Glen Canyon NRA updates plans for lake facilities

Dangling Rope Marina on May 11, 2016.

Dangling Rope Marina to remain closed through 2022

Dangling Rope Marina will not reopen in 2022, according to a statement released last week by Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

The Bureau of Reclamation projects that the water level of Lake Powell will continue to drop in 2022. Glen Canyon NRA is proceeding with plans for construction at facilities elsewhere in the recreation area.  

At the Bullfrog North Ramp, interested contractors attended a site visit on Jan. 12. The NPS expects the project will start in February and be completed in April. According to the NPS, the project will permanently extend the Bullfrog North Ramp to reach a lake elevation of 3,520 to 3,525 feet.  

The Stateline Auxiliary Ramp is under construction and continues to be widened and extended to follow the water level. Concrete placed on Jan. 12 must cure for two weeks. Once cured, more concrete will be placed to widen the ramp, and concrete will continue to be placed to follow the lake levels.  Two lanes will remain open, allowing launch and retrieval of motorized vessels of all sizes on the temporary boiler-plate ramp.

Access to Rainbow Bridge National Monument from Lake Powell is significantly more difficult due to lower lake levels, mud and debris. The dock system and its restroom are not connected to the shore.  The NPS is moving them farther out to prevent the facilities from being beached and stuck. The NPS advises boats and small vessels to beach at their own risk, and hiking to Rainbow Bridge is longer than it has been in the past.  

Dangling Rope Marina will remain closed throughout 2022. NPS and Aramark staff are removing marina components from the Dangling Rope location to ensure they do not become beached and inaccessible. While the marina is closed, the NPS and Aramark will retire several damaged components of the marina and those that have exceeded their life expectancy. A windstorm in 2021 damaged the marina and closed the facility.

The NPS is working with Aramark to find a way to provide mid-lake fuel service during the 2022 season. Available options are complicated by lake levels that continue to decline and by the need to establish infrastructure for power, water, fuel, sewer, housing and other requirements for a remote facility before the first drop of fuel can be dispensed. According to the NPS, updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

Originally built in the early 1980s as a fuel, food, supply and boat repair stop for visitors boating between Wahweap and the uplake marinas of Bullfrog and Halls Crossing, Dangling Rope Marina replaced Rainbow Bridge Marina, a floating dock system that was anchored to the side of a cliff with no land access.

Dangling Rope offered an improvement in visitor services and living conditions with land-based housing, diesel generators, a water well and facilities to support selling fuel.

Dangling Rope functioned as an “island” despite being connected to land as it is separated from the nearest road by myriad canyons and cliffs.

In the mid-1990s, the diesel-powered electrical generators, whose underground fuel tanks leaked and were cleaned up, were replaced with a large solar electrical generation system. The photovoltaic (solar) system relied on a large lead-acid battery bank system to store electricity for future needs. Generators were still used when the photovoltaic (solar) system was not sufficient, especially during peak demand.  Underground diesel tanks were removed and replaced with self-contained above ground tanks.   

According to the NPS, “Restoring visitor services at the Dangling Rope Marina remains a high priority for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The importance of this visitor use area is identified in the park’s General Management Plan. The park will continue to seek long-term solutions that maintain a mid-lake marina presence at low and high lake levels.” 

According to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Superintendent William Shott, “Dangling Rope is part of the park’s comprehensive drought response efforts. We know Dangling Rope is important to our visitors and is also extremely important to the National Park Service and our operations.”

“Dangling Rope Marina has been the only place to obtain boat fuel between the Wahweap area in South Lake Powell and the Bullfrog area in North Lake Powell, a distance of approximately 100 miles. Boaters should plan ahead for their needs. For boaters averaging 20 to 25 mph, the trip to Bullfrog from Wahweap takes at least four to five hours. Fuel remains available at Wahweap, Antelope Point and Bullfrog Marinas,” he said.

Glen Canyon NRA said that “relevant updates will be posted on the park’s website. Information is available 24/7 on our website about Lake Powell’s fluctuating water levels and the status of water-based visitor services at this link:"


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