Weather at Lake Powell

With the desert heating up, it was time for us to bid farewell to our children and start our journey north toward Idaho.  I had spent the last month perusing the atlas to see which route we wanted to take.  It didn’t take long to figure out where I wanted our first overnight location to be ….. a place I’ve longed to revisit; Page, Arizona or more importantly Lake Powell.Lake Powell

I’ll jump at any opportunity to camp near water and this little spot is a gem.  We first stumbled upon the Lone Rock boondocking beach back in November of 2012.  We were in the midst of out running – dodging snowstorms from our sticks and bricks home in Colorado, and Arizonaalthough we managed to avoid most of the snow, we did encounter a few flakes while camped at Lake Powell’s shore along with some severe winds.

You can  click here to read my post on that entertaining day.  Ah yes, fond memories!

Back to us hitting the road bright and early Tuesday morning….   We had intended to leave Phoenix on Monday, but just about all of Arizona was under a high wind warning.  And let me tell you, those nasty winds had us rocking and rolling to the point we felt like we were living on a boat.Arizona Highways

It was a smart move on our part to wait a day.  The winds had moved on and the five-hour drive from Phoenix to Page, Arizona, was uneventful and full of unique scenery… just the way we like it.Page, Arizona

We paid $14 for a two-night stay with the senior pass card.  Ah, there are perks to marrying an older man 😉  Since we had stayed here before, we failed to ask the ranger the best route down to the beach and found ourselves almost getting into a serious pickle.  The sandy road, although mostly packed, had some challenging obstacles from water erosion that required the F-250 be put into four-wheel drive to insure we avoid that pickle.  Seems the lay of the land around here is ever changing.Lake Powell

Once settled into a nice level spot off by ourselves, it was time to explore and in the process discover a better road to the pavement.  We sure don’t want to head out the same way we came in.Lake Powell

During our last visit to the area, the weather was so inclement it pretty much kept us RV bound.  This time around, I was determined to visit the Horseshoe Bend scenic overlook and since impending storms were on the horizon, I didn’t waste any time.

Horseshoe Bend overlook

Horseshoe Bend overlook

With storm clouds approaching and winds sandblasting me, I wasn’t able to spend as much time admiring the view as I would’ve liked, but I was definitely a happy camper.  This is a place I intend to revisit.  Hmm, perhaps we’ll need to look into one of those boat tours through the canyon (even though we’re not usually tour users).   Looks too spectacular to not consider and research further.  There are times I do miss our boat!

me sitting on the edge!

me sitting on the edge!

plan on sharing the scenery at Horseshoe Bend

plan on sharing the scenery at Horseshoe Bend

Our two night stay is over and today we’re heading toward Bryce Canyon National Park.  Or so we think.  As I sit here typing, we’ve decided to keep our day fluid and pay attention to the weather.  We encountered thunder, lightening, and lots of rain overnight and we’re a tad bit hesitant to drive the sandy road exiting the beach.  We’ll wait for a couple of hours and then make a decision.  Spending another night here along the shores of Lake Powell isn’t the worst thing.  However, the pull of seeing hoodoos is strong.

I’m a little bummed the weather forecast for the next few days is not looking good.  I’ve been so looking forward to hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park and a steady dose of rain will squash those plans.  Fingers crossed, I at least get a little break in the weather for a  few photo ops!

more fond memories

more fond memories

my hiking shoes ingested at least a cup of sand each

my hiking shoes ingested at least a cup of sand each

Flowers? Could it get any better?

Flowers? Could it get any better?

I could get used to this view!

I could get used to this view!

Intex Explorer K2 Kayak, 2-Person Inflatable Kayak Set with Aluminum Oars and High Output Air Pump                     

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area: Utah / Arizona, USA (Trails Illustrated Map # 213)

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72 thoughts on “Weather at Lake Powell

    • It’s the perfect beach/area to Kayak. As a matter of fact, we saw two different tour companies launch here. Because it’s located in an inlet, the waters usually stay calm and great for paddling.

  1. I just gobbled up all this info, Ingrid! 🙂 I love your Horseshoe Bend photo, such beauty! Just went to all your links and making notes!

    Question on the mountainous roads. One of our concerns out West with our weight & tow is being sure we travel highways that aren’t mostly climbing and declining. Since you’ve traveled out West for so long, do you just know which highways to take to your next destination, or do you have a way of researching to avoid any problems and avoiding traffic jams? The thought of us holding up traffic as we try to climb a steep incline is worrisome! We know we could unhook the truck and I drive/follow; but then I miss looking at the beauty while keeping my eyes on the road and hubby… 🙂 I was going to order a directory to use, have you used it? MountainDirectory.com

    • Al and I have a tendency to do a lot of winging it and after living in Colorado for twenty-five years, we don’t give grades too much thought. Going up, most times there’s a third lane for slower traffic to stay right. If you have a diesel, you should be fine. Gas? Chug along with your hazard flashers on like the big boy trucks. That’s just the reality. I know a lot of RVer’s use the All Stays app for road conditions. Relax and enjoy the scenery. Please feel free to email me anytime.

