One of Lake Powell's busier ramps is operable for houseboats and larger vessels for the first time in months as the reservoir continues to rise thanks to a deep snowpack across the West, Grand Canyon National Recreation Area officials said Tuesday.

Park officials said Bullfrog North Boat Ramp became operable again as the reservoir rose to about 3,529.5 feet elevation over the weekend, reaching the mark needed for the ramp to handle houseboats and large vessels. It has since risen to 3,532.9 feet as of Wednesday afternoon. The ramp had been closed since Nov. 21, 2022, as the reservoir began to drop to an all-time low again this winter.

"It is recommended that houseboats and large vessels launch and retrieve from the left side of the ramp only due to the topography of Bullfrog Bay on the right side of the concrete ramp," said Grand Canyon National Recreation Area spokeswoman Mary Plumb in a statement. "To reduce congestion, boaters are asked to please limit (the) use of the courtesy dock to 10 minutes or less. All launch and retrieval of vessels is at your own risk."

She adds that the Bullfrog Main Spur Ramp will also become operable again when the reservoir rises about another 7 feet to 3,540 feet.

Lake Powell had fallen to 3,519.9 feet in April before it began to surge as a result of the snowpack runoff. The reservoir is likely to reach about 3,590 feet elevation, or close to 70 feet, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation projected last month.

It won't refill the entire reservoir, but it does ease some of the concerns of the past few years, including its ability to generate power to nearby Page, Arizona, said Bob Martin, the deputy power manager for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Upper Colorado Basin region. He adds that the agency is also required to release some of the water down the Colorado River to the lower basin states, though.

The reservoir's rise is also a welcome development for the businesses that own and operate boat tours and rentals between southern Utah and northern Arizona, some of whom say this could be their best year in at least 20 years. Tom Pryor, the owner of Outdoor Adventure Rentals, told KSL-TV on Wednesday that he's fielding more and more calls from potential visitors because of the rise.

"That's the best news that Lake Powell could ever get," he said of the reservoir forecast, adding that he hopes that will rekindle interest in Lake Powell visitation.

If the forecast comes to fruition, park officials may also reopen a few other ramps this season, including:

  • Antelope Point Marina Business Ramp — 3,540 feet for all vessels
  • Wahweap Main — 3,545 feet for all motorized vessels
  • Halls Crossing Public — 3,556 to launch at your own risk
  • Stateline — 3,564 feet for all non-motorized vessels
  • Bullfrog Main — 3,578 feet for all vessels
  • Antelope Point Public — 3,588 feet for all non-motorized vessels

More information about all of the ramps can be found here.

Pryor adds that he hopes the increased interest in Lake Powell because of the reservoir's rise will lead more people to come back over and over again.

"You know, they always talk about the Seven Wonders of the World. When you come here and you get to be here and you get to do the things here, it's almost like being in one of (those) Seven Wonders of the World," he said.