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Grand River Ditch

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1894–1936, J. J. Argo. From the east side of Grand Lake over slopes south of La Poudre Pass into Baker Creek (NR)

This 17-mile-long irrigation ditch has scarred the landscape for so long that it has been designated a landmark. Engineer J. J. Argo started the ditch just above Grand Lake and took it eastward over the divide. Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, and Scandinavian laborers dug the ditch by hand through the Never Summer Range to catch snow melt. Their work camps of saddle-notched and V-notched log huts are in ruins, but the ditch is still used by its builder, the Water Supply and Storage Company of Fort Collins. A striking landscape feature, the ditch is historically important as one of the first of many devices to divert Colorado River water over the Continental Divide to Eastern Slope users.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Grand River Ditch", [Estes Park, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 456-456.

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