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Adrift In The Desert A Houseboat Vacation On Lake Powell There Is Plenty Of Room On This Man-Made Lake To Enjoy The Full Range Of Water Activities; So Much Room That Living On The Lake Itself Is A Popular Option

This sidebar appeared with the story: IF YOU GO What it costs: Houseboating is a relatively expensive vacation, especially since you shouldn’t fill the boat to the recommended capacity. Our 50-footer was supposed to accommodate 12, but I can’t imagine comfortably fitting any more than the eight humans and one dog in our party. Our boat cost $1,128 for three days; on top of that we had to pay more than $100 for gas. The boats get about a mile to the gallon. We went about 50 miles in three days. Standard houseboats at Lake Powell come in 36-, 44- and 50-foot lengths. The 36-foot model sleeps six and costs $675 for three days, $900 for four days and $1,241 for a week. A 50-foot standard model sleeps up to 12 and costs $1,128 for three days, $1,504 for four days and $1,998 for seven days. There are deluxe houseboats in 50-, 56- and 59-foot lengths. They include TV/VCRs, microwave ovens and top-deck canopy, as well as such standard-model accouterments as gas grill, shower and toilet, stove and refrigerator. The 50-foot deluxe model sleeps 12 and costs $1,405 for three days, $1,875 for four days and $2,500 for a week. The 59-foot model sleeps 10 and costs $1,965 for three days, $2,620 for four days and $3,495 for a week. For all boats, there are off-season discounts. From Nov. 1 to March 31, most marinas reduce prices by 40 percent; in April and October, there is a 25 percent discount on the prices listed here. When to go: Houseboats are booked months in advance for the high season (May through September), but you can try your luck with cancellations. Also, you should consider going during April or October. Not only are the prices discounted, but the average high temperatures are in the 70s. When we went in mid-July, it was very comfortable on board the boat but too hot to do much ashore, including much hiking. For more information on houseboating: Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas, P.O. Box 56909, Phoenix AZ 85079; (800) 528-6154 or (602) 278-8888. For general information about the area: National Park Service, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, P.O. Box 1507, Page AZ 86040. Other sights: While you’re in the neighborhood of Lake Powell, there are many surrounding wonders worth checking out. The lake is in the middle of what is called the Grand Circle of national and state parks, including Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park.

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