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

cdrew

Member
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.
How far up from the current lake level would you estimate to get the slots in West? We have hiked it a couple years in a row now (always late May) and haven't been able to get to that spot!
 

JFRCalifornia

Well-Known Member
At 3600 (current level), it’s a 3.1-mile hike each way to the first narrows in West Canyon. But if the lake rises just 10 more feet, it becomes a 2.3-mile hike. Pretty significant difference. I’m guessing that by mid-June (hopefully sooner), it might be about 3610.

Last year at this time, when the lake was at 3575, that was a 3.7-mile hike each way. No wonder you didn’t make it.

When the lake is full, it’s only 0.4 mile each way!
 

cdrew

Member
At 3600 (current level), it’s a 3.1-mile hike each way to the first narrows in West Canyon. But if the lake rises just 10 more feet, it becomes a 2.3-mile hike. Pretty significant difference. I’m guessing that by mid-June (hopefully sooner), it might be about 3610.

Last year at this time, when the lake was at 3575, that was a 3.7-mile hike each way. No wonder you didn’t make it.

When the lake is full, it’s only 0.4 mile each way!
I don't mean to hijack this thread, it has been really helpful for me too especially the Escalante tips! But if the op is looking to hike as well in other canyons, how do you calculate hiking distances based on water level? This page is so full of knowledge and wisdom, thanks for your tips!
 

JFRCalifornia

Well-Known Member
I don't mean to hijack this thread, it has been really helpful for me too especially the Escalante tips! But if the op is looking to hike as well in other canyons, how do you calculate hiking distances based on water level? This page is so full of knowledge and wisdom, thanks for your tips!
There’s no calculation that applies to every canyon, because they are all different. The way I do it is with multiple visits, good notes, and a careful study of GoogleEarth, especially the historic imagery, where you can correlate dates to lake level, and make direct measurements.

Labor intensive, yes. But I’ve been at that task for a long time...
 

Desert Dory

Member
Update: Well, my very first LP trip is done and all I can say is WOW!! What a place!

We launched at Wahweep Saturday, May 16th at 3pm and went just past Dangling Rope before finding a little cut to spend the night. Just enough beach and out away from the main lake and wind.

Lake Powell May 2020-25.jpg

The next morning we headed up to Halls Crossing. My buddy wanted to keep going uplake and I had to rein him in and tell him "No! We're going back downriver to Escalante!" We poked around Annie's and a couple other places and ended up in Iceberg Canyon where we spent the second night.

Lake Powell May 2020-40.jpg

Lake Powell May 2020-43.jpg


Day three we headed into Escalante and poke around there for a bit until we got to the end of Willow Creek Canyon. Spectacular! It was a bit early but we called it a day, raised the engine, pulled the boat up as far as we could go and spent the night up there at the end of the canyon.

Lake Powell May 2020-77.jpg

Lake Powell May 2020-83.jpg

I guy in a rental houseboat tried to get up in there and totally grounded the boat on a sandbar. I sent a message with the Garmin inReach to my wife asking her to get ahold of the Bullfrog marina the next morning and have them send someone out to assist. Bullfrog said they would try to get someone out Tuesday afternoon but they were concerned with the wind. Long story short, the rental guy said they Bullfrog never came out and they spent about 6 hours Wednesday morning digging the boat out. They did finally get it off the bar and spent the last couple days of their trip at another location.

Lake Powell May 2020-97.jpg

After leaving Willow Creek we poked around the rest of the arms in Escalante and made the mistake of heading down lake Tuesday afternoon during the 40 mph wind event. It was "Sporty" to say the least and, although the boat handled it fine, we made it a short distance before ducking into the cut where the sunken boat is. Spent night four there at the sunken boat.

Lake Powell May 2020-108.jpg

The next day we hit a Reflection, Rainbow Bridge, and a couple other places before stopping at Dangling Rope for gas and ice.

Rainbow Bridge we had the place to ourselves, at least until right before we left.

Lake Powell May 2020-113.jpg

Lake Powell May 2020-116.jpg


After leaving Dangling Rope we headed down river for night five. We wanted to be fairly close to Wahweep as we were leaving the next day and had a long drive back to Tucson. We found a nice little spot up in Last Chance Canyon to spend our final night.

Lake Powell May 2020-125.jpg

Lake Powell May 2020-140.jpg

Lake Powell May 2020-141.jpg

Thank you to all that took the time to post here and especially for the tip to "slow it down". My ADHD, Type A++++, engineer buddy wasn't to thrilled with the slow down initially, but, once we got in a groove, he really enjoyed just soaking it all in.

In conclusion, being my first trip to LP, all I can say is WOW! I can't wait to get back there!

Cheers, Desert Dory
 
Last edited:

Skibum

Well-Known Member
Nice report and good photos! You definitely knocked off a few off the top 10,000 highlights the lake has waiting for you to visit. Was the “sunken boat canyon” called Ribbon Canyon.”...near Hole in the Rock? If it was, when the lake was closer to full pool, the cove opposite where the sunken boat found itself anchored to a rock was a virtual aviary and fern grotto this time of year and a great afternoon hangout. We were frequent campers in nearby Llewelyn Gulch in those higher water days and used to slip in there and float most every day. I too like the night star shot!
 

Desert Dory

Member
Nice report and good photos! You definitely knocked off a few off the top 10,000 highlights the lake has waiting for you to visit. Was the “sunken boat canyon” called Ribbon Canyon.”...near Hole in the Rock? If it was, when the lake was closer to full pool, the cove opposite where the sunken boat found itself anchored to a rock was a virtual aviary and fern grotto this time of year and a great afternoon hangout. We were frequent campers in nearby Llewelyn Gulch in those higher water days and used to slip in there and float most every day. I too like the night star shot!
Just checked my Stan Jones map (we marked each place we spent the night) and, yes, it was Ribbon Canyon.

I can see where that area would be like you said. There was quite a bit of water seeping out of the rock there, with lots of vegetation up higher. Doesn't look like it gets any direct sunlight up there either.

I'll tell you what though! It was the perfect place to get out of that 40 mph wind that was blowing that Tuesday. We were pretty thankful for that.
 

Lance Cue

Well-Known Member
I saw you cruising into iceberg. Looked like you found a nice little sandy beach for the night. When I saw your dory come in I was wondering if it was you after reading this thread a couple weeks ago. Glad you had a good trip and kudos on just going with the flow. Sometimes the weather decides where you end up for the day.
 
Top