Boulder Creek, St. Vrain, South Platte, Platte,
Missouri, Mississippi, Gulf of Mexico
Approximate length: 47 Miles
Gallery: Historic Photos of Boulder
Canyon and Near Nederland
from Denver Public Library Collection
main "trunk" of the dentritic ("tree-like")
system that forms the Boulder Creek Watershed, main or Middle Boulder
Creek begins along the Continental Divide near Arapahoe Pass and
Diamond and Jasper Lakes. Passing through the towns of Eldora and
Nederland, Middle Boulder was dammed in 1906 by the Public Service
Company of Colorado, storing water in Barker Reservoir for hydroelectric
generation further downstream. The city of Boulder now has about
40% of its drinking water supply coming from Barker Reservoir.
In Boulder Canyon, North Boulder Creek, originating
near Niwot Ridge and the Green and Silver Lakes and passing through
Dream Canyon near the community of Sugarloaf, joins Boulder Creek
just below Boulder Falls.
Near the tunnel in Boulder Canyon is the Public
Service Company power plant which is still operated in the winter
months to help meet peak demand. (The power generation causes a
surge of up to several hundred cubic feet per second of water in
the evening hours when electricity is being generated.) Check out
the recent flow of at the Orodell gauge station below the hydro
plant. Between October and March the flow can vary from usually
around 10 cubic feet per second (cfs) to close to 200 csf.
As Boulder Creek leaves the mouth of the canyon
it forms a floodplain which much of downtown Boulder is built in.
The Municipal Building, Main Public Library, Boulder High School,
Married Student Housing for CU Students and the Naropa University
all are located in the floodplain, which is considered one of the
greatest potential natural hazards in the western United States.
The last major flood down Boulder Creek was in
May of 1894 when nearly 60 hours of continuous rain triggered a
100 year flood event. Gallery
images of 1894 Flood.
Also see History of
Flash Floods in BASIN History.
Nearby Neighborhoods (upstream
- Boulder Canyon
- Four Mile Canyon (including Salina, Gold Hill)
- Arapahoe/Marine Street
- Downtown Boulder
- East Pearl Street
- Flatirons Elementary
- Mapleton Elementary
- September School
- Casey Middle School
- Boulder High School
- Naropa University
- Bear Creek Elementary
Flash Flood Data
Source: FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association)
June 2, 1995 Flood Insurance Study-- subject to update.
Locations given from downstream to upstream
Flooding Source & Location
Confluence w/ Fourmile Canyon Creek
Right Bank Overflow (aprox.
800 ft. upstream of Foothillls Pkwy.)
County Road 54
Historic Flow Data from USGS:
Chart your own graphs
Boulder Creek at Nederland
Boulder Creek at Silver Lake
Boulder Creek near Nederland
Gulch near El Vado
Creek near Orodell
Mile Creek at Orodell
Boulder Creek at 75th Street
Creek at Mouth
It is our intent to build a comprehensive information resource
based on the local watershed theme. One way you can help us develop
this area of the BASIN WWW site is to take
this quick survey. Your input is greatly appreciated.
Do you have a comment or question about this area ? Select
here for a more general BASIN feedback form.
Return to top