There’s a Waterfall Just Outside the City of Grand Junction
Have you ever laid eyes on this little waterfall? It can be easily found in Grand Junction. Chances are you've gone right past it hundreds of times.
Okay, 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.
The waterfall can be spotted from the Audubon portion of the Riverfront Trail... sometimes. The image above was captured Saturday, January 16, 2021. Depending on when you walk the trail, this "waterfall" can be anything from a small amount of water, as much as you'd expect from a typical neighborhood ditch to an awesome landmark.
On some occasions, yesterday, January 17 for example, you'll find it frozen solid with no water. The elapsed time between the photo above and the one below is less than 24 hours.
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.
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 Riverfront Trail on the Redlands whenever possible, and keep an eye open for it.