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Shot in the dark asking if anyone has been in Face Canyon this year

nrobins012

Member
Does anyone have pictures? My boyfriend and I camped there in September 2020 and that was my first time to Lake Powell and I fell in love with the lake. We camped maybe in the middle or near the end of the canyon (at the time) (I do have the exact GPS location if anyone cares), but took our boat all the way to where it ended just for fun and I was like a kid in a candy store. I am just super curious if anyone has recent pictures from there? We were at the lake a week ago for a day trip but we didn't have time to venture back into Face (and he keeps telling me there's no way we would have been able to make it back to our campsite anyway). We noticed that the floating toilet right before the canyon is 100% beached, which is a good indicator of how the canyon would look, but I was still curious. It just blows my mind that this year we can't even access that campsite. Call me a Lake Powell newbie, but thanks for having me :)
 

Peto

Well-Known Member
I was is Face in Feb but i don't have any pictures. There were a few beaches towards the mouth but i don't remember any towards the back. We only went about 3/4 of the way back. We were just idling along while we ate lunch.
 

JFRCalifornia

Well-Known Member
I don't have any recent pictures either, but it's worth noting that if you went in Sept 2020, the lake was close to 3600, or about 40 feet higher than today. One of the nice things about Face Canyon is that if you've got a kayak, are willing to hike, and the lake levels are low (like now), you can get some really nice access well beyond what you could do in a speedboat. It's a pretty awesome hike into some great narrows... way better than if the lake were say, above 3610. If you can get in there, this is the prime time to see Face Canyon.

As for campsites, you ought to be able to find something near the mouth of Face Canyon, especially on the west side toward the entrance...

Here's my past notes on beaches and hiking in Face Canyon, some of which doesn't apply now because we are at such low lake levels:

Beaches. More campsites at higher lake levels, especially above 3650. Nice beach in righthand (west side) cove about 2.5 miles up the canyon at lake level 3640-3660. Most of the best sites in general are within the first two miles of the canyon, and typically in the coves on the right, or west side, of the canyon. Some sites are possible in these areas from 3600 and higher, but there are fewer sites as the lake level drops and coves become less accessible. Few if any sites in the entire canyon below 3590.

Hiking and Access. Face Canyon features an excellent convoluted slot, but it is only accessible from a boat at certain lake levels. The slot may require swimming depending on whether there was a recent flood, and some climbing may be needed. The slot disappears underwater above 3610 or so. The best boat access is when the lake is at 3600-3605. At that point, it’s wide enough for a speedboat to get to the end and beach, with a hike to a slot about 0.4-0.5 mile beyond the landing site. But if the lake is lower, especially below 3590, there is a pinch point of about 5 feet in width that will stop a speedboat. But kayak access is possible at these lower levels, with the hike beyond as described above. When the lake is between 3620 and 3650, it may be possible to access the end of the canyon with a speedboat, but there is no landing and the slot is inundated, so no hiking is possible. When the lake is full, a landing may be possible beyond the slot area (not verified), but the slot is inundated. The canyon narrows toward the end, making boat access and landing potentially difficult.

There is possible access to the end with a skiboat when lake levels are below 3610, otherwise it gets too narrow. Kayaks or small fishing boats may access to the end at most lake levels. This is an excellent slot canyon, but the best part of the slot disappears when the lake is above 3608.
 

wayne gustaveson

Moderator
Staff member
Does anyone have pictures? My boyfriend and I camped there in September 2020 and that was my first time to Lake Powell and I fell in love with the lake. We camped maybe in the middle or near the end of the canyon (at the time) (I do have the exact GPS location if anyone cares), but took our boat all the way to where it ended just for fun and I was like a kid in a candy store. I am just super curious if anyone has recent pictures from there? We were at the lake a week ago for a day trip but we didn't have time to venture back into Face (and he keeps telling me there's no way we would have been able to make it back to our campsite anyway). We noticed that the floating toilet right before the canyon is 100% beached, which is a good indicator of how the canyon would look, but I was still curious. It just blows my mind that this year we can't even access that campsite. Call me a Lake Powell newbie, but thanks for having me :)
Face Canyon gets very narrow towards the end of the canyon. Then around the last corner the water ends at a sand bar with a small trickle of water. You can walk on the sand but it is unstable in spots and you may sink up to your knees in the mud. BE CAREFUL!
Right after leaving your boat, the canyon splits into two forks. The left fork heads up the canyon but there is long pond requiring you to swim if you want to go further. The main right fork is the main Face canyon and a better hike, but still be careful of the muddy sand bars.
I will add some photos this afternoon on my home computer.
 

nrobins012

Member
Thanks everyone for the responses! I found some pictures of where we were camping, it had a super fun hike behind it that went up a canyon and then onto the surrounding mountain. It was ridiculously windy when we were there so we couldn’t do a ton of exploring with the boat because it was hard to see low spots, but that was definitely a hike I’d want to do again if we can get there. There were a lot of rocks around where we camped so I assume it will depend on how gradual of a slope our campsite was on to see if we can get there in a kayak without a bunch of climbing. We were both saying last year that we wish we had jet skis or a kayak (all we had was the boat) to explore some of the side canyons so when we return this September for our houseboat rental we are definitely bringing the kayak!2CC27FE3-CCF7-4975-81DE-1523574FA7C8.jpeg5FBAA59C-E669-43A3-9A6F-77B3816482E8.jpeg
 

