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2011-07-12 15:20:29
POWELL, Where Salt Lake Realtors Vacation!

I can't think of a better way to get back to Real Estate in Salt Lake City than to post a blog about my 8 day vacation! Real Estate is my business in Salt Lake City. Lake Powell is my passion and I look forward to sharing my experience with you! We begin our voyage with a 6 hour drive from Salt Lake City to Page, AZ. It always seems like forever for both my kids ( how much further dad?) every ten minutes. We could not arrive at Antelope Point Marina soon enough. We loaded our provisions, inspected our vessels and made final preparations for a 7am launch. I am always so excited the first night that I can hardly sleep.

 DAY 1 begins with a great cup of coffee and a 6 hour scenic trip up the Colorado River. As I sit at the captains chair looking across the incredible landscape I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to take vacations, seek adventure and spend quality time with my loving family! Mornings are special on Lake Powell. I watch a hawk gliding over head and think about the Anasazi whom lived in the Red Rock Canyons long ago. The sun crests the tops of the cliffs and I am overwhelmed with positive energy and excitement. I love my place in this world. The Canyons of Lake Powell are so serene and peaceful. We made our camp in Reflection Canyon, had a great swim with the kids and stretched the anchor lines before dinner. The night was a hot one on the top deck with no breeze but the bright Stars dancing overhead made up for the lack of cool air.



 DAY 2 - Woke up early, I always do at Lake Powell. Like I said mornings are very spiritual. I enjoyed the silence and sipped my coffee while watching a school of striped bass slurp up the tiny shad in the cove we were anchored in.  7 am and I was itching to explore. Jet Skis are my favorite mode of transportation on the Lake. We started at Reflection canyon and explored the lake South to Rainbow Bridge. Hidden Passage, Anasazi and Secret Canyons. Secret Canyon at this water level has no campsites and probably never does. Th towering cliffs are incredible to explore. Hidden Passage has a few good anchor spots for a houseboat but Anasazi Canyon had 2 incredible coves that offered a almost perfect beach for houseboat camping. I can't believe we missed these spots the day before. We spent the remainder of the day wake boarding and surfing. I also tried fishing for smallmouth and stripers but with all the other activities and a slow bite my efforts were not focused for very long. We prepared dinner and made sandwiches for our annual 4th of July day trip.

Day 3 - We planned a day trip up lake to the Escalante River. This was my favorite day with the Escalante River being a area I haven't had much opportunity to explore. We gassed up the speed boat and both jet skis and headed the 12 miles up-lake. The Escalante is a real treat and a must see for anyone visiting Lake Powell. The problem we encountered was the high volume of debris floating in the backs of every Canyon on the Escalante River. A small price to pay for this incredible rise in water. The Lake was at 3652 ft above sea level and rising 8 inches per day during our stay. The landscape had changed drastically since the additional 40 ft rise in depth. Three roof ruins, a restored Anasazi village was not accessible because a log jam blocked the channel about 1/2 mile before the ruins. We turned our vessels into Willow Creek Canyon. Beautiful lichen covered high cliffs and shady alcoves run the lenght of this stream fed canyon. My past experience has convinced me to try and hike any Canyon at Lake Powell with a stream entering the Lake. West and Forbidden Canyons being my favorite. Walking in ankle deep water on top of a clean sandy floor make for a easy journey.  Once again access was denied towards the back of the Canyon and the muck prevented us from hiking the drainage. It has been a wild spring run off and every Canyon on this end of the Lake was chocked with debri preventing any safe boat passage. I do not want to get stranded on this Lake with a broken prop or plugged intake. The hiking will be incredible as the water levels out and starts to decline. Anyone who has a chance to visit Powell this fall should enjoy some of the best hiking and exploring conditions in years.  I did note several fantastic spots to anchor a houseboat. Picture above of 2 boats anchored in a Alcove. We exited Willow Canyon and ventured up Davis Gulch. This is a fine Canyon to explore and the home of

 LaGorce Arch (our  favorite lunch spot).  

LaGorce Arch 

 The day was still early so we decided to enter Clear Creek Canyon and the 'Cathedral in The Desert'. To our surprise the debris was not to thick to pass and we were able to motor up the end. The water covered last years waterfall and we anchored the boat and swam the last 100 ft to a water filled chamber. Crawling up the mossy slick rock and through a narrow section was a challenge. We found a short hike ending in a Alcove and a small clear pool. The signs of a recent flash flood and the 40 ft dry waterfall overhead made me check the sky for a chance of a thunderstorm. The swim prevented any photos but trust me the short hike is worth the effort. Lake Powell is famous for afternoon storms so we began our trip back to the House boat checking out Hole in the Rock, Cottonwood and Ribbon Canyons on the way. For those making a trip to Powell. Cottonwood Canyon and a little Cove on the North shore at the mouth of the San Juan River offer some great House Boat beach camping spots at this water level (3652 and higher). We arrived back at the home on the lake around 3pm with hours of daylight to spare. I was still looking for the perfect hike and wanted to check out Forbidden Canyon. Aztec Creek and part of the Rainbow Bridge Recreation area. Aztec Creek was inaccessible by boat and we settled for a small unnamed side canyon with  narrow slot. (See picture below). I manged to slip a bit and scared myself climbing a rock wall and turned back. I really must be getting old but being stuck in a slot Canyon at dark with a broken bone might put a damper on all the fun I was having.


