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Can't Wait to Get Back to Lake Powell

By: Elisabeth Brentano + Save to a List

After exploring Lake Powell's sandy shores and slot canyons for the first time last spring, I'm dying to go back for round two.

My best friend and I had just completed the Top-Down Narrows hike in Zion National Park, so two relaxing days at Lake Powell was the perfect way to end our epic adventure. We set up our tent right in front of Lone Rock, and while the beach wasn't exactly deserted, it was quiet and peaceful. We rented a boat and ventured into some of the lake's fingers, and after a few hours of cruising around we pulled onto a deserted stretch of shore and enjoyed a nice leisurely lunch. Having hiked nearly 35 miles over the previous 5 days, this (plus a few cold beers) was just what we needed.

We took our kayaks out the following day, and not only was I surprised by how calm the water was, but seeing a slot canyon from that point of view was a truly unparalleled experience. The lack of motor was a definite win, too. Don't get me wrong: I love some serious horsepower, but when you're trying to be one with nature the roar of a loud engine seriously detracts from that. When all you can hear is the sound of your paddle slicing through the glassy surface of the lake, it's far more peaceful, and environmentally friendly.

After several hours on the water, we made our way to the end of an inlet and hopped out to investigate. We didn't quite know what to expect, but having noticed a decent amount of footsteps in the sand, we suspected that we had picked a good spot. After 200 yards of trekking through a narrow canyon filled with tumbleweeds, we found ourselves on the edge of a plain with a massive butte about half a mile away. There was no way we could get lost (and we had plenty of water), so why not check it out? Keeping our eyes open for snakes, we carefully clambered over some slick rock; thankfully, its soft and crumbly consistency was extremely forgiving.

Overall, though, it was a fun mix of figuring out where to jump and climb. I felt like a kid again, but on a far more awesome playground — and with way better snacks. On the way back, we retraced our steps across the field, but instead going through the dry canyon, we climbed up the side of it and eventually hit the slick rock at the edge of the finger's mouth. Our reward was an amazing view of the lake, and (we suspected) a great place to cliff jump. Tempting as it was, we resisted the urge (we weren't positive that the water was deep enough), but took note of ample other spots for cliff jumping around the lake. After all, it's important to have something to look forward to on my next trip to Powell Lake.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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