McPhee Reservoir

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McPhee Reservoir
McPhee Reservoir (9382354510).jpg
McPhee Reservoir and dam, 2013
Location Montezuma County, Colorado
Coordinates 37°34′39″N 108°34′20″W / 37.57750°N 108.57222°W / 37.57750; -108.57222Coordinates: 37°34′39″N 108°34′20″W / 37.57750°N 108.57222°W / 37.57750; -108.57222
Type reservoir
Basin countries United States
Water volume 381,051 acre⋅ft (470,019,000 m3)
Surface elevation 6,893 ft (2,101 m)
Settlements McPhee, Colorado, a ghost town beneath the lake
Locomotive, Montezuma Lumber Company, McPhee, Colorado, 1947

McPhee Reservoir is located in Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. It was constructed and is operated by the United States Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Dolores Project, and dams the Dolores River to furnish irrigation water for Montezuma and Dolores counties and the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation.

McPhee Reservoir is named for McPhee, Colorado, a company town founded by the New Mexico Lumber Company, that is now submerged under the reservoir. In 1927, the McPhee sawmill produced over half of Colorado's lumber. The town housed up to 1,500 employees. The sawmill closed in 1946.[1]

The lake itself may be accessed from near Dolores, Colorado, by SH 145 and SH 184, and offers various boat-launching facilities, picnic areas, and campgrounds in the McPhee Recreation Area operated by the U.S. Forest Service. The lake fills the lower end of the Dolores Valley, with the dam completed in 1985 across Dolores Canyon.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mausolf, Lisa (August 1981). "Town of McPhee" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 27, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 

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