First timer, advice appreciated

Discussion in 'Lake Powell Recreation' started by Jesse Dee, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. Jesse Dee

    Jesse Dee Member

    Hello everyone.

    I'm planning on my first trip to Powell come mid-late September. I've read just about everything I can find but a lot of things seems to be older (some 2002). Any current information would be appreciated.

    I'll be camping off my 1985 20' Bayliner (hold the jokes :)) for 4 days. I'd like to launch at antelope point and head out towards dangling rope. I'm a nervous Nelly when it comes to fuel, and a carbreuted v8 doesn't have the greatest range. I plan on filling the boat (30gal) and keeping 10gal in spare cans.

    I'd like advice on camp spots (I read punkadoo's post and south of dangling rope sounds promising) prefer sandy for tent camping and protected if possible, I don't want to lose the boat!

    I've read you cannot gather firewood. Is there a place to purchase firewood? Strictly for night time activities, cooking will be done on a propane stove.

    What is the weather like mid-late September?

    Are the floating pump and dump stations just for dropping off waste or are there toilets available? I've got my portable toilet ready!

    I want to do some exploring and fishing while I'm there. Any must see spots? My friend wants to see rainbow bridge.

    I really don't know what to expect, I just want to be prepared and gather all the info I can.
    I'm somewhat experienced (mostly with common sense), owned my boat for 6years, and spent a lot of time on Roosevelt, canyon, Apache lakes. Powell is massive and is somewhat intimidating.

    Thank you all!
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  2. PowellBride

    PowellBride Well-Known Member

    My first piece of advice is to get a good map. We are north enders, and the few times we've ventured south we've found it very easy to turned around in the Padre Bay Area.

    Second don't put your tent up on a high point, try to get some wind break. We tent camped once, and each day when we returned to camp found out tent flattened. The sand doesn't hold the tent stakes all that well when the winds kick up. We ended up weighting out tent with large rocks in each corner. The tent pegs & sand bag weights just didn't do the job.

    They do have floating toilets than can be used to dump your portable toilet, they are placed about every 20 miles on the lake. If you are going up near Dangling Rope, you will find it near the mouth of Rock Creek.

    We love Sept. on the lake, we've done a Sept trip for 30 years. With school back in, the crowds are diminished. Daytime temps are usually in the high 80's/low 90's, but the water temp is still in the 70's. In 30 years we've only.y had 2 weeks where we had several days of all day rain, and a handful of other days with rain. That said, when it rains, IT RAINS. Even a little rain can bring significant run off, be sure to look up when you pick a spot and be sure your camp won't be in the path of any waterfalls or runoff

    Have a blast
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  3. Gem Morris

    Gem Morris Well-Known Member

    Do you have a charplotter loaded with maps of Lake Powell that leaves a breadcrumb trail? If not, make absolute sure you know about the ATONs and have a pair of binoculars and a good map (as PowellBride said).
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  4. Jesse Dee

    Jesse Dee Member

    Thank you Powell bride! I'm especially happy to hear the crowds are diminished. I don't trust folks doing 60+mph and possibly intoxicated.

    Gem Morris, I have a chartplotter and good binoculars. I was going to look for a stan Jones map? I think that's the one everyone here said is good.
    What are ATONS? Thank you
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  5. birdsnest

    birdsnest Well-Known Member

    You've picked the ideal time to visit Powell. With some reasonable preparation there is no reason to be intimidated. The biggest potential for problems is the wind, but with a little luck you could spend the entire time there with no considerable wind events. If the wind does come up, typically it starts in the early afternoon. The worst case scenario is to get off the large bodies of water and find a protected cove. The problem with that is if it does keep blowing until dark you are pretty much stuck there so my advice is to be close enough to your camp to get back if the wind comes up. If you leave early in the morning you will be able to see alot by mid-afternoon when you will want to be close to camp. Try to leave antelope early and have a place in mind somewhere in the Wetherill/Dungeon/Rock Creek/Friendship area. Should only take a few hours to get to that area from Antelope. There are a bunch of very cool places to see within an hour or so of any of those canyons. At the entrance to Last Chance on the west side is a huge alcove worth seeing, it is not visible until you swing around the corner on the left. There is a pretty little cove across from friendship that is unnamed but locally known as dove. Friendship is protected from the wind and usually has sandy beaches available this time of year. You would be about 30 minutes from Dangling Rope. If you do make it to Rainbow Bridge there is a gorgeous slot canyon about a mile from the entrance of Forbidding Canyon back towards Dangling Rope on the other side of the main channel called Cascade. It is on the map. There is an arch in the Oak Canyon area called Eye Arch. It is hard to see unless you are right up against the wall on the north west side of the main channel. It is impressive. I would limit your distance from your camp to eye arch. You will never see it all and this trip will be a primer for the next one. Enjoy your time there, be safe. Listen to Powell Brides advice. Never camp in any washes of anywhere a flash flood could get you, you should be familiar with that warning with Apache and Roosevelt in your past. peace.
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  6. Gem Morris

    Gem Morris Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I should have been more helpful. ATONs are Aid To Navigation. They are the green and red channel marker buoys. They are numbered (beginning at 1 at the dam and continuing to about 134 at Hite). The rule for using them is "RED RIGHT RETURN". That is, when you are Returning to where the water comes from (upstream) keep the Red buoy on your Right.

    They are spaced so that typically when you round one corner you can see the next one. But sometimes it requires binoculars and careful scanning to see them. They mark the deepest part of the channel but only if you follow the RRR rule above.

    ROSCOELAB Well-Known Member

    We always sing the song "RED RIGHT GOING TO HITE"
  8. Jesse Dee

    Jesse Dee Member

    Bird'snest, thank you. So much information, I can't wait to get out and put it to use.

