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Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park

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images of Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park

1211 W. Highway 34
Loveland, CO 80537

4 miles west of the Dam Store / entrance to Big Thompson Canyon

View map of Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park (PDF) 

Round Mountain Trail System - Round Mountain Trailhead is located across the street from Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park on the south side of Highway 34.

How do you pronounce the name of this park? "Vee-uh-Steen" "Smith"

Park Hours for 2020 - Open May 15, 2020  - October 31 from 8:00A to dusk

Grills at Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park - gas grills ONLY; no coal or wood burning grills

New Sculpture - "Memoria" by DeWitt Godfrey

 

PARK HISTORY

 

Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park first opened one year after the historic Loveland Light and Power plant opened in 1925. In 1926 the site was expanded to include 400 acres and was opened for picnics and hiking. In 1976 the Big Thompson River experienced a dramatic flood, during which the water flowed an estimated 30,500 cubic feet per second faster than normal. The dam was washed out, approximately 1,700 feet of pipeline was destroyed, and the entire hydroelectric dam was washed away. A new efficient power plant was constructed out of the pathway of future floods, and a new flood-resistant dam replaced the one before. The plant was reopened in 1978 and the park was restored at the same time. The floods in 1976 and in 2013 devastated the park and the river cut a new path each time further south within the park. 

During the 2013 flood, the river breached, cut south in the park towards US 34 and caused severe bank erosion and scoured the park away south of the river. The flood destroyed the vehicular/pedestrian bridge, parking lot, sidewalks, irrigation pond, pump, playground and all the picnic and memorial plantings and benches. The historic Civilian Conservation Corps structure was washed away along with landscaping and trails. All associated infrastructure was destroyed. After the flood the city placed the river channel back to its pre-flood location. The city also completed other emergency repairs along with debris removal in the winter of 2014. The city now desires to work with nature and move the channel to its flood location and expand picnic and fishing opportunities on the north bank of the river, out of the floodway. 

As a general philosophy, the City desires to approach proposed bank protection, armoring, or river training measures from a perspective that strongly considers natural aesthetics and an ecologically sound approach. Therefore, bio-technical/bio-engineering measures are desirable where they are appropriate within the project constraints and hydraulic conditions. Infrastructure protection that requires traditional hard armoring (i.e., riprap) is acceptable but the approach will be to bury, hide, and use vegetation over hard armoring whenever possible.

 

Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park flood reconstruction

 

Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park history

 

  

 

Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park master plan 

 

More Historical Information

Other Information Pertaining to This Park

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