Colorado Attractions May 20, 2022
Built On The Side Of A Cliff, Colorado’s Hanging Flume Was A True Feat Of Engineering
Have you ever considered what it takes to construct buildings, bridges, and the like? While we take these structures for granted, more goes into them than many of us realize. While some Colorado bridges and buildings are feats of engineering, there is one structure, in particular, that was a downright marvel, which was that of the Hanging Flume:
Located in the tiny, Western Slope town of Paradox, the Hanging Flume, an open water shoot, was an incredible 12-mile-long structure that was constructed over three years.
Completed in 1891, the job of the Hanging Flume was to help facilitate gold mining via the popular hydraulic method (exploiting placer deposits via water), which consisted of drilling a wooden flume into the side of a cliff.
Sitting 100+ feet over the San Miguel and Dolores Rivers, the Hanging Flume was 6 feet wide and 4 feet deep and was comprised of 1.8 million board feet of lumber, which - when completed - could transport up to 80,000,000 gallons of water per day.
Though the project was both timely and costly, it proved to be a failure, leaving the structure abandoned less than 3 years later.
While the structure is nothing like it used to be, parts of the Hanging Flume can still be seen today at the Hanging Flume Overlook.
When you visit, you will find that much of the structure is in disrepair, as time, elements, and vandals have stripped most of its original pieces.
However, in 2012, engineers reconstructed 40-feet of the Flume and hope to continue restoring and preserving such a fascinating piece of Colorado history.
The Hanging Flume Overlook is located along Colorado Rt. 141, just southeast of Gateway and northwest of Uravan.
For even more historical places you must check out, click on
13 Historical Landmarks You Absolutely Must Visit In Colorado. Address: Hanging Flume Overlook, CO-141, Paradox, CO 81429, USA