Posts tagged Boulder Canyon

flood aftermath pics 1

The canyon is Open!



Monday morning,  Boulder Canyon was declared open for the first time since the flood. Crews worked around the clock to repair Colo. 119, which was heavily damaged by the floods.
Colorado Flooding Roads

The news received a loud ovation at the Gold Hill Inn Sunday night, where a crowd was gathered for a benefit for a Boulder County hospice facility. The program featured songs by Neil Young and was performed by Boulder area musicians including Cort McCumber and Molly O’Brian.
The road through Gold Hill has, until Sunday afternoon, the only open road between the mountain communities west of town and the flatlands. Traffic has been ferocious in the town, both ways, all hours of the day and night. and lengthy.

Gov. John Hickenlooper  and other elected officials officially reopened the canyon early this morning.

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buff jersey

Buff Classic “epic” bike ride aiming higher


Hundreds of benefactors to bicycle farther,
higher for CU-Boulder scholarships Sept. 8

If the distance and difficulty of Colorado’s many organized bicycling events is any indication, a flat, 100-mile bicycle ride is not, for many riders, quite tough enough.

That’s one reason the 11th annual Buffalo Bicycle Classic’s longest route will go farther and climb higher than any of the event’s courses so far. The “Buff Epic” will span 110 miles and ascend a total of 6,250 feet. It retraces much of the most mountainous section of Stage 6 of the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

The Elevations Credit Union Buffalo Bicycle Classic is scheduled for Sept. 8 and is expected to draw more than 2,000 participants. The event raises scholarship funds for high-performing University of Colorado Boulder students who qualify for financial aid.


The epic century ride will start on campus, ascend Boulder Canyon to Nederland, follow the Peak to Peak Highway past Ward, descend St. Vrain Canyon to Lyons, head north to Carter Lake and turn south to return to Boulder.

During the Buff Epic, Boulder Canyon’s westbound lane will be closed to traffic from 7 a.m. to approximately 9:30 a.m. Male and female riders in five age groups will compete for polka-dotted jerseys, signifying their climbing prowess. They will be judged by their times on the ascent of a 13.5-mile section from the base of Boulder Canyon to Barker Reservoir.

Times will be measured by individual riders’ GPS devices and recorded on While there is the canyon competition, ride organizers emphasize that the Buffalo Bicycle Classic is not a race but a ride for those of all strength and ability levels.

The 2013 Buffalo Bicycle Classic includes its traditional courses that cater to all cycling abilities: These courses include the 70-mile, 50-mile, 35-mile and 14-mile Little Buff family-friendly community ride.

“The Buffalo Bicycle Classic accommodates riders of every ability,” said Todd Gleeson, former dean of the CU-Boulder College of Arts and Sciences and one of the ride’s founders. Gleeson, a professor of integrative physiology, directs CU-Boulder’s new Health Professions Residential Academic Program.

“The Buffalo Bicycle Classic combines two things close to our hearts: access to higher education and the love of bicycling,” Gleeson said. “An event that combines both improves town-gown relations, heightens riders’ physical fitness and, most importantly, lowers one barrier to higher education.”

Since 2003, the Buffalo Bicycle Classic has raised more than $1.8 million for scholarships and funded about 800 scholarships.

Chris Kerns, who graduated cum laude in anthropology from CU-Boulder in 2005, is one of those scholarship recipients. He is now finishing a Ph.D. in archaeology at the University of Southampton, England, and figures he’s one of a relative few scholarship recipients who have completed a Buff Bike Classic century ride.

“Any opportunity to support deserving students in their academic endeavors is absolutely worth it. Great young minds can achieve amazing things as long as they get the support necessary to further their goals,” Kerns said. “The scholarship from the Buffalo Bicycle Classic is one way in which to support and inspire students to succeed and accomplish amazing things.”

Scholarship recipients are selected based on grade-point average and financial need. They cannot apply for the scholarship and don’t know they are being considered until they learn they have won. All net proceeds go toward scholarships, and a portion of the registration fee is tax-deductible.

For more information on the Buffalo Bicycle Classic visit To see a 2012 CU Foundation video of scholarship recipients discussing what the scholarship meant to them visit


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4-mile link

Transportation Department hosting Fourmile Link welcoming event on Sunday




Boulder County, Colo. – Following today’s grand opening of the Fourmile Link Trail at Betasso Preserve, the Boulder County Transportation Department is preparing for increased bicycle traffic on Fourmile Canyon Drive and will be hosting a welcoming event this Sunday.


