blue water laps against towering, sheer, red-rock canyon walls
and sandy beaches. Power boats and wave runners zip
houseboats slowly wend their way deep into side canyons.
The second largest
man-made lake in the United States is the playground for
Page, Arizona, and nearly three million visitors annually.
Lake Powell is 186
miles long and has 1,960 miles of shoreline, which is longer
than the entire west coast of the continental United States.
There are 96 major canyons to explore though you'll need a water
craft for the majority of them since access is limited because
there are few roads.
activities include swimming,
fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing, hiking and
sightseeing. Photographic opportunities abound. You can even
take a scenic flight by plane or helicopter over the lake, which
provides a bird's eye view of how far some those 96 canyons
extend from the main channel.
Around early June,
the lake's waters begin to warm and stay that way well into
October with a clarity unrivaled in other fresh water lakes.
climate is arid and humidity is generally less than 40
percent, Lake Powell is classified as a "high desert" area due
to it's 3,700 ft. elevation. Water temperatures cool
significantly in the winter then rise into the high 70's in the
summer. When it does snow at Lake Powell, the contrast of the
white against red-rock cliffs and azure blue waters makes for
beautiful photographs and memories.
Glen Canyon Nation Recreation Area, established by Congress
in 1972, is the home of Lake Powell. The area is comprised of
1.25 million acres with the lake occupying only 13%, or 161,390
acres, of the total area, which leaves a lot to be explored by
four-wheel drive or on foot.
Once you travel by
boat a few miles from any of the marinas you'll find yourself in
another world with a skyline unmarred by signs of civilization.
Lake Powell is named
for Civil War veteran Major John Wesley Powell, who explored the
Green and Colorado rivers in 1869 down through Grand Canyon. In
August, 1869, Powell and his eight companions passed through the
site of present day
Glen Canyon Dam. Extending nearly one-third of a mile across
from canyon rim to rim, the dam created the reservoir known as
The lake, which lies
partly in Arizona and mostly in Utah, is more than 500 feet deep
in places. While Utah has the lion's share of Powell's crystal
clear water, Arizona lays claim to the most important part—the
dam. It took 17 years, from march 13, 1963 to June 22, 1980, to
fill to the planned level of 3,700 feet above sea level.
Lake levels fluctuate depending on the spring runoff from
the mountains and the releases needed to produce electricity
from the dam's eight generators.
tributaries include the
San Juan rivers. Both are popular fishing areas. Types of
fish found in the lake are striped bass, large and smallmouth
bass, crappie, catfish and carp.
You could spend the
next 30 years exploring Lake Powell and still not experience all
it offers. So start now!