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saidainc

Lake Powell Advice

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saidainc

Howdy all, planning a late spring trip to Lake Powell in May and hoping to get advice from anyone from the area or who has been there? Really excited to get the MXZ on the water but dont know which areas are more conducive to houseboating and which areas would be better for camping and wakeboarding/surfing?

Thanks so much and Merry Christmas all!

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MoonDawg

If you are coming from So Cal your best option is Wahweap Marina otherwise you have another full day of driving to get to Hite or Bullfrog. I think the scenery is much better closer to the dam.

Skiing always seems to be hit or miss based on the wind. Sunrise skiing is the best. There is very little beach for the waves to dissipate on. They hit the walls and reflect back again. By noon you

could have 6ft standing waves in the middle. It gets pretty harry sometimes. It is not uncommon to have a boat get swamped in the main channel.

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Live2Ride

Wow, really? 6 foot waves!!

We are planning a trip down there in the fall, my dad wants to rent a houseboat and do some fly fishing on some of the rivers. I was thinking about driving the bu down, but maybe not now.

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CJAY

I have never seen 6 foot waves at powell, even in the worst of storms, I've been maybe 10-15 times. Depending on where you camp there is flat water to be hadd all day long. The main channel can have some roller issues, just be careful. Typically you get choppy water and that's about it. I have seen 4 foot waves in bad storms. The key is get a cove that protects you from the weather and don't camp under cliffs. The only problem with spring riding is the water is still cold.

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TheHardWay

Late season storms on the main channel are some of the scariest boating situations I have ever been in. We almost lost my buddies 24' Supra Sunsport.

I've never been to the Wahweap side, only the Hall's/Bullfrog side. There are some beaches on the northern end that make for a good place to park a houseboat and hang out on the shore. I made a trip down there at the end of last May and it was great. The water was almost 70 already with the snow melt water raising the lake nearly a foot a day!

My best advice for the lake is be VERY careful keeping an eye out for the prop getter rocks!

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JEFFR

We like to go out of Antelope point marina. The company that rents houseboats is forever resorts and they are much better than Aramark Great boating to be had and the marina is great. Look at a map of the lake and look at Gunsight area, great area for skiing/boarding. It is not too far from the marina either. Many places to beach a houseboat. We just recently bought into a houseboat which is slipped at Antelope point. Definitely bring your BU, some great boating to be had and less crowds. Bring a wetsuit.

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saidainc

Thanks so much guys. Guess I thought that Powell would be a little bit better destination for a BU than I am understanding. Waves, rocks, cold water really dont sit well with someone who just bought a new boat or any boat for that matter. We were just going to camp and not do the houseboat thing....idk maybe I havent planned this well enough. :unsure:

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TallRedRider

I have never seen 6 foot waves at powell, even in the worst of storms, I've been maybe 10-15 times.

You have been fortunate. I have only seen pictures, and I have some friends that have been caught in very bad storms. My buddy's brother lost his X30 in one of those. And there were more than a dozen other boats that went other as well.

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2009/08/storm-glen-canyon-national-recreation-area-swamps-or-damages-more-dozen-boats4442

Late season storms on the main channel are some of the scariest boating situations I have ever been in. We almost lost my buddies 24' Supra Sunsport.

Generally speaking, those storms are worst in late summer, like Redrum says. In spring, it can be breezy, but not severe like the late summer thunderstorms.

If you find areas where the shore is sloping, instead of cliffs, the water can be super nice. When it is calm, next to the cliffs is great too, but after 1 or 2 passes, the waves will reflect back and forth for 25 minutes before it calms again. 1 person tubing can destroy an entire region of the lake that way.

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CJAY

Thanks so much guys. Guess I thought that Powell would be a little bit better destination for a BU than I am understanding. Waves, rocks, cold water really dont sit well with someone who just bought a new boat or any boat for that matter. We were just going to camp and not do the houseboat thing....idk maybe I havent planned this well enough. :unsure:

The water warms greatly in the summer, and stays warm well into fall. You have 80 degree water in July through sept. There are lots of rocks, and you have to be careful. It's not an easy vacation, but it's worth it. Just make sure you do some research before you go, and scout out the areas you run. You're not going to be able to get very far into the lake wiht just a bu, you'll eat up a ton of gas and need to be able to get back to a marina often. WE went through an avg of 3/4 of a tank of gas a day per boat per day, and that was just riding.

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CJAY

You have been fortunate. I have only seen pictures, and I have some friends that have been caught in very bad storms. My buddy's brother lost his X30 in one of those. And there were more than a dozen other boats that went other as well.

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2009/08/storm-glen-canyon-national-recreation-area-swamps-or-damages-more-dozen-boats4442

Generally speaking, those storms are worst in late summer, like Redrum says. In spring, it can be breezy, but not severe like the late summer thunderstorms.

If you find areas where the shore is sloping, instead of cliffs, the water can be super nice. When it is calm, next to the cliffs is great too, but after 1 or 2 passes, the waves will reflect back and forth for 25 minutes before it calms again. 1 person tubing can destroy an entire region of the lake that way.

I've been through some very very ugly storms there, 6ft waves would be considered storm waves for the west coast. 4 ft waves can swamp and sink a house boat. 2-3ft waves could easily take out a wakeboat. Odds are what you think are 6 ft waves are really 3 ft. Last trip we had a day where we had 2 ft waves rollig into our cove all day due to a sotrm, we had to prtect the wake boat all day long.

