Aerial Photos of the Boulder Area
NOTE: Due to the size of these images, these aerial photos are best accessed with a high-speed modem and may take time to download.

Select here for 1937 series from Eldorado Canyon to Four Mile Canyon.

Select here for 1938 series from Marshall to Gunbarrel.
From USFS collection: South Boulder Creek & Marshall Lake

In 1937 and 1938 the US Forest Service conducted aerial photographic surveys of the Boulder area which graphically show some of the profound changes that have occurred due to development in the region.

Boulder and nearby communities have been built on or near floodplains formed by Boulder Creek and its tributaries, and these 1937-38 images dramatically show the alluvial fans and floodplain channels, particularly along South Boulder Creek. (Check out a comparison of 1937 and 1987 images taken of the South Boulder Creek floodplain.)

Other features which can be seen in these images include the old city of Boulder Sunshine Reservoir (in the upper left corner of the top photo) which served for many years as the primary storage for drinking water for the city.

These images also demonstrate that some things haven't changed significantly in the decades since the photographs were taken, largely due to the extensive Open Space and Mountain Parks that have protected large areas from development.

In the coming months BASIN, working with students from Boulder High School and using GIS data from the city of Boulder, will be detailing changes that have occurred along Four Mile Canyon and Wonderland Creeks in north Boulder.


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BASIN is supported by the US EPA, the City of Boulder, the Keep it Clean Partnership, BCWI and BCN

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