Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 34
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valley of the Sun
    Posts
    4,672

    TR: 4 Nights and 4 Days on Lake Powell By Paddle

    Some of you may remember a post I made about trying to rig a paddle board sail for a Lake Powell trip. Well, thank god that didn't end up working out. But I did successfully complete the trip which ended up being about 80 miles of flat water paddling. Here's the report:

    Day 1

    ..started more productively than just about any other road trip/vacation I致e ever been on, with the car packed and ready to go before work. Yes before 5:00am, a small miracle.

    的知 going to leave work at noon, sure it will be a late night on the water but I知 ok with it

    6am
    7am
    8am

    9:30am Fuck it.

    An early start was just what I needed. The city, smog, and heat all disappearing behind me by the minute. A stop for food in Flagstaff, and for fuel in Mexican Hat, and I was pulling into Halls Crossing (about mile 93 from the Glen Canyon Dam for reference) by 6:00PM (AZT). After pumping up the board and some final balancing of gear I set out at 7:45 PM (MST).

    Approaching the Moki Dugway (we'll come back to this)


    The put in


    Thursday night was absolutely gorgeous paddling weather, perfect air temp and calm conditions. Once dark set in it was basically following the buoys, however the new moon and some burned out buoy lights made for difficult navigation at times. Even with a map, got myself pretty turned around near the 81 mile mark.



    The original plan was to camp at the mouth of Iceberg Canyon. Pretty quickly figured out that was not going to work out upon arrival. And it took about another hour to find a place to climb ashore, 16 miles south of Halls Crossing.

    Day 2

    Three and a half hours later I woke to sights of the Rincon across the lake. Wolfed down breakfast and got busy paddling as I knew there were high S/SW winds forecasted for the afternoon.





    On this day I made two critical mistakes that really screwed me. First was getting distracted with fishing when I should have been hammering out miles paddling. The second was trying to operate on AZT when the forecast was for MST. This corresponded to me being about 2-3 hours behind where I should have been by noon. Ended up hitting some grueling headwinds from mile 72 down to the mouth of the Escalante (mile 68) but dug in and fought through.



    In the early afternoon I made it to my first site seeing point on the Escalante - Cathedral in the Desert, up Clear Creek Canyon





    Two huge opposing eroded domes make for a wild acoustic experience. Paddling a short distance further up the canyon brought me to the inflow of Clear Creek - a dribble at this point. Before the dam was constructed this must have been a sizable waterfall, as the water is crystal clear and the face of the cliff disappears into the darkness below.



    For the first time today the wind is at my back heading down to the Escalante. A few more miles of cross wind paddling and I find myself at a small island at the mouth of Davis Gulch.



    Weathered rock walls surround the island on nearly all sides




    After a brief swim I quickly realized I forgot a towel and air dry on top of the outcropping in the wind, which is now transitioning to a NW direction, and watch the last boats disperse to their campsites.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valley of the Sun
    Posts
    4,672
    Day 3

    The next day I set out early for Explorer Canyon further up the Escalante, but not before duct taping the bad blisters from the prior day’s wind fest. After about 5 miles of paddling ran out of water just before the canyon.





    These guys were beached furthest up the Escalante than anyone else I saw. Kind of an odd spot considering the water gets pretty gross up there.



    Back pedaling about a mile I made it to a set of Anasazi Ruins that I’d also wanted to check out.





    Returning to the clean water


    Once back to my island camp spot I began the 2 miles up Davis Gulch to LaGorce Arch. To my surprise there was quite the tent city set up at the final bend.





    Lunch of peanut butter, rice cakes, Starkist siracha tuna, and peanuts was had at an adjacent cove to the tenters.



    Now it was time to get a look at the arch. Much unlike Clear Creek, the creek in Davis Gulch very gradually meets the lake body and produces a pleasant, and unexpected, shallow meandering creek surrounded by meadow deep within the canyon.





    Oh, and the arch is ok too…







    After explaining to a couple people why I was all the way out there on a paddleboard, which more or less amounted to me shrugging my shoulders, I set out again. This time the goal was to make it back to the mouth of the Escalante so I only had 25 miles for the last two days.

    Finally I was a bit ahead of schedule and was able to fish at a few spots closer to the bay at Clear Creek. A couple smallies, nothing of size. And then a small striper, first freshwater striper for me. This was the only time I actually came close to overturning on the entire trip. The wind was cranking at this point and I didn’t realize I had been blown into a steep rock wall. A wave washed me up onto the wall and the fins grabbed, honestly don’t know how I stayed upright. Here’s the little pecker:



    After some more tooling around I thought it would be nice to finally find a camp spot at a reasonable time. Right at the entrance to the Escalante seemed nice.



