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Busk Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe is a small diversion dam in Pitkin County used to force water through an old railroad and automotive tunnel. The original Busk-Ivanhoe Tunnel was a 9,394 ft long railroad tunnel at an elevation of 10,953 ft. It was built for the Colorado Midland Railroad in 1891 as a replacement for the Hagerman Tunnel to provide a lower, more direct route. It was converted to auto traffic in 1922 as the Carlton Tunnel, a toll tunnel carrying then-State Highway 104. The tunnel permanently closed in 1943 after a partial collapse. Even with the collapse, water is still able to travel through the broken rocks to Busk Creek, which feed into Turquoise Lake. Water rights are jointly owned by Aurora and Pueblo Board of Water Works. Entry into the tunnel is strictly forbidden.

Ivanhoe Reservoir owned and operated by Pueblo Board of Water Works and is jointly operated with Aurora Water

Ivanhoe Reservoir is within the Sopris Ranger District of the White River National Forest. Area opportunities include hiking, cross-country skiing, hunting, camping, four-wheeling, and fishing.

Elevation: 10,988 feet (3,349 meters)
Capacity: 851 acre feet (1 acre foot = 325,851 gallons)
Recreation facilities operated by the U.S. Forest Service

Aurora owns one half interest of the Busk-Ivanhoe water rights and shares the system with Pueblo Board of Water Works. The water rights divert water from Ivanhoe Creek, Lyle Creek, Pan Creek and Hidden Lake Creek, all tributary to the Fryingpan River, for storage in Ivanhoe Reservoir. Stored water is transported under the Continental Divide to the Arkansas River Basin through the Ivanhoe (aka Carlton) Tunnel. Flows from the Carlton Tunnel are discharged to Busk Creek, a tributary of the Lake Fork Creek above Turquoise Reservoir where it is stored for further conveyance to Aurora. This water source provides an annual average of nearly 2,500 acre-feet to the City.

Recreational Opportunities

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