Updated: Sep 15
In our humble opinion, Lake Powell is easily one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Our family loves boating and is fortunate to live just a few hours away, so we have been many times over the years. And we've experienced it in a variety of ways - with kids, without kids, on a houseboat with a large group, staying at a hotel in Page, tent camping, and even a day trip without a boat. There's no wrong way to visit Lake Powell as long as you just go at least once! It's the perfect destination for an adventure with the family. It has so much to offer, from hiking slot canyons to endless amounts of water sports fun. Here are some tips for a budget-friendly trip to Lake Powell, including where to stay and what to do.
Where is Lake Powell?
A Southwest gem, Lake Powell is situated at the Utah/Arizona border and spans 185 miles long with over 2,000 miles of shoreline, thanks to its many fingers and slot canyons. From sandstone cliffs to quiet bays to arguably the best sandy beaches in the West, Lake Powell has something to offer everyone.
When is the best time to visit Lake Powell?
From May-October. The water is warmest from July to September with air temperatures averaging around 90 degrees and water temperatures around 78 degrees. The busiest months are June, July and August. September is ideal because the crowds are gone, it's still hot, the water is still warm, and the hotels are cheaper.
For the best deals, May, September and October are a bit slower and you can find cheaper rates on everything from houseboats to motorboats to hotels and airbnbs. The days are also longer during the summer months which make for beautiful desert sunsets.
Places to stay in Lake Powell
Most Unique Experience: House boating
If you want to take in Lake Powell's adventurous wild, wild west feel, see gorgeous stars, experience remote canyons and have calm water for water sports-- then you must add a houseboat to your bucket list. Perfect for groups and families, you can stay in a boat on the water for between $2,000-$6,000 per week. If you want a more budget-friendly option, go to Craigslist and buy in on a boat share or reserve older boats.
Here is a good houseboat deal as an example: $2000 per week for a houseboat out of Wahweap Marina
Things to consider:
Houseboating is a lot like glamping. You will need to pack food, plan all of your meals ahead of time and be stocked with first aid and other necessities such as toiletries, extra gasoline, etc.
Unless you hire a houseboat captain to pilot your boat, you will need to take a houseboat course and be prepared with plenty of strong hands to help you anchor your houseboat.
If you want to houseboat, plan your trip at least 6 months in advance because they get completely booked out well in advance.
Reserve houseboats here: Lake Powell Houseboats
Best Amenities: Hotel or Airbnb/VRBO
Page, AZ offers a variety of hotels and lodging options for great prices. From Lake Powell Resort to the Best Western, it is hard not to find a family-friendly hotel for usually less than $200 per night.
We recommend the Courtyard Marriott for the clean rooms, on-site amenities, lake views, proximity to stores and for its southwest feel. The best option for young kids is a hotel because you're not sleeping on the water where most accidents with young kids happen. Plus, who doesn't love a nice dip in the hot tub after a long day on the water or a workout room to start the day? It also sits on a golf course, so it feels a bit more luxurious than most of the motels in town.
Book a unique VRBO or Airbnb in Page, AZ
If you have a larger crowd, consider these awesome and affordable properties in Page, AZ. You can split costs between parties making it for a budget friendly experience. You can find entire homes from $159 per night.
There are also some awesome glamping experiences if you want to have the ultimate southwest getaway. This one below is $310 per night which is a little more pricey but still cheaper than a houseboat.
Most Affordable: Camping
Camping is offered at Wahweap Campground on the Utah/Arizona border. It is $30 per night for a tent and you can bring a camper or RV for $88 per night. This campground has a general store, RV hookups, coin operated laundry, free wi-fi, picnic tables and fire pits. The best part is it is only 1/4 mile from the shore of Lake Powell so it's a great beach camping experience. You can also pull up your RV or camper to Lone Rock Beach and camp right on the beach. Bathrooms are available on site.
If you have a boat, you can always haul a tent to a secluded beach anywhere in the many fingers of Lake Powell. However, plan on hot nights in the summer if you camp in a tent.
Best Things to Do in Lake Powell
if you’re seeking for luxury meets adventure, look no further than renting or buying into a share on a houseboat. Most houseboats come with water slides and decks for stargazing so just find your private beach in a secluded canyon and you will have the experience of a lifetime.
Grab a motorboat or sea doo and hit the water. There are some priceless water experiences if you go at the right time of day or find the right spot. Take on the open water with wake surfing, jet skiing, tubing, or seek out the calmer canyons for waterskiing, wakeboarding, or kneeboarding.