New to Forum, New to Lake

#1
Hello everyone!

I've been fishing/boating in AZ for 20 years and I'm about to hit Powell for the first time. I have an 18' SeaRay bowrider with 150hp outboard. I'll be arriving at Wahweap about June 26 and camping on the lake for 3 nights. My ultimate goal is to quickly get to Dangling Rope and spend most of my around around there (fishing and exploring) and visiting Rainbow Bridge.

I'm going solo and packing in the basics. My biggest concerns are gas and navigation. I have a 20 gallon tank and I think I can just make to Dangling Rope, but I plan on carrying an extra 7 gallons. I have a basic map, but I'm looking into some electronics-based navigational help as well. Space is an issue as well... and I don't want to be overweighted.

Does anyone have any tips, suggestions, and advice for me? Little things they have learned that helped make life easier while roughing it out there?
 

Coho975

Well-Known Member
#2
I run an 18" Lund with a 150HP Yamaha, we camped out of BF and fished GHB, about 60 miles round trip, If I cruised about 30 mph (4200rpm) we were using 14-16 gallons a day. Not sure what kind of electronics you have but either the Lakemaster or Navionics mapping cards can be found for around $100.00 and they both have great coverage of Powell. At A minimum you could check out the Navionics app, its only $10 for the phone app and the GPS works with out cell service, you can download and check it out for free, then pay if you like it. Im not sure if dangling rope has service, but don't pass up an opportunity for a current weather report. VHS radio is an essential piece of equipment for me. Good Luck!
 

Meatwagon

Well-Known Member
#5
A good rule of thumb is to plan on 3 mpg as an average, this would be a close estimate for both inboard and outboard engines for the last 20 yrs. The channel bouy are marked in miles upstream from the dam . I have always given my self a 30% margin of error for safety sake. So given a 20 gal tank would give you about a 60 mile range. I went to the rainbow bridge out of Wahweap in a 95 Stratos 17.5 ft with a 150hp Johnson outboard without carrying extra fuel. I burned 12 gal from Wahweap to dangling rope. that's about 40 miles upstream or about 3.3 mpg with calm seas cruising at about 3500 rpms. If planning on exploring I would usually carry extra fuel as some of the larger canyons can suck up alot of fuel. Spend some time reviewing your maps so you have a fair understanding of your range and how far you can venture before the need to refuel, and keep in mind if you need to refuel at dangling rope that you allow yourself time to get their before they close. As for as supplies plenty of food and water safety epuipment such as flares and a vhf radio is a good idea. Be safe plan out your days ahead of time, watch the weather in case you have to sit out a storm and have a plan for that in your daily plan also. Relax soak up all that the lake has to offer and like the rest of us here you won't want to leave and when you do you will be planning your next trip on your way home.
 

Goblin

Well-Known Member
#8
  • Know the Buoy System! Especially when gas is a consideration or you are new to the lake; Check! & aaah, Check! It is VERY EASY to get lost on this lake and spend all day turning a lot of gasoline into noise. You can convince yourself you are just about anywhere on Lake Powell.
  • Stay between the buoys, which kind of makes you want to get your next buoy in sight when passing the current buoy. This will also keep you from hitting a whale which are everywhere at any given time and constantly changing with water levels.
  • Remember the old memory aid of "Red, Right, Returning" which translates to: Keep the RED buoy on the RIGHT when RETURNing from the sea, and of course that would be reversed when headed down lake to the Colorado all the way to Baja and out to sea. Yeah, yeah, I know, you don't have quite enough gas for that. :( Some have other mnemonic aids to help keeping the buoy rules in mind. I just use that one which also applies to an aircraft or boat properly lighted when seen at night. "Red, Right, Returning" to you and could be coming at YOU!
I had a neighbor once that told me he had taken family to Lake Powell to see Rainbow Bridge. He rented a boat but NEVER made it to Rainbow. Got lost and low on gas. He did that on at least three different trips. The last time I saw him he still hadn't got his family to Rainbow.

