CR 20 (Henson creek road/Engineer Pass): Closed past Thoreau's Cabin.
CR 30 (lake road/Cinammon Pass): Closed past Burrow's Park.
It is VERY important to abide by these road closures.
Multiple large avalanches in Lake City's backcountry this winter covered roadways and deposited massive amounts of debris including large rocks and trees into Henson Creek and the Lake Fork river. This avalanche activity combined with annual runoff has caused concerns of debris blockage. Hinsdale County Board of Commissioners ratified a local disaster declaration, and Colorado Governor Polis has authorized an executive order for a state of emergency in Hinsdale County. A Unified Coordination Group provided by the Colorado Emergency Operations Center and coordinated by Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to help Hinsdale County and Town of Lake City prepare for potential flooding. The primary missions for the Unified Coordination group were to: 1) Mitigate threat from avalanche debris, and 2) Give community members tools and information to help prepare themselves for flood events. The UCG aided the county in having debris removed from the waterways in the back country as well as modifiying the Hidden Treasure Dam. The Town of Lake City was aided in placement of sandbags throughout town to protect infrastructure, residences and businesses.
Residents and visitors should take note that openings of backcountry campgrounds and trails, including the Alpine Loop, will be delayed due to continued deep snow and/or avalanche debris.
Current Streamflow Conditions
Click HERE to follow current stream flow conditions in the waterways around Lake City through the USGS monitoring program. Scroll down to #1402002 UPPER GUNNISON for several area sites.
Lake City sites include:
- Lake Fork of the Gunnison River below Lake San Cristobal
- Henson Creek at Lake City
- Henson Creek above Alpine Gulch
Hidden Treasure Dam Modification
The historic Hidden Treasure Dam above Lake City on Henson Creek was partially deconstructed to avoid a surge of debris which could have impacted the community of Lake City. A decision to remove the dam was made following analysis conducted by an advisory group which included dam owners the Hurd Family as well as Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Office of Emergency Management, Hinsdale County, Town of Lake City, Colorado Geological Survey and Colorado Division of Water Resources - Dam Safety. Deconstruction began on May 30, 2019, using a robotic jackhammer and the height of the dam was reduced by 30 feet. After being lowered to the base of the dam by a crane and inspecting the full dam surface, Colorado Dam Safety Office Engineers learned more about the dam and determined public safety goals could be accomplished without total deconstruction. It was determined that the lower portion of the dam should be removed with explosives because this is where an obstruction could develop, reducing the potential for debris plugging.The contractor created a much larger opening in the dam above the river, approximately 14 x 28 feet. This modified approach satisfied public safety concerns, reduced the environmental impacts of additional concrete in the Henson Creek Channel and allowed a portion of the dam to be preserved for the enjoyment and education of future generations. The Hidden Treasure Dam dates back to the 1890s when both the Hidden Treasure and Hard Tack mines were in operation.