Lake Powell is the second largest man-made lake in the United States and sees nearly three million visitors annually. Glen Canyon Nation Recreation Area, established by Congress in 1972, is the home of Lake Powell. The lake is 186 miles long and has more than 1,960 miles of shoreline, which is longer than the entire west coast of the continental United States. The lake is in both Arizona and Utah. While Utah has most of the lake’s water, Arizona lays claim to the most important part—the dam. It took 17 years, from March 13, 1963 to June 22, 1980, to fill to the planned level of 3,700 feet above sea level. Lake levels will fluctuate depending on the spring runoff from the mountains and the releases needed to produce electricity from the dam's eight generators. Lake Powell is named for Civil War veteran Major John Wesley Powell, who explored the Green and Colorado rivers in 1869 down through Grand Canyon.
The best way to enjoy the lake is by boat. Boats and personal water craft can be rented from businesses in Page and at each of four marinas with tour boat cruises—from one hour up to seven hours—offered year round at Wahweap and Bull Frog marinas. Dangling Rope Marina is only accessible by boat and is 3/4 of the distance from Wahweap Marina to Rainbow Bridge National Monument.
Other lake activities include swimming, fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing, hiking and sightseeing. Photographic opportunities abound. You can even take a scenic flight by plane or helicopter over the lake, which provides a bird's eye view of how far some those 96 canyons extend from the main channel.
Lake Powell is 80 miles from Jacob Lake and will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive.