Southwest Adventure, Living & Travel

Colorado River Boating

Lakes And Water Levels Information

April 2014

water level lake powell
Lake Powell 4/14
Photos by Glen Canyon NRA Staff

Lake Powell - The public is asked to use extreme caution when using the public launch ramps at Lake Powell. The decrease in water levels has reduced the depth of water in these areas, creating shallow water on the ramps with steep drop-offs. 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 Primitive Launches are not unusable, check with park for more information. Reservoirs above Lake Powell are currently at 78% of capacity. By content, Lake Powell is 39.35% of Full Pool. Rivers feeding Lake Powell are running at 105.45% of the Mar 1st avg.

The boat pump-out at Stateline ramp is currently out of service, also due to the lower water levels. The station will require additional lift pumps before it can reopen. Pump-outs at Wahweap main ramp remain open.

The water level are going down.

Rivers feeding Lake Powell are running at 58.18% of the Mar 31st avg.

water chart

The Bureau of Reclamation’s August 24-Month Study indicates that lake levels may continue to drop over the next two years, with the lowest predictions in March 2015 at approximately 3536 ft. The current lake level is about 3578 ft. and full pool is 3700 ft.

Falling 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 our Navajo Sandstone.

Work began Tuesday, January 21, 2014 to deepen the Castle Rock Cut. The excavation project will increase the number of usable days of the cut during lower lake levels. National Park Service (NPS) staff will place “Closed Area” buoys around the work area and ready the site for the contractor, Brown Brothers Construction of Loa, Utah. Based on current and anticipated water levels this spring, excavation will lower the bottom elevation of the cut to approximately 3580 feet, removing over 70,000 cubic yards of material. The Castle Rock Cut is a popular short-cut for boaters on Lake Powell. Travel through the cut saves approximately 10 miles of boating. Scheduled completion for the project is late April. However the Castle Rock Cut will not reopen until lake levels allow.

Lake Powell

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.

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.

Navajo Route 20 N20 is now designated as U.S. 89T and will be utilized to restore essential traffic from U.S. 89 for a period of three years, after which the road will revert back to the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Nighttime, speed restrictions lifted on US 89T after fencing is finished, US 89 bypass fully open with no restrictions. 89T, stretches from Bodaway-Gap to LeChee and is approximately 44 miles long. For the last 6 months, motorists have had to travel 115 miles of detour roads to get to and from Page and surrounding areas.

U.S. 89 was closed on Feb. 22, after a dry landslide damaged a portion of roadway near the Bitter Springs and Echo Cliffs area, south of the Big Cut. The Navajo Division of Transportation, ADOT, BIA and Federal Highway Administration joined forces to pave N20 as a detour route.

Map showing the general location of the new route

Carl Hayden Visitor Center January through February, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., rest of year, daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. Call 928-608-6404 for more information.

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

Lake Powell Newsletter

For all the information 2013 Park Newspaper So far there is no 2014 edition(PDF 2.61Mb) PDF file

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 levels are up a bit, lake water level is at 48% full.

water level mead

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.

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

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

Check weather on new updates on Twitter -

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

Lake Mead NRA Newspaper - Winter Spring 2014 (4 pages pdf)

Virgin River Basin at Lake Mead National Recreation Area will be temporarily closed March 27 through May 12. The area closed includes the northern tip of Lake Mead National Recreation Area where the Virgin River meets Lake Mead, as well as surrounding lands.Echo Bay, Stewarts Point, Redstone and the hot springs along Northshore remain open.

Park newspaper

Lake Mojave

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


Laughlin and the Colorado river

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.

Houseboats for rent.

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.

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


Lakes and Activities

 Nearby Hotel and Motels


Air and Water

Lake Powell

Web Cameras

Houseboats rental

Page, AZ

Glen Canyon

Click for Page, Arizona Forecast
Water level
Holding 39% full
Water Temp 48+

Lake Mead


Houseboats rentals

Where to Stay




Click for Las Vegas, Nevada Forecast
Water level
Down 46% full
Water temp 49+

Lake Mohave


Houseboats rentals

Where to Stay
Laughlin, NV
Bullhead City, AZ


Click for Laughlin, Nevada Forecast
Water level
Holding 92% full
Water temp 49+

 Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu City

Parker Dam

Click for Lake Havasu City, Arizona Forecast
Water level
Down 91% full
Water temp 50 +

 Lake Martinez 

Yuma, AZ

Laguna Dam
Imperial Dam

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

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

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

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

walkway hoover dam bridge
Bridge walkway

bridge hoover dam
Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge from Black canyon below Hoover Dam in August of 2013 Photo by Dean Colvig


Share this page on Facebook:

DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. (It's Free.)

The Desert Environment
The North American Deserts
Desert Geological Terms



Lake Powell video The completion of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1963 created Lake Powell. It took another 14 years to fill the lake. With almost 2,000 miles of shoreline, and five marinas.

Glen Canyon Dam - Lake Powell Held behind the Bureau of Reclamation's Glen Canyon Dam, waters of the Colorado River and tributaries are backed up almost 186 miles, forming Lake Powell. The dam was completed in 1963. Take a look at this tremendous feat of engineering - the Glen Canyon Dam.

Lake Mead - Houseboating & Viewing Hoover Dam DesertUSA rented a houseboat to explore the western part of Lake Mead. Our first stop was the Hoover Dam off the Boulder Basin. Without Hoover Dam, Lake Mead wouldn't exist today. Come along with DesertUSA staff as they explore Lake Mead and check out Hoover Dam. Take a look at the cove where we camped, and the Bighorn Sheep encounter we had there!

Laughlin - Lake Mohave - Colorado River
In the summer, Katherine's Landing at the southern end of Lake Mohave is a hub of activity. It has fuel, a general store, a restaurant and a snack bar. The Colorado River south of the dam offers many recreational opportunities. Take a look at this river destination!


Take a look at our Animals index page to find information about all kinds of birds, snakes, mammals, spiders and more!


The Boater's Guide & Map Intro. Package to Lake Powell includes detailed information, maps and black and white photographs of Lake Powell. Click here to review.

Map Glen Canyon NRA Map: Capitol Reef NP & Rainbow Bridge NRA included.

Hot temperatures in the desertAre you interested in the temperatures in the desert?

Click here to see current desert temperatures!

Copyright © 1996-2014 and Digital West Media, Inc.