First Time to Powell - Must See's? Updated: Trip Complete

dlandon

Well-Known Member
WOW! Thanks for all the great input.

Having read all that, I probably should have asked the question differently. More like, "if you could only visit one place on the lake, what would that be?", or something like that anyway.

As I mentioned in the OP, "We don't have to see it all but would like to hit some of the highlights". We have no intention of buzzing all over the place trying to see everything. We'll buzz up to the San Juan area then "SLOWLY" start working our way back down the lake.

No stress, no hurry, just enjoy our time on the water and the majesty of the surroundings.




We'll be right there so we'll check this out. Thanks



Thanks for the offer dlandon, we may just stop by and say Hi. PM me your radio call sign and I'll hail you when we're in the neighborhood.



EXACTLY! Thanks Dave.



Nice tip on the arch! We'll keep an "eye"out for it. VHF on the boat and we'll be monitoring the WX channel. Thanks.



GREAT tips!! Thank you Bride.
Our radio is being fixed, but you can stop by N37 (Steel Away).
 

Desert Dory

Member
Thanks for all the input everybody.

Does anyone have a have a preference, Wahweap or Antelope, for launching? Long term parking at one vs the other? Security for the truck/trailer while it's sitting there?
 

PowellBride

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the input everybody.

Does anyone have a have a preference, Wahweap or Antelope, for launching? Long term parking at one vs the other? Security for the truck/trailer while it's sitting there?
Make sure Antelope is open. I know the reservation was hit hard with the virus and they could still be under quarantine measures
 

Desert Dory

Member
Make sure Antelope is open. I know the reservation was hit hard with the virus and they could still be under quarantine measures
From post #6 in this thread, it sounds like they should be open by the time we get there.


If they are, would you go there or Wahweap?
 

PowellBride

Well-Known Member
From post #6 in this thread, it sounds like they should be open by the time we get there.


If they are, would you go there or Wahweap?
I'm a north ender, so I'm no help on that question.
 

dlandon

Well-Known Member
From post #6 in this thread, it sounds like they should be open by the time we get there.


If they are, would you go there or Wahweap?
IMHO it's really based on preference. I personally prefer Wahweap. When boat traffic is heavy, Antelope can be crazy. In the end, it's probably sixes.
 
You are trying to do too much on your first trip. I do HB trips out of Bullfrog so it's a bit different than what you're doing but I know after 20 years of going there its not about how much you can see in 5 days as it is getting set up somewhere and enjoying where you are, who you are with and what you accomplished getting there. Sure use your well equipped boat to explore a bunch but don't think you'll see close to everything thats good on your first, or 15th trip. That said, SJ and Reflection are amazing! Stick with that and you'll be good for this trip.
I agree.....Make camp some where central to where you want to go and then plan a "day trip" for each day. Taking your time and really letting the beauty sink in will make it a trip of a life time. Of course, you will need to come back next year and every year.......just warning you!
 

bubba

Well-Known Member
The C Dory part of the message kinda jumps out and screams “ lots of marine experience” - the C Dory is basically a cork with a fuel tank and engine, the perfect platform for any passage, so weather wont be a big issue for you but a good anchor is still needed.
Every C Driver I have ever met looks like the guy on the cover of the LLBean catalog so a hike or two may be considered.

At Powell the destination is just part of the adventure, the planning and journey are just as fun, and many times planned destinations get replaced with unplanned adventure. Be prepared to maybe not make it to your planned destination - there are so many other things along the way and all very awesome. If you find a perfect spot then stop and enjoy.
For starters definitely start on the south end of the lake and work north, and definitely get beyond Face at 25 to taste the real raw Powell experience.

I would set best cruise V until you get to Gregory Butte then throttle back a bit for a stunning trip up river. There is no hurry, unless to get away from wake boats or the tour boats.

Take a good map, at Gregory follow the river to the right and avoid entering last Chance, at 36 curve up river to the right around the gravel mound instead of getting sucked into rock canyon abyss straight slight left. (Good cell coverage at that right turn by the gravel mound). Stay left at san Juan keep up river.
DR is at 42 left upriver, stop here and refuel and get an ice cream and then keep moving north. I would pass rainbow and save that for the return. I would also pass reflection for the return trip. Set you sights on a left turn at buoy 68 at Escalante river canyon. Wind back and forth until you can’t go any further and call that your turn around point for day 1.
Find a good spot to camp and enjoy the rest of the day. If you go to the end of Escalante at current water depth you will see 3 roofs Indian historic site marked with a bunch or orange buoys.

