After the flood

UPDATE: I just posted another set of photos, this time of Fourmile between Logan Mill and Gold Run.

This post is a survey of flood damage in lower Fourmile canyon, between Poorman road and “Smokey the Bear”

The last few days have been intense living up in Fourmile Canyon. Over 7″ of rain on the night of 9.12.13 caused major flooding. Mudslides, from the 2011 burn scars up canyon, scoured the channel of Fourmile Canyon Creek.

puzzle pieces

One of the only pieces of trash I found in the flood debris, fittingly. Good job, neighbors, for keeping fourmile clean!

fireman boy

Father and son on the southwest side of the creek, near Smokey the bear.

This morning (9.14.13), between 8:45am and 9:45am, I walked down canyon from our house, which is located at the junction of Poorman and Fourmile. Staying mostly on the northeast side of the road and creek, I surveyed the flood damage on the road. I stopped at the “Smokey the Bear” fire danger sign, which is approximately 0.8 miles from Boulder Canyon (hwy 119). In this one mile, I saw many spots where the road was completely washed out, undercut, or flowing with water. Below is a series of photos, tagged with the GPS coordinates. They start near Poorman, and end at Smokey.

I spoke with a few residents who told me that, below the Smokey sign, Fourmile road was mostly undamaged, with just some debris on the road. If true, this means that the stretch between Poorman and Smokey is the worst section in the lower canyon. Above is passable via Poorman, and below is accessible from Boulder Canyon (if hwy 119 is open).

If you are resident of Fourmile, or just interested in more detailed photos, please email me and I’ll try to help. I have hundreds of photos of this stretch of canyon, all tagged with Lat/long.

overview map 2

Overview map

location 1

pano 1

Looking upcanyon at the water on the road. This location had the greatest amount of water still over the road, so it was difficult to guess how much damage was done to the road itself.

flipped truck pano

That looks like a classic truck! Note the road is in the foreground, completely covered by water.


looking down from loc 1

Looking downcanyon from N 40 1′ 48.4″ W 105 20′ 25.8″

fourmile pano

A panorama from same.

loc 3


This was on of the worst undercuts, with almost the entire road surface gone.

biggest undercut



1267 map


40 1′ 36.4″N 105 20′ 16.2″W
Just downcanyon from 1267 Fourmile Canyon Dr.





Bridge at 1175 Fourmile Canyon Dr.

I think this house is 1175 Fourmile Canyon Dr.  40° 1'34.82"N 105°20'14.36"W

I think this house is 1175 Fourmile Canyon Dr.
40° 1’34.82″N 105°20’14.36″W

This house barely survived.

This house barely survived. Not sure the address, but very near 1107 Fourmile Canyon Dr.

Same house.

Same house.

In front of that house.

In front of that house.


The driveway bridge at 1107 Fourmile Canyon Dr.

This couple, and their pup, were on the southwest (wrong) side of the creek. They did find a bridge, though, and (I think) hiked successfully into town.

This couple, and their pup, were on the southwest (wrong) side of the creek. They did find a bridge, though, and (I think) hiked successfully into town.

Hikers on their way

Hikers on their way

map 4




Taken from : N 40deg 1' 30.7"  W 105deg 20' 7.6"

Taken from :
N 40deg 1′ 30.7″ W 105deg 20′ 7.6″

Scary propane tank!!

Scary propane tank!!

Just downcanyon from the propane tank. Mailbox for  1033 Fourmile Rd. on the right.

Just downcanyon from the propane tank. Mailbox for 1033 Fourmile Canyon Dr. on the right.

A paper-thin piece of asphalt.

A paper-thin piece of asphalt.
40° 1’31.08″N 105°20’5.26″W

Don't get on the bus!!

Don’t get on the bus!!


A surviving bridge!

A surviving bridge!


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to After the flood

  1. Barbara says:

    Thanks so much for sharing these photos in your blog. I have a video of our house at 5853 fourmile. It is so important to document. This is a touching set of very well done pictures!

  2. melanie sheffield says:

    Thank you so much for getting these pictures of my sister’s home. The waiting is excruciating and I think your efforts are comforting.

  3. Carolyn Drews says:

    Thank you soo much for posting these pictures – we hiked out thru Betasso on Fri nt and hitched a ride to town with the ranger, now staying with friends in Denver. Our house is at 1061 Fourmile and was ok when we left. Looks like our bridge still intact. We are worried about our neighbors, the pic of man and little boy on other side of bridge. If you do go back down there, could you let them know power off til 9/18 per Xcel website. They have friends near entrance of Betasso they can stay with if needed. Thanks once again! Carolyn Drews

  4. Thank you for sharing this and great job of documenting.

  5. Sue Haran says:

    Thanks for taking the time to record and share the aftermath of the flood. We used to live at 1107 Four Mile and are still “attached” to the canyon and our friends there.

