Powered paragliding and the flight of ultralight aircraft are now prohibited at Lake Powell

A photo of a powered paraglider flight. Powered paragliders, paramotors and flying ultralight planes or other similar-sized aircraft are now banned from most of the Glen Powell Dam Recreation Area, park officials said Thursday. (bit mechanic, Shutterstock)

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LAKE POWELL – Powered paragliders, paramotors and flying ultralight aircraft or any similar sized aircraft are now prohibited “near developed and tourist-intensive areas” in the Glen Powell Dam Recreation Area, according to the park officials.

“This use is also prohibited between Glen Canyon Dam and the downstream river boundary between Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park near Lees Ferry,” officials added Thursday.

Thursday’s announcement comes after changes were made to the park compendium in late March. The document says all three recreation options are “known to scare and disturb wildlife”, but the other impacts are not known as they are relatively new. It is possible that they negatively affect other park resources, such as “vital infrastructure at risk” by the Glen Canyon Dam.

“Powered paragliding and ultra-light aircraft are inherently dangerous to participants and other visitors,” the compendium concludes. “Areas with high visitor demand, such as developed areas and Horseshoe Bend, expose visitors to undue danger in the event of an uncontrolled aircraft failure.”

Despite Lake Powell’s woes over the past few decades, the Glen Powell Dam Recreation Area still attracted more than 3.1 million visitors last year. Since dropping to around 24% of its full capacity, it has been the subject of two efforts to keep it as full as possible in recent weeks.

The US Bureau of Reclamation earlier this month approved a plan to reduce the amount of water flowing from the reservoir by about 480,000 acre-feet. It came after Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming signed a plan to move about 500,000 acre-feet of water from Flaming Gorge in northeast Utah and south -western Wyoming to Lake Powell over the next year.

The Wahweap Stateline Auxiliary Launch Ramp is currently the only ramp listed as available for small powered vessels in the tank.

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Carter Williams is an award-winning journalist who covers general news, the outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com. He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a transplant from Utah via Rochester, New York.

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