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View Full Version : Lake Powell/Lake Mead houseboat vacation


LaRue
11-18-2009, 11:31 AM
could use some directions folks. Next year i am considering spending a few days on either Lake Powell or Lake Mead. I have always wanted to do the houseboat thing with a Mastercraft in tow. :steering:

At this point, I am only about questions. Is one lake better than another? Is there a better time to go than another? Is there a Marina or agency that can set me up? Must a person make every meal or are there restaurants scattered around?

Any direction would be great! Thanks in advance for the help

h2oskifreak
11-18-2009, 11:42 AM
I like Powell and yes there is a rest. or two around depending on the marina you are closest to. I am unsure about your intentions with the M.C. but I usually leave my M.C. home and make do with another ski boat at powell. Very little "great water". Might get some early or late in the day. I use Powell as a get away and get my serious sking done at home in the course. The rest. at Bullfrog Marina is just O.K. I usually do a lot of the cooking prep at home so most meals are easy enough. I feel the scenery at Powell is far superior. Mead seems boring and falt to me. Good luck and have fun. One last thing. Paige end is more of a "higher end" boats and the like, Bullfrog is not a "showy" type place. More of a "family enviroment" in my opinion. Less Baja's, Eliminators and unfortunately bikinis. Loads more mormons as it's in Utah, but they may (and this is a big may) be a little more sober.

Skipper
11-18-2009, 12:52 PM
I prefer Lake Powell, but my family moved there in 1969 when I was two years old. I try to do a houseboat trip every year. I take my EZ-slalom course. Good slalom water usually only comes around early in the morning and in the evening depending on the weather and how considerate other boaters are in the area.

I can tell you all about it. Just send me an IM if you are interested in more information.

FrankSchwab
11-18-2009, 06:56 PM
I've been to both Mead and Powell.

Powell all the way. Mead is a lake in the middle of the desert - Powell is a lake in the middle of the most spectacular rock formations anywhere.

Order yourself a copy of the Stan Jones map of of Lake Powell (http://www.stanjonesmaps.com/MapofLakePowell.html). It'll help greatly in planning your trip.



/frank

LaRue
11-18-2009, 08:33 PM
thanks guys. I am assuming along with renting the houseboat, a person would want to rent the powerboat as well. Any thoughts on things to "definitly do" or "not do?"

ViperRedX80
11-18-2009, 08:42 PM
Nothing beats lake Powell. Now with that said house boat rentals are very pricy at Powell. Mead willl be much less expensive. Here is a Pic of my boat at Powell this summer. Either way a week at the lake is a good time.

FrankSchwab
11-18-2009, 10:22 PM
Definitely do:
1. Bring a boat.
If you're planning on sightseeing, bring a boat that deals with rough water. My buddies PS190 is not the right boat for sightseeing. In the main channel, it can get rough getting from spot to spot.
If you're planning on skiing, you're in for a treat. Set anchor in any of the, say, 10000 coves off the main channel, and ski early and late.
2. Prepare for warm weather. If you go in summer, it's hot. Real hot. Drink lots and lots of water. We go in late September, and the weather is great - cool enough in the evening to sleep, and 95 degrees during the day.
3. If you're planning on Late July, August, or early September, you're going to see afternoon thunderstorms. Anchor accordingly.
4. Everyone goes to see Rainbow bridge. Once.
5. Buy the Stan Jones map I linked above, and read about the various things to see. Going up the Escalante is beautiful. Going down the main channel can be imposing (1000' high vertical walls? We got that).
6. An afternoon trip in to Dangling Rope Marina for Ice Cream is a treat the children appreciate.
7. Bring a water toy you've never tried before, and use it a lot. I recommend an Air chair. Of course, I also recommend bringing someone who knows how to ride/drive one also.
8. Take a tour of the dam. What a chunk of concrete!

Don't do:
1. Drink beer to stay hydrated. Really bad plan.
2. Drive to the first shoreline out of the marina, and set up camp. Yuck.

My suggestion:
1. Buy the map now.
2. Decide which Marina you're going to put in at. If there are several that you're thinking of. ask.
3. We can give better suggestions once we know what end of the 190 mile long lake that you're going to start at.

/frank

LaRue
11-18-2009, 11:23 PM
Thanks! I'll do some research over Thanksgiving and come back with a better idea

h2oskifreak
11-19-2009, 01:42 AM
The best Powell book is "Boater's Guide to Lake Powell" 5th edition by Michael R. Kelsey. Great photos and loads of history and hikes/sights to consider. Agree on the heat thing. Best time to go is late June or any time in September. Agree w/ the comments on pricey houseboat rentals. I have 5-6 friends with houseboats there so I just pitch in and it works great. Find a friend w/ boat or take friends to cost share.

TallRedRider
11-19-2009, 08:51 AM
I live between Lake Powell and Lake Mead. As was said above, Lake Mead is a reservior in the middle of the desert, but Powell is actually like the grand canyon 1/2 full of water. It is one of the greatest places on the planet.

I have found that the best water is early morning and evening, the usual problem messing up the water is not the weather, but the people. The vertical walls just bounce waves back and forth, so one wally can screw things up for 40 minutes. Find a place with a shoreline and be willing to drive a few miles, and you can have good water all day.

Watch for rocks...there are lots of them, when you see a 2000 foot vertical cliff, just remember that the underwater terrain is pretty much the same. You can be watching your depth finder and go from 200 feet to being on top of a rock in a split second. Fortunately the visibility is usually about 5-15 feet, so if paying attention, you might see it coming.

The thunderstorms are the real deal, pay attention when the houseboat guy tells you how to anchor things down. They are kind of like mini tornados with high violent winds. Good news is that there is often perfect glass right afterward. You don't want to waste time cleaning up after the storm.

The page end of the lake is much better, IMHO.

This was not the best camping spot we had, but you get the idea.

http://i243.photobucket.com/albums/ff206/talltigeguy/Lake%20Powell%206-09/IMG_8149.jpg

h2oskifreak
11-19-2009, 10:58 AM
I live between Lake Powell and Lake Mead. As was said above, Lake Mead is a reservior in the middle of the desert, but Powell is actually like the grand canyon 1/2 full of water. It is one of the greatest places on the planet.

I have found that the best water is early morning and evening, the usual problem messing up the water is not the weather, but the people. The vertical walls just bounce waves back and forth, so one wally can screw things up for 40 minutes. Find a place with a shoreline and be willing to drive a few miles, and you can have good water all day.

Watch for rocks...there are lots of them, when you see a 2000 foot vertical cliff, just remember that the underwater terrain is pretty much the same. You can be watching your depth finder and go from 200 feet to being on top of a rock in a split second. Fortunately the visibility is usually about 5-15 feet, so if paying attention, you might see it coming.

The thunderstorms are the real deal, pay attention when the houseboat guy tells you how to anchor things down. They are kind of like mini tornados with high violent winds. Good news is that there is often perfect glass right afterward. You don't want to waste time cleaning up after the storm.

The page end of the lake is much better, IMHO.

This was not the best camping spot we had, but you get the idea.

http://i243.photobucket.com/albums/ff206/talltigeguy/Lake%20Powell%206-09/IMG_8149.jpg

Spotted your boats a bunch over the years on the water. Never together though. Nice combination and Powell is a magical place for sure. Each time I go I feel recharged.