Northern California February 28, 2019
The Heart-Pounding View That Every Northern Californian Needs To Experience At Least Once
It’s undoubtedly been a wet winter for us Northern Californians. You can tell because, for the second time in just two years, the Lake Berryessa Spillway has been activated. This incredible phenomenon is occurring right now and you’ll want to see it before it goes away. After all, this is one mesmerizing view that’s bound to boggle your mind! But what exactly is the spillway? And why was it created? Keep scrolling to find out all about this heart-pounding view, why it occurs, and how you can see it.
Lake Berryessa is unique for a variety of reasons. For one, it's the largest lake in all of Napa County. It also has the important job of providing water and hydroelectricity to the San Francisco Bay. But on top of all that, it's home to one of the most heart-pounding views in the state.
The man-made lake was created by the Monticello Dam and it's in the middle of the dam that you'll find a massive drain hole called the "Morning Glory Spillway". It's also affectionately referred to as just "The Glory Hole".
The hole is a whopping 72 feet wide in diameter. Most of the time, the hole sits above the lake as in the picture above. However, if the lake rises to a certain level, it takes on a spectacular appearance as it drains water from the dam in order to prevent flooding.
It sucks up water at a speedy rate of 1,300 cubic meters per second before carrying it about 700 feet away in a massive concrete pipe. This creates a mesmerizing visual that almost looks like a real-life optical illusion. It's definitely boggling to the mind!
Most people don't realize that when The Glory Hole was constructed in the 1950s, it wasn't meant to be used regularly. In fact, they predicted it would be in use around once every 50 years. However, the unpredictable weather here in Northern California has launched it into action four times over the last two decades.
The Glory Hole has been fenced off due to safety reasons, but spectators can still view it from a distance. This is one unique sight that is bound to leave you in awe so be sure to see it before it goes away!
For a unique perspective of the spillway in action, check out the brief video below of a drone being flown into The Glory Hole. This footage was taken by Fergus Hammond the last time the spillway was used, in February 2017.
Have you had the chance to see the Lake Berryessa Spillway for yourself? Share your experience and photos with us in the comments! For more fascinating sights and events, check out our list of
6 Unexplained Natural Phenomenon In Northern California.