Home » 2020 Lake Powell during Covid

Lake Powell - Reflection Canyon and Register Rock, UT

Thursday, September 3, 2020 - 2:45pm by Lolo
48 miles and 3.5 hours from our last stop - 1 night stay


Incredible reflections in Reflection CanyonIncredible reflections in Reflection CanyonI love just cruising in the boat, watching the scenery go by, and what breathtaking scenery there was. We cruised up the San Juan Arm for about 18 miles, dipping into Desha and Deep Canyons before turning around and returning to the main channel where we took a side trip into Reflection Canyon.

It was easy to see how this beautiful winding gorge got its name. The reflections of the sandstone cliffs in the crystal clear water were astounding. It was actually confusing to look at because the reflections were so real, that you couldn't distinguish them from their source - like twin extensions of the reality.

Lolo swimming amongst the reflectionsLolo swimming amongst the reflectionsIt was so beautiful, I had to jump in and try to touch them. That’s what’s so nice about Lake Powell in summer. The water is a balmy 80 degrees, making it very easy just to dip in and out all day.

We were here at noon time, which is usually not the best time of day to photograph, but apparently not with these reflections. My very favorite was of a rather non-distinct rock, which when paired with its reflection took on the appearance of a torpedo.

Our campsite by Register RockOur campsite by Register RockOnce back in the main channel, we continued north looking for a place to camp for the night.

We tried to find the spot near Chuckwalla Springs where we camped last time, but we couldn’t find it. Everything can look different when the water levels change. We went a little further north and found a nice little cove by Register Rock, just across the lake from Hole-in-the-Rock, of tenacious Mormon fame.

Register Rock where Mormons signed their namesRegister Rock where Mormons signed their namesBack in 1879, the San Juan Mission of Mormons was traveling from Escalante to Bluff, Utah, when they came to the edge of a precipitous 1,200-foot cliff above what was then the Colorado River. The only way to continue on was to lower the wagons down the natural crevice to the river level, where it could be forded.

After months of blasting and hand chiseling to widen the crevice, they successfully lowered 83 full-sized wagons, 1,000 head of livestock, and 250 people to the river. I’m sure the livestock were very happy with that.

Evening reflections by Register RockEvening reflections by Register RockAfter fording the river, they stopped to briefly to memorialize their treacherous descent to the river by carving their names on a rock, before continuing on their difficult journey, which was far from over. Unfortunately, those names are now under water.

Well that rock, now known as Register Rock, was the one we were camping by. However, we had a much easier time of getting to it - no oxen had to be lowered no rivers had to be forded, no months of chiseling away at rock. I felt a little wimpy as I sipped my glass of wine at the base of Register Rock.

Lake Powell - Reflection Canyon and Register Rock location map in "high definition"

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