Paddling Lake Powell, Utah

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Greg, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Greg

    Greg Paddler

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    [Admin: This discussion was split from the "Where Did You Paddle? - October 2010" discussion as it was becoming a discussion all it's own.]

    Waverider,

    If you plan on doing a trip at Lake Powell here is a link to a great boating guide book for the entire lake. I think you can get it cheaper on Amazon, but I found this link for it at REI.

    http://www.rei.com/product/777837

    Greg
     
  2. SheilaP

    SheilaP Paddler

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    Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE ?? - OCTOBER 2010

    Looks like we need a WCP trip to this location. :clap: :clap: :clap: Your photos are so great that I want to go too! :big_thumb
     
  3. waverider

    waverider Paddler

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    Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE ?? - OCTOBER 2010

    Thanks Greg for the link, I will check it out.

    Do I see a road trip in the works Sheila and Darren ?
     
  4. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE ?? - OCTOBER 2010

    Im in
     
  5. SheilaP

    SheilaP Paddler

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    Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE ?? - OCTOBER 2010

    Me too! :mrgreen:
     
  6. greg0rn

    greg0rn Paddler

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    Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE ?? - OCTOBER 2010

    I'm working on this trip as well.

    Now, keep in mind that paddling that beautiful reservoir is one thing. Getting there is another story. You will be travelling through some of the most scenic parts of the american continent, so make sure your holiday time is generous enough to have enough allowance for site seeing and picture taking.

    In this Fiery Furnace, Utah area for example, labyrinth created by canyons, arches and ledges is so complex, that it is too dangerous to enter the area without a guide.
     

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  7. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE ?? - OCTOBER 2010

    Having never been in the outdoors in a place that southernly, I have to ask... what are the dangers? Are there things slithering around at night that want to eat you? Are there things flying around in the air that want to eat you? Are there things swimming around in the water than want to eat you? Just curious.

    *****
     
  8. waverider

    waverider Paddler

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    Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE ?? - OCTOBER 2010

    Cool guys we will continue the talk over on Facebook? Good point Dan, are we replacing our raccoons for rattlesnakes?!
    Greg you are so right, getting there is a big challenge at 2032 kms (from my house) and roughly 21 hours and 31 mins (how google earth knows that is beyond me? ) but after spending time looking at photo's on Google Earth it is worth the effort. I think the biggest challenge is deciding which part to of the lake to paddle and being able to leave such a beautiful place.
     
  9. greg0rn

    greg0rn Paddler

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    Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE ?? - OCTOBER 2010

    Dan, after carefully reading my post I realize that it was not stated clearly enough to understand the source of danger:

    In this Fiery Furnace, Utah area for example, labyrinth created by canyons, arches and ledges is so complex, that it is too dangerous to enter the area without a guide.

    That three-dimensional jungle of rocks, boulders, canyons, shelves, ledges, and so on is like a maze. You will enter it, but soon will not be able to figure out how to find your way through it. Two days later you will be out of water, a week later the rescue team will find your body by following vultures. Of course, being equipped with rock climbing equipment would help somehow. GPS would not.

    I hope now you get the idea Dan.
     
  10. greg0rn

    greg0rn Paddler

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    Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE ?? - OCTOBER 2010

    I clearly understand your position waverider. But by driving just to get there you will miss a lot.
     
  11. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE ?? - OCTOBER 2010

    Yeah Greg, I got what you posted about the maze of passageways and am aware of the heat related dangers. It's the critters and creatures that I'm curious about.

    *****
     
  12. greg0rn

    greg0rn Paddler

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    Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE ?? - OCTOBER 2010

    We've never had a problem. But just to be on the save site, we usually hire an escort:




    Just kidding :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Winter months are normally ok for the critters. Mountain lions are not that frequent. I've camped perhaps six times and never had a problem. My local contact never indicated that snakes or scorpions would be an issue in the area.

    Paddling there is really good, warm and scenic. Occasional rain is a pleasure:



    I'm working on a plan to go there next fall for a ten day trip. Will take the double and replace my wife with some food and drink:


    Perhaps we'll run into each other in one of the slot canyons.
     

