The Stagecoach Reservoir Project


The project was conceived in 1983 by the Board of the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District and designed to provide a reliable source of water for the growing population and economy of Northwest Colorado.

The reservoir furnishes water for agricultural irrigation, municipalities and industry, serving the community for many decades to come as a multi-purpose conservation reservoir. Furthermore it generates 800 kilowatts of electrical energy and forms a beautiful recreation lake in a spectacular setting.

This Dam was constructed using a new method of construction called Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) which is basically a low grade concrete for the gravity core of the structure. This is the 10th such RCC dam in North America. The dam structure was built in 37 days working around the clock, by ASI-RCC, Inc. of Buena Vista, Colorado. The Stagecoach Dam & Reservoir was dedicated on 12 August 1989.

Recreation at Stagecoach Reservoir is managed by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife

Stagecoach Reservoir Water Levels
Full Reservoir level: 7,204.0 Ft.
Current Reservoir level: 7,204.0 Ft.
Water level last updated:  May 2014

A Multi-Purpose Project:

Total capacity
Recreation Pool
Dead Storage
Water Storage – Agricultural
Water Storage – Industrial
Water Storage – Municipal
33,275 af
15,000 af
3,275 af
4,000 af
9,000 af
2,000 af

Plus 800 kw Hydroelectric Power Plant

Reservoir Statistics British Metric
Total Capacity 33,275 acre feet 41,038 cubic dekameters
Irrigation Storage 4,000 acre feet 4,933 cubic dekameters
Municipal & Industrial 11,000 acre feet 13,566 cubic dekameters
Dead Storage 3,275 acre feet
Total Reservoir Surface 780 acres 316 hectares
Dam Height 145 feet 44 meters
Crest Width 360 feet 110 meters

Mitigation Features

  • An 80-acre Wetland Aquatic Habitat Refuge west of the reservoir.
  • 642 acres dedicated to big game habitat north of the reservoir.
  • Acquisition of 124 acres of wetlands in addition to the refuge.
  • $9,000 per year to Division of Wildlife for fish stocking.
  • Annual subsidy to Division of Parks for recreation facilities.
  • Fish habitat structures downstream of the dam.
  • A $275,000 multi-outlet intake structure to provide optimum reservoir release temperatures for trout.
  • A buffer zone around the reservoir to provide public access to the entire periphery including a south shore bike and walking trail.
  • A quality 100-unit campground with 2 boat ramps, swim beach, marina, bath house and comfort stations with running water. The recreation facilities will be administered by the Colorado Division of Parks.

Project Costs: Total project costs including land and water rights acquisition, dam construction, hydroelectric plant, roads and utilities relocation, recreation facilities, Stillwater ditch enlargement and mitigation costs: $17,983.00.

Funding Sources: Colorado Water Conservation Board Fund; US Bureau of Reclamation by way of the Small Reclamation Projects Act; Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority; and the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District.

Engineers and Contractors:
Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Tudor Engineering – Dam & Hydroelectric Power
Civil Design Consultants –Recreation Facilities, Roads & Wetland Refuge
ASI-RCC, Inc. – Dam Construction
ASI Power Technology, Inc – Hydroelectric Power
Duckels Construction – Roads
Native Excavating – Water & Sewer System
Robinson & Son – Campground
Sorenson- Colorado – Park Buildings
Farrington Contracting – Campground

Photos of the Stagecoach Project

Stagecoach Tailwater Staff Gauge
Stagecoach Reservoir from Dam
Stagecoach middle tailwater
Stagecoach middle Tailwater 2
Stagecoach Lower Tailwater 3
Stagecoach Lower Tailwater 2
Stagecoach Dam 1