Lily Lake, a popular hiking and fishing destination on Colorado’s Highway 7 (part of the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway), is beginning repair on a dam this week that was rated “high-hazard” by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Rocky Mountain National Park officials, of which the Lily Lake recreation is officially a part of, are quick to point out that the dam’s failure is not imminent.
The Lily Lake trail, which is handicap accessible, will be closed for 500 feet where it crosses the dam; construction could continue until November. The lake, a popular fishing spot stocked with greenback cutthroat trout, will still be accessible during the work. The parking lot nearest the lake and restrooms will be closed during the repairs; limited parking will be available across the highway.
According to The Estes Park Trail Gazette, the scope of the repairs include: “the removal of surface vegetation on the downstream face of the dam, stripping and salvage of topsoil, regrading the downstream face of the dam and the area around the toe of the dam, placement of filter fabric (geotextile), filter gravel and another layer of filter fabric and installation of articulated concrete blocks (ACB).”
The repairs are being funded by National Park Service Dam Safety Program.