  6. KB says:

    These are amazing photos. Thank you for sharing them. I live nearby but not in 4 mile Canyon.

    As a long time photographer and blogger, I’d suggest that you watermark these or you are going to see them in newspapers and on TV. You have photos that nobody else has – which makes them very valuable.

  7. liz says:

    Any word that The Berbaums are ok? Greg and Delores and kiddos?

  8. ropeandsummit says:

    Thanks everyone. I don’t have specific info on any people or families right now.

  9. Donald H. says:

    Great job, Scott.

  10. Dean says:

    Scott: Thanks for these pictures and the report. We live on Logan Mill Road and have not seen nor heard anything about the condition of that road. We know that the bridge at Logan and Fourmile is washed out. There are some amazing videos from Poorman upto Logan and of Wendelyn at the following youtube:

  11. Barbara says:

    I hope this link works….
    Here is a video on Facebook that my husband took trying to rescue us from higher up fourmile! This is the road at the Mill Site not sure of the address or mileage there but the road is just destroyed….

  12. Barbara says:

    This video at our house: 5853 Fourmile Canyon Dr. was taken Friday morning the 13th. We woke up at our neighbors house up the way across the street. When I looked out the window of their house the dirt road about a quarter mile up was 2/3rd of the way gone. The Goldhill/Fourmile split is completely washed out and both houses by the red barn are shifted off of their foundation and 1 gone. Another couple had a rock and mud slide come through their backyard but were eventually lifted out while yet another house below us was taken by a mudslide and the folks inside were dug out of the mudslide in their house by neighbors. Everyone survived and I know at least half of us were helicoptered out Friday night.

    • Scott says:

      This second link isn’t working. I have family in the four mile area (all are safe). Any updates on photos or videos is much appreciated.

  13. Joan Sheffield says:

    We are located in the Adirondack Mtns of NY and greatly appreciate the pictures of the Fourmile area where our daughter and her family reside. Such devastation! Thank God our daughter Lisa, our great son-in-law Jeffery, and our twin grand-sons Francis and Leo are safe.What a priceless job you have done Scott! Thank you for caring and sharing your gift of communication. Bill & Joan Sheffield

    • Carolyn Drews says:

      Bill and Joan — We are Geoffry and Elisabeth’s neighbors to the east of their house. I think their house will be ok and our house is so far. We hiked out on Friday and are now in town. We just need to get the road cleared and electricity on up there… Take care – Carolyn Drews

  14. douginboulder says:

    Thank you for taking the time to explore and document this. Your images, and text, are invaluable.
    Doug Young
    Sunshine Canyon
    (just uphill to the east, and frequent Four Mile user)

  15. I was just visiting Colorado a month ago and went to visit Carolyn at the home I built at 1061 Fourmile. It is good to hear that the home is OK and that the bridge survived. My thoughts go out to all my old neighbors and friends and I wish everyone a speedy recovery.

  16. Gary Bohman says:

    Great photos, Scott. The photos of the father and son are my nephew and great nephew. Good to see them smiling as always. Thank you from Todd’s family.

  17. Brian and Denise Fischer says:

    Thank you so much for these pictures. We have family on Poorman Road, the Fischers. My husband grew up there and we were just there visiting the end of August (2 weeks ago). We usually come the end of September, first of October so we can enjoy the leaves (we live in East Texas). I’m so glad we came early this year or we would not get to see them this year. My husband’s dad is 94 so each visit is precious, because we know it could be our last with him. My husband’s mother passed last year. We have been in touch with them and they did not know the condition of lower fourmile. I am forwarding this to them. Thanks again.

  18. Cary says:

    Hey – Whose propane tank are you calling scary?? That is my tank and I take offense to such labeling.. Yeah, I’m kidding but that is my tank! By the way, I checked and it is empty so it really isn’t scary (anymore). Anyone who wants to help me get it back into my yard, please let me know. All kidding aside, I am very sorry for my neighbors whose homes were hit hard by mud and water. I am hoping you guys are all safe!

  19. Mark D Longo says:

    Awesome job documenting, thank you. I lived at 785 Fourmile for many years and love that canyon.

  20. Barbara says:

    a short video of the Fourmile-Goldhill Junction taken yesterday Sept. 18th

  21. Barbara says:

    trying again

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s