After driving to the top of Flagstaff Mountain, and passing all the viewpoints in the tourist area, I decided to see what awaited, further out the road. So I kept driving, and discovered the Gross Reservoir.
Gross Reservoir is filled with water that will someday be flowing into sinks and toilet bowls in the city of Denver. The reservoir is owned by Denver Water, which is managed by the city of Denver. And even though the reservoir is on the east side of the Continental Divide, some of its water comes from the west side, via the Moffat Tunnel — a 6.2-mile-long railroad tunnel and aqueduct.
Flagstaff Road comes to an end at Lakeshore Drive and Gross Dam Road. If you make a left onto Gross Dam Road, you’ll soon see a small turnout that’s marked as a scenic overlook. Make the short hike up the hill, and you’ll be rewarded with this view of Gross Dam, and the roughly 13 billion gallon lake.
You could also take Lakeshore Drive, to end up somewhere over there, on the northern edge of the lake. But the best bets for accessing the lake require you drive a bit further south on Gross Dam Road, then cut over to the other side of the dam. Motorized boats are prohibited, but you could kayak or canoe, or go fishing.
I was satisfied with my visit to the scenic overlook, so I decided to backtrack towards Boulder. Along the way…
… I pulled into Walker Ranch Park, just to see if there was anything to see. And there is, if you’re interested in a rather long hike. The Walker Ranch Loop is 7.5 miles, and if you added on the side-trip into Eldorado Canyon State Park, you’d be looking at a 15-mile journey. I was looking for something along the lines of a rewarding one-mile hike, since I had already done a good bit of walking on this day. So, I took a picture of the scenic landscape, then drove back to Boulder.
Here’s the time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive up Flagstaff Mountain and on out to Gross Reservoir, then back to Walker Ranch.