At the time of its construction, the water level of the lake was unusually low because of a drought. Within a few years, the water level returned to normal and submerged the jetty for the next three decades. Due to a drought, the jetty re-emerged in 2004 and was completely exposed for almost a year. The lake level rose again during the spring of 2005 due to a near record-setting snowpack in the mountains and partially submerged the Jetty again.
Smithson reportedly chose the Rozel Point site based on the blood-red color of the waters and its connection with the primordial sea. Originally black basalt rock against ruddy water, it is now largely white against pink due to salt encrustation and lower water levels. The sculpture is currently owned by the Dia Art Foundation of New York.