6-7 Days DIY Kayaking and Hiking on Lake Powell?

El Matador

May 3, 2012
Hey guys,

I am a noob to this site, but am an experienced multiday backpacker and kayaker from Portland, OR. I have up to 7 days to complete a do it yourself kayaking/hiking trip on lake powell with a few buddies during the second week of April. I already have shuttle estimates and kayak rentals lined up. I thought you guys would be able to give some solid advice on the side canyon exploring along the way. After hours of internet research, I am convinced that both of the trips listed below would be stellar, but if you could only do one, which would you pick? Which trip has the best hiking? I love the remoteness of the Escalante arm, but the extra day on the shorter trip to Driftwood/Padre Bay would be nice so we would have a day to mountain bike around Sedona at the end of our trip. Any tweaks to the itinerary or advice on "cannot miss" areas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read through this, I am really looking forward to your responses.

Safe Travels,

1. Transfer up to the Escalante arm & camp in 50 or 40/Willow
2. 50 to 40/Willow, explore
3. 40/willow to Davis, explore
4. Davis to Clear, then exit the Escalante and move down to ~Ribbon or Register Rock
5. Ribbon to Llewellyn (explore if weather forecast is not predicting high winds), then camp ~ San Juan Confluence
6. San Juan to Oak Bay Area (explore along the way if weather is good)
7. Wake up early and paddle around to Rainbow for pick up. Shuttle back & explore Labyrinth Canyon if time permits (probably not enough time).

**If weather is too windy during the last 3 days of the trip, we might have a layover day along the way and have to skip some of the side canyons to make up time.

1. Transfer to Driftwood and explore it along with Cathedral or Cascade, then load the kayaks up and transfer via boat down lake to the Wetherrill or Mountain Sheep area to camp for the evening
2. ? Explore Wetherrill if worthwile, then paddle to the mouth of West
3. Paddle to the end of West Canyon, camp
4. Hike West Canyon and then paddle out and camp at the mouth of Face
5. Explore Face Canyon, camp at the mouth again
6. Get picked up at Face and transfer to Labyrinth, spend the day exploring Labyrinth and return.


Jul 28, 2012

Sorry I can't help with your data, but just wanted to say hello from one avid kayaker from Portland to another.

We moved from Portland many years ago and have missed the paddling community in the PNW.

Good luck in you Lake Powell adventure.


From wnorton using an iPad and Tapatalk HD.

El Matador

May 3, 2012
Hey Wade, thanks for the warm greeting. Yeah, the paddling in the PNW is amazing and backpacking aint too shabby either! I love the glaciers, temperate rain forest and high lake basins, but I am really looking forward to some desert time. My main question is regarding access into 40 mile/willow gulch from lake powell. I gather that it is a pretty difficult bushwack from the lake up to the confluence of 40/willow, but was wondering if anyone has first person experience with it. That area looks amazing based on Nick's trip report from this page and I really want to break through to get up to Broken Bow Arch. He did the version from Hole in the Rock and mentioned that he was planning on getting down to the lake, but was turned back by "a virtual tamarisk road block." I am accustomed to some fairly difficult bushwacking in north cascades, but dont know how difficult and more importantly, how long to budget to break through. I figure that it cant be much more than half a mile at most, but that distance can be really crappy in slide alder & devils club up here in the PNW. If I dont here anything, I will probalby stick with the Escalante option and just take a chance on the bushwacking, it should be a great adventure either way. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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