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Paddling Powell for the first time - where to camp, visit, and launch?

Hello everyone! I'm planning on doing a solo kayaking trip this March to Lake Powell with my cat (unless I can find people to come with, which is proving difficult so far). I have never paddled or visited there before and will be there for roughly 5-7 days, and am wondering what are the prettiest parts of the lake and where I should launch from. Any advice would be appreciated, thank you! :)



  • Sorry I can't help with Lake Powell, but find it fascinating that your cat enjoys kayaking with you. Where does he/she ride?

  • Demending on how windy it is, she's either in the kayak sleeping between my legs or she's perched on my shoulder like a pirate's parrot lol

  • Day trips or multiday camping from the kayak, not a car camp?

  • edited January 2018

    I live in Utah and a multi-day on Lake Powell is on my bucket list. The one thing I know for sure is that it's a huge lake and it can get very windy. You might not have as many power boats to contend with in March as you would in the summer, but you will likely see some. I've always thought the Lone Rock/Wahweap area might be a good place to start.
    Here's a link to the NPS website with a little info.

    Here's a good article on kayaking in the Wahweap/Labyrinth Canyon area.

  • Just found this post... it's near the end of March, did you and kitty make the trip? I actually lived in Page, AZ for 18 months in 1996-97, managed a large construction project at Navajo Generating Station. In those days I was a sailor, had a Catalina 22 with a little outboard... I sailed/motored everywhere on Lake Powell, an amazing place. Once had a friend show up with 2 powerful SeaDoos that did 65mph on the water... we rode from Wahweap Marina all the way to Bullfrog Marina (each carried 3-5gal jerry cans of gas) and back in one very long day... winds came up and much of the ride was brutal... it took a week to recover from the soreness, but man did we have a fun day.

    You can camp anywhere on the lake and there are tons of secluded beaches. Here is a good map: https://www.nps.gov/glca/planyourvisit/maps.htm

    If you haven't gone yet, for kayaking I would strongly recommend driving to Bullfrog or Halls Crossing to launch. It is much more scenic and protected upriver than in the open bays near Wahweap... also the bays are very big, and the constant boat swells and high winds would not make for serene paddling. Just my 2 cents worth.

  • Another 'just found this post',
    Back in the 90's and early 2000s, my wife and I took four, week long kayak camping trips on Lake Powell. either paddling from Wahweap or chartering a work boat to transport us up the lake. Two trips were in October, one in March and the other in April.
    Our March trip had us dropped at Rainbow Bridge. The snow line was only a 1000' above us. It was cold and we had a headwind the entire way back. Way too early in the season but we had the lake to ourselves.
    April was nice but October was even better with smaller crowds, warm water, pleasant weather and light winds .
    Watch for the sudden afternoon thunderstorms, They can produce large waves quickly and can be very dangerous if caught in a narrow canyon. Paddle early to avoid the storms.
    The lack of wind allowed us time to paddle in and out of miles of small, sometimes hidden canyons and grottos.
    It can be magical. The fishing can be good too, especially in the narrow canyons where bigger boats can't navigate.
    The Escalante arm offers some great hiking. Stay out of tribal lands unless permitted.

    We were lucky to paddle when the lake was near full but now, it is very low, Today, it's 91' below full basin or 52% of capacity, the result of the long term drought .
    We stopped going there once the water level dropped significantly. It reduces its scenic value and adds miles of extra paddling. The recently exposed sandstone leaches calcium and turns white, looking like a giant bathtub ring.
    If the lake ever fills up again, we are going to rent a houseboat for a couple weeks and explore the upper reaches of the lake, using the kayaks for long day trips.

  • I literally laughed out loud at the idea of you and your cat in a kayak! great stuff

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