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Visiting Rainbow Canyon in Lake Powell

Lake Powell is one of the most captivating landscapes in the United States. The lake itself is in the heart of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area located between Utah and Arizona. There are many iconic landmarks to visit on the lake including stunning vista points and slot canyons. Deep inside of Lake Powell is a National Monument that is worth a visit. Here is everything you need to know when visiting the Rainbow Bridge Monument in Lake Powell.

Check out the complete Lake Powell Travel Guide for everything you want to know and see when planning your trip.

Woman in red top and black shorts standing on top of a rock overlooking the valley of the Rainbow Bridge National Monument and stone arch in Lake Powell


This National Monument is not easy to get to and access is very limited. This area is best accessible by boat although it is possible to reach it by land with a 14_ mile trail from Navajo Nation.

Most people will access this area as a day stop via private or rental boats when already on an extended adventure to Lake Powell. However, there are tour boats that leave from some of the larger marinas like Wahweap, Antelope Point, Bullfrog, or Halls Crossing.

There is a large dock and entranceway when you arrive however due to the lower than normal water levels in Lake Powell, the dock is no longer accessible.

At higher water levels, the hike to the Rainbow Bridge is relatively easy and short. At lower water levels the hike is longer and you may have to trek through mud.

aerial map view of lake powell and rainbow bridge national monument


The Rainbow Bridge is one of the world’s largest natural stone bridges and holds a strong cultural and historical significance to the Native American Tribes who lived in this sacred land.

The Bridge stands nearly 300 feet in the air and spans 275 across with natural carved stone beneath the arch showing the remnants of what was once filled with water.

reflections of stone seen in calm waters surrounded by steep orange red rock in lake powell


The Rainbow Bridge is 1.3 mile trail taking you through dried up and water filled riverbeds in between towering red rock walls. You will see desert landscapes and wildlife including mountain goats exploring the area.

dry river bed of exposed rock underneath a large stone arch at Lake Powell


Be sure to pack in and pack out everything you bring. This area is relatively desolate and there are no facilities so be sure to bring good hiking shoes and clothing, sunscreen, and plenty of water and food for your adventure.

This is a good short to half day location so you will most likely be moving on elsewhere before or after your visit.

Aerial view of the serpentine shaped waterways at Reflection Canyon in Lake Powell

One of the best and most picturesque areas of Lake Powell, Reflection Canyon, is just across the channel from here and is definitely a place to explore when visiting Rainbow Bridge. Check out the complete Lake Powell Travel Guide for everything you want to know and see when planning your trip.


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