What:              The Boulder County Transportation Department will provide fruit, snacks, cool water and share-the-road materials for cyclists


When:             Sunday, July 15 starting at 7:30 a.m.


Where:            Near the end of the Boulder Creek Path close to the intersection of Boulder Canyon and Fourmile Canyon drives



  • Additional bicycle traffic is expected on Fourmile Canyon Drive between the end of the Boulder Creek Path and the newly opened Fourmile Link Trail at Betasso preserve, especially on Sundays
  • Fourmile Canyon Drive does not have bikeable shoulders and both automobiles and bicyclists are expected to share the road
  • Bicyclists are encouraged to transition to single-file riding when cars are present and/or when riding around curves
  • Motorists are encouraged to pass bicyclists with care, providing three feet of separation
  • Motorists are encouraged slow down and wait for the next safe passing opportunity if there is oncoming traffic or a curve approaching
  • Courtesy is contagious! Being patient and respectful ensures that both motorists and cyclists reach their destinations safely


Additional info:

  • It is approximately 1.25 miles up Fourmile Canyon Drive from the end of the Boulder Creek Path to the start of the Fourmile Link Trail
  • Betasso Preserve trails prohibit bicycles on Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • The Fourmile Link Trail is 0.8 miles long and connects the Benjamin Loop with Fourmile Canyon Drive


For more information please contact Bicycle Planner Brian Graham at 720-564-2667 or


news blog

Boulder Fire Outbreak from lightning: Evacuations Flagstaff


The latest on the spate of lighting cause fire here in the city of Boulder from the office of emergency management:
June 26, 4:45 p.m. – Pre-evacuation notices go to city residents
Pre-evacuation notices went out to 931 City of Boulder phone numbers. The area that received calls is bordered by Dartmouth on the north, Broadway on the east, all the way to the south edge of town. People should be ready to evacuate quickly. A Type 1 Federal Incident team is on its way.

June 26 – 4:19 p.m. – All Open Space properties are closed from Eldo. Springs to Boulder Canyon
All open space and recreational areas from Eldorado Springs to Boulder Canyon are closed until further notice.

June 26 – 4 p.m.
NCAR is voluntarily evacuating.

Media briefing at 4:30 p.m. at Criminal Justice Center at 6th and Canyon.

All Pets Animal Hospital is taking small animals. 303-499-5335. 5290 Manhattan Circle.

Fire is estimated to be 200-300 acres.

June 26 – 3:45 p.m. Road Closures – Bison Drive, Flagstaff Rd.
Road closures:
Bison Drive from 1000 block West
Flagstaff Rd. from Baseline & 6th Ave
Hard closures. No public access allowed. Residents are urged to take vital records and proof of residency when they leave.

June 26 – 3:28 p.m. – Flagstaff Fire evacuations ordered
Sheriff’s Command has issued evacuation orders for approximately 26 households in the area of Bison Drive and Pine Needle Notch subdivision. An evacuation point is being established at New Vista High School at 700 20th Street near Broadway and Baseline. Red Cross is on its way. Residents are advised to take vital records, proof of residency and all pets with them.

Follow #FlagstaffFire on Twitter

June 25 3:18 p.m. – Flagstaff Road is restricted to fire response
Flagstaff Rd. is being used for transport of firefighting equipment. Public access will be restricted or closed along this road until further notice.

June 26 – 3:01 p.m. Bison Fire
A helicopter and heavy air tanker are working on the Bison Fire which is estimated at 6 acres and growing. Smoke can be seen from the city of Boulder and surrounding areas. Rocky Mountain Fire is in charge of the fire.

Fire in Boulder County – June 26 – 2:51 p.m.
There is a fire burning near Bison Drive east of Walker Ranch in the foothills of southern Boulder County. A heavy air tanker is en route and 39 pre-evacuation notices have been sent to residents on Bison Drive and in the Pine Needle Notch subdivision.

FLASH! Boulder Flooding #boulderflood


7/14 3 p.m. Gold Hill residents advised to use Sunshine Canyon Drive
Fourmile Canyon Drive and Gold Hill Run are closed from Poorman to Dixon in Fourmile Canyon. Residents of Gold Hill are advised to take alternate routes. Sunshine Canyon Drive is clear.

7/14 2:56 p.m. Impacts to Ann U. White Trail/Wagon Wheel Gap Road
Water is currently running down Ann U. White Trail and rising quickly. Wagon Wheel Gap Road (off Lee Hill Road) may be affected because of trail drainage.

7/14 2:21 Call center now open
A public information call center is now open. Call 303-413-7730 for updates on today/tonight’s weather event and related emergency information.

