Lake Powell Is RV-Friendly

Fishing, Touring, Boating

By Margie Anderson

Nearly three million people visit the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area every year, and while Lake Powell is the main attraction, there are also plenty of other beautiful places to visit nearby, including the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and Zion National Park.

Lake Powell is one of the most scenic lakes in the state, with gorgeous canyons and awesome rock formations, and even with the water level down, the lake is absolutely huge with hundreds of nooks and crannies to explore.

There are plenty of great spots to park your RV around Lake Powell. At the Page/Lake Powell Campground (849 S. Coppermine Rd., 928-645-3374) rates are $29 for full hook-up with cable, $27 without cable, and $20.44 for electricity and water only.

Wahweap Campground (100 Lake Shore Dr. 928-645-1004) is $30 for a full hook-up (no cable) and $19 for a space only. Find more information at http://www.travelwest.net/parks/lakepowell/campgrounds.html.

And, The Fishing

Powell has a reputation for some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the state. In addition to smallmouth, Lake Powell has largemouth bass, walleye, catfish, crappie, sunfish, and huge stripers.

Thereís something for everyone. To fish Powell, you need a special stamp for your Arizona fishing license because the lake is in Utah also. Licenses and stamps are available at the marinas and in local towns.

Check with the license dealer for regulations, information about protected fish, and limits.

The best months for walleye are April and May. Bring your spinning gear and an assortment of spinners, small crankbaits (deep-divers) and small jigs.

Nightcrawlers are good bait for walleye. Stripers hit topwater lures during the hot months, and the rest of the time you can find them all over the place in large schools. Frozen anchovies are popular striper baits, but when they are hitting surface lures, try a big Zara Spook or a large popper.

You will need a fairly stout rod for striper fishing Ė a medium-heavy 6-foot-plus baitcaster works well.

Most bass fishermen at Lake Powell focus on structure for big largemouths and smallmouth. In the spring and fall, though, the fish come up shallow off and on during the day.

So bring your usual bass stuff Ė spinnerbaits and crankbaits to find the active ones, and an assortment of spider jigs and worms for fishing the structure. Double-hooked worms like Westys and Wired Worms are killer, and split-shotting is one skill that may come in very handy for you at Powell.

Try split-shotting a grub (bluegill-colored) when the bite gets tough. Donít be afraid to drop a lure along canyon walls, even in 80 feet of water.

Smallmouth and largemouth will grab the lures as they fall past, and youíll be amazed at where youíll catch fish. Powell is huge, and the fishing varies around the lake, so donít be afraid to ask about the bite at the marina or tackle shop.

There is no way youíll be able to fish the whole lake in one trip, so concentrate on one area and cover it well. Decide what kind of fish you want to go after and ask around.

Some of the very best baits for Lake Powell are made by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, and the company is located in Page. Be sure to visit Stix Bait and Tackle in Page for fishing information as well as licenses and baits.

Mike Stickler always knows whatís going on a Powell, and he can tell you what theyíre biting no matter what kind of fish you want to catch. Call Stix at (928) 645-2891 for directions and info.

Planning For Your Powell Experience

If you have access to the Internet, there are a couple of really good Web sites for Lake Powell that will help you plan your trip. One is www.local-yokel.com.

This site has a ton of information about the Lake Powell area, with links to guides, marinas, hotels, etc. And, the site at www.page-lakepowell.com is a good one, too.

A visit to Lake Powell can be a simple day trip for fishing, or you could spend weeks there in your RV, exploring canyons and the surrounding desert. There is so much to see and do around Lake Powell that you really should do your homework before you get there.

Fees for entrance to the lake and launching vary, but for a personal vehicle youíll pay $10, which is good for a week. Boating is $16 for a week.

You can also rent fishing boats and houseboats at the lake. Go to http://www.nps.gov/glca/pphtml/fees.html for details on fees.

The National Park Service website at http://www.nps.gov/glca/pphtml/planyourvisit.html is also a good place to visit for information on the lake area, including other national parks that are nearby.

Centers, Other Resources Can Help

A stop at the visitorsí center on the way in is a good idea. Carl Hayden Visitor Center is at Glen Canyon Dam, a couple of miles north of Page on Highway 89.

You can get a free brochure there that includes a pretty good map of the area. They are open every day except Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Years Day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with longer hours in summer.

Their number is (928) 608-6404. Call ahead of time to get the schedule for taking a 45-minute tour of the dam; itís fascinating, and itís also free.

Go a little early so youíll have time to browse the gift shop and look at all the displays in the lobby. They have great stuff there, and you can learn all about the history of the lake and the dam.

Bullfrog Visitor Center is on highway 276 on the way to the lake if youíre coming from the north. Itís located at Bullfrog Marina in Utah, and you can call them at (435) 684-7423.

For general information about the Lake Powell area, you can write to the National Park Service, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, P.O. Box 1507, Page, AZ 86040. For information about lodging and houseboats, write to Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas, Box 56909, Phoenix, AZ 85079.

For information about services and facilities in Page, contact the Page-Lake Powell Chamber of Commerce, Box 727, Page, AZ 86040.