Although my previous photograph was shot from my backyard in Greenehaven, the next time it snowed I needed to get more visual interest in my photographs. So I ran down to Wahweap to get closer to the water.
It was a race to catch the snow, the clouds and the sun in perfect balance before time got the best of me and the landscape returned to normal. But with such dramatic (and changing) weather, even a pull off along the entrance to Wahweap looks magical.
I wanted to show that some lucky houseboaters were in the magic as it happened so I composed this photo with some of the houseboats moored at the marina and a rental houseboat coming in. Perhaps not visually the most dramatic for a landscape, but a fun memory.
The light got more dramatic and I made great use of my telephoto to capture some warm glow on the mesa across the lake, but you’ll have to check back later for that post!
The weather can be quite extreme up here and because of the loose sand your typical tent stakes will not hold your tent down in any wind. My solution is to get some weight on the stakes by piling rocks on. The last thing you want is to find your tent sailing into the lake!
It’s quite a long ways down as you can see by this photograph looking down into Gunsight Bay. Although on our many trips we’ve discussed the logistics of climbing either up or down these cliffs it’s a challenge that does not need to be met.
Often the hot Summer breezes and Wahweap tour boats will produce bone-jarring chop and waves especially along the main channel of the Colorado River. In the off-season mornings and evenings treat the boaters with glowing canyon walls and glass-smooth water.
The color of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area takes on a cooler tone with the lower sun and soft clouds.
Here’s more isolated photograph of the wonderful sand dune that we parked our boat on. It may be surprising to some that sandy beaches are relatively rare on Lake Powell (but still more plentiful than Lake Mead). In the off-season your chances of scoring such pristine camping spots are much better.
As popular as Lake Powell is in the hot sunny summer months there’s a secret that the locals know — Lake Powell is a great place to houseboat in the Spring, Fall and Winter. The lake can be quiet, still and serene.
These photographs are from a trip taken over November (Thanksgiving to be specific). The clouds hung low in the sky, keeping temperatures cool, the colors muted, the shadows soft. It did not rain on us and the clouds didn’t hang around the entire trip. The weather was great for some hiking and exploring up the canyon walls that would be brutally hot in the summer.
We had our pick of some of the best beaches and houseboat parking. In the Summer this location would be stacked with boats!
When the sun came out we really got to enjoy the wonderful sandy beach. It is worth noting that swimming was not on the agenda! Although boating on the still, smooth fall water is a treat, that’s about the extent of the water recreation you’d comfortably try. Instead, focus on the landscape, climbing and hiking, the cool weather, the sweet smell of moisture in the desert, the glow of a nighttime campfire…
If you think that the hot sun of Summer will melt your houseboat rental plans on Lake Powell, consider visiting in the Spring or Fall!