Dry Creek #2 Ditch
Established: May 1 1864
Priority Number: 9
Acres under ditch: 2375 originally
Water Source: South Boulder Creek
Boulder’s settlers searched for ways to make ditch-digging easier. Boulder’s creeks have alluvial fan characteristics, with multiple braided channels. Most channels only carry water during major flood events. Pioneers called these dry channels “dry creeks”, and used them as routes for irrigation water. Dry Creek #2 Ditch uses an old remnant channel of South Boulder Creek, as its course.
In 1905, Boulder pioneer George F. Chase testified in court:
“I have farmed since ‘59 on the South Boulder 3 miles east of town. This ditch, Dry Creek #2, runs through my place. This ditch isn’t a ‘made’ ditch all the way through. The water is let into an old channel, and goes down through all these farms. Probably that’s the reason it’s named Dry Creek.”
The fact that some Boulder ditches follow old alluvial channels has implications for flood-plain modeling and planning. The old channel has remained viable, with the ditch in place, and flood-waters will flow down it again in a major flood event.
Map courtesy of Carnegie Branch Library of Local History.
Dry Creek #2 Ditch headgate.