    Gemmorris, thank you! I'm feeling nautical now :)

    Roscoelab, I'll be singing that for 2 weeks now. Thank you!

    I surely do appreciate all the advice and information folks, I really do.
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  9. Goblin

    Goblin Well-Known Member

    AP to Dangle is 32 miles staying within the ATONS (Aids-to-Navigation) red/green buoys which I strongly recommend for easy up/downlake cruising if you are unfamiliar. Know which side the buoys go on. Old mnemonic device: Fishermen proceed out of the rivers, harbors and inlets to fish at sea. Remember that and the phrase "Red, Right, Returning" will make sense as in 'Returning Home from the sea' the buoys go on the right.

    You CAN gather firewood though the supply may be scarce depending on location. Everyplace seems to carry firewood for sale. I've even seen from Walmart-to-gas stations-to-the marina stores.

    The floating restrooms are indeed also floating restrooms? upload_2017-9-5_10-15-1.png

    Must see spots are everywhere and one trip will not suffice My first trip was spent mostly catching flies in my mouth. Old timers are the ones that can keep their mouths closed while looking at the sights.

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  10. Goblin

    Goblin Well-Known Member

    Stan Jones map is good but not exactly to scale. It is also at fool(err full) pool which is not the case right now - about 69' lower than fool(err full) pool.
    I have a great many .gdb files with a personal database of Powell. I use them to squirt my chartplotter before or during each trip. It includes 4-5 hundred points accumulated over the last twenty years, a number of routes, and a great many snail trails to allow me to fly blind at just about any water level.... Most of the data is from the Escalante and south with far fewer from the northern fjords. By the way, a Norwegian once told me he was conceived in the back of a fjord. I said, "Me too, except I think it was a Chevy." {Dramatization, may not have happened}

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
    Skibum, Bill Sampson and Cutter99 like this.
  11. Powelldreamer

    Powelldreamer Well-Known Member

    You will have no trouble getting to DR with the fuel you have. It will be at about Buoy 40 for the Dangling Rope Marina. You should be able to purchase additional fuel there.(HIGHLY Recommended). It is good to keep the extra 10 as well personally I would opt for 20. I used to have a bit smaller boat but a carbureted 350. I had 37 gallons after I added a 19 gallon tank. I always carried 10 extra gallons to give me 47 gallons for just in case. For sandy beaches I would suggest Dungeon Canyon which is very close to DR. As is Friendship Cove.
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  12. Gem Morris

    Gem Morris Well-Known Member

    And by the way dangling rope's location is not obvious. It's tucked away around a corner in an alcove on the west side of the lake. You can't see it from the main channel.

    Also a marine radio is not mandatory but it is nice
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  13. weeds

    weeds Well-Known Member

    Here's some shots from CID I took the first of November, 2008. 15 shots total, but could only post 5 at a time.

    Cropduster was less than a year old. On board was my wife, her mother, her mother's childhood friend (both in late 80's) and myself.
    We went quite a ways back into CID. The data page says the water level was 3624. Could not go to the last step up.

    Those of you who posted back then may remember John Powers during the flame wars. He really ripped me for taking a houseboat in there. However since it was winter, there were absolutely no other boats anywhere around except Dreamweaver and his friend fishing. So I didn't keep others from going in.
    I was close to the walls, but never touched them. Needless to say both thrusters were invaluable.

    It was surreal...incredible. Everyone must go in there sometime. When the lake is higher I bet the experience is better...if that's possible.

    My PC screen savor was of the bow shot coming out of CID with the sun starting to filter in...showing all the carp. Fantastic.
    1st 5 are going in. IMG_0863.JPG IMG_0864.JPG IMG_0865.JPG IMG_0866.JPG IMG_0867.JPG IMG_0863.JPG IMG_0864.JPG IMG_0865.JPG IMG_0866.JPG IMG_0867.JPG
  14. weeds

    weeds Well-Known Member

  15. weeds

    weeds Well-Known Member

  16. Gem Morris

    Gem Morris Well-Known Member

    I love those ladies leaning in picture #3 as if they're helping to steer the boat!! :)
  17. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

    Weeds, Did you get Cropduster all the way to the back? I thought it was snug when we took Still Dancin' in there at 3555'. There was a nice beach under the waterfall then.
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  18. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

    Jesse, Your gas plan should be more than sufficient. When we first started going to the Lake, we had a 1984 18' Invader with the Chevy 4 banger OMC I/O. It only had an 18 gallon tank. I carried 2- 5 gallon cans extra, and never had a problem. Just don't pass a marina without filling up. We went from the Confluence to Hite, and back, with a gas stop at Halls without touching the spare gas. The only time we got into it was pulling skiers.
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  19. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

    I am going to be redundant to some of the other replies, but: If you have a keel guard, the best way to anchor is like a houseboat. Put the bow on the beach, and use 2 anchors at a 45 degree angle from the stern, to the beach, (don't forget a shovel, we always carried one of the army surplus folding ones)

    In addition to the main side canyons, there are a couple just downlake from DR on the left, as you go uplake, that are quite protected, and should have small beaches at this level. You have to look for them.

    We have always taken our firewood with us. What you find on the lake is not much. we did chop down and burn Tammies one year!

    The Stan Jones map is good for knowing where you are. It and the Lake Powell Magazine maps are all we ever used. Since it is your first time on the lake, stay between the green and red bouys. Do WEAR POLARIZED SUNGLASSES!!!! If the water turns light green there is a rock just under the surface.
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  20. weeds

    weeds Well-Known Member

    Dreamweaver, his fishing buddy and Mrs. weeds about 10 minutes after leaving CID. IMG_0894.JPG
    I think I had one more bench to go...have never been back there at the higher water levels.