      • Thanks so much, Ingrid! We are diesel, so that sounds good. We’re still putting ‘stuff’ in storage and getting ready to move the RV in one more week, then we should be rolling and heading for ‘your’ grades! 🙂

    • Hi Donna,
      Definitely get the Mountain Directory. You can get it in printed or digital form. We use our all of the time when planning our routes. As I said in a post on our blog (www.michigantraveler.org), the secret to driving in the mountains is good route selection.

  2. Oh, Horseshoe Bend looks amazing. I’d love to see it for myself. I think the river tour would be thrilling, even if you’re not usually the tour type.

    • It’s beautiful country, that’s for sure. We plan on spending more time in the area in the fall and will definitely get out on the water then 🙂

    • Lone Rock at Lake Powell is in my top favorite locations to camp and we’re already planning on returning in the fall on our journey south. Hopefully we’ll spend more time in the area and I’ll make it back over to Horseshoe bend a few more times!

    • We did manage to find ‘weather’ but it definitely doesn’t fall into the ‘great’ category LOL. Ah, all part of the adventure. We actually did decide to go to Bryce but opted for full hook-ups due to the cold, rain and snow. In between fronts yesterday I did manage to get in some nice shots of hoodoos. I’m not sure how much exploring we’ll get in due to poor visibility, but regardless, it is such a stunning sight.
      You would enjoy Lone Rock. Nothing like building a campfire in the sand!

  3. These are magnificent photos of this majestic landscape! I’d love to go back there again. 🙂
    Happy travel, Ingrid! 🙂

    • Thank you Amy and I remember your lovely captures of Antelope Canyon. Since we’ll be back at Lake Powell in the fall, I may actually sign up for a tour of the slot canyon, but getting out on the water will be my number one priority.

  4. Horseshoe Bend was one of our favourite stops when we visited Arizona last year. Thankfully our weather was stellar that day. I could have sat there for hours just taking in that view.

    • I will definitely be returning when the weather is more agreeable and hang out. The sight is stunning, and I’m really longing to get out on the water.

  5. Looks like we’re right behind you! Spent a few days in Sedona area and didn’t want to head north, as we heard there was a blizzard in Kingman AZ this morning. Arrived in Phoenix tonight. I love your blog! Thank you for sharing your stories, your photos, your beautiful smile, and lessons learned… it’s a wonderful life isn’t it! 🙂

    • You are wiser than us by not heading north. After numerous travel route changes, we threw caution to the wind and headed to Bryce Canyon NP…. cold, rain, and snow, but it sure is beautiful. We decided to stay at the Red Canyon RV Park with full hook-ups so we could keep the furnace running instead of dry camping in the NP. I’m missing the warmth of the Sonoran Desert right now so take your time moving north. This spot at Lake Powell is one of our faves.

  6. Great pictures. We have never been to Lake Powell but house- boated twice at Lake Mead in years past. It looks like the water level is down there as well. I know the rain is a downer for your trip but every little drop counts, I guess. Can’t wait to see more pictures of your journey north!

    • Thank you – Yes, Lake Powell is definitely down in water level but I don’t think it’s as bad as Lake Mead. I agree, every drop counts and helps with previous drought conditions. We’ve had to rearrange our travel route but still plan on seeing some new sights.

  7. I am assuming your post is up to date:) It is probably a great idea to skip Bryce. Our friends in Torrey had five inches of snow so far with a few more on the way. Arches got snow today, also. The park must be just high enough because we were in the low 50’s here in Moab. I can only imagine what Bryce got since it is the highest area. We moved our visit to Capitol Reef back six days because of the terrible cold, snowy weather there. Hope it has all melted by Friday! Like you said, Bryce Canyon isn’t going anywhere:) And you are in a lovely spot.

    Your photos are lovely, Ingrid. You really captured the beauty in the Lone Rock area.

    • Yep, for once I’m posting real time 😆 and doing so with a crappy computer and slow internet LOL. We’ve been checking and rechecking weather conditions and if it weren’t for our obligation in Idaho, we’d just sit tight right here at Lone Rock and wait out the weather. Alas, we’ve made a commitment and thus will forgo Bryce and rearrange our route.
      I’ve been out hiking twice a day walking in sand, climbing hills, and shooting my camera in between rain storms and my calves and glutes can confirm. You’d be proud 🙂

  8. Rain all over the state right now. Bummer for you. It is supposed to get nice beginning of the week though. If it makes you feel better, we are freezing going through Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Weird weather all over.