7/14 2:12 p.m. – Rock slide on Boulder Canyon Highway 119
A rock slide has occurred on Highway 119 at approximately mile marker 35. The westbound lane is completely closed. The Boulder County Sheriffs Office and the Colorado Department of Transportation are en route to respond. Motorists can expect delays; alternate routes are advised.

7/14 1:10 p.m. – FLASH FLOOD WARNING for Fourmile Fire burn area
The National Weather Service has issued a FLASH FLOOD WARNING for the Fourmile Fire burn area effect immediately.

Prepare for possible flooding and take appropriate actions in low lying and heavy drainage areas for Fourmile Creek and Fourmile Canyon Creek.

The Boulder Emergency Operations Center is activated and providing support to field emergency operations.

Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

7/14 10:30 a.m. – Anne U. White Trail in north Boulder area is closed due to flooding
The Anne U. White Trail (which follows follows the Four Mile Canyon Creek in an area near north Boulder) was closed last night by the Sheriff’s office due to flooding. The trailhead is located off Wagonwheel Gap Road and Lee Hill Road.

Continued flash flood warnings in the trailhead area are expected throughout the day today. Damage to the trail, including wash-outs and log jams may require the trail to remain closed for longer for repairs.

Updates will be made available as repair assessments and time frames can be estimated by the Boulder County open space trails staff.

7/14 9:10 a.m. – Current status of Fourmile Fire burn area after last night’s storm activity
Boulder County Road Maintenance crews are in the area clearing roads and culverts. All roads are open with the exception of Fourmile Canyon from Poorman Road to Gold Run Road and Gold Run Road to Dixon Road. Even though the other roads are passable, people are being asked to proceed with caution because of the debris remaining on the roads.

This morning, deputies and firefighters are in the Fourmile burn area assisting residents and assessing damages. There have been reports of a number of structures (both residences and outbuildings) and vehicles that were damaged by the rising water and debris flows. The reports indicate that these occurrences were throughout the burn area and not in any one isolated location. At this time, we do not have any estimates of the total cost of damages from these storms.

The weather forecast for today is predicted to be similar to the weather patterns we experienced yesterday (July 13, 2011). Residents living in the Fourmile burn area need to remain alert and cognizant of the potential for additional flooding.

7/14 9 a.m. – Notice about water quality after heavy rainfall
Heavy rainfall increases the flow of sediment into our local streams and creeks, increasing the cloudiness of water. As a result of recent heavy rainfall over the Four Mile burn area, this sediment has been significant, contributing to a temporary discoloration of Fourmile Creek and Boulder Creek.

The cloudiness and discoloration is an indicator of poor water quality and can mean an increased level of pathogens, such as E. coli and Giardia. People should always avoid drinking untreated and unfiltered water from streams, creeks, lakes, etc. Cloudy, fast-moving water may also have hidden debris that poses a safety risk, so people should avoid recreational activity in the creeks after heavy rainfalls or, at a minimum, exercise extreme caution.

Treatment plants for drinking water are designed to remove sediment and disinfect the water against pathogens, so the cloudy stream is not a concern for tap water. The City of Boulder does not draw any of its drinking water from these creeks.

7/14 1:10 a.m. – Secondary surge has occurred, no problems reported in city
The secondary surge on Boulder Creek has moved through the City of Boulder without causing any major impacts. While some emergency staff will remain at EOC throughout the night to monitor the possibility of more bad weather, no additional updates to this website are anticipated until after 8 a.m. unless there is a significant change in circumstances.

7/14 12:45 a.m. – Second surge possible in City of Boulder between 1:15 and 1:30 a.m. – no significant impacts anticipated
Emergency officials are expecting a possible second surge of water from the Fourmile Canyon burn area in approximately 30 to 45 minutes from now. This surge could affect Boulder Creek and move into a portion of the city east of Eben G. Fine Park, similar to what occurred several hours ago. The surge is expected to be no worse than the first one, when the excess water fanned out and dissipated without causing any major problems in the city. As a result, no alerts are being sent out and no sirens are being sounded. Police officers are, however, walking the creek paths and urging anyone who might be outdoors in these low-lying areas to move away from the water. Emergency crews continue to monitor the anticipated impacts in the city, and if notifications become necessary, will notify dispatch immediately.

7/13 8:18 p.m. – Event Update
Predicting Boulder Creek to rise to appoximately 1800 cfs, which will create nuisance flooding in low lying areas around the creek. Sirens being activated to warn people of flooding and to stay out of low lying areas. People living in Married-Studen Housing around 17th and Arapahoe should be aware of nuisance flooding in area.

