Changing Lake Levels

 
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A compilation of still images taken from the Wahweap View of a portion of Lake Powell April - December 2023. The drastic change in the water level is shown through the passage of time. This video has no audio.

 

Glen Canyon is home to dynamic and constantly changing landscape.

Since 2001, declining water levels due to climate change and 20 years of drought have reshaped Lake Powell’s shoreline. Today we are experiencing low lake levels and their effects on boat ramp access points, on-lake facilities, and the landscape.

  • Significant changes to the shoreline will affect usability of boat launch ramps throughout the year, especially in warmer months. We ask visitors to plan ahead and prepare for longer lines, limited parking and congestion at boat ramps and docks. To relieve launch ramp congestion, please ready your boat at a nearby parking lot before driving to launch ramps. View the current status of your preferred launch destination before heading to the lake.
  • On Lake Powell, boaters should be aware that as water levels change, channels may narrow leading to increased boat congestion. Boaters should exercise caution in all areas of Lake Powell. Availability of restrooms, floating walkways, pump out, fuel and convenient stations may vary. View the current status of on-lake facilities below.


There are many new places to explore as water levels change, and the scenic shoreline is always evolving. Check current lake levels to plan ahead and prepare for your visit to Glen Canyon. Learn more about boating safety and make every trip to Lake Powell a safe and enjoyable one.

For real time lake level information, view the Bureau of Reclamation's Upper Colorado River HydroData. To learn more about the Upper Colorado River Basin and the operations of Glen Canyon Dam, including the 24-month predictions, visit the Bureau of Reclamation's website.

Lake Powell Current Water Level

 

 

Lake Level Effects to Launch Ramps and Services

Location

Availability

More Information

Houseboats

Small Motorized Vessels

Non- Motorized Vessels

Wahweap Main Launch Ramp

Available

Available

Unavailable

Open to all motorized vessels. Closed to paddlecraft.

Wahweap Auxiliary Launch Ramp

Inoperable

Inoperable

Inoperable

Ramp closed to all vessels.

Wahweap Stateline Launch Ramp

Inoperable

Inoperable

Launch at own risk

Ramp closed to launch/retrieval of motorized vessels. Drive halfway down the ramp to access the Stateline Auxiliary Ramp. Open to paddlecraft only.

Wahweap Stateline Auxiliary Launch Ramp

Available

Available

Unavailable

Open to motorized vessels. Prepare all boats in the Stateline Main Ramp parking lot before accessing the auxiliary ramp.

Castle Rock Cut

Inoperable

Inoperable

Inoperable

Unable to navigate.

Antelope Point Public Launch Ramp

Inoperable

Inoperable

Available

Public Ramp closed to motorized vessels. Available for paddlecraft launching only. Extension not possible due to topography. Switchback in place to remedy steepness of access to the marina.

Antelope Point Business Ramp

Available

Available

Available

This ramp is open for all vessels, including houseboats. Interested customers should contact Antelope Point Valet Services to inquire about their specific vessel(s), 928 645-5900 ext. 5032.

Halls Crossing Launch Ramp

Available

Available

Available

Open to all vessels.

UDOT Ferry and Launch Ramps

Inoperable

Inoperable

Inoperable

Ramps closed. More information regarding the Lake Powell Ferry provided by UDOT.

Bullfrog North Launch Ramp

Available

Available

Available

Open to all vessels. View flow of traffic and area map. A courtesy dock is available at the ramp.

Bullfrog Main Launch Ramp

Inoperable

Inoperable

Inoperable

Ramp closed to all vessels.

Bullfrog Main Launch Ramp Spur

Inoperable

Launch at own risk

Launch at own risk

Open to all vessels up to 25ft.

Stanton Creek Primitive Area

Inoperable

Inoperable

Launch at own risk

Primitive rock and sand beach. Launch area is inoperable. Launch at your own risk

Hite Ramp

Inoperable

Inoperable

Launch at own risk

Hite Launch Ramp out of water. Lake Powell does not reach Hite at this time.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument

Available

Available

Available

Floating docks, walkways, and restrooms have been re-anchored at the back of the canyon providing access to the Rainbow Bridge trail. Approximately 1.2-mile hike to the observation area at the bridge. Concession operated boat tours may be available. Hiking permits around Navajo Mountain from Navajo Parks & Recreation.

