Beach Bag mess

The Oracle

Active Member
I also always respect your writing JFR. Thank you. Consider this. Within reason, an object is an object independent of whether it is a chair, tent, cooler, beach bag, my mother-in-law, etc. BUUUUTTTT...none of those objects (or their respective facsimiles) should be there more than 14 days in a 30 consecutive day period. That's the Federal law that apparently isn't being enforced. Those (any) bags need to be removed inside of the 14 day period and the are left vacant of bags for at least 16 days before being "bagged" again. Plain and simple. I t-h-i-n-k that's where the abuse is coming into play. These bags are ultimately being utilized in a given location for more than 14 days out of a consecutive 30 days. That is absolutely unfair and abusive. It seems the NPS didn't think this pilot program through very well.
 

BartsPlace

Moderator
Staff member
I have always respected the chairs, coolers, etc., and moved on. However, my good nature has limits. If I come by a day or two later and there still has been no obvious change/activity, I'd strongly consider moving those items to one side and using the spot. In my (perhaps feeble) mind, that type of reservation is good for hours - not days.
 

Havalina

Escalante-Class Member
I have always respected the chairs, coolers, etc., and moved on. However, my good nature has limits. If I come by a day or two later and there still has been no obvious change/activity, I'd strongly consider moving those items to one side and using the spot. In my (perhaps feeble) mind, that type of reservation is good for hours - not days.
Please just check for foot traffic and use. I set up camp and then leave at daylight and stroll in at sunset or later. There are a lot of good perspectives in this thread. I really don’t like the whole concierge service for the bags. It falls into place with the entire glamping scene. The Colorado trail has been ruined because of it and the llamas. It just feels like if you don’t put some effort in to it. You loose respect for it. Whether you want to drain the lake or fill it, we all love the Glen Canyon rec area. The pinning and drilling holes regardless if they are filled at a later date is desecrating the land. I don’t see a difference between that and carving you initials in the sandstone.
 

Brent

Well-Known Member
We are at Powell this week. We saw about 3 or 4 houseboats in the padre Bay Area using them. One was right across the inlet from us. Houseboat left this morning and the beach bag crew was there about an hour or so later taking the bags away. They were very quick! I literally saw them come and start draining. I went downstairs to turn on the generator and heat my cup of coffee and when I came back up they were all gone.

We also had a huge storm come through while they were here and the houseboat did not move. It wasn’t the best beach and was facing padre bay with a bad long fetch.
 

Tiff Mapel

Well-Known Member
We were only in Gunsight for our recent Trash Tracker trip, and we saw two sites that had Beach Bags. Both were occupied. We heard the Beach Bags crew on Channel 16 frequently checking in with their clients. Sounds like they've got a handle on things.

Tiff
 

nzaugg

Well-Known Member
so they pin to anchor the bags so they don't have to pin to anchor the houseboats?
My understanding is that the pins are only temporary until they can show that the bags will not jeopardize the boat anchorage and that in future years there will be no pinning of bags. They are relying on the bags to anchor now, but some people wanted an extra safety measure since they were concerned about the bags sliding and causing excessive slack on the lines so they limited the potential with a tether and pin. If they can demonstrate the the bags don't slide then they will no longer pin the bags, relying only on the bags. This is also why they have had some dedicated spots for bags so they don't have to put up too many pins. The end objective is to have no more pins on the lake at all.
 

scubatim

Well-Known Member
We are here at Powell this week. We scouted around padre bay. Saw about 2 or 3 house boats with beach bags. No empty bags to report. Quite a few houseboats still pinning. Saw pinned houseboats in cookie jar, face and some parts in padre bay. Haven’t seen any park rangers on this trip at all so far.
Did you happen to check if they filled the holes after they left?? A few pics might get the Rangers attention????
 

JFRCalifornia

Escalante-Class Member
I wonder if the NPS or Aramark has ever tried to inventory the number of viable houseboat sites on the lake. Doubt that they have, especially because the number of sites changes greatly as lake goes up or down, so any inventory is almost outdated as soon as you complete it. That said, I've actually taken a preliminary stab at that exercise, in the sense that I've put together a narrative and maps (unpublished) of where all the possible sites are in each canyon at different lake levels, but it's only somewhat useful, because even a 5-foot rise or drop can make a formerly great site impossible in some cases. Although the number seems almost limitless in places like Padre Bay, once you get north of there, and certainly past Rock Creek Bay, it's almost possible to count them, and there's not as many as you might think.

I bring this up because in the Beach Bag campaign, the presumption is that at lower lake levels, there are fewer available sites for large boats that don't otherwise require pinning. That may be true (although some new beaches are created at low levels), but it would be interesting to compare the houseboat capacity of the lake (and the Padre/Gunsight area in particular) at, say 3600 and 3530, and see what kind of capacity is actually gained by the Beach Bag program as a response to lower lake levels. My point here is that if it's not a substantial difference (although it may be), then the Beach Bag program is solving a "problem" that doesn't really exist, with the prime beneficiary being Beach Bags itself, as well as a few behemoth-sized boats that otherwise might have some difficulty finding a spot. This would speak to the necessity (if there is one) of the program.

I think I found another good research project for someone.
 

nzaugg

Well-Known Member
I always thought it was funny on the Stan Jones map that there are a number of markers for good houseboat sites. I have never even attempted to try a spot listed. With these low water levels there are people parking in spots I didn't even fathom could exist before. Last year, we as people parked in the channel across from Tapestry Wall on a big broad beach.
 

Jackalope

Well-Known Member
I just got back from my 2 weeks out ... I did not see, nor was a really looking for bags. However I did notice that there was a lot less boat traffic south lake. I heard a few of the shops saying that "things are slow".
 

VikingRanch

Active Member
I just got back from my 2 weeks out ... I did not see, nor was a really looking for bags. However I did notice that there was a lot less boat traffic south lake. I heard a few of the shops saying that "things are slow".
Our boat is still out of commission, so we did a driving trip up to Silverton area. Much quieter than expected, we ended up doing more off road passes than we’d planned, and got to camp in a spot the outfitters have usually claimed. Not sure if it’s gas prices or just the wave of outdoors breaking after covid
 
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