Lake Powell and Rainbow Bridge, Utah – Warm Thoughts on a Cold Day

Posting this in N.J. on a windy, cold day (wind chill: zero F  (-18 C))  brings these warmer images to mind, part of a southwest (U.S.) vacation some time ago when we rented a small boat and explored a number of the 190 spectacular winding sandstone canyons of  (man-made) Lake Powell, and swam in it’s deep blue waters.

83.004     8-8-95     Lake Powell, UT-AZ., Holly, Steve, Noodle in lake
The “noodle” was a good idea as the waters are over 500′ (152m) deep in places.


The entrance to Forbiding Canyon is some 60 statute miles (96 km) east of Wahweap Marina.  About five incredibly beautiful miles further, are the Rainbow Bridge boat docks.

83.013     8-8-95      Lake Powell, UT-AZ., Boat docks ar Rainbow Arch Marina
Small boats and houseboats provide the only reasonable access to Rainbow Bridge.


Just after approaching between towering cliffs, the natural sandstone arch, which IS Rainbow Bridge, can be seen here to the left.

83.009     8-8-95     Lake Powell, UT-AZ., Approaching Rainbow Arch
 Rainbow Bridge, 580′ (177m high, is one of the worlds largest natural  arches, basically inaccessible by car.


Once docked, there is a short but warm hike to the arch.

1995.08.08      090  S.W. Vac. Lake Powell, Utah, On short trail to Impressive Rainbow Bridge


Below: It’s awesome. Only after the Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1963, and the Colorado River flooded, was Rainbow Bridge accessible for most.

83.011     8-8-95     Lake Powell, UT-AZ., Rainbow Arch
Rainbow Bridge
1995.08.08      094  S.W. Vac. Lake Powell, Utah, Boat at Rainbow Bridge Dock and marina
our rental boat in the Rainbow Bridge dockage-area marina around 12 noon


Back in the boat, we headed out and had lunch in narrow seclusion among towering formations, affording shade from the hot sun.

83.018     8-8-95     Lake Powell, UT-AZ., The very hot sun, star filter, over rocks


Although we would boat about 140 miles round trip today (225 km,) we never tired of the remarkable scenery, allowing stops for exploring and swimming. 

1995.08.08      102  S.W. Vac. Lake Powell, Utah,

83.019     8-8-95     Lake Powell, UT-AZ., Holly and Steve swimming


House boats and other watercraft rentals are available throughout most of the year on Lake Powell, the “reservoir” located mostly just above the Arizona State line, as seen in the satelite photo and maps below.

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 11.34.06 PM
Forbidding Canyon. The main lake is above this section, out of the picture above; and Rainbow Bridge would be just out of the picture, below the dockage area at the lower right. This image is about 2.5 miles (4 km) wide.


Below, Lake Powell, from Google Maps. Wahweap to the left, Rainbow Bridge to the right.

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 11.18.17 AM

Thanks for viewing, and as usual comments are always welcome. M 🙂

4 thoughts on “Lake Powell and Rainbow Bridge, Utah – Warm Thoughts on a Cold Day

  1. That is an awesome arch . . . and I did not think about boat rentals when we drove through the area. Then again, I know little about boats.

    Those walls look impressive from the surrounding areas (them that can be seen), but seem much more so from water-level.

    1. Boating slowely thru the narrow conyons is sureal, not to mention being wary of others. We’d consider another trip there, and the idea of spending a few overnights in (or on top of) a house boat – on a starry clear night…would certainly be interesting. Thanks for your comment. M 🙂

  2. Great shots, my friend. I like the way your site is set up. I appreciate the comment on my, Just another day at the Feeder. I’m about to dive into Chapter 2 of “War and Peace.”

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