register help

Wahweap Bay Kayaking, AZ

25 5 0
Guide 5 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > Jacob Lake N
4 of 5 by 2
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 11.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,703 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Interest Off Trail Hiking, Historic, Seasonal Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
24  2018-06-11
Lake Powell 4 Day Paddle
7  2015-07-21 azbackpackr
7  2012-06-12 PaleoRob
3  2012-06-02 PaleoRob
8  2012-05-29 PaleoRob
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 137
Routes 111
Photos 5,253
Trips 942 map ( 2,097 miles )
Age 38 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Mar → Any
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:13am - 6:25pm
1 Alternative
Come see Lake Powell from wave-top height
by PaleoRob

When Glen Canyon Dam began to fill Lake Powell with water in 1963, it turned 1900 miles of canyons into a contiguous slackwater lake. Millions of people now flock to this desert oasis every year to play in the crystal clear waters of Lake Powell. Most explore on power boats, but for a bit of solitude why not kayak?

The bay can be very exposed for most of its length. Winds, particularly during the summer, can spring up without warning, making paddling difficult. Waves can capsize unwary paddlers, and powerboats sometimes do not see the low-slung hulls of kayaks. Keep a weather eye out at all times.

Before the construction of Glen Canyon Dam there was a small stream that carved a canyon, and drained into the Colorado River just south of the Utah state line. It was called Wahweap Creek, and it flowed from the high Grand Staircase area, down past badlands, hoodoos, and cliffs, and eventually joined with the Master Stream below towering and ominous Sentinel Rock. Before Wahweap Creek carved its deep gorge, there was a tall pillar of what would later be called Page Sandstone jutting out from the north side of the creek. This was Lone Rock, a prominent landmark in the Wahweap low country. Cowboys from Kanab and Panguitch would carve their names and brands at its base, as would Navajos and pioneers who had made the crossing of the Colorado. But Wahweap in Paiute means "bitter water" - so called for the creek's alkali taste. It would be a fitting name. A few miles downstream from the confluence of Wahweap and the Colorado, the United States Bureau of Reclamation was working on building a huge concrete structure - Glen Canyon Dam.

Once the dam began to back up water, Wahweap Creek was inundated for its lower 12 miles. Gone was Sentinel Rock and the deep Wahweep Gorge. The base of Lone Rock, with its place in history, would be covered by the lapping waves. Wahweap Creek has been replaced between Big Water and the main channel of the Colorado by Wahweap Bay.

There is no real "end" to this kayaking opportunity. Wahweap Bay is the most popular kayaking destination on lower Lake Powell. From the junction with the main channel to the upper brush-filled reaches at full pool, the bay is 11.3 miles long, and offers dozens of miles of shoreline to explore. There are gentle beaches along the western shore of Antelope Island, southeast of the marina, as well as on the southwestern-most shore of the bay, at Lone Rock Beach. The north shore offers many steep cliffs and semi-submerged slot canyons. There is also the hike to the Wahweap Window, which is only accessible from the lake. On the northeastern-most section of the bay there is "the Cut", a partially natural passageway between Wahweap Bay and adjoining Warm Creek Bay. This opens up more potential areas to explore, but also increases your distance to get back to your launch point.

There are three main put-ins. The first is the Main Marina launch ramp. This is the busiest, and launching a kayak here amid the houseboats and other large vessels can be intimidating or downright hazardous. This is the closest launch point to the main channel in Wahweap Bay.

The next option is at Stateline Launch Ramp. This is just past the Main Marina, and is usually less congested. This is the closest launch option to get to the Wahweap Window or The Cut.

The final option is Lone Rock Beach. This is the launch point closest to Lone Rock, across the bay, but furthest from the main channel or The Cut. This allows the easiest access to the upper end of Wahweap Bay, where the creek still flows in.

No matter where you launch, make sure you have your kayak inspected for Quagga Mussels. It costs you nothing to do it, but if you fail to do so, there is a hefty fine, impounding of your kayak, etc. Not good stuff! Plus, if you do end up introducing Quagga or Zebra Mussels into Lake Powell, guess who is going to be held responsible in a court of law? Don't move a mussel - kayak smart.

Water Sources
Treat all water before using.

Anywhere along the shore, up to 14 days.

Check out the Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your kayak trip to support this local community.

2012-05-29 PaleoRob
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Wahweap Bay Kayaking
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    I set up my camp at Wahweap Campground [ photoset ] and then drove down to Stateline ramp to launch. I paddled down to Lone Rock beach where there were many people camping along the shoreline. It's very sandy there and there were lots of kids having fun in the warm water. A lovely day. Then I turned around and went back the same way.

    I really want to explore this lake a lot more. You may notice on GPS route it looks like I didn't go all the way up the small side canyons. But I went as far as I could go in the kayak. The lake is not as low as it was, but it isn't full by any means. I was told by a local that it's at 53% capacity.

    I enjoy multiday kayaking, and this lake is a good place for that. Lots of places to camp, and it's free. A kayaker needs to mostly stay along the shoreline. There is a lot of motor traffic out there in the middle. But there is more to see along the shore anyway.

    I got my kayak here at Lake Powell a couple of years ago. I bought it second-hand from an outfitter who said his customers were "afraid" of it. Too narrow and tippy for them, he said. I have beat the heck out of it and am thinking about getting a newer one.
    Wahweap Bay Kayaking
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Kayaked around Lone Rock. As I was pulling back into the beach, a kid on shore called out to me, "Hey, can I use that when you're done!?" :? Strange. Why would anyone presume that? His sister called him on it too. "Why would you even say that? It isn't yours!" Caused me to chuckle a bit.
    Wahweap Bay Kayaking
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Got up to Page and basically the first thing I did was get my mussel-free cert. Then it was into the water for me! Paddled across the bay, stopped on a little island, and then made my way back. Some breeze on the return trip hindered me a little, but I had adjusted my seat to have a better paddling position on the island, so I was paddling better. Fun times!

    Permit $$

    Glen Canyon Recreation Area National Park
    Glen Canyon Entrance Fee - 1-7 Day Vehicle Pass - $25

    Boat fees additional, follow provided NPS link above.

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To kayak trip
    From Flagstaff, take US89 north to Page, Arizona. Continue past Page, over the Glen Canyon Bridge. After passing the Carl Hayden Visitor's Center, make the next possible right turn, signed for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The two launch ramps are located in this complex, about 5 minutes away from the highway. To reach Lone Rock, continue down 89 to Greenehaven. Passing Greenehaven you will enter Utah. Immediately after entering Utah, at the bottom of the hill, there is a right turn with a small sign for Lone Rock Beach. Take the right and follow it out to the beach. There is a fee station at the beach as well.

    At Lone Rock, since it is sandy, it is recommended to have 4x4.
    page created by PaleoRob on May 29 2012 10:37 pm
    help comment issue

    end of page marker