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  13. SheilaP

    SheilaP Paddler

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    Re: WHERE DID YOU PADDLE ?? - OCTOBER 2010

    Your escort looks related Greg! :yikes:
     
  14. greg0rn

    greg0rn Paddler

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    Re: Paddling Powell Lake

    Congratulations Sheila. Excellent identification. You just passed Ethnical Anthropology 101 course with flying colours. :big_thumb :big_thumb :big_thumb
     
  15. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Re: Paddling Powell Lake

    I've spent a bit of time hiking in deserts similar to that. You drive in along rough gravel roads, sometimes not seeing another car for days at a time, or even hours at a time on the paved highways. Occasionally you get to a point where a flash flood has washed away a few hundred feet of the road, leaving nothing but a 10-12 foot deep canyon in its wake. The 'river' will never pass there again so next time it'll be a different section of the road. Normally there's no water around at all, but when there is, there's a lot of it, moving quickly, and then it's gone just as fast.

    Then you get to the canyon areas, which twist and wind around endlessly and all the critters live underground so although they'll feel you coming from a long ways away, you won't even know they're there. After exploring one area for about an hour, we re-traced our steps and discovered a rather large tarantula that one of us had stepped on and not even realized. We were lucky (true, only about 1% of them are poisonous, but they all bite!). Yeah, it's a dangerous area to explore on your own - perhaps that adds to the beauty of it. Truly a gorgeous part of the world!
     
  16. Greg

    Greg Paddler

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    Re: Paddling Powell Lake

    Well I was just there for nine days and I did several back country hikes and the only critters I experience were lizards, mostly small (4 to 6 inches), but I did see one that was about 10 inches but he didn't want any part of my business, he dissappeared very quickly behind some rocks. I never saw any snakes, which in the guide book I read they state there are very few snakes close to the lakes shoreline because there are very few mice or rodents for them to eat. They do state that you might find rattlesnakes up the canyons where there is brush and more food for mice and then there might be snakes, but as I said I went on several hikes and found none.

    In the evening just after sunset there are bats that come out to feed on flying nats and bugs, but they don't seem to be interested in humans. They do get close sometimes and you might think their going to run into you, but I never had one run into me thank god.

    Other than that the only other critters or animals I heard or saw were beavers that I heard at one campsite each morning gnawing on some small trees, but I never saw them. The really cool birds I saw where some California Condors that soar high up on the canyon walls getting up drafts to glide on. Some of these birds are huge with wing spans of 8 to 10 feet, truly amazing to watch them glide along the canyon walls.

    I did see a couple of mice come out behind rocks in the evening when I turned all my lights out and sat in the dark, and reason I could see them I had a full moon the week I was there, but little movement of a foot or something and they scurried back to their hiding spots.

    It's a good drive from just about everywhere to get to this lake. I live in Southern California and I had a 14 hour drive, so I did it in two days.

    Waverider, you are correct on the delima of deciding what part of the lake to paddle. I chose the middle to upper sections. I launched at a marina named Halls Crossing and paddled down lake to Escalante canyon, up Escalante and then made my way back to Halls Crossing, checking out several canyons on the way back. There are only about four places on the entire lake that you can get access to by car and your kayak, Wahweep Marina, Halls Crossing, Bullfrog Marina and Hite. Wahweep in down near the Glen Canyon Dam, Halls Crossing is 94 miles up lake from the dam on the south shore and Bullfrog is across the lake from Halls at about 100 miles from the dam, and I beleive Hite is another 50 miles up river from Bullfrog.

    I think any trip would be spactacular but they claim the middle part of the lake has the most senic areas and highest walled canyons. Rainbow bridge is locatated 50 miles from the dam and they say that Escalante Canyon has some of the most senic areas of all, so that was my destination.

    If you guys are seriously thinking of getting a group trip together I would be interested in joining in and going again. You could paddle this lake for years and never see everything.

    As I said in an earlier post mid September to early October is really the prime time slot to paddle the lake. Not as hot as in July and August and the water is still warm enough to swim in without a wetsuit.

    Here is a link to my trip photos, if your interested in seeing more photos of the area.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/GregandShar ... 3546527602
     
  17. nick

    nick Paddler

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    Re: Paddling Powell Lake

    Absolutely beautiful!!
     
  18. Rrdstarr

    Rrdstarr Paddler

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    Re: Paddling Powell Lake

    Been there in '82 on a family reunion houseboat party for a week. Beautiful place, but the winds really get up sometimes! Even bounces around a big anchored houseboat! It would be fun you just have to watch our for the power boaters!

    Also some places to stop along the way are up near Moab. Our 4Wd club used to go down to the SW corner of Utah and CO for some beautiful wheeling! If someone could drop you off at Moab, UT you will eventually wind up in Lake Powell!

    The title of this was confusing???
    Powell Lake..... I haven't heard of another Lake Powell! :D
     
  19. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Re: Paddling Powell Lake

    :oops:

    Fixed. Thanks.

    *****