FACT SHEET

LAKE POWELL & GLEN CANYON DAM

  •  Lake Powell and the surrounding Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are located in the southwestern United States, spanning some 1932 square miles of high desert landscape in southern Utah and northern Arizona.  The waters of Lake Powell cover 13% of the existing Glen Canyon Recreational Area.
     
  • Lake Powell was formed by Glen Canyon Dam and named in honor of Civil War veteran and one-armed explorer John Wesley Powell, who led a scientific expedition in wooden boats down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in 1869.
     
  • Glen Canyon Dam, a concrete structure rising 710 feet above the Colorado River, was completed in 1963.    The dam provides essential water storage and power for much of the southwestern United States.
     
  • Glen Canyon Dam is the largest facility of the Colorado River Storage Project, which supplies affordable electric power to small rural electric co-ops, Native American reservations, government facilities and towns throughout Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. 
     
  • Glen Canyon Power plant has eight generators with a maximum combined capacity of close to 1.3 million kilowatts.
     
  • Glen Canyon Dam provides critical water storage for the Upper Basin states and guarantees that the lower Basin States will receive their allocated water supply.   The downstream states use the majority to their water supply for agricultural operations, allowing the arid Southwest to become fertile agricultural land for fruit and vegetable crops.
     
  • Lake Powell took 17 years to fill, reaching "full pool" in 1980.  The lake has a storage capacity of 27,000,000 acre-feet, making it the second largest man-made reservoirs in the country.
     
  • Each year over 3 million people visit the 186-mile-long lake and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the length of stay is the longest (4.5 days) of any federal park. This surrealistic landscape of crystal-clear lake surrounded by colorful canyons, peaks and buttes draws visitors from around the world and is a perennial favorite location for photographers and filmmakers. 
     
  • Rainbow Bridge National Monument, the largest natural bridge on earth, is the most famous site on Lake Powell.  Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors come to admire this graceful stone arc, located about 50 water miles from Wahweap Marina and accessible by tour boats and private vessels.  Prior to the formation of Lake Powell, visiting Rainbow Bridge required a long, rugged, waterless hike or horseback ride.
     
  • Facilities at Lake Powell include two visitor centers, five marinas, permanent mooring for over two thousand private vessels, lodging, restaurants, campgrounds and RV facilities. Services include houseboat and powerboat rentals dockside and dry boat storage, fishing and water sports gear, groceries and general merchandise. 
     
  • Swimming, fishing, hiking, water-skiing and scuba diving are among the other activities offered, along with guided lake tours, scenic air flights and float trips down the Colorado River.

 

 

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