For the most part thouhg, barring a good storm, you really just get white caps in the main channel. THe key it find a cove that has beaches that will help calm the water so you can ride more consistanly

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TallRedRider

Thanks so much guys. Guess I thought that Powell would be a little bit better destination for a BU than I am understanding. Waves, rocks, cold water really dont sit well with someone who just bought a new boat or any boat for that matter. We were just going to camp and not do the houseboat thing....idk maybe I havent planned this well enough. :unsure:

Don't be discouraged. I think if you are looking for a wakeboarding destination, go down the road to Lake Mead in September. Nothing but butter all day long. The scenery is poor, with just desert rocks. Lake Powell is not the best wakeboarding destination, but it is essentially part of the Grand Canyon, just full of water. So secenery is what makes it so awesome.

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TheHardWay

Yeah, like TallRed said, don't be discouraged. Just like in ANY lake, all it takes is common sense.

Saidainc, if you want, I'm still planning on going down towards the end of May. It'll probably be out of the Hall's Crossing/Bullfrong area. I'll probably find a beach and boat camp, but there are also RV/tent sites near the marinas. Keep in touch, and maybe we can meet up or something.

Off topic, but I know there was talk between myself and several other members here about doing a Powell-WOW this coming year. If we can get enough interest, I'd still like to make it happen. That way it'd give people who are new to the lake a chance to hang out with people who know the lake a little bit better, and maybe make it not so intimidating.

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CJAY

We've got 2 house boats coming out of page in Sept, so if you're thinking of going then. I tend to always want to do later rather than earlier for water temps.

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saidainc

Yeah, like TallRed said, don't be discouraged. Just like in ANY lake, all it takes is common sense.

Saidainc, if you want, I'm still planning on going down towards the end of May. It'll probably be out of the Hall's Crossing/Bullfrong area. I'll probably find a beach and boat camp, but there are also RV/tent sites near the marinas. Keep in touch, and maybe we can meet up or something.

Off topic, but I know there was talk between myself and several other members here about doing a Powell-WOW this coming year. If we can get enough interest, I'd still like to make it happen. That way it'd give people who are new to the lake a chance to hang out with people who know the lake a little bit better, and maybe make it not so intimidating.

Thanks so much, I would really like to take that opportunity if it presented itself. Im not sure how the conversation went from late spring to early fall. Ill probably be deployed again by fall and am just looking for some place nice to ride during this timeframe. Idaho has some great desert reservoirs which hit 80 degrees water temps around sept

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JEFFR

Don't be discouraged! Lake Powell is a great lake, and will fit your bill. Yes you do need to plan it carefully, but that will just ensure that you are prepared and have a great time. This trip will stick in your memory as one of the best trips. I have been in some nasty storms, and yes they were later in the season, but I just used common sense, and one time I just found a cove to stick it out instead of running the main channel. Go for it, if you need any further questions feel free to PM me.

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OTN

Where you're going to want to go will depend on where you're coming from. Bullfrog Marina if you're coming in from SLC, Wawheap if you're coming from AZ/Cali.

If you put in at Bullfrog we always drove down to Escalante. Best arm of the lake, but it's a ways out there. From Wawheap we usually head down to the back of Rock Creek, but it's a ways away from the marina- 30 miles or so.

I took my brand new 2009 VTX down there in May of 2009 and was able to navigate everything without any trouble, but this IS Lake Powell. If you're not an experienced boater it might be a good idea to get your feet wet in a few other less extreme environments before heading out there. Having said that, it's worth the added risk to go. All the fishing, skiing, exploring...it's the gold standard for fun.

As an old-timer told me a few years ago, though, "that lake can turn into a MONSTER." Last April we were stuck out at Dangling Rope Marina when winds increased to 60...and stayed that way for 16 hours. The ride back to camp in my buddy's 21 foot Triton is not something I ever want to do again. Frightening to say the least. 5-6 foot waves with spray launching off the canyon walls and whipping around, hundreds of feet above the lake. Year before winds hit 73 mph in the middle of the night.

I still go twice a year, despite the risks. Best lake on the planet.

If it's glass you want, from May - October early morning is going to be your best bet, and you'll find it. We usually go in mid-April (still pretty cold, we go for the bass spawn) and late October, when kids are back in school. At THOSE times...well...if the weather's right...and there's not much wind...you can ski the channel all day long. Endless glass stretching to the horizon. Tough times of the year to go, though. Have to have your operation locked up. May/June is much better from a houseboating perspective.

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LS-One

As an eight time veteran of Powell I would avoid July and August that is when most afternoon storms come up. I've been caught in one that lasted three days, we were pinned down in our beach camp in Last Chance bay with thunder and lightning. That is very scary when you have no place to hide. Late September is my time of choice. Excellent water, you will have days of glass. The weather is still very nice. Last time we there around the 23 of September I was able to go without a shirt the whole week even in the night time. I second Rock Creek I also love Last Chance Bay. There is tons of Powell info threads if you a search.

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MoonDawg

Wow, really? 6 foot waves!!

We are planning a trip down there in the fall, my dad wants to rent a houseboat and do some fly fishing on some of the rivers. I was thinking about driving the bu down, but maybe not now.

Yep head high waves! Mainly in late July and Aug during the monsoon season along with incredible winds.

I am not sure about any fly fishing...I have had some great luck at Lees Ferry trolling. It is about an hours drive down river from the dam where 89 and 89A split.

Camping is good at Wahweap marina. I would suggest motel camping...There is a great best western in Page that is only 10 miles from the launch ramp. If the weathers bad you can always catch a movie.

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snowrider

We have enjoyed Powell each fall at Bullfrog and chose to stay in the hotel at Bullfrog. Easy access to great water everyday along with being able to cruise some of the lake and see the various canyons etc. For sure we don't get the full Powell experience but has been a good happy medium for us.

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