Turn around here and find a good spot to camp. Do some fishing, have a beer, tell stories... this is Powell... lots of history in this area so you may even see a ufo or a ghost. Don’t rush to leave escalate, and take the time to wakeless view every side canyon.
Having 1 camp is usually easier than a new one each night, but with a C Dory, setting up and breaking down is a 1 beer job. If you find the perfect spot stay put, and do day trips. If that magic spot is not found then keep moving

There are 2 epic spots in EC, but many awesome spots as well. When you see the epic spots you will know it.
Anchor well as the wind can get nasty.
Consider hiking hole in the rock at 62 down river right, rainbow 49 down river left, cookie jar down river 21 right and even the overlook in Escalante, but you will need to know the secret passage.

If I stop on the way to escalate I never make it to Escalante as I find perfect spots along the way. Escalante is worth it, so resist stopping when going up river until you get there.
After a few nights slowly make your way back south. On the return trip hit reflection as a wakeless adventure, stop at rainbow and do the hike. If you still have a night or two mountain sheep or Weatherill canyons are great anchor spot - go to the end to reduce day traffic.
Then cruise back to the messed up world you left 5 days prior.

Take phots, take plenty of water, take time to just sit and do nothing but look... take a pair of binocs. Make sure your record the water sound on your iPhone for the drive home.
Take a beach chair and shade umbrellas. Don't forget a towel, sunblock, glasses and a hat.

During those 5 days on the lake you will join the club of happy Powell memories.
Be safe
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Desert Dory

Member
Well, about all I can say Bubba is, WOW!!

Thank you, and a big thank to all who posted here. Lots to digest.

We'll take our time and see what we see and it will be awesome. Whatever we don't see, we'll see next time, and the times after that.

Thanks again, and I'll be sure to post up here again once we're back.

Cheers, Desert Dory

Oh! Not sure if I'm actually LL Bean worthy. More of a flip flops, shorts, and t-shirt kinda guy.

Me and the Mrs. of 35 years.IMG_20200421_165217676.jpg
 

JFRCalifornia

Well-Known Member
The C Dory part of the message kinda jumps out and screams “ lots of marine experience” - the C Dory is basically a cork with a fuel tank and engine, the perfect platform for any passage, so weather wont be a big issue for you but a good anchor is still needed.
Every C Driver I have ever met looks like the guy on the cover of the LLBean catalog so a hike or two may be considered.

At Powell the destination is just part of the adventure, the planning and journey are just as fun, and many times planned destinations get replaced with unplanned adventure. Be prepared to maybe not make it to your planned destination - there are so many other things along the way and all very awesome. If you find a perfect spot then stop and enjoy.
For starters definitely start on the south end of the lake and work north, and definitely get beyond Face at 25 to taste the real raw Powell experience.

I would set best cruise V until you get to Gregory Butte then throttle back a bit for a stunning trip up river. There is no hurry, unless to get away from wake boats or the tour boats.

Take a good map, at Gregory follow the river to the right and avoid entering last Chance, at 36 curve up river to the right around the gravel mound instead of getting sucked into rock canyon abyss straight slight left. (Good cell coverage at that right turn by the gravel mound). Stay left at san Juan keep up river.
DR is at 42 left upriver, stop here and refuel and get an ice cream and then keep moving north. I would pass rainbow and save that for the return. I would also pass reflection for the return trip. Set you sights on a left turn at buoy 68 at Escalante river canyon. Wind back and forth until you can’t go any further and call that your turn around point for day 1.
Find a good spot to camp and enjoy the rest of the day. If you go to the end of Escalante at current water depth you will see 3 roofs Indian historic site marked with a bunch or orange buoys.

Turn around here and find a good spot to camp. Do some fishing, have a beer, tell stories... this is Powell... lots of history in this area so you may even see a ufo or a ghost. Don’t rush to leave escalate, and take the time to wakeless view every side canyon.
Having 1 camp is usually easier than a new one each night, but with a C Dory, setting up and breaking down is a 1 beer job. If you find the perfect spot stay put, and do day trips. If that magic spot is not found then keep moving

There are 2 epic spots in EC, but many awesome spots as well. When you see the epic spots you will know it.
Anchor well as the wind can get nasty.
Consider hiking hole in the rock at 62 down river right, rainbow 49 down river left, cookie jar down river 21 right and even the overlook in Escalante, but you will need to know the secret passage.

