Lake Powell is not only my all-time favorite boating destination, but it’s also home to the world’s largest known natural bridge: Rainbow Bridge. This rainbow turned to stone dominates the landscape within Bridge Canyon as it stands at 290 feet above the canyon floor — which is almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty — and should you find yourself in need of a break from wakeboarding, waterskiing, or swimming, this afternoon adventure is definitely worth your time.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Cody and I do not own a boat (yet), however I wasn’t about to take him all the way to Lake Powell without getting out on the lake to have a little fun. I turned to our home base at the Lake Powell Resort to reserve a one-of-a-kind excursion to one of the most unique features within Lake Powell: Rainbow Bridge.
The Rainbow Bridge Boat Tour takes you on an incredible 50-mile journey along Lake Powell. You’ll cruise by dominant vertical cliffs rising high up out of the water, view long stretches of remote beaches, wave at all of the friendly boaters who wave back as they pass, and snake your way through the vast system of canyons that create the lake known as Lake Powell. (Fun fact: Lake Powell isn’t actually a lake. It’s one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the U.S. thanks to Glen Canyon Dam).
We actually cruised through this extremely narrow passage on our way to Rainbow Bridge
And nestled into one of those discreet side canyons is that famous sandstone Rainbow withstanding time. After a morning of cruising the lake, we arrived at the Rainbow Bridge boat dock shortly after 10:30. The 1.25-mile hike (roundtrip) is mostly flat and not too strenuous (even in the hot August heat), however, you’ll want to make sure to bring your hat, a bottle or two of water, and your camera.
Rainbow Bridge is a sacred site to local Native American tribes so keep that in mind when you’re visiting. Swimming below the arch is prohibited, however, the water levels haven’t been that high since wayyyyyy back in the ’90s, so the only “swimming” you’ll do is in the hot desert sand. There is a viewing area right below the arch for close-up photo opportunities, and if you’re feeling lucky, you should look for the ancient dinosaur footprint found near the arch.
On this eight-hour tour you’ll see a good portion of the lake and you’ll also have the chance to learn about its history by borrowing one of the individual audio headsets (we brought along our own ear buds to plug into the audio player). You’ll want to bring lunch and snacks and are free to bring along your favorite adult beverage to keep yourself hydrated. And after you’re through with the history lesson, I would recommend throwing on some tunes and jamming to some Def Leppard. Because a trip to Lake Powell would be incomplete otherwise. 😉
Look close and you’ll see Rainbow Bridge behind me
So what do you say… Are you up for a hike?