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Lake Powell Canyoneering by Water

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Joe Hoover, May 27, 2020.

  1. Joe Hoover

    Joe Hoover King Zeus

    East of the desert
    My wife and I have been vacationing in Southern UT / Northern AZ in May for the past six years (not this year unfortunately). We normally go deep in the back country and find some remote canyon or hike to do as an overnight trip or go remote in one of the fine national parks. This year we are thinking about doing something different and exploring the area more in depth around Lake Powell in the September/October timeframe. The very general plan is this... Rent a boat (and kayaks) for a couple of days and try to explore some of the slots/canyons/arches both by water and by land. My initial questions are logistical in nature and are as follows:

    > Is this plan realistically doable?
    > Are there any issues with leaving a boat and going kayaking for a few hours?
    > Can I leave a safely leave a kayak on a beach and then hike inland for a bit?
    > Are there many beaches where I can bring a boat in and camp?
    > Other considerations/difficulties I may be missing?

    I know that I have the option of paying for a guide but generally prefer to do things on my own and increase my flexibility.
    I apologize in advance for for the newbie type questions but I have done many things around Lake Powell, but have never rented a boat there.

    Thanks in advance for any answers.
  2. Downward Bound

    Downward Bound

    Flagstaff, AZ
    Your plan is totally doable. My wife and I boat, camp, and hike Lake Powell a lot. Go after Labor Day and the crowds fall way off, but the weather is still fantastic. Never had any problems with leaving gear in camp.

    Here is a sample from last week:

    I have a number of Lake Powell videos on my YouTube page showing different areas of the lake.

    We’ve done winter trips where we did not see a single other boat for four full days. Had Rainbow Bridge to ourselves for a whole day, versus about 3,000 visitors per day in the summer months.

    Go for it!

    I would not want to be on the main lake in a kayak. The wind is too strong and the waves too big.
    As for campsites, they are totally lake-level dependent, but can be found in most major side canyons. We look for a good place to beach the boat with wind protection.
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
    Kuenn and Joe Hoover like this.
  3. Joe Hoover

    Joe Hoover King Zeus

    East of the desert

    Thanks for the information. Saw the video and it really makes me want to get there now. I'm in the planning phase now so the info you provided really helps me out.
    Downward Bound likes this.
  4. Sandstone Addiction

    Sandstone Addiction Headed South

    Salem, Utah
  5. Canyonero


    Be aware that many of the canyons in Glen Canyon are among the most technically difficult on the Colorado Plateau, including some that are relatively easy (well, nothing is really easy given the usual need for a boat or two) to access. It is not a beginner area and the general ethic in Glen Canyon is to not publish the canyons so as to provide the next party the same opportunity you had to do an "exploration." This isn't Zion. If you get stuck, there isn't going to be another party coming through the canyon tomorrow.

    The worst thing that has happened to my boat when left behind was it getting slammed with a flash flood.

    The worst thing that has happened to a kayak (it was actually paddleboards) was they were stolen while we were canyoneering.

    Yes, you can camp on many beaches.

    Bring a great deal of specialized technical gear and the ability to use it, plenty of rope, and a talented team.

    But if you just want to hike up from the lake and avoid technical canyoneering, that's doable too. You should be able to come back down what you went up.
    ratagonia likes this.
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