Castlewood Canyon State Park

Castlewood Canyon Dam

There was no modern machinery in 1889, so the
Castlewood Dam was built by man, mule, and
horse power alone ? and was considered quite an
engineering achievement. The dam had two walls
set several feet apart. The wall facing the reservoir was masonry laid up with cement. The downstream wall, acting as a brace, was angled at 45 degrees, creating a pleasing ?step? appearance. The space between the walls was fi lled with large stones laid in place by hand. Broken rock and dirt were hammered into spaces between the big stones. At its base, the dam was 83 feet thick. Eight valves in the center of the wall could be opened to release water for irrigation, or to relieve pressure on the dam when the reservoir was full. The dam is located about halfway between the Canyon Point parking lot and the Falls parking lot of Castlewood Canyon State Park. It is approximately one mile from either lot. You can see the dam if you drive along Castlewood Canyon Road (Douglas County Highway 51). There is no parking on the road at the dam.