7/13 8:15 p.m. – Water Surge near Boulder
The water surge is two miles from the City of Boulder.

7/13 8:10 p.m. – Additional road updates
Additional road updates:

Lee Hill at Lefthand Cayon is open.
Lee Hill at Old Stage closed.
784 Bow Mountain is closed.
1178 Carriage Hills is closed.

7/13 8:00 p.m. – Flood waters hitting Eben G Fine Park
Approximately 4-foot water surge hitting intersection of Boulder Canyon and Fourmile Canyon. Eben G. Fine park being evacuated. People must evacuate low-lying areas along Boulder Creek now. Approximately 15 minutes till 4-foot water surge hits City of Boulder limits. Boulder Police officers are in the area warning people of the expected water surge. Residents near Boulder Creek should stay alert and ready to evacuate.

7/13 7:45 p.m. – Event Updates
Flooding reported in Fourmile Canyon. Water levels appear to be receding. About 2″ of rain reported in burn area in less than one hour. One home reporting damage from significant debris flows in the 1500 block of Gold Run. Debris flows on many roads in area.

Four Everbridge (emergency call back) messages have gone out to different residential areas. First call went out at 6:22 p.m. to 304 numbers warning residents of active flooding in area. Second went out to 108 numbers at 6:48 p.m. with the same message. Third went out at 6:57 p.m. to 41 numbers advising to shelter in place because of road closures, and fourth went out at 7:24 p.m. to 67 numbers warning of flooding in low lying.

Members of the public are asked to not call the media line for information.

7/13 – 7:20 p.m. Road Closures
Storm is moving through. Fourmile Canyon Road is closed from Ingram Gulch to Logan Mill Road due to water and debris. Gold Run Road is closed at Dixon. Lee Hill is closed at Lefthand Canyon.

Flash flood warning in Fourmile Canyon:#boulderflood VIDEO OEM Updates


We just returned from Four Mile Canyon where the mudslides occurred. There were four of them which began at mile marker 8 just past where you turn to go to Wall Street. Four Mile Creek is black with soot. (see video)

It was continuing to rain. The slides get larger as you continue past mile marker 8. Even in our 4 wheel drive TV production SUV we could only make it to the second slide. The command center gave us an escort from Four Mile Fire department. We had to have a radio person with us in case it slid again and we got caught up in a slide.
Initially, a Boulder County Sheriff deputy came up on the slides during the down pour at around 6:00pm. He told us it was all he could do to drive out in his Sheriffs big SUV Chevy.
Four Mile fire chief said that a large amount of the slide had hung up about 50 feet up the hill on a rock out cropping. There was some concern that it would slide again on into the night as the rains continued.
Four Mile Fire was on the scene and stationed through out the canyon to watch for more slides. A large road grader was pushing dirt and a front end loader and 10 Wheel dump truck were working the larger slides.
The hope is to get the road opened by morning. The concern is that it will keep raining and cause major slides.

Flash flood warning in Fourmile Canyon in effect until 9:15 p.m.
Thursday, July 07, 2011

Boulder County, Colo. – Boulder Canyon and the Fourmile Canyon areas are under a National Weather Service Flash Flood Warning until 9:15 tonight. The fire protection districts and communities in the Fourmile Canyon Fire burn area are on high alert and closely monitoring events and responding to hazardous conditions.
Heavy rainfall occurred in the canyons around 6 p.m., and the Fourmile Creek reached peak flow around 7 p.m., but the creek did not overbank. Creek flows are now receding and water levels are dropping in the Fourmile Creek and Boulder Creek in Boulder Canyon.
Fourmile Canyon Drive is closed to travel due to mud, rock and debris flows between blocks 5900 and 8000 (Wall St. area). Lefthand Canyon and other roads in the area have had minor rock slides, but are passable. Motorists are urged to use caution on all roadways impacted by water flows and rock slides.
Sheriff’s deputies and emergency services personnel are on patrol in the Fourmile Canyon and Lefthand Canyon areas. They are checking creek water levels and monitoring the passage of roads. The Boulder Emergency Operations Center has been activated and continues to monitor weather, road and community conditions.
Reverse notification messages were sent to approximately 300 residences telling them to remain on alert and be prepared to seek higher ground.

10:30 p.m. – EOC deactivating; severe weather clearing out of area
The storm systems are tracking to the south and the risk appears to be low for the Fourmile Area, but not completely gone. Storms are expected to continue all night with diminished intensity and a southerly track. The flash flood warning has ended and all residents have returned to homes.

