Paddle Lake Powell: Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Antelope Canyon
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Lake Powell is frequently listed as one of the best places in the world for stand up paddle boarding (SUP), and for good reason, the topography of this place is almost unreal. I felt like I was on another planet most days. Lake Powell has more coast line than the state of California and more canyons than one person could explore in a lifetime. Here are a few tips to paddling one of the most popular - Antelope Canyon.
Where To Stay
The closest town to Lake Powell is Page, so this was our home base for all Lake Powell adventures. I'd researched paddle board rental options in Page, but opted to bring my own inflatable paddle board (iSUP). If you don’t bring your own board, head over to Lake Powell Paddleboards in Page for rentals and SUP tours. We had an up lake paddle board boat tour scheduled, but sadly, had to cancel the tour the night before and were unable to arrange an alternate date. I'd still highly recommend Lake Powell Paddleboards for any rentals, tours or SUP information. We checked in the day we arrived in Page and they provided us with maps of Lake Powell and everything we needed to know about the best launch points.
Where To Paddle
Antelope Canyon is a major attraction in Page and most people tour the canyon by land with Navajo guides, but it can also be accessed from Lake Powell. Antelope Point Marina is a short drive from Page and the perfect launch point to paddle Antelope Canyon. There is a small park entry fee of $25, which is good for 7 days and can be used at other Lake Powell marinas and beaches. After paying the park fee, proceed straight ahead to the Antelope Point launch ramp instead of the marina. You can drive right up to the water, unload your paddle board and drive back up the ramp to the parking lot.
Antelope Canyon is about a mile paddle south of the launch ramp. Stay on the left side of the lake and you will see the opening to Antelope Canyon - just follow the kayaks and boat tours! This is when you catch a glimpse into how incredible Lake Powell is to paddle - the canyon coast line is breathtaking!
Once you enter the canyon, it’s about a 2 mile paddle back to the 2 mile hiking trail into the canyon. Just park your paddle board on the beach and put on your hiking shoes!
Pack a dry bag: This paddle and hike took us about 5 hours including plenty of time for hiking and photo shoot stops along the way. The desert sun is hot, so be sure to hydrate!
Check the weather: We had a nice, relaxing paddle into the canyon, but encountered some fierce winds almost the entire 3 miles back to the launch ramp. Start early in the morning to avoid afternoon winds. We were told by the locals that winds tend to be strongest in the Spring and Fall.
Enjoy the peace: I was certain the canyon would be crowded with tour boats, kayaks and other paddle boarders, but it was incredibly peaceful. There is no wake allowed in the canyon and the boats don’t stop at the hiking trail. We only passed two other hiking groups on the trails and it still felt like we had the place to ourselves!
Lone Rock Beach
Lone Rock Beach is on the Utah side of Lake Powell. It’s beautiful with a sandstone coastline and easy access to Lone Rock Canyon. We had planned to paddle here on our last day of the trip, but Mother Nature has a different idea - the winds were crazy strong, so we had to settle for the beach view. I’d recommend adding Lone Rock Canyon to your Lake Powell paddle wish list. You can drive right up to the beach and easily launch your boards. It seemed many cars were camped out at the lot, which I believe it an extra fee.
While You're There
Page has a few other attractions around town for those non-paddle days!
Horseshoe Bend was beyond my expectations and although the pictures are amazing, it's still more amazing in person. The Horseshoe Bend parking lot and trail are located about 5 miles south of Page. The trail to the observation area is about a mile and doesn't have much shade, so bring a bottle of water for the hike. Horseshoe Bend has become a very popular attraction, but don't let that stop you from visiting this amazing area! The observation area is wide and we even found a quiet little nook to sit and listen to the sounds of nature.
If you are looking for a good breakfast restaurant while in Page, look no further than Ranch House Grille - it's amazing! We also liked El Tapatio, Blue Buddha Sushi Lounge and Big John's Texas BBQ for dinner. Also, after all the paddling, treat yourself to a massage at Lake Powell Massage & Spa Boutique. They were amazing and even stayed late one day to squeeze a few massages in for us.
Lake Powell definitely deserves to be on all the best SUP destination lists! Pictures can't capture the uniqueness of this place. It's a gentle reminder of how beautiful our country is and there are plenty of beautiful places to paddle and explore!