Facts & Figures

Ruedi Dam and Reservoir are facilities that belong to the U.S. Dept. of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation.


They were constructed 1964-68 by the Bureau as part of the Fryingpan-Arkansas project, which developed transbasin diversions to transfer water from Colorado’s west slope to the Front Range. The Bureau continues to manage the Dam and Reservoir, and the US Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service manages the adjacent lands. See details for the Ruedi Dam and Ruedi Hydro Project below.


  • Type: Earth and Rockfill
  • Location: On the Fryingpan River about 15 Miles East of Basalt, Colorado
  • Construction Period: 1964 to 1968
  • Ruedi Reservoir: Total Capacity to Elevation 7766: 102,369 Acre-Feet
  • Capacity: 101,280 Acre-Feet
  • Surface area: 997 Acres
  • Dimensions: Height above Streambed: 285 Feet
  • Top width: 30 Feet
  • Maximum base width: 1,453 Feet
  • Crest Length: 1,042 Feet
  • Crest Elevation: 7788.0 Feet
  • Tot volume (embankment): 3,745,200 Cubic Yards


  • Type: Single Pelton Wheel, in Line with Two Needle Valves
  • Construction Period: 1984 to 85
  • Capacity: 5.0 MW
  • Annual Output: 17-25m KWH
  • Flow: Up to 300 cfs
  • Cost: $4.5 million (City of Aspen Bond)
  • FERC License: Issued to City of Aspen and Pitkin County, 1983, Currently Held by City of Aspen
  • Construction and Maintenance Contractor: General Electric


  • Boustead Tunnel: Located on the Fryingpan River, this diversion sees an annual flow of 50,061 acre-feet. The river flows into the Lake Fork Creek in the Arkansas basin.
  • Twin Lakes Tunnel (Grizzly & Lost Man Reservoirs): This tunnel is located on the Roaring Fork River. It annually deposits 41,854 acre-feet of water into the North Fork Lake Creek, located in the Arkansas basin.
  • Busk-Ivanhoe Tunnel: This tunnel moves 5,208 acre-feet of water from the Fryingpan River to the Lake Fork Creek in the Arkansas basin. While it may not be as impressive as other tunnels, it certainly contributes to the annual flow.

The West Slope Collection System is located upstream of Ruedi Reservoir in the upper Fryingpan River and Hunter Creek watersheds.

The collection system is a series of 16 stream diversion structures and eight tunnels. The system collects spring snowmelt runoff by gravity and directs it to the Boustead Tunnel. The Boustead Tunnel conveys water collected by the West Slope Collection System under the Continental Divide and into Turquoise Lake on the East Slope.

The Bousted tunnel is five miles long and has a water conveyance capacity of 945 cubic feet per second (ft/s). Eight percent of the water in the Watershed is currently diverted to the Eastern Slope of Colorado.