JFRCalifornia

Well-Known Member
Thanks everyone for the responses! I found some pictures of where we were camping, it had a super fun hike behind it that went up a canyon and then onto the surrounding mountain. It was ridiculously windy when we were there so we couldn’t do a ton of exploring with the boat because it was hard to see low spots, but that was definitely a hike I’d want to do again if we can get there. There were a lot of rocks around where we camped so I assume it will depend on how gradual of a slope our campsite was on to see if we can get there in a kayak without a bunch of climbing. We were both saying last year that we wish we had jet skis or a kayak (all we had was the boat) to explore some of the side canyons so when we return this September for our houseboat rental we are definitely bringing the kayak!View attachment 12983View attachment 12984
Nice shots! I think I figured out where your camp was, and took three screenshots of it at different lake levels: 3628, 3598, and 3574 from the perspective of your first photo. You were there when it was close to 3598. But look at the 3574 image to get an idea of more what it looks like now, only with even less water than that.... not too promising...


This one is at 3598, similar to when you were there...
Face Camp - 3598.jpg


This is at 3574... and today it's at 3560, so it won't even have this much water... not too promising...
Face Camp - 3574.jpg

And here's 3628... a very nice campsite at that level...
Face Camp - 3628.jpg
 

nrobins012

Member
Nice shots! I think I figured out where your camp was, and took three screenshots of it at different lake levels: 3628, 3598, and 3574 from the perspective of your first photo. You were there when it was close to 3598. But look at the 3574 image to get an idea of more what it looks like now, only with even less water than that.... not too promising...


This one is at 3598, similar to when you were there...
View attachment 12985


This is at 3574... and today it's at 3560, so it won't even have this much water... not too promising...
View attachment 12986

And here's 3628... a very nice campsite at that level...
View attachment 12987
Oh my goodness!!! We both thought it was so cool that you recognized the exact campsite, and these pictures were pretty much exactly what I wanted. Thank you SO MUCH!!! This is incredible.
 

nrobins012

Member
Camped, with tent yesterday. Maybe 3 spots to camp in the entire length. All sand filled mini washes are oozing quick sand. Great place if you hit the right spot. All on west side.
We have been wondering about some of the camping sites we found in side canyons that we could barely get to last year, I am sure they're done for this year. My boyfriend keeps telling me he is sorry he introduced me to the lake when it is in such record lows, but he is glad I am in love with it anyway!
 

nrobins012

Member
Here is the narrow canyon a little further up Face Cyn. After the camp site shown in the previous picture at lake elevation 3565.
elevationView attachment 12989

Then you can get out of the boat and walk up the stream bed. Turn left and you hit a puddle.


View attachment 12990


Go straight and the canyon provides a good hike.

View attachment 12991
Thank you for the pictures! Just wondering, what kind of boat were you in here? I think we will have a 19 footer or a kayak in September.
 

JFRCalifornia

Well-Known Member
We have been wondering about some of the camping sites we found in side canyons that we could barely get to last year, I am sure they're done for this year. My boyfriend keeps telling me he is sorry he introduced me to the lake when it is in such record lows, but he is glad I am in love with it anyway!
Here’s the thing about low lake levels. If you don’t have any past point of reference, then saw the lake for the first time this year, you’d think it’s incredible. Then if suddenly the lake rose 50 feet the next year, and your favorite spot disappeared, you’d be disappointed.

Enjoyment is all about being in the moment, rather than basing your hopes on past experience... and that’s especially true for Lake Powell...

...glad Lake Powell is your new friend...
 

Dougie

Well-Known Member
JFR is right. The lake at most any level is addictingly beautiful. This year, (and next) the question will be launch access and summer crowds on handicapped ramps. Of the 4 boaters in my family, one has put his up for sale, and the other three are spending their Powell skiing weeks (and money) at the beach in Southern California and hitting Disney now that the CDC has, in their great wisdom, declared everything safe. Even Disney Anaheim should be fully open after June 15. So if my family situation mirrors other family decisions being made out there, Page and Bullfrog and Halls and Dangling Rope had better make contingency plans for this season and the 2022 season as well. Pray for snow!
 

nrobins012

Member
Here’s the thing about low lake levels. If you don’t have any past point of reference, then saw the lake for the first time this year, you’d think it’s incredible. Then if suddenly the lake rose 50 feet the next year, and your favorite spot disappeared, you’d be disappointed.

Enjoyment is all about being in the moment, rather than basing your hopes on past experience... and that’s especially true for Lake Powell...

...glad Lake Powell is your new friend...
Agreed! Actually, we went and saw the double arch in Rock Creek and I thought it is cool that it apparently doubles as a swimming hole when the lake is high enough. Endless opportunities to see new things!
 

nrobins012

Member
JFR is right. The lake at most any level is addictingly beautiful. This year, (and next) the question will be launch access and summer crowds on handicapped ramps. Of the 4 boaters in my family, one has put his up for sale, and the other three are spending their Powell skiing weeks (and money) at the beach in Southern California and hitting Disney now that the CDC has, in their great wisdom, declared everything safe. Even Disney Anaheim should be fully open after June 15. So if my family situation mirrors other family decisions being made out there, Page and Bullfrog and Halls and Dangling Rope had better make contingency plans for this season and the 2022 season as well. Pray for snow!
As someone who lives in Colorado, every time we get snow I hope it is a huge storm that makes it back to Powell! We have a houseboat reservation in September and we are just crossing our fingers that they don't cancel it on us. Our group is super excited to go, even with the low lake level.
 
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