Bull Frog to Wahweap - Recommendations

We love the North end tremendously but due to lack of commitment to keeping up with the lake levels and, more importantly, the need to get some up keep done on the boat we are headed to dry dock in Page. Unfortunately we will have to give up our buoy in Bull Frog but with hopes of returning to the North side again down the road. As Phoenix residents, the drive to Bull Frog is a long one but we sure do love it once we get there, you don't have a zoo to contend with like you do on the South end. However, when the HB needs some work done to it (that I want to do myself) I will need resources that the Bull Frog area does not have but Page does. In talking to many people, it appears there is much more commitment to keeping the launch ramp going at Stateline as the lake drops, than anywhere else so that is another reason for the change.

That being said, we are going to have our last trip on the North end 10/1-10/5, then take it to the South side over the course of 3-4 days. My hope it to enjoy the the 100 mile trip and take all the beauty in as we go. It will be a priority to fish a few hours every morning and evening, as well as see any "must see" sites on the way down. This will be a first time for me, taking the 59' HB with a Champion Bass Boat in tow, from the North to South. I have two 4-stroke Mercury 115 outboards that do well on fuel so I am hopeful that 300 gallons will be way more than enough to manage drive time and generator time (A/C at night if needed). My plan is to just stay tight to the buoys all the way down.

Anybody made that trip before, especially recently with the lower lake levels? If you have any helpful tips or recommendations, please let me know. Also, any "must see" stops to check out on the way down.

Thanks,
Jason
 

Dangling Dooley

Active Member
I love Powell in October. I'm definitely jealous. As I'm sure you know, you wont see many boats (if any) at a certain point. definitely bring a PLB/SAT device because It's the wild west out there now, especially in the Fall/Winter months (After Labor Day). I also always have Classic Air Medical's emergency number saved on my phone as well. 1(800)444-9220.

I would also download the Avenza Maps App and then buy the Glen Canyon Maps if you haven't already. It'll show your GPS location offline on the map so you can stay towards the middle of the channel/canyons. Also I would take note of any rocks along the way via SentinelPlayground. I take a look at my route and then screenshot any rocks I see and jot them down on my Avenza Map.

I do not have any up-to-date recommendations at this lake level because I haven't been passed Dangling Rope since 2018. But I'm sure someone will chime in here and tell you all the cool/great fishing spots. I think great beaches always exist regardless of water elevation around the Rincon, San Juan Mouth, Oak Bay (Marker 51), Dungeon, Rock Creek Bay, Friendship, West, Padre Bay, and Warm Creek Bay. Rock Creek Bay and Dry Rock Creek are a personal favorite of mine for houseboat camping, just be careful of rocks and sandbars. It's quite the mine field in there nowadays.

Take plenty of photos and notes and post them on here about your journey and tell us what the shorelines look like from the Escalante to Rock Creek. I'll be kayaking a majority of the lake later in October for 2-ish weeks with some friends and would love to get an idea of where the best beaches are.

Cheers ☕
 

Moe Jones

Active Member
We love the North end tremendously but due to lack of commitment to keeping up with the lake levels and, more importantly, the need to get some up keep done on the boat we are headed to dry dock in Page. Unfortunately we will have to give up our buoy in Bull Frog but with hopes of returning to the North side again down the road. As Phoenix residents, the drive to Bull Frog is a long one but we sure do love it once we get there, you don't have a zoo to contend with like you do on the South end. However, when the HB needs some work done to it (that I want to do myself) I will need resources that the Bull Frog area does not have but Page does. In talking to many people, it appears there is much more commitment to keeping the launch ramp going at Stateline as the lake drops, than anywhere else so that is another reason for the change.

That being said, we are going to have our last trip on the North end 10/1-10/5, then take it to the South side over the course of 3-4 days. My hope it to enjoy the the 100 mile trip and take all the beauty in as we go. It will be a priority to fish a few hours every morning and evening, as well as see any "must see" sites on the way down. This will be a first time for me, taking the 59' HB with a Champion Bass Boat in tow, from the North to South. I have two 4-stroke Mercury 115 outboards that do well on fuel so I am hopeful that 300 gallons will be way more than enough to manage drive time and generator time (A/C at night if needed). My plan is to just stay tight to the buoys all the way down.

Anybody made that trip before, especially recently with the lower lake levels? If you have any helpful tips or recommendations, please let me know. Also, any "must see" stops to check out on the way down.

