Colorado River

Lakes and Water Levels

September 2016

Click on the links below for more information on each lake.





Lake Powell

Web Cameras

Page, AZ

Glen Canyon Dam

Click for Page, Arizona Forecast

Water level
Down 53% full
Water Temp 73+

Lake Mead


Where to Stay


Hoover Dam


Click for Las Vegas, Nevada Forecast

Water level
Up To 37% full
Water temp 71+

Lake Mohave


Where to Stay
Laughlin, NV
Bullhead City, AZ


Click for Laughlin, Nevada Forecast

Water level
Holding 93% full
Water temp 73+

 Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu City

Parker Dam

Click for Lake Havasu City, Arizona Forecast

Water level
Holding 95% full
Water temp 71+

 Lake Martinez 

Yuma, AZ

Laguna Dam
Imperial Dam

Click for Yuma, Arizona Forecast
Many sandbars showing.
Water Temp N/A



Lake Powell

water chart

Water releases from the Glen Canyon Dam fluctuate based on power needs, which can sometimes leave downstream river users high and dry - literally! Generally, less water is released on Sundays. The Colorado River provides water for 40 million people across the Southwest. At this time of the year the Lake level is slowly going down.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Increased Entrance Camping and Boat Use Fees as of June 1 2015 More...

The trail from Lake Powell to Rainbow Bridge National Monument is open. Recent flood activity had damaged a segment of the trail making it unsafe to hike from the lake. It has been repaired now open.

The public is asked to use extreme caution when using the public launch ramps at Lake Powell. Most of the main boat ramps are open. The deepest launch ramp at Lake Powell continues to be Wahweap main ramp. Different boat/trailer combinations require varying depths of water, so remember to assess the water depth for your boat before launching. The Wahweap fish cleaning station will be closed until further notice.

The Antelope Point public launch ramp is open. Boaters should still be aware that while the ramp is open, launching at these water levels is not safe for all sizes of boats and launching is at your own risk.

The Bureau of Reclamation’s August 24-Month Study indicates that lake levels may continue to drop over the next two years.

Lower water levels have exposed rock formations that have been hidden underwater for years. Boaters must be extra vigilant to avoid an unpleasant run-in with the Navajo Sandstone. At the current lake level, there are no available marina facilities or public launch ramp at Hite Marina.

Glen Canyon asks visitors to play it safe while in the park. Bring water, snacks, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen - and use them. Visitors on the water should wear life jackets. Cliff jumping is not recommended and illegal at 15' or greater. Boating after dark is discouraged due to sub-surface water hazards.

Watch Your Step on Lake Powell Beaches: Quagga mussel shells are sharp and tiny. They will cut through skin, clothes, and paws. Please wear water shoes and put doggie booties on your pets when recreating on the beaches.

New Waste Disposal Requirements for Coyote Gulch Visitors
Due to increased visitation and the lack of toilets at Coyote Gulch, hikers in the popular Coyote Gulch area of the Escalante backcountry will now be required to pack out their own solid waste using a portable waste containment bag.

Public Health, Environmental and Wildlife agencies from Utah and Arizona are jointly issuing a mercury fish advisory for striped bass in the southern portion of Lake Powell from Dangling Rope marina to the dam. The National Park Service and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) have recently detected additional adult quagga mussels in Lake Powell. Since this time last year, the water levels at Lake Powell have dropped which has exposed shorelines that were previously underwater.

To help stop the spread of mussels:

You must clean and drain your boat before you leave the vicinity of the lake.

You must dry your boat the required amount of time before
moving it to another body of water.

OR you can have your boat professionally decontaminated.

Due to increased visitation and the lack of toilets at Coyote Gulch, hikers in the popular Coyote Gulch area of the Escalante backcountry will now be required to pack out their own solid waste using a portable waste containment bag.

A dead bat found recently near Lees Ferry tested positive for rabies. Do not approach wildlife or touch bats, living or dead. Make sure your pets are vaccinated.



Carl Hayden Visitor Center January through February, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., rest of year, daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. Call 928-608-6404 for more information. The exhibit area at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center will be closed for renovation.

Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center –8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.daily.

Bullfrog Visitor Center, Bullfrog, UT, Thurs-Sunday from 9-1. Call 435-684-7423 for more information. For more information

Download the 2016 Park Newspaper PDF Also covers Rainbow Bridge NM

Wahweap Main and Bullfrog launch ramps and screening for the invasive mussels by trained personnel will be mandatory for all vessels. Currently, Lake Powell is believed to be free of quagga and zebra mussels. However, zebra and quagga mussels pose a major threat to Lake Powell if they were to become established. Experts fear that zebra mussels could spread quickly through the Colorado River watershed and potentially establish themselves in other river systems.