    However, the W/NW wind continued to build to the point it was nearly blowing stuff away. So loaded everything up and continued up about a mile to a more sheltered spot.



    This was it, not moving again. As I began to get things out for dinner, however, the field mice were coming out in droves. I don’t mean like 3 or 4, we’re talking 10s, 20s. Great. I had inconspicuously chosen a mouse infested camp spot. After dinner everything that was not food went into the tent and the food box (which was not sealed whatsoever) was armored from all sides with rocks.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valley of the Sun
    Posts
    4,672
    Day 4

    Tough waking up, kind of late start to the day. As I was leaving camp two kayakers were closing in from down lake, figured they were coming from a houseboat from nearby but was actually two through paddlers. They had put in at Clay Hills Crossing on the San Juan 9 days earlier. Super cool to paddle with these guys and shoot the shit for a couple miles.



    After pushing through a light headwind the first few miles I was greeted with a pretty beastly tail wind for the majority of the day, a very welcomed surprise considering it was the opposite of what was forecasted. As I approached the Rincon from the south the wind continued to build to the point where I couldn’t not try to take more advantage of it.





    The dunes near the Rincon are definitely something I’d like to return to and explore.



    Out came the tent rain fly. I stood on one corner, held two corners in my left hand, and the last in my right.. and prepared for lift off. All I can say is it’s a really well made piece of material. There were times where I could barely hang onto this thing, probably going over 10mph into waves I couldn’t see. It was glorious.

    Rode the wind for about 5 miles and broke for lunch.



    After the pit stop the wind really died down and, no longer hyper focused on paddling or holding on for dear life, I was able to really enjoy the last few miles of the lake up the 83 mile marker.







    I decided another small island would be a nice place to spend the last night. The water here was warmer than anywhere I had swam on the lake.



    Finally, some time to update my logs - reflecting on the previous camp spot



    As I was getting around to making dinner the wind completely switched directions and was now bearing down from the north with a vengeance. It would keep up like this for about the next 8 hours. I had to strap the sleeping pad down to the board so as not to lose it while getting the bag. Seriously surprised I didn’t lose any gear. On another note, I was pretty impressed with how wind proof the bag was.
    Last edited by east or bust; 06-02-2020 at 02:35 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valley of the Sun
    Posts
    4,672
    Day 5

    Monday morning, last day, a chilly start (overnight low of 46) but on the water by 6:30am with 10 miles to go. There was a headwind the entire way but not anything troublesome.







    Took a break after 7 miles



    Passed the 93 mile marker buoy and paddled into Halls Crossing at 10:30am. Plan came together perfectly, though in hindsight should have put a cooler in the car with some beers..



    A view fleeting glances…





    Back on the road, I wanted to take a bit more time to appreciate the Moki Dugway – a steep and winding 3 mile unpaved grade that ascends from the Valley of the Gods to the top of Cedar Mesa.



    San Juans over the Valley of the Gods


    As I was about to leave a full face helmeted bicyclist rounds the bend at the top and I couldn’t not ask this guy what was up. Long story short, he had flown into Phoenix a month and a half ago and had been riding around the southwest for no particular reason other than always wanting to do it. Right on Karl, right on.





    Humphreys Peak outside of Flagstaff




    Thanks for reading
    Last edited by east or bust; 06-02-2020 at 02:20 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    inpdx
    Posts
    13,316
    nice!
    thx for sharing

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Wasatch Back: 7000'
    Posts
    9,861
    Schweet! Sounds like a great trip.
    鄭 society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.
    ― Milton Friedman

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    1,836
    Nice trip, really good photos! I've always wanted to do a kayak multi-day thing down there, never even thought a SUP would be possible for multiple nights!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bellevue
    Posts
    5,402
    Nicely done! Glad the wind wasn't too much of an issue.

    Karl is awesome

    I did a packraft trip from hole in the rock road and came back up Davis gulch. Those meadows you saw were underwater, we paddled just past LaGorce Arch before hiking up the canyon. It's definitely another world exploring around there by boat instead of on foot.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    2,838
    nice trip. what did you do for a shuttle back from Hall's ferry?
    off your knees Louie

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    5,441
    Great TR, man! Thanks for taking the time to share it.
    life ain't guaranteed, love your people while you can

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    5,441
    Quote Originally Posted by east or bust View Post
    Day 3




    !!!
    life ain't guaranteed, love your people while you can

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    6,208
    Awesome.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    31,418
    Absolutely fukkin awesome. Always wanted to spend time there. Always just passing by the lake, look and leave.
    Best time of the year, too, I imagine.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    695

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    gnArvada
    Posts
    3,129
    FKNA - thanks for sharing. It's a nice change of pace from the winter TRs

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    8,972
    Awesome job man. I spent a lot of time in those same spots. Took the paddle board out a lot from the houseboat but just for day trips. Houseboat got sold a few years ago to avoid the zebra mussel invasion, but I need to get back out there, maybe with the board, or at least a rental boat.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paper St. Soap Co.
    Posts
    2,521
    Awesome TR and photos, thanks for posting.

