Also posted in the Utah trip collection...thanks OhioHick for that great resource!
I recently took a weeklong trip to Lake Powell—a blast, as always. I’m putting together a full journal/story of the trip, as I always do, but that will probably end up being 60 pages long. Anyone who wants it can ask, but here’s the basic highlights.
First, the photos. Here’s a “Best of" collection, 95 in all:
But if you really want to see all 500 or so, here they are:
Now I’ve been to the lake a time or two, so the focus is always a little different. This time we left from Wahweap, with the basic goal of spending some time in the Escalante arm. We wanted to take as many hikes as time would allow, and there’s several good ones in the Escalante. It was a 7-day, 6-night trip, and although we usually move around from night to night on most trips, this is the first trip in some time that we moved to a different campsite EVERY night. That may seem excessive to some, but it helps keep it interesting for those who don’t like to hike (3 out of 6). Otherwise, the ones left behind get the same views everyday, especially when the hikers have taken the powerboat.
We did not pre-plan exactly where we would stay (never do), but improvised as the days went on. It was all a question of how early a start we could get, and whether something in the area was especially interesting. Weather was a factor too: if storms threatened, we camped early to get the anchors set.
In general, the weather was hot and dry, but this being the monsoon season, the clouds always built up in the afternoon; it was only a question of where the storm would focus. Generally, they seemed to stay to our west, and except for a few drops of rain, some strong winds, and occasional lightning, there was not much to worry about. I’d seen much worse.
Here’s where we camped each night:
Night 1: Dry Rock Creek (first cove to the right as you enter the bay)
Night 2: Little Oak Canyon (at the end)
Night 3: Escalante River (main stem, just past Willow Gulch)
Night 4: Willow Gulch
Night 5: Small main channel cove, just east of Oak Bay
Night 6: beach on main channel, across from Friendship Cove
These were all chosen mostly because they were private, had deep water, were often protected, had great anchorages, and generally speaking, sat against north facing walls. The latter was important to keep the full moon hidden, which otherwise might have made sleeping on the roof difficult.
The main hikes on the trip were up Bishop Canyon and Fifty-Mile Canyon in the Escalante River arm, both beautiful and narrow, two of my favorites on the whole lake. Fifty-Mile features an unusual grotto slot, very narrow at the top, and wider at the bottom…makes for some great light. Bishop has a very picturesque stone riverbed, highly reflective, and unusual on the lake—it’s the exposed Kayenta Formation, which you don’t normally see in the creek bottoms of the Escalante arm…most are more sandy…
We also hiked up Dry Rock Creek, a shallow slot in places, well worth the time if you’re up in Rock Creek Bay. Little Oak Canyon features some nice steps carved in the rock by the Anasazi, and others by miners…all useful to the modern hiker.
We took a truncated journey into Twilight Canyon, normally a nice dry slot, but this week, full of quicksand and at least one rattlesnake. As I say, the recent weather can make all the difference.
I saw more than my fill of rattlesnakes—three in all! In three different places. I suspect this had something to do with the recent heavy rains in the week before we arrived, which may have washed a snake or two farther downstream than they would normally be…or it may have just been luck. None of them were threatening, and we gave them a wide berth.
There’s a lot more to all this (60 pages worth, apparently), and I learned a few things I didn’t know before, but for now, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves…enjoy…