Home » 2018 Lake Powell Boat Camping

Lake Powell - Chuckwalla Springs Cove, UT

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 - 9:30pm by Lolo
45 miles and 3 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


Our campsite in Chuckwalla Springs CoveOur campsite in Chuckwalla Springs CoveI love cruising in the boat - I had forgotten just how much fun it is. Plus, it’s a great way to keep cool (or relatively so) on a scorching hot day while taking in some gorgeous scenery along the way.

We cruised right on past Dangling Rope Canyon at Buoy 42, the last chance for gas until Halls and Bullfrog Marinas, over 50 miles away.

At Buoy 49, we took a quick detour into Forbidden Canyon, at the end of which was the hike to Rainbow Natural Bridge, Lake Powell’s most popular destination, but decided we would hit it on the way back, earlier in the morning, with fewer tourists and better lighting.

Although tempted, at Buoy 57, we cruised right past the entrance to the San Juan Arm and continued up the main channel (the Colorado River) towards Bullfrog, all the while on the lookout for a good camping spot for the night.

Lolo hiking near Chuckwalla SpringsLolo hiking near Chuckwalla SpringsMost of the canyons were already occupied by large houseboats and their fleet of ski boats, jet skis, and inflatable giraffes. However, since we were smaller, we could go places houseboats couldn’t. Just a few miles north of the San Juan Arm (at Buoy 62), right past popular Reflection Canyon, we found Chuckwalla Springs Cove, with a nice secluded beach and red rock formations across the way.

We spent the afternoon swimming, floating on our raft, and, as always, enjoying the incredible scenery.

Towards late afternoon, two jet skis entered our paradise and hung for awhile at the entrance to the cove. Then one left, but the other remained and proceeded to do donuts for the next half hour. Finally, we figured out what was going on. They were the scouts that were sent ahead to find a place for a houseboat to camp. Sure enough, not one, but two, houseboats arrived and set up camp about 100 yards away from us. I guess during 4th of July week, we were lucky to have had even a few hours of solitude. .

Lolo hiking up the Chuckwalla Springs washLolo hiking up the Chuckwalla Springs washThis camping spot had better hiking opportunities, and less muck, so when the sun got low and the temperatures dropped (at least a wee bit), we, like nocturnal desert animals, became active and set out around the end of the cove, across the spring, and up a wash to explore the beautiful rock formations that we had been looking at all day.

With the 100+ temperatures, I had had doubts that we would be able to do any hiking at all, but there was a small window at the end of each day (after 7:00 pm) and early in the morning (before 7:00 am), when it was comfortable enough to get out of the water and onto the land.

That evening we decided that rather than set the tent up on land, we would just sleep on the boat - not in the cuddy cabin where it was too stuffy, but on our thermorests out in the open in the back of the deck, where we could fall asleep by counting stars. I could get used to this.

The next morning, before it got to hot, we set out on another walk along the wash across the way, capturing the rock formations in a different light.

Then it was anchors away, as we continued our journey north along Lake Powell.

Lake Powell - Chuckwalla Springs Cove location map in "high definition"

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