Our Navajo guide, Jason, said when he was a boy he and his friends would picnic up on top of these cliffs and jump into the water to cool off on a hot summer day. The water level was much higher at that time. He referred to the Desert Varnish here as "The Tapestry". Lovely, I think.
Upon completion of Glen Canyon Dam on September 13, 1963, the Colorado River began to back up. The newly flooded Glen Canyon formed Lake Powell. It took 11 years for the lake to fill to the 3,700 feet (1,100 m) level, on June 22, 1980. The lake level fluctuates considerably depending on the seasonal snow runoff from the Rocky Mountains. The all-time highest water level was reached on July 14, 1983, during one of the heaviest Colorado River floods in recorded history, in part influenced by a strong El Nino event. The lake rose to 3,708.34 feet (1,130.30 m) above sea level, with a water content of 25,757,086 acre feet (31.770898 km3).
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