Lake Powell

Over the long Thanksgiving weekend of 26 Nov 08, Tracy and I headed out for another long weekend kayaking on Lake Powell. We rented kayaks from REI and then headed to Bullfrog on the north end of the lake. We had tried to kayak here earlier in the spring, but the kayak rental situation didn’t work out, so we decided to try it again. The weather started out a little questionable but the rain stopped before we got to the lake on Thanksgiving. The first day we paddled for a couple of hours and set up camp on the main channel of the Colorado River. The lake was considerably higher than the last time we were here (about 30 feet), but it had obviously recently dropped from its springtime highs, and the banks were all mud and quicksand…good times! But we got camp set up and had an uneventful night. It did rain on us overnight but we stayed dry.

The next morning we got up and paddled to Lake Canyon a little further down river. We left camp set up and just prayed the ravens wouldn’t rip it to shreds. We also noticed, after we had paddled about a mile from camp, that there was a small power station at the top of the mountain where we were camped…good times. But even though it was echoing off the canyon walls while we paddled away, we couldn’t hear it from camp. So we paddled on to Lake Canyon and fully explored the canyon and its side canyons. The weather was really nice and the canyon was really nice. We saw lots and lots (hundreds) of fish feeding off the top of the water, and we just had a generally nice day. We paddled to the back end of Lake Canyon until the water started to get really clogged up with debris…it was a really different experience to get to the back end of a canyon like that. Most other canyons we had paddled usually ended abruptly, but this one just petered out. After getting to the end we paddled back to camp. The ravens hadn’t shredded our tent, and we hiked around some on the slickrock above camp. There was a lot of slickrock up there, and it was really pretty…I love slickrock. We only saw 3 boats all day, which was nice.

The next day we got up and decided to start heading back up river. We crossed to the opposite shore and explored side canyons. We found a couple of really nice slot canyons and just enjoyed exploring. Tracy found an abandoned tent on the side of the lake…that was weird. Then we had the best part of the trip: Lost Eden Canyon. I think the Park Service calls it Annie’s Canyon but my GPS map called it Lost Eden. And it was REALLY nice. It would be a totally different experience at any other water level, but in the state we found it, it was perfect. We found a couple of caves…or at least deep alcoves…which had beautiful light reflecting off the calm lake and dancing across the roof of the alcoves. It’s hard to explain just how peaceful and pretty it really was. I tried taking video of it but it doesn’t do it justice. All of Lost Eden Canyon was outstanding and we had it completely to ourselves. It wouldn’t be nearly as nice with other boats in the canyon or at any other water level…but it was outstanding the way we found it. After leaving Lost Eden we paddled into Halls Creek Bay and got out and hiked around the slickrock. By this time, though, we were starting to see more boats racing around the lake, and the spell we had been under for 3 days was broken. We sat in the bay and enjoyed the nice weather but decided we wanted to head back rather than spend the rest of the night being mad at all the boats. So we loaded back up and paddled back to the truck, making it to the landing just before dark…and at the same time as about 15 motor boats…good times.

As always, though, this was a great trip. It’s hard to beat kayaking on Lake Powell this time of year. Unfortunately, we’ve realized that we’ve gone about as far as we can in kayaks in a long weekend from the marinas at both ends of the lake. I think we’ll either have to rent a motor boat if we want to go further, or we’ll have to have someone ferry us further away from the marinas.

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