Part of planning a road trip is making a big bucket list of must-see places and wacky things to do. If you didn't get lost by some weird roadside attraction, did your trip even happen? If you plan on visiting Napa Valley, make sure to stop and see the Lake Berryessa glory hole. Just don't get too close - this creepy lake turns into an actual pitch-black vortex!

It totally looks like a portal to another world.

Mesmerized crowds often stand and watch, as the water spirals in the lake, seemingly defying every law of logic. So, what's really going on?

According to ABC 10 news, this phenomenon (deemed the 'Glory Hole') is actually a spillway for the lake to flow into the Monticello Dam. 

When water levels get too high and surpass 400 feet, water pours down from the lake through a massive 200-foot drop. The flow collects in Putah Creek. 

While it may sound simple, seeing it in person is on another level. Imagine a 275-foot-deep sink being drained into a pitch-black 200-foot hole. 

As storms swell in the California lake, they're pulled into a giant drainage hole. Thousands of people travel from nearby counties to see it in action. 

Before you travel, make sure to check the weather conditions. The Glory Hole is not an annual occurrence; it's happened about two dozen times since the 1950s. 

The most recent spill occurred this February. It often lasts for months. 

For those interested in seeing it, you can check the water levels and conditions here.


Melissa Vignau, the Solano Project supervisor, said: “It always depends on the upper watershed, how much water we’re going to see come through here. But it could be a few months. In 2017, we had similar precipitation and we started in February and went through May with spilling. It very likely could be that case this year, again.”

Editor's Note: Check weather conditions before you visit and exercise caution. We strongly recommend that visitors do not go in the water since there have been casualties at this location.

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.

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