About Lake Powell

Image by Zetong Li
Image by Breanna Klemm

Did you know?

Lake Powell began after the last bucket of concrete was poured in the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam, and then the flooding of Glen Canyon. The “filling” began on March 13, 1963 and it kept filling, and kept filling for the next 17 YEARS! Lake Powell finally stopped “filling” on June 22nd 1980. After Lake Powell was full the water depth near the Dam was 583 feet (177.6 meters) deep! With an average lake depth of 132 feet (40.2 meters) and a total water volume over 27,000,000 acre-feet! That could flood an entire midwest state in a foot of water! This beautiful lake looks more like a flooded Grand Canyon than your traditional American lake. The lake is massive not only in water capacity but also in area, Lake Powell sits in two states and two time zones, Utah and Arizona, and Mountain Standard Time and Arizona Time. (Here are Paddleboard Lake Powell everything we do is on Arizona Time).

 

After the massive 17 year fill of Lake Powell it created well over 2,000 miles (3218.6 kilometers) of shoreline and from end to end is over 186 miles (300 meters) long. That’s more coastline than the entire west coast of the USA. With 96 side canyons there seems to be an endless number of harbors, isolated coves, and sandy beaches to relax on. This especially is apparent when it seems no matter what the water level of the lake is there are new and amazing spots to enjoy.

 

The 96 side canyons on Lake Powell are each amazing and unique and it's worth making a life goal to visit each and every one of them. Some of the most famous canyons on Lake Powell are the infamous Rainbow Bridge Canyon, Forgotten Canyon, West Canyon, Labyrinth Canyon, the largest side canyon Navajo Canyon which alone is 16 miles (25.7 kilometers) and of course arguably the most famous side canyon Antelope Canyon! Most of these canyons not only offer amazing views but they also offer incredible slot canyon hikes and camping like nowhere else on the planet. 

 

If you’re not convinced of how incredible Lake Powell is yet, then here is another reason to visit. The lake actually supports its own National Monument, Rainbow Bridge National Monument. This amazing Monument is the largest natural bridge on earth! The filling of Lake Powell brought much easier accessibility to Rainbow Bridge. Now you can jump in your boat or on a tour and get there in a couple of hours with a small easy hike that’s about a mile long (one way). Before that it was a pain stacking and difficult and long trek that had to be done on horseback over multiple days.

 

The emergence of Lake Powell also created an abundant economy both on and off the lake. The lake sports three main marinas. Wahweap Marina and Antelope Marina located on the Southern end of the lake and are the most visited, there is also Bullfrog Marina which is located on the Utah side of Lake Powell on the northern end of the lake. It also gave a steroid shot to the local town of Page, Arizona. Turning the small cowboy town into a thriving tourist destination. Page, Arizona now sports plenty of things to do, grocery options, unique dining, a golf course and of course rental and tour options, each industry thriving from the benefits from being directly adjacent to Lake Powell.

 

Although Lake Powell is an amazing destination that over 3 million people visit and enjoy each year. It’s not a difficult task to find some alone time in one of its many bays, coves or side canyons. It is worth mentioning that while you're traveling on the lake the main channels can get quite choppy due to the boat traffic and the massive canyon walls that deflect and send the waves back and forth. So, be careful in the channels and try to get into a side canyon or open bay as soon as you can. You can usually find some quality glassy water somewhere close by that reflects the canyon walls like a giant mirror, this effect is especially easy to find and enjoy on the lake in the morning. Late afternoons on the lake especially in late summer typically bring some wind and the occasional lightning storm. 

 

Lake Powell during the day is spectacular but Lake Powell at night is miraculous! The area is well known for its extraordinary low light pollution and that mixed with the seemingly unlimited camping areas on the lake make it a dream for stargazing. It feels like you can see through the entire universe on a clear night at Lake Powell. Camping at the lake is not restricted and you can literally camp anywhere you can put a tent.

 

Lake Powell is beautiful in many ways and one of the greatest benefits Lake Powell offers is providing water to the Colorado River basin which in turn provides water to over 40 million people.

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