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Lake Powell Water Access Update - Letter from the Superintendent November 2023

It gives me great pleasure to share some very good news with park partners!  Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has received $166 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 23 Disaster Supplemental funds to address low water related infrastructure projects. We were informed of this about three weeks ago when the Office of Management and Budget approved the budget from Congress for the climate related disaster projects. We are prioritizing a relocated Hite takeout for Cataract Canyon river trips, a mid-lake fuel station, and sustainable deep-water access at the Antelope Point Public Ramp. Also included in this funding package is a project for lake-wide salvage of derelict vessels, a new dock system for Rainbow Bridge National Monument, and continued extension of the Stateline Auxiliary Ramp. A once in a generation project will include cultural surveys of lake shorelines that become exposed as the water levels recede. We have been planning for many months and I am happy to confirm that the funds are approved to move all of these efforts forward to construction and completion! Timelines will be dependent on how quickly our design services offices develop contracts, and we are working hard with them to make things happen!

Sincerely,  
Michelle Kerns 
Superintendent

One of our first larger projects planned in this location was a project for a low boat ramp at Bullfrog Stanton Creek. The Bullfrog Stanton Creek location offers lower elevation ramp possibilities. With the updated Bureau of Reclamation target elevation commitment for Lake Powell at an elevation of 3525 and existing Bullfrog ramps already providing access as low as 3519, an investment in that Bullfrog Stanton Creek ramp is not as urgent currently. The design and costing work we have done with that project may still be useful in the future so it is an option we have in our back pocket for lower water levels should they be forecasted again. We have not stopped evaluating and pursuing federal and state grant opportunities (in collaboration with the state of Utah) to resume ferry access in this area. 

This ramp is currently open to paddlecraft only. Planning and design continues for a construction project which would extend this ramp to enable public water access for a variety of user groups. The Park is working with the Navajo Nation to determine the preferred design option. The contractor will finalize this work into a report for the park to move the project to schematic design next. The park received FY 23 disaster supplemental funding for this project. This funding will cover design to construction of this project.

The NPS (Glen Canyon NRA and Canyonlands National Park), the economy of Utah, and the river rafting community are affected by the need for a sustainable takeout ramp at Hite for Colorado River trips in Cataract Canyon.

Glen Canyon secured FY 23 Disaster Supplemental Funding to rapidly advance the planning and design for a new river takeout ramp that will be more sustainable long-term. This will fund a design build contract for this project, restoring access to the river at Hite. NPS had previously undertaken hydrology assessments that have identified feasible recommended locations.

The location selected for this new ramp is on the south side of the Colorado River, just west of the bridge at Hite. We are moving quickly to obtain schematic designs and begin our environmental assessment process. A design build contract, which culminates in construction, will then be announced by our project managers at Denver Service Center. We don’t have solid dates for construction start and completion at this time. Once we have schematic designs, the NPS will begin the environmental and cultural compliance process. That National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process will inform our contracting timelines for a design build contractor. We will share updates as they become known and after we have the schematic design for the ramp. We appreciate your interest and look forward to working with all interested and affected parties on this.

As previously communicated, low water infrastructure is not feasible at the former Dangling Rope location. 

The park received disaster supplemental funding for this project. This funding will cover design of this new fuel facility, moving to construction. The concept engineering is expected to begin soon. We will notify everyone once we have additional information about the timeframe.

Access has been restored to Rainbow Bridge for the summer season in July. Infrastructure has been relocated to support visitation and boat tours to this popular destination on Lake Powell. Concession-operated boat tours are resuming. 

We are also moving forward with long-term planning for access infrastructure that will have features and functionality that will support water visitation to Rainbow Bridge National Monument at lower water elevations. On August 8, the NPS Denver Service Center issued a solicitation for architect and engineering services to relocate and rehabilitate the Rainbow Bridge floating walkways and anchor system.

We are making progress on the contracting documents package for our Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) funded Utilities Project for Wahweap and Lone Rock water and wastewater systems. 

The projects will be severed into two phases of work. The wastewater phase will begin first as we continue to pursue the best possible option for a sustainable and best quality drinking water source. We anticipate soliciting for contractor proposals on the wastewater phase in March 2024.

We are also planning for the continued extension of the Stateline Auxiliary ramp as needed and other marine support structures for servicing our visitors on the lake.

 
Sandstone butte in a field of white flowers. A few camper RVs and cars around the butte. Sandstone butte in a field of white flowers. A few camper RVs and cars around the butte.

Left image
Lone Rock surrounded by campers and vehicles parked in the sand amidst a superbloom of desert evening primrose on April 29, 2023. Lake elevation 3524.50'.
Credit: NPS

Right image
June 21, 2023. Lone Rock is once again a beach, surrounded by water and some vehicles parked on the beach to the right. Lake elevation 3579.22'.
Credit: NPS

 

Lake Powell Launch Ramps

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    Last updated: February 29, 2024

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    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    PO Box 1507
    Page, AZ 86040

    Phone:

    928 608-6200
    Receptionist available at Glen Canyon Headquarters from 7 am to 4 pm MST, Monday through Friday. The phone is not monitored when the building is closed. If you are having an emergency, call 911 or hail National Park Service on Marine Band 16.

    Contact Us