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National Parks Traveler Podcast

Apr 24, 2022

Lake Powell long has been the shimmering heart of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah and Arizona, but it’s not the only asset of the NRA that covers 1.25 million acres. 

This is Kurt Repanshek, your host at the National Parks Traveler. Last year I had the good fortune to visit Glen Canyon NRA twice –- once in May to kayak Lake Powell -- and then in July when I backpacked into the park’s backcountry to not just admire its beauty but watch efforts to reverse the spread of invasive vegetation in the park.

But not all is well with the NRA. A drought said to be the longest in 1,200 years has left Lake Powell at its lowest level since it began filling in 1963. It reached its full impoundment in 1980. But shrinking snowpack levels in the Colorado River drainage in recent years has failed to generate enough runoff into Lake Powell to more than offset the water running through the hydroelectric generating station in the Glen Canyon Dam.

To discuss the state of Lake Powell, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area as a whole, we’ve invited Glen Canyon Superintendent Bill Shott to join us. We’ll be back in a minute with the superintendent.