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Monday, August 08, 2011

At Lake Powell, I Like Hite

Lake Powell enthusiasts are enjoying a great boating season. The lake level is up about 50 feet over last year's numbers, and so virtually all features on the lake are accessible. And the weather is cooperating, giving us the hot, dry days water sport enthusiasts crave.

I'm just back from a long weekend at the lake. We had a great time boating, swimming, camping and fishing.

We choose to camp at Hite and boat down-lake to play and fish. That proved to be an excellent choice. Since the water level is up, the Hite boat ramp is usable and can even accommodate larger boats. And the best thing is there are no lines at the ramp. On a busy summer weekend, one would expect to wait in line 30 minutes or more before being able to launch at Bullfrog or Wahweap, but at Hite you just show up and launch - no delay.

Boat traffic can be very heavy around the major marinas, but is never heavy in the Hite area. A boat comes by now and then, but there is never enough traffic to cause chop in the channel or bays. The experience is much more tranquil.

At Hite you are allowed to camp right on the beach, and there are plenty of coves where you can get away from your neighbors. Hite is one of the few places on the lake where you can drive to the water's edge and then camp there. There is also a designated campground not far from the water. We camped in the campground, all by ourselves.

The upper lake consistently offers some of the best fishing at Lake Powell, and Hite provides the easiest access to popular spots like Good Hope Bay and "Striper City."

There is a gas station/convenience store at Hite, but no on-water services. No boat rentals or on-water boat fuel.

During spring and early summer, the water around Hite can be quite muddy and there is a lot of floating debris washed in by the Colorado River. The water quality improves after runoff ends and summer progresses. During our visit the water at Hite was a little murky but not bad. We boated down-lake and found clear water just a short distance away.

And the scenery? In my opinion, Lake Powell is beautiful along its entire lake. On the upper lake you don't have the sheer sandstone cliffs and sandy beaches, but the scenery is still spectacular.

For scenery alone, my favorite area is the lower lake around Padre and Rock Creek bays. But for total experience, I choose uncrowded conditions and good fishing.

At Powell, Hite is my favorite marina.

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