Lake Powell, Water Sports Heaven – Man-made Wonder

Lake Powell is the second largest human-made reservoir in the United States. It is situated on the Colorado River and is bordering both Arizona and Utah. This lake attracts over two million visitors annually. It is a popular water sports destination. The lake, which is 300 kilometre in length, has a shoreline of 3 150 kilometres. Lake Powell is smaller than Lake Mead in capacity, yet it often exceeds Lake Mead. This is due to the high levels of water withdrawal from Lake Mead as well as regular droughts in the area.


Lake Powell was created when Glen Canyon was flooded from water in the Glen Canyon Dam. The reservoir was built in 1963. It is named after John Wesley Powell, an American Civil War veteran with only one arm. He explored the river in 1869 with nothing but three wooden boats. The reservoir was built as water storage to the Upper Basin states of the Colorado River. These include Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. In lesser amount water is also supplied to Arizona, California and Nevada.

Geological Importance

Over an estimated period of five million years, the Colorado River carved out Glen Canyon through the Colorado Plateau. The Plateau exists of many layers of different rock formations, some of which are more than 300 million years old. The sidewalls of the canyon are hence a showpiece of the geological wonder. It shows evidence of volcanic activity of ages ago. It is also displaying the geological history of the region with different formations visible to visitors.

Recreational Facility

Lake Powel is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and is managed by National Park services. So, their rules and regulations should be adhered to when visiting Lake Powell. The temperatures at Lake Powell often rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, swimming and other water sports are favourite activities.

Do to take note that there are no designated beaches for swimming at the reservoir. No lifeguards are on duty, so swimming is on own risk. Regulations also stipulate that no jumping off any object would be allowed. The lake has many other activities on offer, including kayaking, boating, and fishing. It is home to a large variety of fish types.

These include different bass types, common carp, Northern pikes and Sunfish and is, thus, a popular fishing destination. For those who prefer to stay on dry land, the surrounding areas offer great camping sites. It has many roads for mountain biking trips. The Lake Powell shoreline is off limits for any vehicle, including mountain bikes.

The Park has no hiking trails which they maintain for hikers, but visitors are welcome to hike into the bare nature of non-developed areas. The scenery can also be explored by car on the Hole-in-the-Rock road or Burr Trail. Lake Powell is a human-made wonder surrounded by mysterious natural phenomena. It is offering visitors the opportunity to explore nature untouched.