FWIW
Goblin
 

bw56

Well-Known Member
#9
That is a nice boat you have. It was a good one for us. Frankly I would bring 3 or 4 5 gallon spares. You can go a lot farther and not be worried about running out of gas all the time. On your way to Dangling Rope you are going to go through one of the most interesting and beautiful areas on the lake in my opinion. Don't rush to Dangling. Padre Bay, West Canyon and Last Chance are beautiful. You don't want to miss them if possible.
Have a great time.
 
#10
Thanks for the quick responses and feedback!

I just put Backcountry Navigator on my phone. It's the app my buddy uses when we go 4x4 exploring in remote areas. I can download arcGIS topos and the app turns the phone into a GPS that tracks your current location on the map. Seems to have nice coverage of Powell. That will be a big help.

I'm actually planning 2mpg to be safe because my 1992 mercury black max sucks fuel and to account for some reserves (like rougher weather, etc). I think I'll bring two 5 gallon jugs extra. I know I'll be purchasing a lot of fuel at Dangling Rope (1 fill up to get there, 1 fill up exploring the region, and 1 fill up to get back to Wahweap), and I'm ok with that. I won't exactly rush to Dangling Rope, but I plan on cruising about 3000 RPM with no real diversions for gas caution and to get their at least 90 min before closing... but I'll take a lot of pics along the way! If it turns out I'm not using as much gas as I thought on the way in, perhaps I'll hit West Canyon on my way back to Wahweap on the last day.

The idea is to have two full days for Rainbow Bridge/Forbidding Canyon, Cathedral Canyon, Balanced Rock Canyon, and Mountain Sheep Canyon, and of course the Dangling Rope area. Fishing, exploring, relaxing, swimming.... I can't wait. It will be warm but I'm prepared (and used) to that.
 
#11
I do have a little crank/solar weather radio I can monitor. I also have a "Lifestraw" water filter. Think that's adequate... or should I look into chemical purifiers as well?
 

Pegasus

Well-Known Member
#12
RE having access to drinking water, the Lifestraw looks decent. I also carry a portable UV purifier (around $50) that I can dip into a water bottle - I've lived on water from lakes/rivers using it exclusively without any 'ugly' gastrointestinal problems. A UV purifier along with your Lifestraw would produce the same quality of water that all of the big boats on the lake do with their much larger systems.

As others mentioned, I highly recommend having at least a portable VHF radio along with you - this can literally be a lifesaver should anything bad happen.
 

Zman

Active Member
#13
Lots of good advice here and I think your plan is solid.

1. I did not see anyone mention the Navionics App for your smart phone. Do a search on this BB as there are ALOT of discussions on it. Definitely something I would invest in for a first timer (think its $10) as it will show you the shallow spots on the lake, and there are a lot of them in places you would not expect.
2. Be prepared to go thru a lot of ice, I recommend a Yeti or similar cooler if you have one. Make sure your cooler is completely full of ice before you hit the water. Ice on Powell is expensive, especially at Dangling Rope. I would at least freeze a milk jug (you can use for drinking water too) or buy a full block for your cooler to help with ice retention.
3. Its going to be hot on the lake. Sunscreen and shade will be your friend.

As far as West Canyon... If you can get all the way back I would plan some time to hike if that's your thing. I think it may be one of the best hikes on Powell.
 
#14
Two mentions for Navionics... I'll look into it. Maybe they'll have a free trial or something. My main concern is just having a GPS location with maps, but having extra water-related info might be handy.

I have a decent ice chest and definitely using block ice. Was even thinking of a second small cooler for filets (with dry ice?), if I have room in the boat. I'm solo and going fairly spartan with mainly non-refrigerated foods and I don't need an endless supply of ice cold beverages. But yeah, having at least some will be nice.

