Pensacola Dam, which holds back the waters of Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokee, is truly one of the most impressive sites in Oklahoma.
At a little over a mile long (6,565 ft which equals 1.24 miles) and 147′ high, Pensacola Dam is the longest multiple-arch dam in the World.
This span includes 21 flood control spillways on the east end of the dam, 51 arches spanning the middle of the dam, and a power generation station at the west end of the dam.
State Hwy 28 runs across Pensacola Dam from Langley on the west end to Disney, which is actually an island community, at the east end of the Dam.
Further east, through Disney, are two more flood control spillways, which create Disney Island.
On the north side of Pensacola Dam is Grand Lake O’ the Cherokee, the awesome lake we all know and love, created when the dam was completed in 1940.
With approximately 1,300 miles of shoreline (that one depends on who you talk to!) and 46,500 surface acres of water, Grand Lake is certainly the most popular lake for boating and fishing in Oklahoma.
What is equally impressive is how the Pensacola Dam towers over the valley floor on the south side of Pensacola Dam. At it’s highest point, the dam is 150′ above the river bed.
Over the edge, on the South side of the dam, are state parks, some excellent fishing along the Grand River, and what has come to be some of the best ‘rock crawling’ for four wheelers in the entire United States.
In what is truly an amazing feet of engineering, Pensacola Dam was built in exactly 33 months, with over 3,000 workers taking part in the the massive construction project. It would be impressive for today, but it’s even more so for the late 1930s.
Pensacola Dam is open daily for FREE Tours from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 9 am to 4 pm.
You can also schedule tours throughout the year with groups of 10 or more by calling 918-782-4726.
Here is a cool video done by Discover Oklahoma with some more info and history on Pensacola Dam…