    • Such is the life of a nomad. We’ve rearranged the plans and will visit Bryce Canyon NP in September on our way south. Perhaps at that time we’ll take in Torrey and Kodachrome. We’ll have more time to meander in the fall. Stay warm and we’ll do the same 🙂

  9. Idaho is a gem of a state and one of our favorites..Before we had the Hiker, we spent a few days in Stanley, Idaho in a log cabin..The town itself is at 7000 ft altitude and it used to have a grass airstrip they used to fly fisherman out ..Also fun was the Rod and Gun Club..This was long ago and I’m sure it has changed, but it’s in a beautiful spot!!

    • Good to know. I’m compiling a list of places we’d like to visit while in Idaho. Of course, at the top of our list are the Tetons only a three hour drive away into WY. After twenty some years of calling Colorado home, one would think we’ve already been there….. not. Thus, a must for us. Hopefully we’ll have a good summer.

  10. I thought you were leaving last week. We finished our assignment at Spur Cross today, headed to Page on Sunday. Sorry you’re missing Bryce but safer to wait out the crazy weather, it’ll be there in Sept when you come back through.

    • We have a hard time saying ‘no’ to our children and at their request we stayed just a few days longer. You should be missing the really bad weather by Sunday…. I hope. We’ve had to rearrange our plans due to snow at higher elevations 😦 Perhaps in the fall we’ll be able to meander around Bryce, Torrey, and Escalante. But then again, Al’s sister is moving to Colorado and wants us to visit. Ah, the fluid plans of a nomad LOL!

  11. That view is fabulous! Keeping my fingers crossed for good hiking weather for you in Bryce. When we visited there almost 10 years ago it rained the whole time. We managed to stop at every overlook but weren’t able to hike.

    • I absolutely loved that view and if it hadn’t been for the sandblasting of sand and dirt and approaching storm clouds, I wouldn’t spent an hour hanging around.
      Unfortunately, it will be snowing overnight in Bryce and the weather isn’t suppose to improve until Tuesday. We’ll need to take a pass and will target September during our travels south 😦 I would’ve been content with overlooks!

        • Still hanging at Lake Powell watching the storm clouds. Not the worst place to be stuck. We’ll hit the road around noon tomorrow ensuring the roads at higher elevations have warmed. A little rearranging in the schedule will lead to exploring a new state park. Flexibility is the name of the game!

  12. After noting your comment about kicking the pickup into 4WD I looked at your overview photo of the lone rock site and can’t tell if I say ANY coaches — you think that road is passable for a long Class A?

    Great post once again.

    • Thanks and absolutely possible…. there were all kinds of rigs coming and going. We just happen to pick the wrong route down to the waters edge. Four years ago it was the right one, but now it’s the wrong one LOL. There are two firmly packed ways but not necessarily visibly clear immediately. A 40′ diesel pusher pulling a truck loaded with an ATV and kayaks had no issues. We just had a ‘duh’ moment and miscalculation. Even after the rain, the road isn’t a problem…. thank goodness.

      • Thanks. Just might get there this winter. Looking more and more likely that the desert plan will be the winter game plan. We think we’ll be able to limit our time in MKE to only 2 weeks in September and head SW earlier …. we hope, we hope, we hope.

        • Well, I’ll join ya in the hoping. My one suggestion is ‘pay attention to elevation’. Moab, Page, the Grand Canyon are all fabulous stops in the fall. By the end of October, you’ll want to be south near Sedona. I know you’re a great researcher, so check those historical weather charts.

          • Yeah — elevation…. after the winter of 14-15 I learned a lot of lessons about elevation. And I think that my meds which have solved the obstruction problem have also probably eased the elevation issue — I didn’t have any idea how ‘sick’ I was at the time.

            We’ll have the summer to consider our options and see how much mischief we can get into.

            I suspect we might head SW in October and do the old US highways across Kansas & OK into NM but we’ll see. And even though Peggy is always after me to go to Grand Canyon — it’s one of the few US grand scenes I’ve never seen — I don’t find myself all that motivated to go. I’m more interested in the Las Cruces – Tucson – Yuma – San Diego take on things. But, who knows what the moment may bring.

    • Agree – love Lake Powell. I’m looking forward to exploring your backyard (old and soon to be new one). I’m getting a list of things to see and do together and I’m open for any suggestions.

      • Stanley area in Idaho is pretty spectacular (Redfish Lake and Stanley Lake and others). I haven’t camped in Utah for so long, that I can’t really tell you there. I know S. Utah, but not North where I’ll be

  13. We have also changed or modified our plans due to weather and extended our stay in Moab for another week. If you are still there you might want to drive to the Pahrea Old Ghosttown for some more great scenery or at the Toadstools.
    Great photo of the horseshoe bend, we were there along with hundreds of others.

