Blue River (Colorado)

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Blue River
DSCN1895 bluerivernearkremmling e 600.jpg
The Blue River near Kremmling, Colorado.
Country United States
State Colorado
 - right Snake River
Source Tenmile Range
 - location Near Blue River, Summit County
 - elevation 12,800 ft (3,901 m)
 - coordinates 39°23′27″N 106°01′12″W / 39.39083°N 106.02000°W / 39.39083; -106.02000 [1]
Mouth Colorado River
 - location Kremmling, Grand County
 - elevation 7,342 ft (2,238 m)
 - coordinates 40°02′33″N 106°23′48″W / 40.04250°N 106.39667°W / 40.04250; -106.39667Coordinates: 40°02′33″N 106°23′48″W / 40.04250°N 106.39667°W / 40.04250; -106.39667 [1]
Length 65 mi (105 km)
Basin 680 sq mi (1,761 km2) [2]
Discharge for 0.3 mi (0.48 km) below Green Mountain Dam
 - average 447 cu ft/s (13 m3/s) [3]
 - max 4,040 cu ft/s (114 m3/s)
 - min 0 cu ft/s (0 m3/s)
Blue River Colorado map.png
Map of the Blue River drainage basin

The Blue River is a tributary of the Colorado River, approximately 65 miles (105 km) long,[4] in the U.S. state of Colorado.

It rises in southern Summit County, on the western side of the continental divide in the Ten Mile Range, near Quandary Peak. It flows north past Blue River and Breckenridge, then through the Dillon Reservoir near Dillon. The West portal for the "Roberts Tunnel" is at the base of Dillon Reservoir. The Roberts Tunnel is a trans-basin diversion, built by Denver Water in 1962, that diverts water under the Continental Divide from the Colorado River basin into the South Plate River Basin. The East portal is approximately one mile upstream of Grants, Colorado[5].

North of Dillon the river flows NNW along the eastern slope of the Gore Range and joins the Colorado River at Kremmling.

The Green Mountain Dam, 13 miles (21 km) upstream from Kremmling, forms the Green Mountain Reservoir, providing hydroelectric power and diversionary water for irrigation, as part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. The dam is a project of the United States Bureau of Reclamation.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Blue River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-01-26.
  2. ^ "Blue River Watershed Fast Facts". Blue River Watershed Group. Archived from the original on 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
  3. ^ "USGS Gage #09057500 on the Blue River below Green Mountain Reservoir, Colorado" (PDF). National Water Information System. U.S. Geological Survey. 1943–2012. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map Archived 2012-04-05 at WebCite, accessed March 18, 2011
  5. ^ Park County Local History Archives. Roberts Tunnel. [1]. Photo 1439, accessed June 13, 2018.

External links[edit]