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Wilderness Tripping - BWCA & Beyond New Topic Printer Friendly Version

  The irony of Lake Powell
  Posted by: pikabike on Jan-09-12 11:45 PM (EST)

First, the warnings:

While Lake Powell air temps could be balmy or even hot, water will still be frigid. I once took a dip there on a hot early-April day and the water was so cold I could not stay in longer than a few seconds. It made my bones ache. Something that makes it very different from paddling in the southeast.

Be aware of high wind, which hits frequently in spring and fall. Plan to hold at least one day in reserve for a layover, just in case.

Because there's limited road access, you will probably have some spots to yourself...IF it's not spring break time. There will be powerboaters and jetskiers, just not as many as in the hot season. With engines present, it won't feel like a true wilderness area. Still, when you are in an unoccupied arm or cove with nobody nearby, it will feel plenty secluded.

This third item describes the irony of Lake Powell, and canyon country in general: When it's quiet, it's very, very quiet indeed--even if most people reached it by motorized means.

Besides the high possibility that you will experience pure silence at times, Lake Powell is a visually beautiful place, especially if you've never seen the startling effect of intensely blue water against red sandstone cliffs. Some of the cliffs rise straight up for 70 feet or more (depends on water levels).

Please bring your portable toilet if you go; it is required there (or you can use Wag Bags). And be ready for zebra mussel inspection. After all the initial hysteria over zebra mussels found in the mountain states, news of recent developments seems to have become mysteriously silent. Also, I have yet to hear of any kayak or canoe being infested and the rangers at the places I've paddled (including Powell) all say paddlecraft are considered very low risk for having them.

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