Yamcolo Reservoir


The Yamcolo Reservoir was conceived by ranchers of the Upper Yampa Valley and the Toponas Basin in the early 1960’s to alleviate frequent shortages of crucial irrigation water.

In 1977 the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District , organized by its first president Loy Ardrey, obtained a commitment from the Colorado Ute Electric Company for the annual purchase of water. This was the key to initiating the project.

Western Engineers of Grand Junction were selected to design the structure and in 1978 Jasper Construction Company of Minneapolis was awarded the contract, completing the dam in the fall of 1980. The Reservoir was dedicated on July 11, 1981.

The project, located on Routt National Forest twelve miles southwest of Yampa, provides water for irrigation, power generation and domestic use for the growing Yampa Valley communities. Increased flows in the Yampa from later summer reservoir releases, enhance the fishing and beauty of the river.

Recreation at Yamcolo Reservoir is managed by the United States Forest Service

Colorado Water Conservation Fund, Farmers Home Administration and Boettcher & Co., through a public bond issue provided the financing. Water rights were made available through the Colorado River Water Conservation District.

Reservoir Statistics:

Capacity 9621 acre feet
Active Storage 8535 acre feet
Dam Length 1920 feet
Dam Height 109 feet
Spillway Capacity 5200 cfs
Maximum Surface 175 acres
Elevation 9591 feet
Outlet Capacity 410 cfs
Total Cost in 1975 $3,156,000

Photos of the Yamcolo Reservoir Project

Yamcolo Res
Yamcolo outlet