Lake Powell camper van rental Travel Guide & Itinerary

Complete Guide to the Best Stuff to Do in Lake Powell, Utah

Here’s a 3-day itinerary for Lake Powell van campers

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Overview of Lake Powell

Traveling to Lake Powell is like stepping into a desert mirage. The lake’s cool blue water is bordered by impossibly steep sandstone cliffs within the sprawling Glen Canyon Recreation Area

Van camping at Lake Powell puts you in the midst of some of the southwest’s most beautiful scenery. With so much land to explore, it’s the perfect destination for van campers who want freedom to roam around the lake’s secluded northern wilderness, or finally see popular attractions like Horseshoe Bend up close.  

Visitors may be surprised to learn that Lake Powell doesn’t resemble a typical lake. It’s a manmade reservoir on the Colorado River that’s nestled between the rock walls of Glen Canyon. 

Summer is Lake Powell’s busy season because of the warmer water, but there are good opportunities to explore and see wildlife any time of year.

Although there are a few scenic drives along dirt roads around Lake Powell, vans rented from Vegas Campers cannot be operated on unpaved roads. Please plan accordingly. 

Van campers have a few campgrounds to choose from near Lake Powell and throughout Glen Canyon.

Bullfrog and Halls Crossing Campgrounds in North Lake Powell are more secluded than the popular areas near the southern portion of the lake. 

Day One in Lake Powell

Check in at one of Glen Canyon’s Visitor Centers before heading to your campsite. While you’re there, ask about boat tours and watercraft rentals if you plan on going out on the lake.

Once you’re checked in, consider taking an afternoon hike to get acquainted with the area. Trails near the Bullfrog Visitor Center and Campground aren’t too strenuous, but still offer some fun climbing and impressive views. 

Wind down at Driftwood Lounge for dinner and a drink overlooking Lake Powell.

Day Two in Lake Powell

Time to get out and have some fun on beautiful Lake Powell. 

From the water, you can reach some of the areas more picturesque sites like Antelope Canyon, and Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Boat tours are available to many popular attractions if you didn’t rent a watercraft. 

If you’re kayaking, make your way to a few of the lake’s wakeless canyons: Antelope, Labyrinth, and Lost Eden. Stick close to the shore and stop along beaches and coves to take a rest. 

There’s also a popular half-day river raft tour that floats down the Colorado River to Horseshoe Bend while stopping for short hikes along the way. 

Regardless of how you decide to get out on the water, you’ll have an easier time getting to the lake’s most beautiful spots that many travelers miss out on. 

Day Three in Lake Powell

After a full day out on the lake, take some time to explore the beautiful landscape surrounding Lake Powell before heading home. 

Consider the challenging Black Hole of White Canyon hike, which includes a bit of swimming and climbing. The hike will take most of the day, so bring plenty of water and snacks. 

Experienced rock climbers shouldn’t miss out on local slot canyons including Leprechaun Canyon, Maidenwater Canyon and North Wash. Trailheads are easily accessible from the highway.

While you’re outdoors, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. The lake is home to more than 315 species of birds along with snakes, lizards, and amphibians. 

If you’re staying closer to the southern end of the lake, it’s worth taking a drive to some of the more iconic Lake Powell attractions: Glen Canyon Dam and Horseshoe Bend.

Van camping at Lake Powell puts you in the midst of some of the southwest’s most beautiful scenery.

Plan on at least 600 miles of driving altogether, if departing from Las Vegas. 

Where to Next?
(We have travel guides for those places, too!)

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