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Thread: 4 Day Camping Trip on Lake Powell: 18' boat and 6 people

  1. #1

    4 Day Camping Trip on Lake Powell: 18' boat and 6 people

    So for about a year, we had been planning a road trip from Florida to AZ and UT to do some hiking, off-roading, and boating out on Lake Powell. This trip report is the Lake Powell portion of that trip.
    The logistics of planning this trip were a bit crazy, since I realized the sheer amount of people, the budget I was working with, and the amount of self-sufficiency required for four days out on the lake with all the food and water needed for everyone, as well as the portable toilet required, and relief from the heat in the 100 plus temps encountered in late July. The packing list was pretty large. A cooler for dry goods, a cooler for perishables, water containers, shade canopy, tents, sleeping bags (not really even needed during this time of year) and air mattresses (traveling with girls...they need their comfort). Not to mention all the camp gear, fishing poles, clothing, and camp chairs.
    I plotted out a course that would take us to Dungeon Canyon the first night, then off to Oak Canyon/ Secret Canyon the next night, then back to Warm Creek Bay the last night. I also wanted to make sure we were near the floating restrooms, so we could use the facilities instead of taking a dump in the Luggable Loo, which I was curious to use, but was not a fan of having to do the cleanup.
    I picked up an 18' Bayliner from Skylite Boat rentals in Big Water. I had used them before, and they offer great rental prices and some dependable boats. We arrived later than I anticipated in Page due to a side trip to the Grand Canyon after leaving Sedona. By the time we had the boat loaded up and we were on our way to the Wahweap ramp, it was pushing 5:30 pm....not good. I definitely did not want to have the boat out after sunset.
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    We managed to shoehorn everything in the little boat, and kept the seats open for the six. I had apprehensions about how the boat would handle this loaded down, but once I got used to the sluggish response, I was good to go. We motored out of Wahweap as the sun started to dip, and realized that our first night site would definitely not be Dungeon Canyon. We found a site that was pretty much across the way from Antelope Point Marina's launch ramp that was relatively flat and had a nice beach. We set up quick camp with one tent and some chairs, cooked dinner and cooled off in the water. The temps were relatively tame this night, and we slept comfortably. But once the sun came up in the morning, we were on fire. With temps in the 100's in Page, I easily estimated the lake temps (especially further up lake) would be easily 102 and up for our trip.
    We packed up pretty quickly, and began the journey to Dangling Rope for some supplies. I had bought dry ice and ice blocks in Page, and used those in the cooler to keep our food as cold as possible. They worked very well, but the dry ice left a nasty taste on some of the fruit we had stored in the cooler, despite wrapping the food and ice real well. The ice blocks worked the best.
    We arrived in Dangling Rope in the afternoon, after leisurely exploring. I am sorry I don't have many pics of the journey, as I was trying to navigate, making sure things didn't fly out of the boat, and making periodic stops so everyone could dive into the water. We did this about 3 times in Padre Bay, somewhere near Dangling Rope, and right near the entrance to Rainbow Bridge.
    We set up camp in the blazing heat that day, in Secret Canyon. We found a nice beach area not occupied by a houseboat. There was a houseboat parked about 200 yards from us, but it appeared quiet.
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    That evening we did some fishing, swimming and messed around hiking around the rocks.
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    That night, the people in the houseboat decided to party until 4 am. Yes. 4 am. I am all about people having fun, but I also about consideration for others. They remained on deck all night, yelling, screaming, girls making the annoying "wheeeeeeeeeeewwww" exclamations, and just generally loud and obnoxious behavior. I would have had no issues if they got off the deck at midnight and then went inside to finish their drinking, but their lack of consideration was appalling. Upon awakening the next morning, the decision was made to go out and explore today, and if we returned and the boat was still there, we would load up camp (which is not fun or easy) and look for a quieter spot.
    We headed out bright and early to Rainbow Bridge, before the crowds arrived and before the heat of the day made the hike miserable. When we pulled in, there was only one other boat docked, so we started out on the hike having the trail all to ourselves.
    Rainbow Bridge is always awesome to see.
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    We enjoyed the peace and quiet, and started to head back, just in time. We encountered a lot of people walking to the monument as we were headed back, making us glad we came early. We decided to head to the Escalante River and check out Cathedral in the Desert. Considering the water levels, I figured we could boat right up to the waterfall, which was absolutely the case. I wish I took more pics here, but we enjoyed climbing the waterfall so much and messing around in the cool water (which was very clean and delicious, by the way) we kind of got sidetracked.
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    This is my daughter and her boyfriend swimming at the Cathedral. We headed on off to Indian Creek Canyon and found an awesome little amphitheater at the end of it where we let the boat float, got out and swam, and enjoying the sun on the rocks you could easily climb onto. After a relatively full day of exploring and boating, we headed back to our site, used the floating restroom, and noticed the loud partiers were still there. It was time to get out of Dodge. But, as we decided to do so, a wind storm came out of nowhere. We waited it out...for almost two hours, holding onto out tents and gear, as the gusts kicked up, blowing dust over us and everything else. We loaded up....again. Mind you, this is the most exhausting part of the whole ordeal. Constantly loading, unloading and setting up/breaking down camp.
    We stared to head back to civilization, when I noticed the gas gauge on the boat was dropping pretty quick. I made a beeline to Dangling Rope, and noticed the sky growing gray and ominous. We made it to the marina on fumes...literally. Filled the tank, got some ice cream and replenished the ice, and headed off to scout our last night's campsite. We managed to make it into Padre Bay by 4 pm, and I skirted along the shoreline and found a primo spot...no houseboats and no people. A small sandy beach and lots of flat rock to sleep. We decided (a decision that would prove to be a bad one) to not set up tents, and to sleep under the stars tonight.
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    This spot was, by far, the nicest spot we had camped. It was quiet and beautiful. But, as the night fell, so did the raindrops. The kids made a makeshift tent out of tarps on the boat, in case it got worse. We had to laugh. The storm lingered for hours, well until 2 am, and a light, steady rain fell on us, soaking our air mattresses and sleeping bags. I eventually fell asleep and we woke to the blazing heat of the morning sun, drenched in sweat....not rainwater. After drying out all our gear, we loaded up, and concluded our little adventure. We drove back to Wahweap with some great memories, and a bit sunburned.
    If I had to do it all over again, I would: not do it with all the kids, try to stick to the game plan better, pack much lighter, and establish base camp closer to Dangling Rope...and not move every night. That would have made it easier on everyone, but...you live and learn.
    Mountain guy trapped in the wetlands of Florida.

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  4. #2
    Hint: don't camp anywhere near my crew while on the lake as I can tell from your post you won't be happy about it.. my motto has always been there will be plenty of time for sleep when you're dead.

    However we usually try and warn anyone pulling in next to us that we party hard. They usually respond so do we.... which makes us laugh when they move camp the next morning.... yeehawwww

  5. Likes rich67 liked this post
  6. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    Hint: don't camp anywhere near my crew while on the lake as I can tell from your post you won't be happy about it.. my motto has always been there will be plenty of time for sleep when you're dead.

    However we usually try and warn anyone pulling in next to us that we party hard. They usually respond so do we.... which makes us laugh when they move camp the next morning.... yeehawwww
    Lol! Wait...were YOU in Secret Canyon a few weeks ago?!? I knew it!!!


    Sent from my iPhone 6
    Mountain guy trapped in the wetlands of Florida.

  7. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by rich67 View Post
    screaming, girls making the annoying "wheeeeeeeeeeewwww" exclamations
    Somehow I knew exactly how annoying these drunk girls were, just by reading this line

  8. Likes rich67 liked this post

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