Published on December 22, 2023
A repair project that necessitated closure of the Los Alamos Canyon Reservoir and the road leading to it has been paused until the spring, opening up access for hikers once again.
The project involves rehabilitation of the damaged stream channel. It is a collaboration among the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU), Keystone Restorative Ecology and Natural Channel Design. The first phase focused on the fortification and restoration of the road and removal of the large quantity of sediments in the reservoir.
Much of the road fortification work completed in the fall involved using rocks from the Piñon School Reconstruction Project. They are porous, angular, heavy, and allow water to flow through without being affected by the pressure. The road was washed out by storm waters in March 2019.
When the project resumes in the spring (date yet to be determined), work will focus on restoration of the riparian area to help it absorb water rather than channel it at high velocities through the canyon.
The Los Alamos Canyon Reservoir and most of the road leading to it is on Santa Fe National Forest land. About a third of the road is on Department of Energy land. Los Alamos County owns the water in the reservoir and has a special access/maintenance easement for operation of the reservoir and pipeline infrastructure. The county does not have jurisdiction over it for recreational purposes.