    Quote Originally Posted by east or bust View Post
    As I was leaving camp two kayakers were closing in from down lake, figured they were coming from a houseboat from nearby but was actually two through paddlers. They had put in at Clay Hills Crossing on the San Juan 9 days earlier. Super cool to paddle with these guys and shoot the shit for a couple miles.
    I take it there is no longer a big water fall on the san juan as it gets close to the lake?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    A LSD Steakhouse somewhere in the Wasatch
    Posts
    11,609
    fuck i need to make it down there
    the catch rate per mile seems low
    no poopers in those back bays?
    ya run a long skeg? or shorter grass?
    its such a cool way to travel vrs. seated in the yak or pack raft
    super strong work and tr
    thanks fer sharing your doing of the thing
    Buzz smiles down upon you
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -ski on in eternal peace
    Yo poliassfuckers
    theres a special basement for your lame shit

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Valley of the Sun
    Posts
    4,672
    Thanks for the kind words yall. Was one of those bucket list item trips that depending on where life takes me over the next few years maybe never would have had another shot at.





    Quote Originally Posted by abraham View Post
    I did a packraft trip from hole in the rock road and came back up Davis gulch. Those meadows you saw were underwater, we paddled just past LaGorce Arch before hiking up the canyon. It's definitely another world exploring around there by boat instead of on foot.
    That sounds awesome, wish I had more time to explore some of the canyon ends. The kayakers told me there's a waterfall not to far up Davis Gulch that I missed. Would have also liked to see Bement Arch further up the gulch.

    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    nice trip. what did you do for a shuttle back from Hall's ferry?
    This was an out and back trip. Put in at Halls Crossing and returned there as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    Best time of the year, too, I imagine.
    I definitely had a bit of luck temperature wise. Believe the following week up there was in the high 90s, whereas I don't think it broke 90 while I was there. Also heard the fall is really nice time to be on the lake. Less chance of windy days, decreased boat traffic, nice daytime temps but have to plan for colder nights.

    Quote Originally Posted by 406 View Post
    I take it there is no longer a big water fall on the san juan as it gets close to the lake?
    No clue to be honest, though I'm sure if the kayakers had to portage a waterfall they would have mentioned it. On google maps it looks like generally smooth sailing from Clay Hills down to the main lake body.

    Quote Originally Posted by skifishbum View Post
    fuck i need to make it down there
    the catch rate per mile seems low
    no poopers in those back bays?
    ya run a long skeg? or shorter grass?
    its such a cool way to travel vrs. seated in the yak or pack raft
    Catch rate per mile was definitely low haha. Tons of carp but I honestly have never fished for em and don't really know what I'm doing.
    No ability to run longer skegs on this board, it's got three shorts built in.
    Standing is nice for sure, the kayakers were envious.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    96
    Super cool! I did a day of paddle boarding there last fall, but on the dam end. Fall was nice - not too crowded, water still plenty warm, wasn't windy.
    What was water temp? And definitely need to plan around wind huh?
    Last, what model SUP is that? Curious on dimensions and how it did for that kind of mileage
    Thx!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    A LSD Steakhouse somewhere in the Wasatch
    Posts
    11,609
    Quote Originally Posted by east or bust View Post







    Catch rate per mile was definitely low haha. Tons of carp but I honestly have never fished for em and don't really know what I'm doing.
    my advice would be dont start
    and if you do go lower vis stained water first
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -ski on in eternal peace
    Yo poliassfuckers
    theres a special basement for your lame shit

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    ECO
    Posts
    4,807
    Very nice trip. I would really like to do some kind of version of this trip. But I would plan for at least one tip over for myself.
    Took our boards on a boat trip (Powell) and paddling the inlets is a blast, especially in the evenings.

    Thanks for the share.
    Last edited by SkiBall; 06-07-2020 at 06:36 PM.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    uTardedland
    Posts
    11,022
    That was awesome to read about, what a cool trip!
    I would love to do something like that on my paddle board one day.
    "boobs just make the world better really" - Woodsy

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    PRB
    Posts
    23,172
    Cool stuff, thanks for sharing!
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Ski-attle
    Posts
    2,191
    Oh wow, this is awesome and quite impressive! Thank you for sharing. And the ruins are really cool, I remember seeing them from when I was a child.
    It seems this would be a fun trip to do as a one-way car shuttle.
    I just bought a sup so this is total stoke - I'm hooked. I'm thinking of doing a 2-night kayak/sup trip somewhere in the San Juans this summer with Legoskier and child.
    bc-lovah

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •