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Kayaking Lake Powell
Photo Credit Lyrinda Snyderman

A Kayak Excursion to Lake Powell Will Provide a Multitude of Treasured Memories

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 Lake Powell is located in one of Southern Utah's most picturesque red-rock desert areas and is said to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the United States. Lake Powell is well known for its endless opportunities for exploration and photography. It is part of the Glen Kayaking Lake Powell Glen CanyonCanyon National Recreation Area.

Lake Powell is situated on the Colorado Plateau on the Utah/Arizona border and is fed by the Colorado, Escalante, and San Juan Rivers. The lake straddles the border of Utah and Arizona and extends 186 miles. It is the second largest lake in North America, with 1900 miles of shoreline, and 96 side canyons, with hundreds of inlets and coves.

Almost three million visitors a year enjoy the sparkling waters of Lake Powell. Fishing, waterskiing, hiking and camping are a few of the outdoor recreational possibilities visitors partake in at Lake Powell. By far, the most popular recreational activity at Lake Powell is boating, but kayaking is the preferred mode to explore the inviting waters of Lake Powell, with its breathtaking cliffs  and narrow canyons, lined with towering,  colorful walls.

Kayaking will also offer you an up close approach to view the abundant wildlife. The environs of Lake Powell support a diverse range of animals: birds, fish, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. Coyotes, kangarooKayak Fishing Lake Powell rats, jackrabbits, lizards, ravens, and other mammals, reptiles, and birds live in this desert habitat. It's a major thrill to see a Golden Eagle soaring overhead or a desert bighorn on the canyon slopes.

"The canyon walls rose and narrowed as we approached the dam. I could see horses grazing on an isolated shallow beach and wondered how in heck they got there. I later learned that they were not wild and that there is, indeed, a steep and windy path up a narrow defile to the top,"  adventure kayak photographer, Lyrinda Snyderman shares.

Lryinda has been kayaking since her uncle plopped her in his Folbot at the age 7. Lyrinda’s amazing kayaking adventures extend worldwide. She has kayaked through the limestone karst islands of Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay and Thailand’s Ko Phi islands, in the Everglades, various Caribbean islands, Belize, Baja, California, Jamaica and Alaska.

Watersports on Lake Powell abound with the warm climate. Open year round, many sun-seekers come to escape cold winters and relax in the warmth, exploring the multitude of Kayaking Lake Powellspectacular side canyons and alcoves by kayak. In the off season, there are usually only a few personal watercraft to intrude upon the smooth, clear water with its reflected images of tall red rocks, as you paddle up a side canyon.

Spring and fall are the best times to paddle, when the swarms of speedboats and jet skis that plague the lake in summer are gone. When the lake is crowded with motorized water vessels, there are a few quiet coves only a kayak can paddle into.

Many kayakers also prefer to paddle Lake Powell in the spring or fall to enjoy the more moderate temperatures. In the summer, temperatures can reach over 100 degrees. Summers are preferable if you intend to jet or waterski, but the warm water and air temperature lingers into fall. Check with the weather conditions before setting out onto the water. In summer, thunderstorms that include high winds can occur suddenly.

A typical day at Lake Powell might begin by paddling into a side canyon, setting out on foot for a while to explore, and then paddling back out to camp via the main channel. By day you can paddle through deep sandstone ravines with beautiful sculpted walls and large alcoves, red sandstone cliffs, and canyons only accessible by kayak. At night you can paddle under millions of twinkling stars.

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“Lights of solar reflections sparkle on the tiny riffles before the rich greens of the crystal clear water and the deep russets and maroons of the shaded vertical wall opposite,” Lyrinda muses.

Lake Powell offers fabulous kayak angling opportunities for striped, smallmouth, and largemouth bass, walleye, catfish, crappie and northern pike. There is always the possibility of catching an abundance of fish, but on days when they don’t bite, kayaking on Lake Powell, without anyone else putting a ripple through the tall red-rKayaking Lake Powellock wall reflections, makes the trip well worthwhile.

The camping possibilities at Lake Powell are endless and memorable. Developed camping is available at the marinas, but many people prefer paddling to a beautiful side canyon and 'roughing' it. You can camp anywhere on the shorelines of Lake Powell except in developed marinas. There are no camping restrictions around Lake Powell, but it is wise to remember to watch for flash floods or other sudden weather changes.

A typical day at Lake Powell might begin by paddling into a side canyon, setting out on foot for a while to explore, and then paddling back out to camp via the main channel. By day you can paddle through deep sandstone ravines with beautiful sculpted walls and large alcoves, red sandstone cliffs, and canyons only accessible by kayak. At night you can paddle under millions of twinkling stars.

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