If I stop on the way to escalate I never make it to Escalante as I find perfect spots along the way. Escalante is worth it, so resist stopping when going up river until you get there.
After a few nights slowly make your way back south. On the return trip hit reflection as a wakeless adventure, stop at rainbow and do the hike. If you still have a night or two mountain sheep or Weatherill canyons are great anchor spot - go to the end to reduce day traffic.
Then cruise back to the messed up world you left 5 days prior.

Take phots, take plenty of water, take time to just sit and do nothing but look... take a pair of binocs. Make sure your record the water sound on your iPhone for the drive home.
Take a beach chair and shade umbrellas. Don't forget a towel, sunblock, glasses and a hat.

During those 5 days on the lake you will join the club of happy Powell memories.
Be safe
Great itinerary, Bubba!! And great advice too... although I would argue there are 3 epic camp spots in the Escalante canyons, and maybe even four...
 
If you like to get out of the boat and do some hiking, West Canyon has a slot that is one of the best hikes we’ve done. You will probably need to do a little swimming as well. See attached pic. Other than the swimming the lower half is non technical great hike in.
 
Here is the picture.
I have to add this.....I love planning trips! Several years ago a dream came true and we took one of our first houseboat trips and had a couple of other boats along for exploring as well. I had an itinerary all laid out day by day. Places to see all dialed in. The schedule was totally shot to pieces the first day when we poked our nose into the inlet to Bowns and Long Canyon, jumped out and started hiking up Long Canyon. It wasn't even in the plan but we had so much fun. There is something fun, interesting, intriguing, or different in every canyon and at every water level at Lake Powell. It is what I love about it so much. So, yes...have a few must see places but don't go rushing by everything else just to get to them. You'll be passing up a whole lot of other opportunities! The heat, the sun, the wind in your face are incredible and nice but they take a lot out of you. Even our 20 somethings wear out. Stopping in the shade of a cathedral, eating lunch, jumping in for a swim to cool off...these are the wonderful moments. I've learned to have a plan but then to go with the flow, don't overdo it, and enjoy the time you are there. Drink lots of water and pour on the sun tan lotion so you don't get sick! Stop in a canyon, shut off the motor, and just listen...to the quiet. Oh gads...gotta quit. Our houseboat week is still four weeks away.
 

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AzTacoma

Well-Known Member
I did my first houseboat trip last year, 4 nights. We beached at an amazing spot close to the entrance of Wetherill Canyon. Nice and close to Dangling Rope. We basically explored Rock Creek Bay, most of the awesome canyons east of there to Forbidding Canyon, and of course Rainbow Bridge. So many cool features, arches, water caves, narrow slivers of water... beach almost anywhere and do a short hike up for great views or try and walk a slot a ways. It's a great stretch of lake for sure. Like everyone says, don't try and do too much... pick a general area and just take your time and explore/fish/swim. Really recommend that area 5 miles west to 10 miles east of DR.
 

JFRCalifornia

Well-Known Member
I did my first houseboat trip last year, 4 nights. We beached at an amazing spot close to the entrance of Wetherill Canyon. Nice and close to Dangling Rope. We basically explored Rock Creek Bay, most of the awesome canyons east of there to Forbidding Canyon, and of course Rainbow Bridge. So many cool features, arches, water caves, narrow slivers of water... beach almost anywhere and do a short hike up for great views or try and walk a slot a ways. It's a great stretch of lake for sure. Like everyone says, don't try and do too much... pick a general area and just take your time and explore/fish/swim. Really recommend that area 5 miles west to 10 miles east of DR.
I totally agree with AzTacoma that the stretch from Rock Creek to Rainbow Bridge is one of the most scenic on the lake, and has a great collection of side canyons. (West Canyon is just outside that stretch, but I'd include that one in the group too.) The other equally great (or maybe even better) stretch of the lake includes the Escalante canyons... every single one of them is great to explore in a boat, and even better on foot when you ditch the boat...

But totally agree with the idea to pick a place, wherever that is, take your time, explore and enjoy. It's all fantastic stuff...
 

Desert Dory

Member
Thanks for all the tips Wordies.