Thanks,
Jason
We have been making the trip for several years, There is good camping along the way, make sure to use your GPS, as there are some buoys that were not where they are supposed to be located. Fishing in mid lake is some of the best you will encounter. We usually do the trip in a week to two week timeframe and will stay in a spot for a few and them move. 300 gallons of fuel is more than enough to do the 100 miles and a bunch of fishing. We did paint our boat this year in Page and have acquired a slip at Halls rather than the buoy field so we will be back on the water next spring as soon as we can launch. The lake is quiet in the spring and fall you will like it very much.
 

JFRCalifornia

Keeper of San Juan Secrets
That will be an awesome trip. As the others have said, the lake will be deserted more or less between the Escalante and Rock Creek, which is a little over 30 miles of solitude, for better or worse. Actually, I might even expand that to say Rincon to Rock Creek, so be prepared. I agree with the camping areas suggested by others.

This coming week I plan to make a run from Bullfrog to more or less Rainbow Bridge (and possibly a bit farther) and back, so will be able to report back in a week or so on the highlights along the way…
 

bk2drvr

Active Member
One area to navigate closely is the left turn (heading south of course) you will make at Rock Creek. There will be an island in your path and you have to go left or right around it. It’s shallow on both sides of the island and I nearly hit a rock shelf on the right side as I made the turn. I still think the right side is deeper than the left but man I thought I was going to hit ground and couldn’t maneuver quick enough so I just braced for impact. Luckily I didn’t hit. Sounds like a great trip, enjoy the journey.
 

kilojuliett

Active Member
We have done Wahweap to Good Hope Bay round trip three times in October. It is a great trip. I have twin 60 HP on a 53 footer and can do Wahweap to GHB and back down to Bullfrog without refueling. Keeping RPM's in econo range, which is 3600 for me. For current water levels I would recommend the Navionics app on a tablet with GPS. Download the LP map before you get out of internet range. Adjust lake level to current elevation using 3606 as baseline. Lots of times some of the buoys are not in position. But if you use Navionics as a main channel guide it will keep you out of trouble. NOAA weather radio can be your friend.
 
One area to navigate closely is the left turn (heading south of course) you will make at Rock Creek. There will be an island in your path and you have to go left or right around it. It’s shallow on both sides of the island and I nearly hit a rock shelf on the right side as I made the turn. I still think the right side is deeper than the left but man I thought I was going to hit ground and couldn’t maneuver quick enough so I just braced for impact. Luckily I didn’t hit. Sounds like a great trip, enjoy the journey.
Wow, BK2, that have must to been some serious "pucker factor" on that one. Luckily our Powell trip two years ago from Antelope was all the way to Rock Creek and I know exactly what you are talking about. It was a hairy situation two years ago so i can only guess how bad it must be now. I am wondering it that just might be the toughest area to navigate. We shall see!
 
We have done Wahweap to Good Hope Bay round trip three times in October. It is a great trip. I have twin 60 HP on a 53 footer and can do Wahweap to GHB and back down to Bullfrog without refueling. Keeping RPM's in econo range, which is 3600 for me. For current water levels I would recommend the Navionics app on a tablet with GPS. Download the LP map before you get out of internet range. Adjust lake level to current elevation using 3606 as baseline. Lots of times some of the buoys are not in position. But if you use Navionics as a main channel guide it will keep you out of trouble. NOAA weather radio can be your friend.
Phenomenal information Kilo! Thanks so much. Out of curiosity, over how many days to make that round trip?
 

kilojuliett

Active Member
Phenomenal information Kilo! Thanks so much. Out of curiosity, over how many days to make that round trip?
We take our time. It is a two week trip for us. One of my goals is to always get to the navigational ends of the Colorado, Escalante and San Juan. That is great fun for me. I also use the Lake Powell Lakemaster chip on Humminbird fishfinder GPS on the fish boat for canyon & river exploring, adjusted to current elevation. But the Navionics app is a bargain $ for the HB. One caveat about any lake elevation adjusted navigation program is that they are not accurate at the ends of rivers or canyons that have significant drainage into the lake. The programs do not account for all the silt that has entered the lake in the past 60 years. So especially the ends of Colorado, San Juan & Escalante but others as well. When you are in a place with hard rock walls and no drainage I am constantly amazed at how accurate the topography is.
 
I love Powell in October. I'm definitely jealous. As I'm sure you know, you wont see many boats (if any) at a certain point. definitely bring a PLB/SAT device because It's the wild west out there now, especially in the Fall/Winter months (After Labor Day). I also always have Classic Air Medical's emergency number saved on my phone as well. 1(800)444-9220.

