A creek runs through it

This was taken on an early morning walk through Walter Byron Park in Frisco, CO and those beautiful icy waters are flowing into Dillon Reservoir. It is the combination of West Ten Mile Creek that starts in the forests up past Copper Mountain along I-70 and joins the North Ten Mile Creek that flows from the Gore Range that starts right out of town.

The beauty is unmistakable but the importance of the water is undeniable. This is one of three major tributaries that drain into the Dillon Reservoir along with the Snake and Blue River.

Why is this so important? The water that flows into the Reservoir ends up meeting with the North Fork of the South Platte via Roberts Tunnel that quenches the thirst of many on the Front Range. The rest flows to the Colorado River ends up serving the needs of up to 42 million people throughout the Southwest and West Coast.

The area described above is the Upper Blue River Watershed. If you hike or drive north you will be in the Middle Blue as the water flows to the Green Mountain Reservoir and then the Lower Blue connects up with the Colorado River that ends up serving the needs of up to 42 million people throughout the Southwest and West Coast.

Most of the Blue River Watershed is in Summit County while a smaller portion is located in Grand and Lake County to the north and south respectively.

This heavily visited county may be one of the most critical watersheds in the West which is amazing considering that it is only 619 sq miles. Serving the needs of an ever growing Front Range will take all of our help. Water in the West can be a contentious issue but through conservation and sustainable land and water management we can help a thirsty river remain flowing.

Be a part of the community that cares for its land and water and learn more about our forests.


Tom Koehler

Sustainable Skier-Hiker

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