Any mods to the boat that I was thinking of doing are done. Garmin plotter/fish finder is updated and configured to take into account the current lake level (will adjust this once more once we're on the water). Tools/spare impeller loaded in the boat. Firewood cut and boxed. InReach activated and checked. VHF charged/checked. Fishing gear loaded. Boat batteries charged. Etc, etc...

I'm freakin ready to go! Cheers!
 

Skibum

Well-Known Member
You picked a great time of year for your first visit. Lots of good advice given here on things to see and do. I agree with all of it and won’t add more. We usually start with a fixed campsite and then use our SeaDoo to take long trips during the day. You will be surprised to see how short a week becomes on Powell.
I think we all started with the suggested Stan Jones map from years ago, which offers a lot of info. Once your addicted, pick up a copy of Michael Kelsey’s book on hiking Powell. Just double the allotted times he gives. The whole lake is like no other, there are only varying degrees of “amazing”. Maybe I missed it, and it sounds like your mapping software is sophisticated, but beware that Lake Powell has areas with hidden “whales” or reefs in places you would never expect to find them...like in the middle of a large bay or middle of an apparently deep channel. Keep an eye out for the green water. Driving into the sun or choppy water can make them hard to see. Polarized glasses obviously help. The main channel is marked with atons and occasional cigarette buoys, but historically poorly maintained. I would suggest following the marked deep water channel atons or the main river channel on your GPS until you become familiar with the corners that can be cut etc. I like laying down a good, safe, saved GPS track going uplake that can be reasonably followed should an emergency require a trip out at night or driving into the setting sun. No side canyon is officially marked, but beware of floating gallon milk jugs in the side canyons as they are usually marking a hazard. Someone suggested a tour up West Canyon, which is great, but many of my low water year memories of west are littered with an abundance of underwater hazards, especially near the entrance, many marked by boaters with the milk jugs.
Unless something has changed this season, know that all the fuel sold on the water is alcohol fuel. I carry the Starbrite fuel additive for use on the Lake. Historically we use the Sinclair at the top of the hill in Page for non alc fuel. I think I heard that Maverick also had it available last year.
Many fall trips we find groups of C Dorys on the lake. Usually seems like September, but I’m linking to a YouTube of a gathering last August. In addition, a link RE Powell on a C Dory site. Enjoy your trip!




 

Desert Dory

Member
You picked a great time of year for your first visit. Lots of good advice given here on things to see and do. I agree with all of it and won’t add more. We usually start with a fixed campsite and then use our SeaDoo to take long trips during the day. You will be surprised to see how short a week becomes on Powell.
I think we all started with the suggested Stan Jones map from years ago, which offers a lot of info. Once your addicted, pick up a copy of Michael Kelsey’s book on hiking Powell. Just double the allotted times he gives. The whole lake is like no other, there are only varying degrees of “amazing”. Maybe I missed it, and it sounds like your mapping software is sophisticated, but beware that Lake Powell has areas with hidden “whales” or reefs in places you would never expect to find them...like in the middle of a large bay or middle of an apparently deep channel. Keep an eye out for the green water. Driving into the sun or choppy water can make them hard to see. Polarized glasses obviously help. The main channel is marked with atons and occasional cigarette buoys, but historically poorly maintained. I would suggest following the marked deep water channel atons or the main river channel on your GPS until you become familiar with the corners that can be cut etc. I like laying down a good, safe, saved GPS track going uplake that can be reasonably followed should an emergency require a trip out at night or driving into the setting sun. No side canyon is officially marked, but beware of floating gallon milk jugs in the side canyons as they are usually marking a hazard. Someone suggested a tour up West Canyon, which is great, but many of my low water year memories of west are littered with an abundance of underwater hazards, especially near the entrance, many marked by boaters with the milk jugs.
Unless something has changed this season, know that all the fuel sold on the water is alcohol fuel. I carry the Starbrite fuel additive for use on the Lake. Historically we use the Sinclair at the top of the hill in Page for non alc fuel. I think I heard that Maverick also had it available last year.
Many fall trips we find groups of C Dorys on the lake. Usually seems like September, but I’m linking to a YouTube of a gathering last August. In addition, a link RE Powell on a C Dory site. Enjoy your trip!




Funny you posted a link to the C-Brat site Bum. We only picked up our C-Dory last year but I've been a member on that site since 2006.

Great addtional tips, thanks!
 
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