Home » 2018 Lake Powell Boat Camping

Lake Powell - San Juan Arm, UT

Friday, July 6, 2018 - 8:15am by Lolo
50 miles and 2.5 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


Our campsite in the San Juan ArmOur campsite in the San Juan ArmWe made a bit of a tactical error today. Having gotten a bit frustrated yesterday trying to find a good campsite, and having to go back to the same one (although a good one it was), we decided to skip the morning hike and start our journey south early in the hopes of beating the Friday afternoon rush for a campsite.

We had bypassed the San Juan Arm on our journey up the lake, with the intention of exploring it on the way back, so we decided that today was the day.

Our trusty “Lake Powell and its 96 Canyons Boating and Exploring Map” (see Books to the right) indicated that just a short distance up the arm there is a small cove on the north shore of the mouth that has some good campsites.

View from the ridge above our campsiteView from the ridge above our campsiteIt was right - there were good campsites with good hiking opportunities, and there was no one there. So we took it. The problem was that it was already 105 degrees and it was only 10 am. What were we going to do for the next 9 hours until it got cool enough to get out of the water?

My approach was lying on our float under the bow of the boat where there was shade while reading my kindle. Herb, who claims to love desert heat, decided to go for an afternoon hike on the rocks above our campsite. Good luck, I thought.

I tried to keep a straight face when he returned in about a half hour holding the sole of his Chaco sandals, which had literally detached when the adhesive holding them on melted.

Now, I had promised Herb I would uncomplainingly camp on the boat for 7 nights so that he could get Lake Powell out of his system and bring the boat back to California, so I was saying nothing. I could huddle in the shade under the bow for two more days if necessary. After the false alarm about our son last weekend, I could handle anything.

Floating in the San Juan ArmFloating in the San Juan ArmSo, when Herb suggested that maybe it made sense to pull the boat tomorrow and leave on a high note rather than push it towards a death march, I said, “Ok, if that’s what you want.”

Feeling like a Precog in “Minority Report,” I eventually extracted myself from the water and joined Herb for an evening hike. We clambered up to the top of a ridge from which we could see the San Juan Arm on one side and the main Colorado River channel on the other. The scenery was probably the best yet of all our campsites, which is saying a lot. Our boat looked so cute down below.

That night as we were making dinner and watching the sunset, I was a little sad that this was our last night. If only all day could be like early mornings and evenings, this would truly be Paradise.

Lake Powell - San Juan Arm location map in "high definition"

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