Fountain Creek (Arkansas River)

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Fountain Creek[1]
Fountain creek park Fountain CO.jpg
Fountain Creek near Fountain, Colorado
Origin 38°59′48″N 105°01′44″W / 38.99667°N 105.02889°W / 38.99667; -105.02889
Mouth Confluence with Arkansas
38°15′15″N 104°35′20″W / 38.25417°N 104.58889°W / 38.25417; -104.58889Coordinates: 38°15′15″N 104°35′20″W / 38.25417°N 104.58889°W / 38.25417; -104.58889
Progression ArkansasMississippi
Mouth elevation 4,636 ft (1,413 m)

Fountain Creek is a 74.5-mile-long (119.9 km)[2] creek in El Paso and Pueblo counties, in Colorado in the United States. It is a tributary of the Arkansas River.


From its source near the city of Woodland Park north of Pikes Peak, the creek flows southeast through the communities of Green Mountain Falls and Chipita Park to the town of Cascade. It continues southeast through a narrow, winding, steep-sided canyon, approximately 3 miles (5 km) long. The canyon is traversed by U.S. Highway 24,[3] and was once traversed by the Colorado Midland Railway.[4] Locals confusingly refer to it as "Ute Pass", or just "the pass"; but the actual Ute Pass is some 15 miles (24 km) to the west, along US 24.

After exiting the canyon, Fountain Creek flows through Manitou Springs and into Colorado Springs, where it picks up Monument Creek west of downtown Colorado Springs, and Sand Creek in the southern part of the city. It then flows south, paralleled by Interstate 25, through the eponymous Fountain, Colorado and crosses into Pueblo County, before finally reaching Pueblo where it joins the Arkansas River.

Water quality[edit]

Water quality in the creek has been a point of contention between the cities of Colorado Springs and Pueblo since at least 1999, when flooding in Colorado Springs caused 70 million gallons of raw sewage to spill into the creek.[5] Untreated sewage now spills into the creek an average of 10 times every year.[6] Tests in 2007 by the Pueblo City-County Health Department found levels of the E. coli bacterium more than twice the state limit in some parts of the creek. [1]


  1. ^ "Fountain Creek". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed March 31, 2011
  3. ^ "Colorado Highways: US 24". 
  4. ^
  5. ^ McKeown, Bill (January 26, 2006). "Utility fined for sewage spill". The Gazette. 
  6. ^ "From flush to Fountain Creek". 

See also[edit]