Lake Powell - Wahweap Bay, A Short History

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC
This area was pretty well teaming with human life since about the year 400. There was no lake but the Colorado River was nearby. The bay in the photo is Wahweap Bay. Wahweap means "bitter water". The Colorado, before the dams, was either raging in the spring with the snow melt, or 90 degrees and a wall of moving mud in the late summer, early fall. The native Americans built some villages on the shores of tributaries of the Colorado, but not on the river itself. 

Wahweap only had water flowing in it during spring run off, or during the monsoon season in the summer. The water would stagnate in pools and become unsafe to use. It is thought they named it Wahweap as a warning to their own children and to other's passing through of the danger of the stagnant water.

The Mormon Pioneers got to this area about the same time as John Wesley Powell, the 1860's. I plan on doing posts on Lee's Ferry - one heck of a story there with the graveyard and the only crossing of the Colorado for hundreds of miles. It's also one of my favorite places to hang out today.

Art Greene was one of the next really influential people in the area leading tours not only down the Colorado river, but opening a trading post and leading folks to Rainbow Bridge. Greenehaven, Arizona is named after him.

The Glen Canyon Dam was started in 1956 and finished in 1966. Waweap creek then filled up and became Wahweap Bay on Lake Powell!

lake Powell Wahweap Bay

Lake Powell is coming up 4 vertical inches a day this last week. It is projected to see a 50 foot increase in vertical elevation which will make this photo look much different by the first of July. 


For more information

The Lake Powell Arizona Utah Real Estate Blog 


Comments (2)

Thesa Chambers
Fred Real Estate Group - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon
I love this area - my daughter lives in Wyoming and driving through these rocks always amazes me
May 05, 2008 03:33 PM
Heather Rankin
Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC - Page, AZ
Lake Powell Real Estate
Thesa - I was driving home from Kanab this evening - a hour drive, and there was the most unusual dust in the air, with the red rocks, clouds and spots of sunshine. I stopped on the highway and am downloading the pics right now. If they turn out - I'll post them! It is really an amazing place.
May 05, 2008 04:11 PM