Note: Regarding the 2-stroke, 4-stroke engine issue: According to the Code of Federal Regulations Title 36, 7.70(e)(3): No one may operate a PWC that does not meet the 2006 emission standards set by EPA for the manufacturing of two-stroke engines. This also true for Lake Mead NRA.


Lake Mead

water level mead

The nation’s largest reservoir has broken a record, declining to the lowest level since it was filled in the 1930s. It will begin going back up now.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area will increase entrance, vessel and camping fees to the park Jan. 1, 2016. The increase is part of a larger National Park Service initiative to standardize fees in similar parks across the country. One major change to the fee program is that visitors will now get a full 12 months of access with their annual vehicle passes. With the current program, passes expired in December, no matter what time of year they were purchased. Additionally, the annual vehicle passes will change from window decals to cards, so visitors won’t have to purchase a decal for each vehicle. Daily Vehicle rate will increase to $20.00 for 7 days. For all new rate click here

Note: Blue-green algae occur naturally in many lakes and rivers and have been found in parts of lakes Mead and Mohave. Algae can produce toxins that may cause allergic reactions or illness in pets and people. Algae may appear as green or yellow streaks, scum or green globs on or below the surface. Blue-green algae

• Do not swim, dive or contact water in areas with algae.
• Do not drink any lake water.
• Keep pets and children out of areas with algae.
• Clean fish well, and discard guts properly.

Water levels: The lake water level is at 36% full. Launch ramp conditions at Lake Mead have improved significantly thanks to a $1.5 million construction project that began in late July. The project involves underwater excavation, dredging, grading and construction of reinforced concrete ramps. The concrete ramps will extend down to the water’s edge, and concrete panels or steel pipe mat will extend roughly six feet below the current lake water surface.

Goldstrike Canyon and Arizona Hot Spring trails will close May 15 through Sept. 30 annually.

Launch ramps Open with no restrictions - Hemenway - Boulder Harbor - Callville Bay - Echo Bay - Temple Bar - South Cove - More...

Launch ramps closed. Overton - Government Wash - Las Vegas Bay

Lake Mead National Recreation Area Alan Bible Visitor Center is now open The new Alan Bible Visitor Center is open 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m Wednesday through Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Please call 702-293-8990 for more information. The Visitor Center will be closed the following holidays: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

Check weather on new updates on Twitter -

Multi-vessel/vehicle discounts are no longer offered for latest fees see park website.

A temporary detour of the River Mountains Loop Trail section in Lake Mead National Recreation Area has been set up by the Southern Nevada Water Authority. This detour provides a route around construction at the Alfred Merritt Smith Water Treatment Facility, located near Saddle Island and Boulder Harbor. July 25, 2016 to until further notice.


Lake Mead NRA Newspaper PDF

Summer - 2016

Lake Mojave and the Colorado river

Multi-vessel/vehicle discounts are no longer offered - for latest fees see park website.

Laughlin on the Colorado river

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region is lowering water levels in Lake Mohave beginning in late September to aid in harvesting razorback suckers, a species native to the Colorado River, from lakeside rearing ponds.

No one may operate a personal watercraft (PWC) that does not meet the 2006 emission standards set by EPA for the manufacturing of two-stroke engines. A person operating a personal watercraft that meets the EPA 2006 emission standards through the use of direct-injection two-stroke or four-stroke engines, or the equivalent thereof, is not subject to this prohibition and will be allowed to operate as described in this section.

The NPS and Forever Resorts, LLC dedicated the first floating building project in the world to be registered for LEED® certification at Lake Mead National Recreation Area's Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina on Lake Mohave.

General and News

The bridge over the Hoover Dam is open for traffic.

DesertUSA has videos on Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, Glen Canyon Dam, Lees Ferry, Rainbow Bridge, and Lake Mojave's Davis Dam and Laughlin, NV.

You can now experience the Colorado River via Google Street View.

Take a virtual trip on Lake Mohave and the Colorado river in this DesertUSA video. If you have never been to Laughlin you need to see this video before you pick a place to stay. Click Here


Send us your river stories and pictures to share with fellow river lovers. What else do you want DesertUSA to cover in our updates? Let us know. E-mail pictures and comments to

Glen Canyon Dam

Click on the picture above to read the story of the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge,
named the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.





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