    • Ugly weather today so we won’t be traveling. We’ll be sitting in the RV at the shores of Lake Powell watching the storms roll by. Tomorrow we’ll pass Bryce and head further north 😦 Those hoodoos will have to wait for me till September cause if it’s snow, I ain’t going LOL. Crazy weather this year. We’ve been to Moab in April numerous times and I don’t remember the weather being this bad. Oh well, all part of the adventure, right 🙂 We’ll be back this way in the fall and won’t be on a time schedule thus allowing us to meander in the area a little longer.

    • I’ve been fortunate having traveled extensively both personally and professionally and must admit I’m enamored with the “four corner” states. Around each bend is another amazing sight. Highly recommend!

  14. The horseshoe bend overlook photo is spectacular! I think I need to visit. The flowers are nice too. Hope you get to Bryce and mayb nearby Zion. They are lovely.

    • Thanks Pam. I’ve been to Zion but Bryce has always eluded us due to weather. The 9,000 foot elevation and extreme winds make for a challenging visit. If it doesn’t work on this drive by, I’m hoping it will in the fall.

      • I know what you mean. It snowed on us there when we visited in May years ago. We had a memorable trail ride into the canyon. My burro bit the rear end of my husband’s horse going down the trail. His horse reared up on two legs and he hung on tight! After that the trail leader got between our two animals. I’ve never really trusted horses. 🙂

  15. Great set of photos. It’s been awhile since we’ve been to the Grand Canyon. I would think driving up 191 by Canyon Lands, through Moab, by Arches to hwy 6 to 189 to 84 or hwy 40 to 84 and then making your way through the mountains east of Salt Lake City on your way to Idaho would give you lots and lots of great photo opps. I’ve thought about doing that drive to Idaho, and then continuing west through Idaho to Oregon and then up to Washington.

    • Since we’ve been up 191 to Moab several times, we opted for a new direction this go around. If we weren’t on a bit of a schedule to get to Idaho, we’d definitely be crisscrossing the amazing state of Utah. Oregon and Washington are on our list as well. It’ll be interesting to see how our summer unfolds. BTW – I’m so glad I bought a backup camera. The winds have been so brutal, it’s been impossible to keep the blowing sand and dirt off the camera. I’m glad I used the old one!

      • When we went to France for 5 weeks in 2013, I bought two used Canon 1Ds bodies with very low shutter counts for $500 each (they retailed for $8K back in 2004 when they were new. One had 1300 actuations on the shutter the other had 1600 when I bought them, so they were like new), because I wasn’t comfortable taking my $2500 5D Mrk II to France because it is not weather sealed. The 1Ds series are professional bodies that are weather sealed like my L series lenses. I’m really happy I bought and took the 1Ds bodies to France (I had a 70-200mm zoom on one body and a 17-40mm zoom on the other). They got soaking wet in the rain many times, and sandblasted by the Mistral winds that blew strong and steady for 4 days and nights without letting up during our trip — neither camera gave me issues about the adverse conditions. The original plan was to sell the 1Ds bodies when we got back from France, but I liked those old 1Ds bodies so much that I used them well into 2015 before I sold them (each one had close to 50K actuations on the shutters when I sold them) — now I have a 1Ds Mark II and the 5D. So the 5D still looks like a new camera and has a low shutter count because it’s never had to deal with adverse conditions, and I didn’t use it much when I had the 1Ds bodies..

        • Thus far, this bridge camera of mine seems to be handling all the abuse I give it. A few weeks ago, it took a serious tumble out of the truck and landed on pavement. I thought for sure it was a goner, but it continues to work. After the sandblasting though I can feel some grit in the zoom, but have always had the attitude the equipment is meant to be used. Hmm, I wonder how many shots I’ve taken with this camera!

          • There are online shutter count sites where you upload a file and if the info is in the file it will give you the shutter count. Some of the sites are specific to brand others are more general. I use equipment and wear it out. I’m on my second carry camera that I got in 2012, and it is really showing the wear of the daily use, being with me all the time, and going everywhere I go.

            • Thanks for the shutter count info and glad you are getting your money’s worth with that carry camera. I know I can’t complain about my equipment….. I use and unintentionally abuse 🙂

  16. Great pix as always Ingrid. We get a real kick out of following your travels – so entirely different from our wanderings on the East Coast. Safe travels and keep up the great posts. -Jack & Niki

    • Thank you and yes, the west is vastly different than the East. Each locale offers its own unique beauty. I’m afraid the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon NP will once again need to wait due to weather. It’s amazing how we can go from 90 plus degree temps and within a days drive be in snow. We’re on to Plan B 😉

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