Reported Leak On Grand Ditch In Rocky Mountain National Park

Colorado River Trail June 18, 2017
High water on section of Colorado River Trail, June 18, 2017.

Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park

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News Release Date: June 20, 2017

Contact: Kyle Patterson, Public Affairs Officer, (970) 586-1363

Contact: Park Information, (970) 586-1206

Late Saturday night, June 17, the Water Supply and Storage Company, who operates the Grand Ditch, notified Rocky Mountain National Park staff of a leak at an old culvert at the intersection of Lady Creek with the Grand Ditch.  The resulting leak caused some of the ditch bank surrounding the old culvert to erode. Water Supply and Storage Company informed park staff that they made temporary repairs to reduce the leak and opened head gates to reduce water flow in the Grand Ditch, sending additional water to the Kawuneeche Valley. 
Early Sunday morning, park staff began gathering additional information regarding resource conditions and potential impacts on trails and bridges in the upper Kawuneeche Valley. The Colorado River Trail is flooded 0.6 miles from the trailhead just beyond the Red Mountain Junction.  A cautionary sign was posted at the trailhead. Additional assessments are ongoing.
It was also reported to park staff on June 18, that there was increased turbidity downstream near Shadow Mountain Reservoir. At this time, park staff do not have estimates of where or how much volume of sediment moved due to this event.  
Currently the Grand Ditch road is closed to pedestrians from the junction of Little Yellowstone to the Ditch Camp. There are no other closures in place. Long Draw Road outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, which leads to this area, is closed this time of year and is scheduled to open for the season in early July.
Park staff are continuing to monitor conditions on the Grand Ditch, gathering additional information and data on resource and trail conditions and assessing sediment deposition in the upper Kawuneeche Valley.

Last updated: June 20, 2017

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1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


(970) 586-1206
Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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