Guide to camping at Lake Powell [Part 2]: No Boats Needed

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YOU DON’T NEED A BOAT TO ENJOY A GETAWAY TO THESE WARM WATERS. HERE ARE SOME RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CAR CAMPING SITES AT LAKE POWELL.

By Brian Edmiston

Best Beach Camping

These areas have graduated shorelines and shallow waters, perfect for wading with small children.

1. HALL’S CROSSING

A 25-minute ferry ride connecting southern and northern sides of Utah Hwy 276 at Hall’s Crossing Marina and Bullfrog Marina. The ferry accommodates cars, trucks, RVs and trailers. UPDATE: The ferry is currently closed for upgrades. To check the current status fo the ferry, visit the UDOT website.

At the marina, you’ll find a convenience store with a laundry and showers, boat slips and RV camping nearby.

2. BULLFROG MARINA

A houseboat, power boat and water toy rental destination with a restaurant, gift shop and grocery store. The two campground areas are a mile from the water, but offer expansive views, tent camping and RV hook ups, charcoal grills and restrooms with showers.   

COVID update: The Marina is open.

Bullfrog Marina at Lake Powell from above.
Bullfrog Marina at Lake Powell from above.

3. STANTON CREEK CAMPGROUND

A large and sprawling campground area managed by the National Park Service and is a good introduction to finding car camping sites at Lake Powell.; cell phone service, easy access, vault toilets, but no running water. You’ll find “primitive camping” with no designated spots or fire pits, but many flat, sandy campsites ideal for setting up tents and tables. Cars can navigate most dirt roads in this area, though some roads require 4WD. Boat trailers can be left in a parking lot at the campsite entrance. Though it is near Lake Powell’s main channel (ie: heavy motor traffic during busy seasons), the area has small coves and inlets perfect for SUPs and kayaks. 

4. HITE AREA “BACKCOUNTRY” CAMPING

Find a good car camping sites at Lake Powell near the Hite, Blue Notch and Stanton Creek areas.
Some shorelines are rocky, some are smooth, but they are ALL beautiful.

The BLM Ranger Station here is your outpost for nearby backcountry camping, with emergency services, public restrooms and visitor info about the region’s 4WD trails, backpacking, canyoneering, and mountain biking. To gain perspective on the impact of drought in the West, check out the concrete boat ramps here that no longer lead to water. Note: this station is NOT staffed every day. The water can run low up Hite Canyon inlet, so be aware.

5. WHITE CANYON  
6. FARLEY CANYON 
7. BLUE NOTCH

Crystal blue water of Lake Powell. Find a good car camping sites at Lake Powell and dive in.

These areas are easy to find near Hite – off of Utah Hwy 95 – but getting there requires a high clearance vehicle, though not necessarily 4WD. This is backcountry camping without cell service or amenities, so pack accordingly and consider the ramifications of being miles from emergency help. There are no toilets or running water. So you will need to pack out your waste (BYO camp toilet). And bring more drinking water than you think you will need.

Roughing it has its advantages – these NFS managed areas offer dispersed car camping sites at Lake Powell. The more you get out there, the more peaceful, quiet beaches you’ll find. Explore the canyons and inlets by SUP or Kayak. Or fish and take in the views of surrounding rock formations.

Young girl catches huge striped bass. Find a good car camping site at Lake Powell and catch fish.
Brian’s daughter catches A HUGE striped bass.

FIELD SERVICES AND COVID UPDATES

The Hall’s Crossing Ferry is closed until further notice for upgrades, but the Hall’s Crossing and Bullfrog campgrounds are open! More information about National Park Service Coronavirus precautions.

Hall’s Crossing National Park https://www.nps.gov/media/webcam/view.htm?id=81B46791-1DD8-B71B-0B76A0821FFD678EService (NPS): (435) 684-7460

Bullfrog Marina NPS Office: (435) 684-7400

Hite NPS Ranger Station: (435) 684-2457

For a more on the history of Lake Powell, gear and packing recommendations for camping with kids and weather, check out the “Guide to Camping at Lake Powell [Part 1].”

Up next: [Part 3] “How to camp Lake Powell with a Boat.”

About Brian Edmiston

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