Lake Powell, located on the Colorado River, partly in Arizona and mostly in Utah, is famous for its clear blue water and red canyon walls. This second-largest man-made lake in the U.S. attracts close to 3 million visitors each year, according to PowellGuide.com.
Lake Powell is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, overseen by the National Park Service. The reservoir is at the heart of what is called the "Grand Circle": the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley and Zion National Park.
The lake is named for Major John Wesley Powell, a Civil War veteran who explored the area in 1869. The construction of Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona began in 1956. Seventeen years were required for the lake to reach its planned level of 3,700 feet above sea level.
The lake provides access to 96 major canyons, most of which are only accessible by water. One of the most famous formations is Rainbow Bridge National Monument, considered sacred to the Navajo people, and the largest natural bridge in the world.
Anasazi Indian ruins and rock art can be found throughout the canyons. Visitors can tour the Glen Canyon Dam, a modern man-made wonder, according to Utah.com. The John Wesley Powell Museum provides information about the canyon and its exploration.
Lake Powell is a popular spot for tour boats and houseboats. There are ample opportunities for fishing, camping, hiking, sea kayaking, and ski and wake boarding.