Waterton Canyon weekday closure
Northern Water News Release
Aug. 24, 2016 - Beginning Sept. 6, 2016, Waterton Canyon will be closed Mondays through Fridays through November while crews complete repairs to the High Line Canal diversion structure in the South Platte River. The canyon will be fully open to recreation on Saturdays and Sundays during this time.
For hikers and bikers on the Colorado Trail, there will only be access to Waterton Canyon on the weekends. During the week, trail users should seek alternative access points.
“Because the structure runs across the South Platte River, we only have this limited window when the water levels are low enough to complete the work,” said Doug Raitt, construction project manager for Denver Water. “We need to finish this project before the winter so that the High Line Canal is operational next spring in time for runoff season.”
The High Line Canal diversion structure, built in 1870, helps direct flows into the pipe that carries water to the High Line Canal, when needed. During an inspection in 2015, engineers determined it needed to be replaced.
Denver Water began work to repair the dam in February 2016, but had to postpone construction when river levels became too high in April due to the spring runoff. The levels are now low enough in the river to allow work to continue.
“We understand it can be frustrating when we have to close the canyon frequently, but we can only open the gates when trail and river conditions are safe for visitors at this operational facility,” said Brandon Ransom, Denver Water’s manager of recreation. “We’re taking advantage of this closure by conducting other maintenance and upgrade projects during this time, in hopes of limiting future closures for additional work.”
During this time, crews will also be working on a maintenance project at Strontia Springs Dam, as well as rehabilitating some of the pipes that run across the canyon trail.
For more on why Waterton Canyon is such a great attraction — and why we’ve so often had to close its gates — read, The “trails” and tribulations of Waterton Canyon.