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Lake Powell is located in one of Southern Utah's most picturesque red-rock desert areas and Arizona's Navajo Indian Reservation. It is one of the most scenic reservoirs in the United States. At "full pond" (normal water level) it is the second-largest man-made reservoir in the USA by capacity. With over 1,900 miles of shoreline, temperate climate and an area of over 100,000 acres, Lake Powell is a utopia for the over 3 million visitors that seek out its recreational opportunities. It is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and boating is THE major drawing card. Fishing, diving, water skiing, hiking and camping are just some of the recreational possibilities. Open year round, many sun-seekers come to escape northern winters and relax in the warmth, exploring the multitude of spectacular side canyons and coves. With two National Forests, Canyonlands National Park and Capitol Reef National Park nearby, Lake Powell is an ideal location to head out for a day's sightseeing and play. Lake Powell separates Arizona and Utah, providing a giant playground for both states and the rest of the United States.
Under the auspices of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Lake Powell was formed by the construction of Glen Canyon Dam impounding the Colorado River. Construction was completed in 1963, and Lake Powell was completely filled 17 years later, in 1980 . Lake Powell's primary purpose is as a reservoir for the Upper Colorado Basin which, by the Colorado River Compact, must provide a specified amount of water to the Lower Colorado Basin States. Lake Powell acts as a 'sponge' to Lake Mead, enabling Lake Mead to provide power and irrigation water to lower states. Of course, Glen Canyon Dam also provides power. Spectacular recreation of all types is a byproduct of the Dam and Lake Powell. From the south, Lake Powell can be found via US 89 Arizona SR-98 and Utah SR-95 and SR-276. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation operates and maintains the dam, powerplant and reservoir, while the National Park Service administers Lake Powell.
Superb boating is a major enjoyment on the gorgeous waters of Lake Powell. Six large fully stocked marinas dot the lake, with three other marinas only accessible by boat. Everything from 75-foot houseboats to canoes and kayaks may be rented at most. Houseboating is the dominant water mode with over 90 scenic canyons/coves to explore, and many houseboats are privately owned and maintained on Lake Powell. Watersports abound with the warm climate, and boating can be enjoyed over 95% of Lake Powell - the remaining 5% is unavailable to boating due to the shallows created by fluctuating water levels. Launch ramps in both Arizona and Utah locations are conveniently accessible. For those not having or wanting to rent a boat of their own, there are many cruises and boat sightseeing tours offered around Lake Powell.
Lake Powell is a fine 'fishing hole'. Striped bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, channel cats, sunfish and crappie are found in the most likely spots. Fishing is open year round except for posted areas. Fishing from a comfortable lounge on a houseboat is a favorite relaxation of many.
Developed camping is available at any of the six marinas, but many people prefer piloting their boat or houseboat to a beautiful side canyon and 'roughing' it. The camping possibilities are endless and memorable. There are no camping restrictions around Lake Powell, but it is well to remember that the lake level can go up or down overnight. Follow the Park's instructions for tying up in the evening. Also, there are more than 50 geocaches situated nearby for new 'finds'. Although some are steep rock climbs, many are relatively easy to find, log and add to your total.
All in all, Lake Powell is a spectacular setting to enjoy all of the wealth of outdoor activities. A trip to Lake Powell will provide a multitude of treasured memories.
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