Navigating Lake Powell can be interesting, even for those that frequent the lake. Year to year visits to Powell can test the
memory, and changing water levels will contribute to fool your mind.
The advent of GPS locators can help. These cute little devices receive accurate coordinate information broadcasted by 28
government satellites that can take you back to the exact spot time after time. Priced as low as $150 for a handheld unit, GPS receiver/locators can tell you exactly where you are with
latitude/longtitude coordinates. Using these coordinates it can guide you directly to locations you have previously marked or preprogrammed.
Here's a short list of situation this technology can help with:
* You lose something overboard in 25 ft of water, like a fishing pole or anchor. Mark the location and come back to the same
spot with scuba gear to retrieve the equipment.
* You catch a limit of fish. Mark the spot and give the coordinate to a buddy.
* You wander 35 miles away from your houseboat sightseeing and you can't find your way back. Turn on the GPS receiver and
it can show you the way back (assuming you marked the houseboat campsite).
* It calculates how fast and how far you traveled as if you had an odometer on your boat.
GPS receivers can enhance the usage of maps that include latitude/longitude (LAT/LON), you will never question your map
position. Future maps will likely include exact numbers for major locations (marinas, beaches, etc.) to allow programming into your GPS locator.
Keeping records of all your favorite fishing spots, camp sights, arches, and slot canyons is easy with a GPS receiver. This
makes it simple to convey these locations to friends with a few LAT/LON numbers. No more long dissertations about finding some unique location. All you have to do is hand over the LAT/LON
location, and you're done.
Here is a short list of capabilities:
•Gives you present latitude/longitude location.
•Tells you the distance you are (as a crow flies) from a preprogrammed destination.
•Programs 250 locations (way
points) with text naming capability.
•Gives exact time that synchronizes from the atomic clock in Denver.
•Tells exact sunrise and sunset times for your location.
the speed you are traveling (i.e., 12.4 m.p.h.), updating every second (accurate up to 100 m.p.h.)
•Tells you how far you have traveled on your route, just like a trip odometer.
•Tells you which direction to turn to reach a preprogrammed location.
•Tells you how to backtrack where you came from, including turns.
•Calculates route mileage of a
preprogrammed route and where to turn to maintain that route.
These are waterproof units that are the size and weight of a typical portable cellular phone. They fit nicely in a shirt
pocket, but don't do that around water without a floating protector.
HOW TO PREPROGRAM
If you are wondering about how to preprogram way points into the locator, there are several ways to learn LAT/LON numbers.
Here are the most common:
1. Visit the location and mark the location by pushing the mark button. That instructs the locator to calculate the
LAT/LON numbers from the satellites, then you name it. This is the most accurate method.
2. Someone tells you the LAT/LON numbers and you program it in with a name (as accurate as the source).
3. Use a computer with mapping software (i.e. DeLORMEs MAP&GO) which gives LAT/LON for anywhere in the US. Just put
the cross hairs on the map location, right click, then click for the LAT/LON location. This is amazingly accurate. Then you program those numbers into your GPS receiver. 4. Use maps
with LAT/LON grids and estimate your location (not as accurate as MAP&GO).
LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE FOR DESTINATIONS ON LAKE POWELL
Ever wonder how many "lake miles" it really is from Wahweap to Dangling Rope? It's only 25 miles, really. And
Wahweap to Rainbow Bridge is only 32 miles, much less than many think (50 miles is what is generally published).
If you are thinking about a GPS locator, here are some Lake Powell LAT/LON locations you may want to program. We have a much
more detailed file at gps2.htm, but please note that this page provides links to alphabetical listings which will take some time to download each one.
Special thanks to Tom Spurlock for providing the above information.