A wall of water surged into Denver after the failure of the Castlewood Dam seventyfive years ago. Built in 1890, Castlewood Dam had been in service for 43 years when it ruptured. Two people were killed, but it would likely have been thousands had it not been for the actions of an alert telephone operator named Nettie Driscoll who was on duty that night 20 miles downstream. She was informed of the failure at about 2:00 a.m. by the dam caretaker, and managed to relay a warning to the Denver police before fleeing for her own life. Today about a third of the old dam still stands in Castlewood Canyon State Park on the west bank of Cherry Creek. This trail passes just below it. The canyon seems so tranquil now, but gazing up at the dam it isn’t difficult to imagine the horror that existed on that fateful summer morning. The eastern half of the dam, some 300 feet of rock and concrete, were almost completely swept away.
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Directions to: Castlewood Canyonprint directions
Trail Statistics & Information
|Elevation Gain||10 ft|
|Skill Level||Well marked, well maintained.|
|Season||Year round. There may occasionally be some snow on the trail during the winter months.|
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