Glen Canyon Dam, which is a feature of the Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP), impounds Colorado River water to form Lake Powell, one of the most popular and scenic lakes in the world. Lake Powell is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.The Bureau of Reclamation started construction of Glen Canyon Dam in 1956 and Lake Powell started filling on March 13, 1963. In 1980, 17 years after the diversion tunnel gates were closed, Lake Powell filled completely. Today, over 20 million people depend on the waters of Lake Powell to sustain life.The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area was established in 1972 and is operated by the National Park Service. Visitors to the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area number about 2.4 million annually. The Hole in the Rock, Crossing of the Fathers, and Rainbow Bridge National Monument are all publicly-accessible historic sites steeped in western frontier and environmental history. However, all are reached on the lake by boat. The Carl Hayden Visitor Center, named after the late Arizona Senator, contains exhibits that focus on the history of the dam and Glen Canyon. With its hundreds of miles of shoreline, Lake Powell affords opportunities for hiking, camping, swimming, boating, and fishing. Although all types of water sports are popular, boating and fishing are the prime attractions. Lake Powell, which offers some of the nation's finest fishing, contains bass, bluegill, green sunfish, walleye, black crappie, northern pike, and catfish. In the river below the dam, the clear, cold waters released from the depths of Lake Powell create a perfect habitat for trout. The blue-ribbon fishery, which was developed after the dam was built, supports trophy-sized trout in the 15-mile reach of river to Lees Ferry. Current reservoir levels.
Lake Powell is easily reached from the south on US Highway 89 at Page, Arizona, or from the north and east on either highway 276 or 263.