Paddle at Powell: A Perfect Summer Adventure
Escape the heat and enjoy the cool waters of Lake Powell
As the last post implied the summers in AZ start to really drag on. It is blazing hot during the day and there is no escaping the heat even in the early mornings or late night. We all start to feel a bit cooped up. With the wildfires the way they have been sometimes going up north to Payson, Prescott, Sedona or Flagstaff is not an option. Or, sometimes it is nice to try something new. Lake Powell is one of my favorites as you can see from previous posts. It is beautiful and diverse. There are so many adventures to be had in this area. The first post was about camping along the water via car, the second was about views of Powell from Escalante and this post is about paddleboarding or kayaking. There are numerous trips that I have yet to do and many require a lot of planning and boat ferries. This trip, however, can be a day trip, a quick overnight or built into a few days.
Day1: Find Camp and Explore
Day 2: Paddle to Antelope Canyon
Day 3: Paddle back to the marina and return gear - head home
Day 1: Arrive and Find Camp
Page, Arizona is the closest town to Lake Powell. There are various rental options for Kayaks and Paddle Boards. I would recommend even looking into inflatables that you can take with you so you don't have to deal with the hassle of renting. We found our rental shop to be very helpful and they gave us a lot of useful information, find them here: https://lakepowellpaddleboards.com/
We were there over 3 days and 2 nightfs but this an easily be turned into a multi day adventure or a quick overnight ddd beach spot. We paddled a few miles which took quite some time as we had all of our gear plus two dogs. With the boat traffic going by it did make for a bumpy ride out of the marina.
The water levels vary depending on the time of year and rainfall. We ended up having to paddle quite a ways to find a good beach spot. If you are looking at the map above we went right once we launched and found a spot a few miles up from the launch point.
The entire lake is first come first serve and is camp as you please. Bonus, it is all dog friendly.
We set up camp and got back into the kayaks to explore a little further. We also wanted to try to get the dogs used to riding in the kayaks. Unfortunately, they never really learned to love the kayaks and would jump out intermittently for the rest of the trip :(
We sat down on the beach for a while and soaked up some sun and played with the pups. As it approached sunset we hiked up to a little peak on Antelope Island and enjoyed the views. Powell truly never disappointments. I have been there quite a few times and I am still so blown away every.single.time.
Day 2: Antelope Canyon
We woke up early on day 2 to hike back up to our perch from the previous night to enjoy some coffee and the sunrise. We headed back to camp and got ready for the days adventure: Antelope Canyon.
The trip to the canyon took us a few hours. Having the dogs in the kayaks was quite difficult. Something to keep in mind with Lake Powell is that during peak hours the lake becomes very wavy. Not only is there significant boat traffic but also the waves slam off of the canyon walls back into the narrow channels. Add in strong winds and you are looking at fairly rough waters.
This is an amazing way to see Antelope Canyon without the crowds and need for a permit. But, this area is gaining some popularity with paddleboarders and kayakers. Leave early and you should have no issues.
The weather is very unpredictable in this area. We had clear skies and no storm systems on radar before leaving for the canyon. We did encounter a storm system that literally came out of nowhere on our way back. We ended up stopping off at the Antelope Marina to let the weather calm down. We eventually made it to the campsite by sunset.
Exhausted from our long excursion we went to bed early.
Day 3: Head Home
We were up early with the sunrise, had a nice camp breakfast and prepared to paddle back to the marina. We returned our kayaks and hit the road around 9 am which had us home around 1:30, with plenty of time to unpack and prepare for the week ahead.
While our dogs took really cute pictures I have to say that I honestly would not take them again on a paddle camping trip unless we had another boat. Having them on the kayaks meant that we had to get slower kayaks and could not carry as much gear. If your dogs are good on kayaks or paddleboards then by all means it is a great trip for doggos. In retrospect I would have done a practice round or two to see if the dogs could tolerate the adventure. Either way we all made it safe and sound.
Special thanks to Mickey and Jes for dealing with the weather and the dogs on this trip :)