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Boat-In Hike to Rainbow Bridge

Lake Powell, Utah



1.5 miles

Route Type



Added by Austin Jackson

Take this short hike to one of the largest natural bridges in the world.

If you need to rent a boat for this adventure, you can rent one from Lake Powell Resorts and Marina.

The canyon leading into the Rainbow Bridge is located between mile markers 49-50. This is almost exactly halfway between Page and Bullfrog, making this a great trip from either marina. Plan on around a 2 hour boat ride to get to this canyon. This is one of the busier areas on the lake since you can reach it from either marina, so plan accordingly. If possible, go early in the morning or later in the evening. Both Wahweap and Bullfrog Marina do rental boats. A power boat is best for this adventure.

As I mentioned before, the canyon in which the bridge is in, named Forbidding Canyon, is located between mile markers 49-50. If you are coming from Bullfrog (driving south on the lake), the canyon will be on your left. If you are coming from Wahweap Marina, Forbidding Canyon will be on your right. Once you enter the canyon, there are plenty of signs directing you to the start of the Rainbow Bridge hike. As a general rule of thumb incase you miss a sign, you always want to be on the eastern most arm of the canyon.

Eventually, after following all of the signs and going through the no wake zone, you will reach a dock with restrooms and places to tie off your boat. You will want to tie off your boat here. 

Once you've tied off your boat, it's time to throw on some good walking shoes and start walking down the dock, deeper into the canyon. You will walk around a few corners on the dock prior to reaching the arch. Finally, the dock will end and you will begin walking on a trail. Once you reach the trail, you will be able to see the Rainbow Bridge. There are a few benches that you can sit on and observe one of the most beautiful sites on the whole lake, or you can even keep hiking and get closer. Please remember that this bridge is a sacred site for many Native Americans, and that it should be treated with respect. Once you are done taking photos and taking in all of it's beauty, you can head back the way you came.

Regardless of which marina you came from, you will likely need more gas to get back to where you came from. This is a great opportunity to visit Dangling Rope Marina, which is only accessible via boat. This marina is located at mile marker 40, so if you are going to Wahweap, it is on your way back. If you are going back to Bullfrog, it is a little out of the way, but seeing the marina and the extra few miles of the lake is totally worth it!

As always, leave no trace so those that come after you can enjoy these amazing places! 

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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