Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir on the Colorado River, straddling the border between Utah and Arizona. It is the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States behind Lake Mead, storing 24,322,000 acre feet (30 km³) of water when full.
Lake Powell was created by the flooding of Glen Canyon by the controversial Glen Canyon Dam, which also led to the creation of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a popular summer destination. The reservoir is named for explorer John Wesley Powell, a one-armed American Civil War veteran who explored the river via three wooden boats in 1869. In 1972, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area was established. It is public land managed by the National Park Service, and available to the public for recreational purposes.
Lake Powell is a storage facility for the Upper Basin states of the Colorado River Compact (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico). The Compact specifies that the Upper Basin states are to provide a minimum annual flow of 8.23 million acre feet (10 km³) to the Lower Basin states (Arizona, Nevada, and California).
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Lake Powell is located in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which includes the Colorado River corridor through Glen Canyon, the lower Escalante canyons, the lower San Juan River area, the lower Dirty Devil River area and the Orange Cliffs area adjacent to Canyonlands National Park. Much of this country was virtually inaccessible before the lake. The Orange Cliffs and other areas away from the lake still rank among the most remote spots within the continental United States.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument Rainbow Bridge is the largest natural bridge in the world. Carved from a fin of red Navajo Sandstone, the bridge is 290 feet tall and 270 feet across. It is considered sacred in Navajo culture as a symbol of deities responsible for creating clouds, rainbows and rain.
Glen Canyon Dam Construction of the 587-foot dam began in 1956 and was completed in 1963. It took 17 years before reaching "full pool" in 1980. Free guided tours are provided of the dam and power plant.
Page City Page is a small town with big attitude. It is the gateway to Wahweap and the lower lake, and offers a full range of services plus great desert golf.
Glen Canyon Bridge At 700 feet above the Colorado River, this is the second-highest steel-arch bridge in the world.
Indian Ruins Still standing from the ancient workmanship of the Anasazi are small homes, buildings and rock art. Hike and visit the remarkable restored ruins and rock art at Defiance House in Forgotten Canyon, or the amazing Three Roof Ruins built on a cliff along the lake's Escalante arm. Ruins are located in several other canyons so keep your eyes open as you explore the lake.
Cathedral in the Desert The Cathedral has become an icon for people who love Glen Canyon. They describe it as one of the world's great treasures, a place so beautiful and serene it has a spiritual transcendence. A paradise lost beneath the waters of Lake Powell. It partially re-emerged in spring 2005, when drought dropped the lake level, but it is now covered again by water.