West Canyon Hike, Lake Powell, AZ
June 6 - June 13
Picture gallery for Days 1 & 2
Picture gallery for Days 3 & 4
Picture gallery for Days 5 & 6
Five of us (Smita Bakshi, Brian Alleyne, Paul Teixeira, Anita, and myself) went hiking/camping in a remote slot canyon in
Navajo lands in Utah off Lake Powell.
The trip was just great. I hadn't been camping
since high school and so wasn't exactly sure what to expect. But
it turned out to be a great adventure. The scenery was just
amazing, and we had numerous non-trivial obstacles to surmount.
Day 1 (Friday, June 7th) started with packing in the parking lot of
the Wahweap marina at Lake Powell, then a boat ride to the west canyon
entrance, and a hike to the first campsite.
Day 2 (Saturday, June 8th) involved hiking from the first campsite
through a couple climbing obstacles and several swims and wading
through flooded narrow parts of the canyon.
Day 3 was
Rest Day! How did we rest? By taking a several-kilometer
hike up on the sun-baked rim to reconnoiter the route to the upper
Day 4 was definitely the highlight of the trip - a hike through Upper
West Canyon. Because of obstacles going upstream, we had to hike
out of the canyon and across the rim to the start of the upper canyon.
The upper canyon was just amazing in how it had been sculpted over the
eons by water. And some of that water was still there in the
form of eight icy-cold pools through which we had to swim. But
it was totally worth it...
On Day 5, we packed up camp and headed back down the canyon. We
camped at the second climbing obstacle on a camp site underneath an
enormous 400-foot tall undercut. It was magnificent.
On the sixth day, we hiked the rest of the way back to the pickup
point. On the way out, we explored a side canyon for about an
hour, and three of us (Brian, Anita, and I) had a bit of adventure by
hiking up and around the last swimming obstacle. It would have
been much easier just to swim but it was also a lot of fun to explore
another route. Up top, we saw a bunch of petrified wood and
other strange rock formations.
Throughout the hike, the
canyon had been surprising us with just one more obstacle than
expected each time. The last day was different only in the form
of the surprise: they forgot to send the boat to pick us up! A
few hours after flagging down some jet-skiers and boaters who called the park
service, we finally were rescued.
Here are links for the
day 1 and 2 picture gallery,
the day 3 and 4 gallery, and
the day 5 and 6 gallery.