Side Canyon in Forbidden


The ride back to camp was equally rewarding with a trip through Cascade and Oak Canyon. Cascade offers no anchor points for a houseboat. Is a great Canyon to escape the sun for a bit a check out a small arch near water end that was just a few feet from being submerged. Oak Canyon and the bay surrounding the entrance offers some great House Boat anchoring opportunities and will only get better as the water rises. One spot in the very back of Oak was possibly the best site Ive seen at Lake Powell. I spoke with the current owner of this particular property just to see if he was looking to move anytime soon and found he was very happy and had plans to stay put for several days.




Arriving back at the houseboat led to a discussion about the current position of the house boat and the rapidly disappearing Real Estate we were tied to. Chance McKinney, a Country Musician,  a seeker of wakeboard worthy water and my BIL had found possibly the finest glass around. Just a mile or so up from our current location. The SAN JUAN RIVER was calling his name and the decision was made to depart at first light.


 The SAN JUAN did not disappoint us. The week of July 4th is one of the busiest times at Lake Powell but you wouldn't know it in this part of the Lake. I had never ventured far into this section of river. The few reports I've read did not make me believe there were m any campsites to choose from. Wrong they were. The San Juan is probably my new preferred destination. I hate to admit it but CHANCE and my sister, Salt Lake City Real Estate Agent Lisa Herron McKinney were right. The water was smooth as glass. We made camp in a small cove with a sandy hill. The kids were excited to build a huge slip & slide down the hill and into the lake. I thought it was a sure thing for a injury. Funny how tough kids can be in the name of fun. Not a tear shed although I witnessed some horrific spills at the bottom.


   We only traveled up the San Juan about 4 miles to the mouth of Nasja and Bald Rock Canyons. We kinda settled for a spot because of our lack of knowledge about what to expect further up the river. Be advised that I noted several great spots between Bald Rock and Cha Canyon another 5 miles up the channel. We spent two days on the San Juan in the calmest, clearest water ever encountered at Powell. My kids and nephews couldn't get enough of the water and wakeboarding. I am so proud of the sense of adventure and energetic personalities my children have developed. They love this lake as much as I and the memories we are creating will forever be etched in my head.




I have always heard reports from die hard fisherman on www.wayneswords.com mentioning the exceptional fishing on the San Juan. They are correct. Fish were everywhere. We caught stripers, walleye, catfish and many small mouth bass in the San Juan. In a two hour period I caught 14 SMB and a largemouth on a green watermelon tube jig. My nephew Sage Herron also had a great catch and release experience.


That night we had a bit of a rush when the high winds came for a visit. The weather had been so calm and mild that the possibilities of breaking free from our anchor lines had not crossed my mind. I woke up about 1130 to find our House boat had blown off the beach during a strong micro burst. The lines were attached but the nose of the boat had blown off the beach. We were so lucky. The wind died down and we were able to secure the vessel until morning. It is a strange feeling to face that situation in the middle of the night and I will do a much better job of anchoring in the future. I hardly slept that night for fear of another gust and couldn't wait until daylight.


Being so far from the marina and facing the new task of securing the houseboat we pulled anchor and motored back down the river. West Canyon was our destination and we arrived before noon. I love West and many other boaters also choose this spot. I was expecting the back of the Canyon and the start of the PREMIER HIKE AT POWELL to be blocked with debris. Fortunately the waterway was clear and accessible. So I made plans to hike at first light. We enjoyed a wonderful evening making smores over the fire and a free concert by the famous WWW.ChanceMckinney.Com. I slept so well. It must of been the country music.

Last morning at the Lake and I didn't want to waste it drinking coffee. I packed a few water bottles and woke anyone who would wake to join me on a tour of West Canyon. I have hiked West multiple time and have found no other hike as rewarding as this one. We passed through beaver dams and forested ravines. We stopped for a breakfast bar and took some fabulous pictures of the narrow slot section of the hike. West is the Best and I could never tire of this hike.




We planned to pull anchors around 230 that afternoon but our trip was extended for a few hours as we waited out a passing storm. The amount of water put down in such a short time made for a grand finale to a incredible trip. Water pouring off the rocks creating mini waterfalls and temporary streams through the red rocks is a spectacle to remember. I climbed at small ledge to wander around in the rain watching the water work it's magic in the canyons. On this note I must end with a plea. While wandering the hills I noticed so much trash left over from fireworks it was sad. I don't want to be a hypocrite because I admit to lighting a fuse several times on Lake Powell. What is disappointing is the lack of clean up. People who truly appreciate this lake would not leave garbage for the next guy. Always try and leave your a camp site cleaner than you found it and the beauty will continue to be enjoyed by the next generation.

This vacation was fantastic and I can't wait to do it all over again. Thanks for reading my post. I hope it will be helpful in planning any of your trips to Powell. I am now over it and guess I should start to focus on Salt Lake City Real Estate. We are back and ready to sell your Salt Lake City Home, Draper property or Holladay Luxury homes. Contact a Linda Secrist team member today about any Utah Real Estate needs.








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