When & Where To See This Awesome Grand Junction Waterfall
Depending on what's going on with the Redlands Canal, this can be a tiny waterfall, or it can be an awesome feature on the Audubon Trail. This is how the waterfall looked on Tuesday, December 20, 2022.
Awesome Grand Junction Colorado Hike in the Winter
Technically speaking this waterfall is a few hundred feet outside of Grand Junction city limits. Then again, it's surrounded by neighborhoods inside city limits including Power Road, High Pointe Circle, and E Mayfield Drive.
You'll find this waterfall a few thousand feet from the trailhead on Grand Junction's Audubon Trail. The amount of water emanating from this waterfall depends on when you see it. It can be anything from dry as a bone, to a small ditch emptying into the canal. This last Tuesday, it was something entirely different.
It's Easy To Miss
It's possible you've walked right past this waterfall a dozen times and didn't know it. Depending on your point along the trail, the waterfall can go unseen. Check out the photo below. Do you see it?
How about now?
How about now?
January 2021 Compared to December 2022
On some occasions, you'll find it frozen solid with no water. Fast forward one year, and it's flowing at a slow rate, adding a nice touch to the trail. Sometimes, and not often, depending on how much water is needed to be diverted from the canal, the waterfall can make for an impressive sight.
Where Does The Water Come From?
Looking at the Grand Junction city map, you can see the water originates from the Redlands Canal. According to Redlands Water and Power:
The Redlands Project was originally conceived and organized as the REDLANDS IRRIGATION AND POWER COMPANY in 1905, for the operation of irrigation and a hydro-electric plant. The Company was financed by private investors. The organization filed on the land under the Desert Entry Act. The first construction work was started in 1905 and the first land irrigated in 1907.
A call was placed to Redlands Water and Power to ask about the drastic increase in water. They informed me the increase occurs when they have to bypass the main plant to the east. Ice builds up in the canal and they divert the water to the point I'm referring to as the "waterfall."
According to Redlands Water and Power, the waterfall runs at roughly 700 CFS. The last time I checked, a cubic foot of water is almost 7-1/2 gallons. By my limited math, that's a pretty good chunk of water.
When Can You See It?
Diverting the water is done when needed. With that in mind, there's really no way of knowing when the waterfall will appear. All I can say is visit the Audubon Trail on the Redlands whenever possible, and keep an eye open for it.