fine opportunities for boat camping and a few for those who want to drive their automobiles. Boat campers have most of the choices. The most popular is finding a nice, secluded stretch of beach and setting up a camp on shore. Many times campers will live on shore and sleep on the boat. It would depend on your boat and the number in your group but you will have many options. There are many rocky sites that exist that can establish a camp but it can make sleeping difficult if you plan to sleep on shore. Some boaters opt to find a place to anchor and then just stay on the boat. Just make sure you do not find an area where other boaters come through in the night.
Campsites can appear and disappear as the lake levels change. Your favorite campsite can be covered with water or well away from the shore depending on the time of year. There are some descriptions of Lake Powell Bays and this gives you a general idea of the availability of campsites but the lake itself and its elevation is the key factor in determining of campsites are available.
Here are some tips for the Lake Powell camper:
Make sure to bring plenty of water or have a way to purify the water. Some claim the Lake Powell water is fine to drink but one bad drink and spoil your vacation. Shade is scarce and it gets hot in the summer so I campsite the can get early shade in the afternoon can be a plus. Some type of shade canopy should be brought. See if you can find a campsite beneath rock shelves to take advantage of the shelter from the sun. Be careful for rocks tend to fall from these shelves.
Sometimes you can only find a beach at the end of a canyon where the drainage comes into the lake. Be aware flash floods occur in these canyons and if it rains hard enough you'll get water running through your camp. Check out the National Park Service short video explaining the dangers of flash floods.
Regulations require a portable toilet or a boat or camper with a self-contained toilet if you plan to camp within a quarter-mile of Lake Powell. A portable toilet that uses plastic bags is not acceptable and you cannot bury waste. There are pump outs available at all the marinas and several floating pump outs in the bays.
Find a campsite to shelter from wind, as afternoon gusts are common on Lake Powell. Make sure you haul out all your garbage and leave your campsite as you found it.
Bring toys for the shore and water. A sunshade and a good book for those who want to enjoy the quiet solitude. There is very little firewood in the area so if you want to fire you need to bring wood.
Exploring the shoreline and surrounding areas is very popular. Make sure you take plenty of water on your hikes. Click rocks and sandstone can be difficult to navigate so be careful where you grab and step. If you are hiking in a narrow canyon be aware of the dangers of flash floods. There are rattlesnakes and scorpions around Lake Powell and are usually not a problem but one should be aware.