Arming you with all the info you need to plan a rocking paddling trip down Lake Powell
At the Utah and Arizona Border lies the great Lake Powell, a 200-mile long reservoir. Many paddlers have had adventures here which they wouldn’t trade for the world, so in a bid to try and help you make the most of your time at Lake Powell, we’ve compiled a bumper know-how post, which should arm you with all the info you need to plan an awesome trip.
Before You Paddle Out
- The average time it takes paddlers to fully experience all that Lake Powell has on offer is between two and five days.
- The lake is easy to paddle, and suitable for almost all paddlers, although if you start your tour in Utah, things conditions can be a little more tedious since there are less services on offer, and the closest kayak rental provides is located 1.5 hours away.
- There is a $25 entrance fee payable at the Lees Ferry camping site, which covers parking and admission for 7 days.
- There are various water taxis that operate in and around the main camping site.
- There is no cellphone service in the area, so keep that in mind.
- Even if you’re planning a summer trip, bringing a warm sleeping bag is always a good idea since the desert temperatures drop unexpectedly at night.
- Remember to pack (and use) your porta-potty. There are no toilets in the area, which means that you have to cooperate with the wildlife and nature conservation efforts, and will be ticketed if you’re found without your loo facility on-hand.
- Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fresh water throughout the day to avoid dehydration in the extreme temperatures.
Where to Start Your Kayaking Adventure
One of the most popular launching sites can be found in Page, Arizona. You can launch at one of two marinas in the area: the Antelope Point Marina or the Wahweap Marina. Of course there are a few other launching points located around the beach camping areas.
If you plan to stay over for one night during your Lake Powell excursion, there are a few options to consider. If you’re a little strapped for cash (and prefer to keep things simple) your best bet would be to launch at Lone Rock or Wahweap, which both offer a of geological exploration option as well as camping sites.
If you start your adventure at Wahweap, your best bet would be to head down the lake or across to the Ice Cream Canyon and Lone Rock Canyon. If, however, you start out at Antelope Point, consider heading to the mouth of Navajo Canyon.
Are There Fees Payable for Overnight Camping?
Look: You can camp out for free anywhere along the shoreline of Lake Powell, but keep in mind that these “bareback” camp sites offer absolutely no services. If you’re prepared to take all your basic necessities along with you, you can definitely camp out for free.
When Is The Best Time for Kayaking?
Spring time and Fall are the best seasons for kayaking since summer equates to uncomfortably hot adventures, and winter times are reserved for only the most experienced (and toughest) of paddlers. Monsoon season starts in September, so if you’re not prepared to get very wet, steer clear of this time of year.
Are Paddlers Restricted To Certain Areas?
Yes, paddlers are not allowed to paddle inside of the main channel since there’s a lot of power boat and Jet Ski traffic going on in there. Staying close to the shore line is your best and safest bet.
Where to Camp Out
As mentioned before, there are various primitive camping grounds located in and around the canyon area. You’ll find these spots located at Lone Rock Beach, the area of Bullfrog Bay, Farley, and the Stanton Canyons. You are only permitted to use these camp grounds for a maximum of 14 consecutive days.
Points of Interest
There are a few spots in and around the Lake Powell trail that might be interesting to visit. Like for instance the Carl Hayden Visitor Center, located at Glen Canyon Bridge next to the dam. And then there’s the Lees Ferry, 15.3 miles downstream from Glen Canyon Dam, which offers a ranger station, a launch ramp, a courtesy dock, and a fish-cleaning station for your convenience.
The Wahweap Marina is located 5.5 miles from the visitor center on Lakeshore Drave, and offers lodging, food services, curio shops, laundry services, washrooms, and a service station. You can also pick up rentals in the marina or visit the National Park Service, which provides a few services such as a picnic site, a ranger station, and a boat pump-out station to name a few.
Need More Info?
We’ve done our best to give you all the pointers that we could think of for planning a kayaking trip on Lake Powell, but given the fact that no single source can be 100% concise, we’re providing you with a few additional resources which might add a little more information to your already crammed arsenal of knowledge.
You can check out this review of a trip of Powell if you want to know more about Kayak Rentals.
Alternatively, you may also be interested in the Paddling.Net article on Lake Powell.
For more info on planning an overnight trip on Lake Powel, feel free to check out this article.
This article provides a bunch of useful tips for camping out in Lake Powell.
What to Pack for a Lake Powell Kayaking Trip
Just in case you’re feeling a little unsure about what to pack for your Powell trip, here are a few basic items that’ll come in handy
- A Touring-style kayak
- Dry Bags (you know, to keep your things dry)
- A backpacking-style tent
- A sleeping bag (and perhaps a sleeping pad too, just to ensure things are comfy when you nod off)
- Headlamps or lanterns
- Compact and portable backpacking camping stove
- A small, soft cooler
- A lighter or matches
- Fresh water and purification tabs
- Toilet paper and your porta-potty
- A multi-tool or camping knife
- Garbage bags
- A GPS or GPS-watch
- A basic first aid kit
- A Lake Powell Map
- A rain jacket
- Waterproof sunscreen
- SPF lip balm