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Zion Nat'l Park / Bryce Canyon - a couple of questions before we leave

Zion Nat'l Park / Bryce Canyon - a couple of questions before we leave

Jul 13th, 2009, 05:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 238
Totally agreed... We took the kids to the South Rim of the GC and I kept very close hold of them. This was two years ago when the little one was still in a Kelty backpack. The older one is cautious by nature so stays very close to my side.

DH and I view this as a trip to get a lay of the land and a general overview of the parks. DH would like to do a houseboat vacation down the road on Lake Powell. I would like to do a more serious hiking adventure. Would also like to see what canyoneering is about - but that is for down the road.

Thank you again to everyone for all of your suggestions and help. We leave tomorrow. Will post a trip report when we are back.
mamadadapaige is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 06:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,829
You've gotten some excellent suggestions. Just a couple common sense things to consider:

-be sure to wear sunscreen, or you'll fry up toasty. A hat and sunglasses are also a must.

-it's extremely dry in this area. Be sure you drink a lot of water throughout the day, even if you don't feel thirsty. You want to be sure to avoid dehydration, which can come on sooner than you think in this region.

Have fun!
bachslunch is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,831
We went through Horseshoe Bend on the smooth water raft trip from Page, but we went down to the river with the raft people, through the tunnel to the base of Glen Canyon Dam. You can't get there from lake Powell (unless you fall over the dam), but you can get there by going up river from Lees Ferry. I'm not sure if there are other places to launch a boat between the dam and Lees Ferry but there might be.
emalloy is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 08:36 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 61
As stunning as Rainbow Bridge is, your decision to rent a boat, so having the opportunity to picnic & swim at your leisure and forgo the long trip to Rainbow makes sense, particularly with young children who won't be as in awe of the scenery as we adults tend to be.

The Castle Rock cutoff was open all of last summer (first time in years) and we had much more snow this year than the previous so I can't imagine that it won't be open through this summer also, but calling first is always a good idea.

From Wahweap it's not a long distance to Padre Bay, which has many places to beach & gorgeous, towering cliffs to look up at. It also gets you far enough up the lake to be out of view of the tall, unattractive power plant stacks in Page that loom over the landscape of the southern end of the lake. You'll pass Warm Creek Bay on your left, soon after leaving Wahweap Bay. It has lots of beach area & might be an immediate good stop to get wet, but you won't experience the most dramatic beauty of the lake without continuing up to at least Padre, which is about 20 miles from Wahweap. Just past Padre is Last Chance Bay that is also gorgeous and different from Padre so worth seeing if you have the time, but not as many places to beach.

The Stan Jones, "Lake Powell" map is the one to have. Once on the lake, you might be a bit overwhelmed by the amount and size of the bays and canyons, but NPS has it well marked & the map shows all names, mile markers, hikes, ruins, lake history, geology and more importantly, the floating toilet locations that come in very handy when spending the day in a boat without a porta potty. Lake Powell is dedicated to and adamant about boaters carrying out what we carry in so providing 8 floating toilets on the lake has helped accomplish that. They're also pump out for the houseboats.

With the exception of Rainbow Bridge (which is a long trip) I can't think of any particular spot to recommend beyond what I've mentioned above. It's all beautiful, one of a kind and worth the effort to experience it. It's also great fun to explore some of the more narrow canyons as you go.

Remember; water, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and binoculars. Lake Powell is a huge lake with very little cell phone coverage so other boaters are always alert to & eager to help anyone having problems such as mechanical, out of gas, etc.
If a storm suddenly comes up (unlikely) and you're inclined to get out of the rain, resist the temptation to duck under one of the many cliff overhangs that offer shelter. They're great for a shade respite on a clear day, but can be lethal in a storm when water runoff above can create a rock avalanche. It doesn't happen often, but folks have been killed that way.
Your best boating should be the first half of the day, because if there is going to be wind, it's almost always in the later afternoon as the air heats up.

You're not going to believe what you're seeing so REMEMBER THE CAMERA.
We look forward to your report when you return.
Have a great time.
RandiRA is offline  
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