Jan. 23, 2012 - Cheesman Reservoir is closed to visitors until July 1, 2012, as Denver Water completes essential upgrades to the dam, which was built in 1905. Upper and lower Gill Trail remains open to hikers who want to access Cheesman Canyon.
The reservoir has been closed to visitors since Jan. 1, 2010. During the first phase of the project, crews completed upgrades to valves inside the dam hundreds of feet below the reservoir’s surface. Denver Water hoped to have the reservoir reopened this spring, but the second phase of the project — removing the original valves from inside the dam — requires extensive rock excavation that is more challenging than anticipated.
Cheesman Dam is more than 100 years old and is considered the “workhorse” of Denver’s supply system. The underwater valves were installed when the dam was first completed in 1905, and more were added in and the late 1920s.