WATCH: Arizona Boaters Narrowly Dodge Massive Rock Topple

by Amy Myers

While cruising across Lake Powell in Arizona, a couple on their recreational boat witnessed a massive chunk of rock topple into the water just as they were passing by. Thankfully, no one sustained any injuries from the incident, but they did come away with one incredible video.

Mila Carter and her husband were zipping past the gorgeous red rock formations that bordered the glassy, blue lake. She grabbed her phone just in time to watch the gigantic boulder slough off the side of the canyon wall. Carter and her husband were just the right distance away to capture the magnitude of the fall without it toppling their craft.

“It was super loud and kind of like something from the ocean, maybe? Like something like a real loud crash,” Carter recalled. “It was just unbelievable. We thought maybe a boulder, or something would fall, and just a huge chunk of this cliff just came out.”

Check out the clip below.

“It kind of kept going long enough that my husband … stopped and pulled out his camera, and I pulled out my cellphone just in time to catch this massive breakaway of a huge piece of the cliff,” she told KUTV. “After we were out of the way, we just kind of stopped and watched and made sure we hadn’t seen anything tragic. Luckily, everyone was in the right place at the right time, and it didn’t happen the other way around.”

Arizona Geologist Explains Reasoning Behind Rock Topple in Lake Powell

Lake Powell was the result of the federal government damming the nearby Colorado River at Glen Canyon decades ago, and since then, there’s been a steady decline in the water levels. Currently, the water level is just below 3,525 feet, the lowest it has been since its creation. According to Joe Cook, a research geologist with the Arizona Geological Survey, the reason for the rock topple is the low water levels and dry heat.

“The saturation and then drying with the falling water levels kind of contributed to that thing falling over. It might have fallen over anyway but having a reservoir there may have sped up the process,” said Cook, per AZ Family. “There’s probably a whole bunch of these things that are ready to go but they could happen in 100 years, 1,000 years. We don’t really know.”

That said, Lake Powell boaters will need to keep a sharp eye out for any rock activity along the canyon walls. They should also consider sticking to the middle of the dam rather than the edges if the water levels allow.

“It just reminds you how strong nature is, and we are just very small and not in control,” Carter concluded.