Lake Powell is a one hundred and eighty mile-long man-made reservoir for the Colorado River that attracts millions every year. The majority of the lake stretches across Southern Utah but a small portion of the lake is in Northern Arizona and includes Glen Canyon Dam.
The dam separates Lake Powell from the Grand Canyon; both maintained by the National Park Service, which means national park entrance fees. From the Glen Canyon Bridge, you can see either side of the dam on the paved pedestrian walkways. Occasionally there is an opening in the car railing and you can cross the road to the other side. View holes in the fencing allows visitors to take pictures without obstruction.
The best place to park if you want to walk across Glen Canyon Bridge is at the Carl Hayden Visitor’s Center. The Visitor’s Center consists of informative exhibits about the area’s natural and human geological history. A few handicapped spots exist closest to the main entrance, which has automatic doors. Accessible restrooms inside also have automatic doors.
If you find yourself on a boat on Lake Powell, consider yourself lucky. To experience Lake Powell, you need to be on Lake Powell. Lake Powell has hundreds of unique canyons just waiting to be seen, appreciated and photographed and can only be accessed by boat. The lake is open to recreational use—the most popular being boating. There are a few marinas but only some have boat launch access for private vessels; some launches are forced to close when the water level is low. Lots of ski boats are available for rent from different companies, but none of them are modified. However, there are companies that rent pontoon and deck cruiser boats, which may be accessible enough for some. Assistance onto docks and boats is available at Antelope Point Marina through Aramark. To arrange call 928.645.1030.
The Aramark, park concessionaire, also offers accessible boat tours daily to Rainbow Bridge—a national monument. It lasts eight hours and includes lunch. Those of us needing accessibility need to make advanced reservations. Tours to Rainbow Bridge are only possible when the water level is high enough. Another tour is offered through Antelope Canyon, miles and miles of narrow canyon walls but is much shorter than the Rainbow Bridge Tour.
Restaurants, Bathrooms + Gasoline
A few restaurants currently serve a variety of food on Lake Powell, including the Anasazi Restaurant aka Bullfrog, Canyon Coffee, Driftwood Lounge, Rainbow Room, Latitude 37, and Wahweap Grille. Antelope Point Marina has a restaurant that is accessible by boat, and this particular marina is uniquely owned by a Native American community.
Lake Powell is really spread out, so take advance of modern convinces when available, like restrooms and gasoline. Restrooms at marinas are generally accessible but you will also find the occasional single, floating accessible restrooms on Lake Powell. It’s a good idea to not be cheap on gasoline or you may get stranded. If you see a fueling station then fill up. There could be three to four hours in between fuel stations. Always keep a close watch on the fuel tank. Dangling Rope Marina is only accessible by boat and has fueling.
For the ultimate leisure lake experience, rent an accessible houseboat for a few days. A few concessionaires have a houseboat for rent; some more accessible than others and they are located at different marinas. Antelope Marina has an accessible houseboat with an elevator to the roof.
At both the Bullfrog and Wahweap Marina there are two accessible houseboats, the 53’ Adventure and 59’ Discovery—all with widened door frames. These houseboats sleep ten to twelve people, including the top deck which is not accessible. Ramps to board the houseboats as well as a lift or hoist to lower people into the water are on all four vessels.
Controls to drive the boat are located on the lower level and at least one bedroom on the accessible lower level. On the 59’ Discovery, the bed height measures 24.5” from the floor to the top of the mattress. On all vessels there is also one accessible bathroom with a roll-in shower, hand-held shower nozzle, roll-up sink and grab-bars. However, only some have modified kitchens with such amenities like lowered cabinets and countertops and a roll-up sink, so be sure to specify your needs.