Monday, August 15


Behind the mesh, pictured, is a 1,500 foot vertical drop to the Colorado River, whose wide swathe chisels the red sandstone.

"In need of water to work the Dolores Canyon gold claims, the Montrose Placer Mining Company built a thirteen-mile canal and flume to deliver water to from the San Miguel River. The last five miles of the flume clung to the canyon itself, running along the cliff face below. Constructed between 1888 and 1891, the four-foot-deep, five-foot-four-inch wide "hanging flume" carried 23,640,000 gallons of water in a 24-hour period. Its construction dazzled mining pros with its sheer ingenuity. The placer claim, unfortunately, dazzled no one; after three years of indifferent yields the company folded, abandoning the flume to the ravages of weather and time. Now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this engineering marvel symbolizes the twists of fate so often encountered in the pursuit of Rocky Mountain gold."
--US National Parks plaque

"This work will show how easy it is, when backed up by engineering capital, to bring water from and to points which were always thought to be inaccessible."
--Engineering and Mining Journal, January 1890

"We're looking pretty good for mid-40s."