I would also download the Avenza Maps App and then buy the Glen Canyon Maps if you haven't already. It'll show your GPS location offline on the map so you can stay towards the middle of the channel/canyons. Also I would take note of any rocks along the way via SentinelPlayground. I take a look at my route and then screenshot any rocks I see and jot them down on my Avenza Map.

I do not have any up-to-date recommendations at this lake level because I haven't been passed Dangling Rope since 2018. But I'm sure someone will chime in here and tell you all the cool/great fishing spots. I think great beaches always exist regardless of water elevation around the Rincon, San Juan Mouth, Oak Bay (Marker 51), Dungeon, Rock Creek Bay, Friendship, West, Padre Bay, and Warm Creek Bay. Rock Creek Bay and Dry Rock Creek are a personal favorite of mine for houseboat camping, just be careful of rocks and sandbars. It's quite the mine field in there nowadays.

Take plenty of photos and notes and post them on here about your journey and tell us what the shorelines look like from the Escalante to Rock Creek. I'll be kayaking a majority of the lake later in October for 2-ish weeks with some friends and would love to get an idea of where the best beaches are.

Cheers ☕

Are you still planning on hosting the trip for forum members? I'm thinking about paddling the lake in my surfski later this month or October - probably doing it solo but I'm always down to meet up with other paddlers for a beer.
 

Dangling Dooley

Active Member
Are you still planning on hosting the trip for forum members? I'm thinking about paddling the lake in my surfski later this month or October - probably doing it solo but I'm always down to meet up with other paddlers for a beer.
Wow, a surfski! How cool! If you are talking about the kayaking trip, then yes! I will be posting about it in the coming week. Looking at launching October 15th or the 16th and finishing around the 23rd or later depending on a few factors. Still figuring out the logistics of getting back to our vehicles. Currently the new plan is to get shuttled on a boat from Antelope to Rainbow Bridge and then paddle back instead of kayaking all the way to Bullgfrog. We still have 1 spot left too if you or anybody else is interested!

But if you are in Page during that time then I would love to grab a beer...or two.

Next year I am thinking about doing it towards the end of September instead of October if you are interested. Powell by Paddle 2023!
 
Wow, a surfski! How cool! If you are talking about the kayaking trip, then yes! I will be posting about it in the coming week. Looking at launching October 15th or the 16th and finishing around the 23rd or later depending on a few factors. Still figuring out the logistics of getting back to our vehicles. Currently the new plan is to get shuttled on a boat from Antelope to Rainbow Bridge and then paddle back instead of kayaking all the way to Bullgfrog. We still have 1 spot left too if you or anybody else is interested!

But if you are in Page during that time then I would love to grab a beer...or two.

Next year I am thinking about doing it towards the end of September instead of October if you are interested. Powell by Paddle 2023!

Yeah I may be down for that trip, sounds like a lot of fun - I'll check back here in the next week or so and confirm my plans.
 
That will be an awesome trip. As the others have said, the lake will be deserted more or less between the Escalante and Rock Creek, which is a little over 30 miles of solitude, for better or worse. Actually, I might even expand that to say Rincon to Rock Creek, so be prepared. I agree with the camping areas suggested by others.

This coming week I plan to make a run from Bullfrog to more or less Rainbow Bridge (and possibly a bit farther) and back, so will be able to report back in a week or so on the highlights along the way…
How did your run from BF to Rainbow Bridge area end up going? Any near misses on prop eaters?
 

JFRCalifornia

Keeper of San Juan Secrets
How did your run from BF to Rainbow Bridge area end up going? Any near misses on prop eaters?
I’ll issue a full report soon, but the trip went great. Didn’t make it all the way to Rainbow Bridge because of gas concerns (even though I brought a bunch extra), but still got as far as Llewelyn Gulch. No obvious obstacles anywhere, just remember to use your eyes and head, and stay within in the markers—what you would do anyway at higher water.

Side canyons were definitely shorter but no more treacherous… no log jams or other debris, and that doesn’t surprise me because you usually see that in rising water, not late summer when the lake is going down…

Had a little rain but not significant, no floods…

Pretty much went in every single canyon south of Bullfrog to Llewelyn, including every canyon in the Escalante… a few eye openers along the way, plus nice hikes in Iceberg, Bowns, Fiftymile, Davis, hole in the Rock, across from the Rincon, Indian Creek, and of course to the CITD…

More to come in the report…
 
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