Gross Reservoir Expansion Project will impact recreation
Named for Denver Water’s former chief engineer, Dwight D. Gross, the reservoir was completed in 1954. It serves as a combination storage and regulating facility for water that flows under the Continental Divide through the Moffat Tunnel.
Construction for the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project started April 2022. Due to construction activities and for the safety of residents and visitors, there is no public access to Gross Reservoir recreation areas and amenities on the south side of the reservoir. The following areas are open during construction:
- North Shore picnic area and parking lot.
- Expect the lot to reach capacity early in the day on busy weekends and remain full most of the day. Visitors will be turned away when the parking lot reaches capacity.
- There is no street parking for safety reasons. Visitors who park illegally in the parking lot or along the road are subject to parking tickets and/or having their vehicle towed.
- We encourage carpooling to maximize parking spots, as well as visiting on weekdays to avoid crowds.
- Boating and paddleboarding (the Friday of Memorial Day weekend through Sept. 30):
- Visitors should expect lower water levels during construction.
- Some areas of the reservoir will not be accessible to ensure safety. On-water recreationists may be asked to leave the water during blasting operations. Do not cross buoy lines and pay attention to all on-site staff instructions.
- During boating season, Denver Water will have a shuttle available to take boaters from the North Shore parking lot to the shoreline. The shuttle service is subject to weather and staffing.
- Visitors can hike down a steep single-track trail. The walk from the parking lot to the boat launch is roughly 1/3 of a mile in length.
- South Boulder Creek Outlet Trail below the dam.
- Due to heavy road traffic, there will be periodic access restrictions in this area. We encourage visitors to check the project My Map (below) before heading up to this area for closure information.
- Winiger Ridge Campground.
- Vehicular access to the campground is typically open from mid-May through mid-November. Some temporary closures are expected, starting in 2025, to ensure public safety during tree-removal activities.
- Forsythe Canyon Trailhead hiking.
- There will be some temporary closures, starting in 2025, to ensure public safety during tree-removal activities.
- Ice fishing:
- Due to ongoing construction activities at Gross Reservoir, ice fishing is not permitted during the 2022-23 season.
Please note, all areas may be subject to intermittent closures during the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project to maintain public safety. Observe all posted speed limits, signage and all on-site personnel instructions. Visitors are encouraged to check the project My Map (below) before heading up to the reservoir.
Gross Reservoir Expansion Project My Map
By the numbers