FOLBR - Friends Of the Lower Blue River

Sustainable Hiker - Beyond the Trail Series

Life Below Green Mountain Reservoir

The Blue River below Green Mountain Reservoir is truly a special place. The nearest town on the map is Heeney. The proximity to Silverthorne makes it a worthwhile place to explore without having to travel far to have some aquatic fun. While the majority of the Lower Blue River is surrounded by private property, the 3.8-mile canyon section below the Green Mountain Reservoir dam to Spring Creek Road is a wonderful place for the public to access. It is challenging to navigate from the parking area below the dam due to the steep hill, especially during winter. Most canyon enthusiasts make the effort to either look around at the beauty or go fishing.

When the water flows increase to 500 cfs and above, that is when people like to float down the river to either the Spring Creek Road access or continue to the confluence of the Colorado River near the Gore Canyon Access area. The length of the float from Spring Creek Road to the confluence of the Colorado River is 10 river miles. Remember, the Spring Creek Road Access is a take-out only section, specifically for kayakers. It is not a take-out for rafts and is not a put-in for boats of any kind. Rafters who launch below the dam are committed to the 13.8 river mile float to the confluence of the Colorado.

The canyon is beautiful, and you never know what kind of birds or wildlife you may encounter. The river below the Spring Creek Road takeout is all private property to the Colorado confluence. For those who may not know, it is illegal to touch the river bottom or walk along the banks on both sides of the river. Always respect private property. But enjoy your float down 10 additional river miles.

The fishing and hiking are accessible on foot with water levels below 350-400 cfs. The window of opportunity to wade fish in the canyon is contingent upon the water levels, so always check the water flows before going into the canyon. Winter, fall, and early spring are typically the time of year to enjoy being on foot in this beautiful location. Insect hatches are consistent with season representations of blue-winged olives, pale morning duns, green drakes, red quills, caddis, midges, yellow sallies, golden stoneflies, and terrestrial insects (grasshoppers, ants, and beetles). Fly fishers really have a great place to explore, and big rainbows and browns inhabit this wonderful watershed.

Get out and check out the Blue River below Green Mountain dam. It is a local treasure to experience.

John Marshall
Vice President/Treasurer of FOLBR

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