Glen Canyon National Recreation Area - Page 1 of 2
Lake Powell, created by the Glen Canyon Dam, is 186 miles long with more than 1,986 miles of shoreline. Though the dam was completed in 1963, it would take another 14 years to fill Lake Powell. Since then, Lake Powell has proven to be a premier attraction for millions of visitors from all over the world. For current lake and river information click here.
Before the completion of Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, these remote rugged canyons were a discouraging barrier to the early pioneers and explorers. Today, Lake Powell winds its way through this desert paradise with excellent views of balancing rocks, pinnacles, buttes, arches and amphitheaters. The combination of clear skies, crystal clear water and red sandstone rock formations makes this national recreation area an ideal place for the outdoor enthusiast. Lake Powell is more than just a fantastic recreation area. Awesome in its dimensions and complexity, its desolate beauty makes it an experience never to be forgotten.
The water that flows into Lake Powell comes from snow melt in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. This snow melt gathers into the Green, Colorado, Dirty Devil, Escalante, and San Juan Rivers, which empty into Lake Powell. For the past few years, not enough snow fell in the high country, so the rivers were not as strong, and Lake Powell did not receive as much water.
In an average water year, Lake Powell is at its lowest in March, when the spring runoffs begin and the lake level starts to rise. The Colorado River Basin is now in its 11th year of drought however. Inflow volumes have been below average for five consecutive years, with 2011 showing some improvement.
Boaters and swimmers should be aware that rocks that may have been completely submerged last season may now be exposed or just under the water surface. Additionally, access to many of the lake's smaller side canyons may be more difficult due to low water. Maintain a sharp lookout, even in the main channel. If you're travelling into unfamiliar territory or simply can't tell what's under the water -- slow down. On the bright side, there should be plenty of sandy beach exposed for those camping on Lake Powell.
There are six marinas on Lake Powell, five of them with launch ramps. Lodging and boating services are provided year-round at these developed areas on Lake Powell, except Dangling Rope. Be sure to take the boat trip to Rainbow Bridge National Monument. It's an easy, fun way to see Lake Powell -- just sit back and relax. The hike from the courtesy docks at the Rainbow Bridge is approximately 2.5 miles round-trip. Wear good footwear and take plenty of food and water.
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