When a Summer Day Turns Dangerous in a Flash Flood

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This waterfall formed after fifteen minutes of rain. We were boating up Forgotten Canyon in Lake Powell when the blinding downpour drove us into a small cove. Small waterfalls streamed down the rock walls on all sides as we tried to secure the rain cap over the boat, jostling us up and down in the waves.

I was too focused on snapping the cover down to see anything beyond the walls spinning in front of me as the boat tossed about in the current. Spouts of water appeared from the high edges above us (sometimes out of the wall itself). I barely heard the crack of thunder but I sure heard the yells of my family, “Move the boat, move the boat.” My dad gunned it just as the waterfall exploded, spraying water and mud across our hull. (The houseboat isn’t us).

Once the cover was secure we could sit back and watch the awesome power of Mother Nature as she cleansed herself. While the adults were feeling a bit nervous about the situation, my four nephews and niece were just perplexed about why they couldn’t swim.

The five-year-old asked, “If the boat sinks, what do I do with my hat?”

The day before, the had storms hit a bit more gently, and we swam through the waterfalls of Clear Creek Canyon (right). I told my nephews that they will probably never see anything quite like that again. I was wrong.

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