Lake Powell, Glen Canyon Dam

Spending time at Lake Powell was a real treat.  After visiting the Canyon, we went up to Lake Powell and decided to spend some time there.  A few bucks for a boat and we were on the water.  The water is clear and cold

. The lake levels go up and down due to the amount of spring thaws that are available and how much water is being released downstream.  You could see the various levels in the rocks.   The Glen Canyon Reservoir provides water for  the states of  Arizona, California, and New Mexico, while holding water from the Colorado River for Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.  Depending on when you visit, you might see a full lake or one that is down many feet. image19  Unlike most man made lakes, Lake Powell is sitting in a porous area that leaches water back into the sandy soil.   This causes the lake to lose millions of gallons of water each year.  There are those that want the damn to be destroyed and the Colorado River returned to its natural state.  There are also those that want the damn to be maintained because of the need to  have enough water to run the turbines that power thousands of homes.  Politics aside, this is a beautiful lake with tremendous views.

The Glen Canyon Recreational area is home to many ancient Indian sites and many can be visited it you want to take the time.  We decided to take a trip on the lake and see the sights.  image11 The lake has many “fingers”  that you can float into.   Some are wide, others narrow.   Going into them will show you the previous water levels and also how the the stone can be cut by the water pressure that is a issue everywhere in the southwest.   You can imagine what a million years of water cutting through the rock would look like.  The water cuts end up making the beautiful slot canyons that are downriver.  There are plenty of other folks on the river too, many in house boats or jumping off the many rocks into the lake.  Truly a great day trip for us, but we had to leave the lake and go rest up for our next trip.   The next day, we were rafting down the Colorado River.  We were unable take the longer 3 to 5 day trip but there was no way we were going to miss the opportunity to hit the river while we were in the area.  image8 After climbing down the river side of the Dam, we got on our raft and started down river.  The water levels were not that high but you could see where the shoreline was higher at times when more water was released from the Colorado River.  The river is also pretty wide at this point due to the damn but gets narrower at times on the trip downriver.   The view from the river, looking up at the carved rock makes you feel insignificant, yet a few minutes later the river opens up to grand vistas.   The water was clear when we visited and you could see many of the river’s native fish, just wish I had a rod to catch them with. A quick lunch on a river bank and back on the river. image21

As the trip began to wind down, you realized that those that came before you, hundreds of years ago, forged a trail that helped settle America.   Hats off to the river guides and professional trail tour companies.  Very much worth the money.

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