COAL CREEK CANYON — May 2, 2022 — Denver Water will close all recreation access to Gross Reservoir beginning in early May as contractors build access improvements on the north side ahead of the upcoming boating season. The closure is expected to last two to three weeks, with work expected to be completed in time for boating beginning May 27.
The improvements to the north side are needed to accommodate the shift in access and boat launching from Osprey Point on the south side. Access at that location closed in mid-March as contractors began to position equipment for the reservoir expansion project that kicked off April 1.
The north side improvements are needed to address the loss of parking on the south side and make it easier to access the water’s edge, as the existing route is longer and steeper than the previous location at Osprey Point. Denver Water plans to evaluate a pilot shuttle program that would also help recreators get from the North Shore parking lot to the water’s edge.
The full recreation closure will come in steps:
- A closure will occur May 4 through the afternoon of May 6 to prepare for work.
- Recreation access will reopen for the weekend of May 7-8.
- Full closure will begin again May 9 and is expected to last until May 25.
Work during the closure will include a new parking area, trail handrails, improvements to trail and access road surfacing, boat ramp construction and new signage.
The Gross Reservoir Expansion project requires Denver Water to temporarily reduce overall recreation access to the site for the duration of the five-year construction schedule. Here is a reminder of the changes the expansion project will bring during this time:
- Recreation access on the south side of the dam, including South Side and Windy Point picnic areas, Osprey Point boat launch and Osprey Point trailhead, closed in mid-March 2022.
- There will be no access to hiking trails and picnic areas from the south side. The scenic overlook will also be closed.
- South side access will not reopen until construction is complete.
North side of the facility recreation access
- The North Shore, as well as and South Boulder Creek Trail (below the dam) and Fisherman’s Parking Lot, will remain open to the public throughout the project.
- All access to on-water recreation will be relocated to the North Shore.
- As stated, Denver Water is evaluating a pilot shuttle program that would aid recreators in getting from the North Shore parking lot to the water’s edge, as the existing access route is longer and steeper than the previous access point on the south side at Osprey Point.
Access to Winiger Ridge, another popular location, will remain largely unchanged until tree removal activities begin in 2025. Additional closure information will be shared closer to that work beginning.
“Our goal is to keep this recreational amenity open in the safest way possible throughout the duration of the project, and we’re pushing hard to have it all ready for boating season this year,” said Brandon Ransom, manager of recreation for Denver Water.
“Denver Water recognizes Gross Reservoir is a popular recreation site, and we plan to proactively communicate with recreationists via signage, traditional media, websites, email newsletters and social media, among other means – and we strongly encourage visitors to check these channels before heading to a facility to ensure they are aware of any closures or changes.”
As the project moves forward, there will also be periodic on-water recreation closures to ensure recreationist safety. Such closures will be temporary, and every effort will be made to alert the public to closure periods ahead of time.
The public also can contact Denver Water through email, a phone line and virtual office hours, as well as by signing up for email updates and following the utility’s social media channels as well as the Nextdoor app. Contact and other details are available at the Denver Water website as well as on the project website. Denver Water’s TAP news site also includes stories about the expansion project.