Lake Powell

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Lake Powell, officially known as Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (GCNRA), offers unparalleled opportunities for water-based & backcountry recreation. The recreation area stretches for hundreds of miles from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, encompassing scenic vistas, geologic wonders, and a panorama of human history

Lake Powell Facts
Lake Powell – an ocean in the desert

Visitation (National Park Service) Total recreation Visits for 2004 – 1,832,378

Water Level Average water level – approx. 3,700 feet.

Water Capacity – Lake Powell holds approximately 8.5 trillion gallons of water

Water Temperature –  summertime water temperatures approach 80 degrees

Lake Powell Depth – Lake Powell is 464 feet deep at the dam

More Lake Powell facts at Friends of Lake Powell


Lake Powell History

Lake Powell was formed by Glen Canyon Dam in nearby Arizona after its completion in the mid-1960s, backs up into about 100 major side canyons and contains some 1,960 miles of shoreline, equivalent to the length of the west coast of the continental United States.

The lake, named after early Colorado River explorer John Wesley Powell, has a capacity of twenty-six million acre-feet of water. Extending for miles up the former channels of the Colorado River and the San Juan River, Lake Powell provides access to scenery previously considered by many to be inaccessible in Kane and San Juan Counties. However, the lake also covered many historic and archaeological sites with water.

Glen Canyon was carved out of sedimentary rock by the Colorado River, as it wound its way over millennia through Navajo Sandstone and other rock deposited scores of millions of years before. The Glen Canyon region is actually a series of canyons of various sizes – deep, steep-walled, and separated by narrow ridges or broad mesas. The elevation generally varies from the level of Lake Powell at about 3,700 feet to mesas of more than 6,000 feet in elevation. The highest local elevation is 7,451 feet.


Read more about Lake Powell history at