UTAH

Lake Powell rising six to 15 inches every day, park rangers say

Jun 11, 2019, 3:22 PM
Lake Powell Glen Canyon...
Trash trackers clear debris from spring runoff at Lake Powell. Photo: National Park Service

Officials at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are urging boaters to use caution. The waters of Lake Powell are rising anywhere from six to 15 inches every day during spring runoff.

In a news release, the National Park Service said vehicles parked near the edge of Lake Powell could quickly become submerged. They advised visitors to park at least 200 to 300 yards away from the water’s edge.

“Depending on the grade of land, a foot of water rising vertically will cover approximately 30 to 50 feet of land horizontally,” the release said.

Rising water levels allowed park rangers to open boat ramps that have long been inaccessible due to drought. According to the release, the main ramp at Bullfrog, on the Utah side of Lake Powell, now has enough water that boaters can access it safely. Park officials expect to soon re-open the Antelope Point Marina ramp, on the Arizona side, as well.

Rising water also brings with it some potential other concerns, however. Park officials say the snowmelt is bringing large pieces of debris into the lake — some as big as full-sized trees. They shared a photo of National Park Service “trash trackers” removing debris piled up by spring runoff.

Currently, the Bureau of Reclamation reports the elevation of Lake Powell at 3591.44 feet, which is still less than half full. “Full pool” would be at about 3700 feet. Hydrologists are optimistic that this past winter’s snowpack will help the lake regain some of its capacity.

The park service maintains a series of webcams so visitors can check conditions before traveling to the region.

More than four million people visited Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in each of the past two years.

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Lake Powell rising six to 15 inches every day, park rangers say