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Thinking about a Lake Powell summer houseboat vacation, tips/suggestions welcomed

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Thinking about a Lake Powell summer houseboat vacation, tips/suggestions welcomed

Old 03-01-2018, 05:17 PM
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Default Thinking about a Lake Powell summer houseboat vacation, tips/suggestions welcomed

I'm thinking of flying the family out to Lake Powell and renting a houseboat for 3-4 days. Has anyone else done this? Any tips/suggestions for the best time the wife and I and our 6 and 8 year old?

I know nothing about the lake other than it is supposed to be an awesome place to visit.
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:32 PM
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Sorry I don't have any info but it sounds like an excellent idea so I'm jumping in here to ride along for the info.
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Old 03-01-2018, 06:08 PM
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I have gone to Powell a half dozen times, but have not had a houseboat experience. I can offer some tips.

There is lodging at both points for rentals. So that your first day is as productive and relaxing as possible, Consider a stay overnight near the marinas before you board your boat.

A lot of houseboaters bring or rent a tag a long so that they can do more exploration and water sports.

I enjoy following the forums and particularly the weekly fishing report at Welcome to Lake Powell Fishing Information. Powell is a good fishery and offers multiple species.

There is no other place like Powell and it deserves a big WOW!
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Old 03-01-2018, 06:59 PM
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You can rent your houseboat at Wahweap or Bullfrog Marinas. Wahweap is on the southern end in AZ. Bullfrog is more mid lake in UT.

Fishing info available at Wayne’s Words

Haven’t done the houseboat thing. We camp at wahweap and boat to destinations from there.

Late June is quite nice. Stripers will be slurping and maybe boiling. It gets pretty hot later in the summer

Plenty to see and do. 3-4 days isn’t much. Be sure to check out Rainbow Bridge National Monument accessed from the lake. Also you can drive your car to Horseshoe bend just downstream of the dam, and Antelope Canyon.
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Last edited by JiminAZ; 03-01-2018 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:36 PM
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Also, there hasn’t been a lot of snow this year in the Colorado River watershed, so the lake will be 10-15 feet lower than last year. I think the cut will still be open from Wahweap bay to the main lake - maybe 15-25’ deep. Otherwise you have to drive around the channel by the dam. Take a look at a map and you’ll see what I mean.

Stripers are skinny and compete with other game fish. They want you to keep them. Bring supplies for fish tacos.

Last edited by JiminAZ; 03-01-2018 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:45 PM
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I've done Lake Powell by both houseboat and pocket cruiser numerous. It is an incredible freshwater experience. Renting a houseboat makes for a great experience (AC, full size kitchen, full size bathrooms) especially if you have a buddy boat or jet skis. If not, bring some kayaks strapped to your boat to explore many of the 300 ft high slot canyons.

Are you planning on launching from Page AZ or Bullfrog, UT? That will pretty much dictate which canyons are best to overnight in. Powell is about 180 miles long - get an early start first morning to find and set up camp. Houseboats are about as slow as molasses. Do not head out in the afternoon or you will be searching for a place to tie up in the dark on solid rock beaches.

Tip: do NOT camp/beach/tie up along the main channel. Afternoon thunderstorms can make the main channel quite sloppy. Find yourself a good quiet canyon near one of the floating pump out/restroom platforms. (One of my personal favs: Oak Canyon)

Items to bring: lotsa ice, spare fuel if you can safely transport, and plenty of food and drinks because you may not want to go all the way back to the nearest marina for supplies during the trip. Hiking boots, deck of cards, football, no guns. Fireworks are also prohibited but if you were to bring some mortars, they make for a fun night... I've heard.

There's tons of info online and YouTube videos - Stan Jones' map is a necessity. If you want, PM me your mailing address - I think I have a spare.

Its hard to get a feel from photos of the sheer size of everything but you can see me and one of my rugrats on the other side of the water:

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Old 03-01-2018, 07:50 PM
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Water levels
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:27 AM
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We haven’t done Lake Powell but we have gone many time to Lake Shasta and it is our kids favorite summer vacation of all times! We have gone to the BVI’s, Hawaii and many other summer trips, but they always want to go back to Shasta. I personally like the surrounding better- trees and mountains versus desert rocks. Water is nice and warm and many covers and fingers to tie up in. Jump online and you can find lots of information about the numerous marinas and house boat options. We are going back this summer with friends. Either lake will be a great time.
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Old 03-03-2018, 10:17 AM
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We've done many Lake Powell cruises on our trailer boats, but only one on a houseboat. Houseboats don't go very fast, and there are many miles of lake to explore. I'd recommend a week or two if you are going to the expense of getting there and renting. If you like hiking, the side canyons are lots of fun. Bring hats and lots of sunscreen. We like May and September best.

Last edited by RCook; 03-03-2018 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:49 AM
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A few things to add. I've got about 12 houseboat trips on Lake Powell, plus a few just camping for a few days.

Getting your houseboat loaded, checked out, the trip up (or down) the lake, finding a spot to beach, beaching/anchoring the boat and then getting settled takes the better part of a day. Almost the same as you up-anchor to head back. Also, the day you head back will be 105 degrees and a quite sweaty ordeal as you unload your gear and pack up to head out of LP. Keep that in mind as you plan how many days you want to spend on the water.

Water temp gets comfortable (for me) mid-June. By late July, monsoons become a concern and the heat really starts to crank. Not a deal-breaker, but conditions can get sporty. As mentioned, these boats do have A/C.

My brother and I split a 46' houseboat (each of us have a wife and 2 kids). We take a wakeboard boat and a waverunner or two. Typical timeframe late July/early August. Mostly find a cove in Padre Bay as we launch out of Wahweap (Page, Az). We do 5 days, which gives us a solid 3 days with the houseboat beached. We always leave wanting 1 more day, but expense and my brother needing to then fly back to WV plays into it.

Any questions-just ask! It's our most favorite place to go.
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