Wetherill Canyon 2011
Lake Powell has become the Dooley family's favorite vacation spot. Endless days of relaxation, sun and fun. The four boys love to fish, tube, swim, wakeboard, and heck just be boys and the wife and I love to just sit in the sun and relax. We love bringing our friends and other family members to enjoy this special place.
We hope you will enjoy reading about our adventures at Lake Powell.
We hope you will enjoy reading about our adventures at Lake Powell.
Yes, house boating at Powell is a blast! But it is by no means a 100% relaxed vacation. Summer monsoon storms can catch even the most experienced boater off guard. Below is some of the lessons learned on our yearly trips to Powell. Please take special note of the following:
1) Cell phones do not work in most areas of Powell, if you can see the top of Navajo Mountain or are in Wahweap Bay or Warm Creek Bay (Near Page) then you will have cell service. Verizon seems to work best. We found out in 2017 that T Mobile does not work at all on the lake.
2) The National Park Service or other first responders are at a minimum 1 hour away in most areas of Powell
3) The National Park Service or other first responders usually will not come to your aid after the sun sets unless it is life and death. If the wind picks up at night and you loose your anchors you are on your own till the sun rises. Dig those anchors in deep our tie your anchor line to very large rocks!
What we have learned about houseboating at Powell
2004 Trip - Rented a Houseboat with Aramark
1) You need at least 3 strong bodies to handle the docking, beaching etc of a 48 foot houseboat
2) Dig your anchors in deep, 2 feet minimum
3) Use all 4 anchors
4) Don't pay attention to where the beaches are as per the maps you can buy. They are all set up around full pool, 3690 to 3700 feet. What is a good beach at that level will most likely be a cliff at lower levels
5) Anchor your houseboat in a W to S/W direction for usually the best wind exposure. Remember the wind can come from anywhere in those canyons though
6) The monsoon storms only last 1 to 3 hours. Wait it out and don't worry.
7) Close all drapes at sun down if you are going to turn on your lights. The gnats in some areas are a reall pain in the ass (only had a nat problem the first night at Powell)
8) Bring a lot less food
9) Bring a lot less clothing
10) Bring a lot more water and ice
11) A 48 foot houseboat is all you need for a family of 8 to 10
12) Make many and small meals. Large meals are a waste.
2006 Trip - Rented a houseboat with Aramark
1) Schedule a menu for every meal. Makes shopping a lot easier.
2) Purchase your food at Page, the Walmart superstore and Safeway have everything you need.
3) Turn your engines into the wind when you are anchored and a storm comes.
4) You don't need to dump your black water or fuel up your houseboat at Dangling rope if you don't boat past Dangling rope. Most houseboats gas tanks and black water tanks are more then large enough to handle a weeks trip.
5) Purchase or make 1" diameter x 5' long poles to securely anchor the anchors in soft sand
6) GPS on Powell is a must!
7) Watersocks are a must! Sandles suck!
2007 Trip - Purchased our first Timeshare Houseboat Purple Moon with Laketime
1) If you love Powell then a Timeshare houseboat is the way to go!! Check out www.laketime.com for your new timeshare houseboat.
2) A plug in freezer on our timeshare is the BOMB!
3) Water bottles and water stand are the BOMB!
4) Sleeping on our houseboat the night before our trip is the BOMB!
5) Having your car and houseboat parked right next to each other to load and unload is the only way to go!
2008 Trip - Purple Moon with Lake Time
1) Make sure all your crew knows how to work the radio, engines, generator, inverter, etc.
2) When the Castle Rock Cut is open it saves you about 1 hour of boating. A great fuel saver!
3) A personal CO detector is a must on your houseboat
2009 Trip - Purple Moon with Lake Time
1) Sorry but June sucks! The water is to cold for our CA pansy asses!
2) If you do purchase a Timeshare houseboat make sure your children's LIBERAL school district doesn't change the start date of school.
2010 Trip - Purple Moon with Lake Time
1) Check out your beach and make sure red ants are not a problem. This was the first year we had issues with red ants
2011 Trip - Turquoise Bay with Lake Time
1) Do not anchor in a well known canyon where boat wake can kill you. We were in Wetherill this year, one of the most beautiful sites we have anchored in yet, in the main canyon where it got a bit tight. Only 1 in 10 ski boats would drive at wakeless speed past our houseboat. Some people were actually water skiing within 25 yards of our houseboat. Unbelievable!
2) Watch out for people squatting near your campsite. I would never camp / anchor closer then 100 yards to our nearest neighbor.
2012 Trip - Turquoise Bay with Lake Time
1) Launch as early as possible. This year we were a little late launching from Laketime and it sure made a difference in us getting the primo spot.
2) Boy that wind can come from all directions. I would have sworn the wind would have come from the East around a point but "NO" it came right from the south, right over the cliff in front of us in Rock Creek.
2013 Trip - Turquoise Bay with Lake Time
- When a major heat wave is hitting the lake use the cheap plastic shades you can buy at any hardware store. They blocked the sun perfectly while we stayed on the upper deck.
- Had the perfect spot this year up in Padre Canyon. A great place for our house boat and just a few steps away a perfect spot for our ski boat. No boats banging together on this trip.
2014 trip - Turquoise Bay with Lake Time
- We had a great location up at Rock Creek this year! Very well protected, almost to well protected.
- For some reason the sticker plants were very numerous this year!
2015 Trip - Turquoise Bay with Lake Time
- Had a Perfect Trip yet again this year! No real big storms
- Had yet another perfect trip at Powell! A big thank you to Lake Time once again for making our vacation perfect.
- Yet another perfect trip to Powell. Not the best beach in this year but still had a blast. My captain skill are getting better and better each year. Squeezed the Turquoise Bay into a nice tight channel this year.
- Ended up in Dungeon Canyon this year. Tried to find a beach in West or Dove but every good beach was taken. My youngest, Brad, worked at Dangling Rope Marina for the 3rd summer in a row this year. He loves working up there!
- We purchased way to much food this year!! Had to many shoppers buying duplicate items. Lesson learned! One shopper from now on.
- Had a huge rain storm late one night. I didn't hear a thing and slept through the whole storm.
- This year we used a method called "Captain of the Day". We loved it. Usually I am the only one in charge every day. Driving the ski boat, making sure every one is wearing a life vest, etc. Well I wanted to relax on this vacation so I was captain of the day on both Monday and Sunday. But all the other days we had another crew member be captain of the day. It worked out fantastic!
2018 Trip Turquoise Bay with Laketime
We ended up in Gunsight this year. We brought our youngest grandson with us, Rowan John Dooley at 1 month old. He was a great crew member. We had a great beach on the east side of Gunsight. We also went later in the year, late Sept. Boy is that the time to go. Less people, cooler weather and the water is still warm.
2019 Trip Turquoise Bay with Laketime
We ended up in Padre Bay this year. Didn't want to go to far up lake for a few members of our crew had to return early. Had a great spot with afternoon shade hitting us around 3:00pm. Made for a much needed relief from the sun. Note: Inform new members of your crew on how bad Powell is with hidden structures. Chris brought with him his boat and hit a killer whale on the first day! Destroyed his prob and shaft.
Hmmmm is it time for an upgraded houseboat? http://www.laketime.com/laketime-boats/desert-sapphire/
The Dooley at Lake Powell Blog is for pleasure use only. We are not Boating or Anchoring experts and are only reporting on the issues that are brought to our attention while vacationing at Lake Powell. We assume no liability for misinformation regarding our blog on vacationing at Lake Powell.