Kayaking is an excellent way to experience Lake Powell and its magnificent geologic wonders. If you have a couple of hours with a whitewater kayak or a couple of days taking a journey on a sea kayak, kayaking will give you a unique approach to get to know Lake Powell and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
As with all outdoor activities, SAFETY is top priority. Here are some tips for your safe enjoyment of Lake Powell:
Take Care of Lake Powell
Lake Powell Launching Points & Locations
There is no fee to launch a kayak in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. All launch ramps are welcome to any kind of boat. Kayakers may find it easier to launch at the less congested ramps, reducing the chances of disturbance by motorized vehicles. Check the webcams to see ramps.
Downlake: Antelope Point and Stateline ramps have less traffic.
In addition to the launch ramps, kayaks can easily be launched at Glen Canyon NRA's primitive beach camping areas. Lone Rock Beach is especially popular downlake, and Stanton Creek is the place to go in the Bullfrog area.
The following canyons are designated wakeless at all times:
Many locals enjoy smooth day trips around the Wahweap and Lone Rock areas. There are times when the beaches are pretty crowded with motorized vessels, but there are a few quiet coves a kayak could sneak into.
For longer trips, Warm Creek Bay is a popular destination. When the lake is at full pool, there is a cut between Castle Rock and Antelope Island which is used as a shortcut to Warm Creek Bay and other destinations north. At times when the cut is closed, there may be a chance to portage a kayak across the cut, saving the trip around Antelope Island.
Padre Bay has many nice beaches. Getting there can be difficult, because there is nowhere to stop in the Narrows, where it can become quite choppy during high boat traffic or inclement weather.
Moqui Canyon: about 4.5-5 miles up stream from Halls Crossing marina. This is a great kayaking spot as long as boat traffic is not too heavy. The canyon is relatively long (even at lower lake levels) and has high walls and many large alcoves. When you run out of lake, Moqui is also a nice spot for a day hike.
Lost Eden Canyon: about 1 mile down stream from Halls Crossing marina. This is a short 3-fingered canyon with beautiful sculpted walls and several extremely large alcoves.
Annie’s Canyon: about 15 miles downstream from Halls Crossing marina. A beautiful moderate length canyon that also has great hiking.
Escalante Arm: About 35 miles downstream from Halls Crossing. Nearly any of the side canyons in the Escalante arm offer some premier paddling and hiking experiences. Alcoves, arches, rock art, hanging gardens, and more abound in this region. If your party has a runabout this may provide some paddlers a quicker way to get to this location.
Colorado River Below Glen Canyon Dam
The stretch of river from below the dam to Lees Ferry provides a unique change of pace from the still waters of Lake Powell. There is no put-in at the dam, so you must launch at the Lees Ferry ramp, then get a tow upstream. You can ask a friend with a motorboat to tow you or book backhaul services with concessioner Wilderness River Adventures or other authorized kayak guided services. Fill out a free Backcountry River permit at the launch ramp so we know who all is out there.
The water flows vary depending on the water flow from the Glen Canyon Dam. For the day's outflow, check with the Bureau of Reclamation website or call (928) 645-3978. You may have an idyllic float down the canyon or a healthy run back to Lees Ferry.
Share the river. Paddlers should stay to one side to allow motor boats to pass.
There are five camping areas along the banks of the river, with grill pits and vault toilets. These campsites are on a first-come, first served basis. Beaches and campsites on the river do not have trash receptacles. Please do not burn trash. Whatever you bring with you, goes all the way down the river with you. "Pack it in, Pack it out!" Keep the river and beaches clean.
Sustaining only limited flows, the Escalante will challenge river runners to not only paddle and float, but also push, pull, and tow their boats. Spring snowmelt offers the best river conditions. Learn more on the Floating the Escalante River page.
Last updated: August 4, 2023