West Canyon: I am trying to figure out how to do this schedule/gas wise. Are there usually a ton of people in it? Is it waaay better than others nearby (like Cathedral or Balanced Rock) or similar?
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
#16
Two mentions for Navionics... I'll look into it. Maybe they'll have a free trial or something. My main

West Canyon: I am trying to figure out how to do this schedule/gas wise. Are there usually a ton of people in it? Is it waaay better than others nearby (like Cathedral or Balanced Rock) or similar?
West Canyon has a great hiking area in the back. Cathedral turns into a slot and you can go no farther. Balanced Rock is shorter with some hiking along the top and sides above the canyon. Just be aware that the backs of most canyons require a kayak or dinghy to get from the end of the lake to the beginning of the canyon hike.
 

Goblin

Well-Known Member
#17
Almost all slots/narrow canyons and the like at Lake Powell are spectacular.
  • Cathedral is a must and can be carefully boated a very long way back. The boating part ends where a smaller slot exits sharply stage left as you are going in.
  • West is a long and very pretty drive until waters end. To reach the excellent slot it will be about a 3/4-1 mile flat hike one-way at this water level. The excellent slot is marked with several very cold pools you must swim or float across. You will be made aware of the cattle upcreek from you by the alluring cattle smell.
  • The water cave on the west side of the beginning of Rock Creek, always fully navigable, is a quick visit and a definite IBT square.
  • Cross canyon from the above water cave is the skylight cave of Rock Creek which, at this level, is covered showing only the ceiling skylight and is also a pretty IBT square.
FWIW
Goblin
 
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#18
Great suggestions! Since I won't have a smaller watercraft I'll probably skip slot hikes unless it happens to be a spot I can beach/anchor the boat nicely and walk into it fairly easily. I'll play it by ear. Still looking to tweak in boating West Canyon though, probably by skipping Mountain Sheep. Noob question: What's "IBT square?" (I assume it means a cool point of interest)

Fishing! I'll be heavily targeting smallmouth for fun and hopefully get into some walleye for fillets. I'll also be keeping an eye out for early and late day striper boils and will probably night fish for striper at least once. I've caught hundreds of striper down here at Lake Pleasant, but I'm hoping to get into some bigger ones at Powell. I might even go for carp for some kick-back fun (don't judge me). I've read most of the fishing advice on the forums, but if anyone has some extra super cool words of wisdom on those species in late June in that Dangling Rope to Rainbow Bridge area, I'm all ears ;)
 

Goblin

Well-Known Member
#19
… What's "IBT square?" (I assume it means a cool point of interest)...
Sorry. I slipped into an old TDYism (Temporary Duty) mindset. 'IBT' stands for 'I Been there." I'm sure you've heard that refrain a million times from friends when you said "we visited so-and-so" and they responded "Yeah, I been there." IBT Squares forearm you for when someone says, "So you were in Rock Creek....Didja visit the cave?" At this point you coolly say, "Yeah , I been there." More or less bragging rights as a visitor.

Example: In Paris, the Eiffel Tower is a definite IBT Square. That example may also apply to Las Vegas but probably not Las Vegas NM or Paris TX. Clear? :confused:
Goblin

Boy I can be long winded, sorry. The must see places=I Been There (IBT) Squares.
Goblin
 
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#20
Hello everyone!

I've been fishing/boating in AZ for 20 years and I'm about to hit Powell for the first time. I have an 18' SeaRay bowrider with 150hp outboard. I'll be arriving at Wahweap about June 26 and camping on the lake for 3 nights. My ultimate goal is to quickly get to Dangling Rope and spend most of my around around there (fishing and exploring) and visiting Rainbow Bridge.

I'm going solo and packing in the basics. My biggest concerns are gas and navigation. I have a 20 gallon tank and I think I can just make to Dangling Rope, but I plan on carrying an extra 7 gallons. I have a basic map, but I'm looking into some electronics-based navigational help as well. Space is an issue as well... and I don't want to be overweighted.

Does anyone have any tips, suggestions, and advice for me? Little things they have learned that helped make life easier while roughing it out there?
Every one has given you great suggestions, you will need a porta potty when camping on the lake. Have a great time
 
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