Colorado Snow Pack and Water Supply

As we’re getting into the prime paddling season in Colorado it’s helpful to have an idea how much snow pack ┬áthere is and therefore the upcoming melt-off/run-off we’ll have for flowing rivers and filling reservoirs. Some rivers, like the Yampa, don’t have reservoirs in Colorado which means there is a very specific time to float the river. The water is unregulated so, later in the season, it may not be very floatable. But, it all depends on the amount of snow in mountains.

Colorado has quite a bit of snow in the northern half of the state, but the southern half, well . . . not so much. Check out the Colorado Snow Survey and Water Supply report at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for Colorado. It’s a pretty handy site. Click on the latest month and scroll to the bottom of the press release to see the, percent median snowpack, percent last year’s snowpack, percent average reservoir storage and Last year’s percent average reservoir storage.

So, putting this in perspective, our paddle last Saturday at Rampart Reservoir showed the water at only 3 feet or so below what appears to be the high water mark on the boulders. And, though the water comes from near Buena Vista, there is still plenty of snow in those mountains as well as on Pike’s Peak, as you can see in the photos.

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