Lake Powell SUP Camping
Written by: Shannon Thomas
After backpacking for 4 days in Havasupai, Arizona, we had a few days to kill before flying back out of Las Vegas. Fellow SUP paddler, Edie Call, and I had originally planned to drive the 17 hrs round trip to Lake Tahoe but after the late grueling hike and drive out, we got a motel in Kingman, AZ, to gather ourselves and discuss our options to make a plan for the next 3 days of what we wanted to do. I logged into some wifi, checked some maps and saw Lake Powell was only about a 4 hour drive. I came up with the idea to head there to see the infamous Horseshoe Bend and then do a little 2 day SUP expedition and camp from our boards since no camping permits are required for primitive camping there.
The plan was to drive to Page, supply up with anything we needed, and then camp at the Lone Rock Beach Park at the Utah border since it was where we would launch from. We had most of our supplies, such as dehydrated meals and camping gear, but after some research we had to come up with our poop kit since being on rock and close to the water, you are not allowed to bury human waste like some areas. Our kit consisted up a water tight tupperware container and a few gallon ziplock bags. We made it to Lone Rock that evening after a few vista lookouts to take photos and look at the vast open space of Lake Powell. It was busy along the beach with tons of RVs and campers but several spots were available farther away from the water for tent camping and closer to the bathrooms.
The next morning we broke down camp and packed up everything we were going to need for the next 2 days into drybags and made our way down to the water to pump up our inflatable SUPs we brought with us. I opted for my Badfish 11ft Holeshot and was able to strap everything I needed to the front of the board with the supplied D-rings. We strapped up our gear and made our way out with the plan to cross the lake and follow the shoreline and explore all the fingers North of Lone Rock, making mental notes of potential campsites, and jumping off cliffs as we saw them. We paddled into some narrow canyons and even came across some boaters who were happy to throw us a few beers after they saw our plan to camp from our boards. We explored every little finger, channel and anyone we could, had lunch on top of some rocks, and swam in the perfect temperature lake.
We found a perfect flat campsite that we ended up paddling back to after exploring, only a mile from the take out with tons of rocks and cliffs to explore with beautiful views for the setting sun. After setting up camp and collecting driftwood for fire later on, we did our own things of hiking and shooting photos and taking in the solitude and vast open area and reflecting on the trip. Was really a perfect last day. The stars were plentiful, and our small campfire roared with the howling wind and kept us toasty warm with the nighttime dropping desert temps. It was a perfect end to our southwest dirt bagging trip before paddling back the next day, taking the rental car back to the vegas before catching our redeye flights. I easily could of spent weeks just paddling around Lake Powell, and over our 2 days there, we barely scratched the surface. A great destination for a paddle adventure.