Another everbridge was sent to advise residents that the flash flood warning has expired but to remain vigilant due to weather still in the area. The only road closure presently is west of Emerson Gulch (off Fourmile Canyon Dr.) and is 4 feet deep and 100 yards wide. County road crews are building an emergency access through it and will go to work on removal of debris tomorrow.

The Emergency Operations Center will deactivate at 10:30 p.m

7/7 – 9:12 p.m. – Crews On Scene Clearing Roads
7/7 – 9:12 p.m. – County road maintenance crews are on scene with plows and road graders clearing the rock slides and debris flows. The goal is to get one passable lane in Fourmile Canyon tonight and go back tomorrow to widen the road.

7/7 – 8:39 p.m – Damage Assesment
7/7 – 8:39 p.m. – There are no reports of structure or infrastructure damage, other than debris flows on roads in the Fourmile area. Electricity and phones are working. No injuries have been reported.

7/7 – 8:30 p.m. – Downstream Impacts
Levels in Boulder Creek have peaked and are receding. Underpasses could be flooded. Some street flooding, but no imminent danger to City of Boulder. Use caution on roads and paths.

7/7 – 8:15 p.m. – Road Closure Update
7/7 – 8:15 p.m. – Fourmile Canyon still closed between 5900 and 8000 blocks (Wall Street area). Gold Run, Gold Hill and Lickskillit are open. Lefthand Canyon and Boulder Canyon have some rocks on the road, but are passable.

7/7 – 8:07 pm. – Assessment of Area
7/7 – 8:07 p.m. – Sheriff’s deputies are in the Fourmile and Lefthand Canyon area. They are checking creek water levels and the passability of roads.

7/7 – 8 p.m. Reverse Notification Sent
Reverse notification messages and phone calls sent to approximately 300 residences telling them to remain on alert and be prepared to seek higher ground. The National Weather Service has a flash flood warning in effect until 9:15 p.m.

Road Closures
7/7 – 7:51 p.m. – Fourmile is closed at 5900 block. Traffic westbound needs to find an alternate route. There are rock slides in Lefthand Canyon and Boulder Canyon, but they are passable. Please use caution when on these roads. County road crews and Colorado State Patrol enroute to assess and clear.

Lefthand Canyon has some minor rock slides. Roads are passable, but use caution.

7/7 7 p.m. – Flash Flood Warning in Fourmile Burn Area
A Flash Flood Warning is in effect in the Fourmile Burn Area. Intense storms are expected to continue moving through the area.

Boulder Creek levels to rise in the next few days


During the next several days, water levels in Boulder Creek will begin rising noticeably, which could potentially impact underpasses near the creek and the safety of creek activities. With higher temperatures and increased snowpack runoff anticipated, Barker Reservoir is expected to fill and spill as early as Wednesday, June 8.

The current flow in Boulder Creek, at Broadway, is about 200 cubic feet per second (cfs). Following CDOT work to remove debris from Boulder Creek in Boulder Canyon, the city will begin to release water from Barker Reservoir this afternoon in anticipation of the spill. This gradual increase of the creek flows will help to prevent a sudden increase when the reservoir fills. By the end of the day on Tuesday, the flow in Boulder Creek, at Broadway, could reach 500 cfs. Following the reservoir spill, Boulder Creek could reach 600 to 800 cfs, at Broadway. Additional precipitation may further increase the flows.

Anyone recreating in or near Boulder Creek should use caution. City of Boulder and Boulder County safety officials are evaluating the situation to determine when a tubing ban might be warranted.

UPDATE: City of Boulder begins MORE evacuations #boulderfire


10/29 – City evacuations ordered
City orders evacuations of selected west Boulder neighborhoods

The City of Boulder has begun mandatory evacuations of neighborhoods in west Boulder. All residences and businesses within the following boundaries are being ordered to evacuate: west of 7th Street from Canyon Boulevard on the south to North Street on the north. An evacuation center has been established at the Coors Event Center on the University of Colorado – Boulder campus. There are an estimated 1,700 people and 800 units within these boundaries.

The evacuations are in response to the Dome wildfire in Boulder Canyon near Dome Rock on City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks property. More than two dozen firefighters are on scene working the fire, and a one-seat plane has been making drops of retardant in the area. Additional ground and air support has been requested.

“As a precaution and to aid responders dealing with the Dome Fire, we are ordering a mandatory evacuation in some neighborhoods within the city,” said City Manager Jane S. Brautigam. “We are asking that residents follow the directions of emergency crews now so that emergency equipment can be positioned and crews can focus on extinguishing the wildfire. Resident and business cooperation is greatly appreciated as we work to contain this fire.”

Frequent updates are being posted to

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