Low water levels at Lake Powell may affect boat launch areas

Low water levels have closed Lake Powell's Antelope Point public launch ramp. Photo: National Park Service

GLEN CANYON NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, Utah, April 16, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The National Park Service is advising visitors to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area to be aware of changes to water access points and boat launch areas on Lake Powell this year due to declining water levels through the summer.

According to the Bureau of Reclamation forecasts for 2021 and 2022, Lake Powell water levels will continue to drop.

Boaters should check the status of their preferred launch destinations before heading to the lake. The latest information on current boat launch and marina facilities can be found by clicking here.

The park regularly makes adjustments to infrastructure such as launch ramps, floating docks, and walkways to accommodate fluctuating lake levels and to maintain visitor access to the maximum extent possible.

Currently, the Bullfrog Main Launch Ramp, Antelope Point Public Launch Ramp, Hite Launch Ramp, Stateline Launch Ramp, and Castle Rock Cut are closed. Bullfrog North Launch Ramp, Wahweap Main Launch Ramp, and the Halls Crossing Launch Ramp remain open. Stateline Launch Ramp at Wahweap will reopen for the season on April 26. These boat ramps will remain open as long as conditions allow.

Due to a steep drop-off and predictions for low lake levels this summer, the Antelope Point Public Launch Ramp will likely remain closed to motorized vessels this season; however human powered vessels may launch there (kayaks, canoes, paddleboards).

Boaters should be aware that typical recreational access may be impacted by low water and should check the park website frequently while planning to visit. Longer lines and limited parking may occur, and visitors are advised to exercise caution due to a higher concentration of boaters in the same area. Boaters should be aware that as water levels drop, channels may narrow leading to increased boat congestion.

Due to the 20-year historic drought, including the last 10 years of extreme drought reflecting the effects of a changing climate in the Colorado River basin, projections from the Bureau of Reclamation indicate Lake Powell’s water level may drop as low as 3,540 feet of elevation above sea level.

That would be the lowest water level experienced at Lake Powell since 1968.


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