4.5
2 votes

Monticello Dam

Lake Berryessa, Napa, California 94558 USA

Free
Free to Visit
Open Now
Sun 12a-11:59p
  • Independent
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“holding back Putah Creek from Lake Berryessa”

This Dam holds back Putah Creek from Lake Berryessa. It is in the gap between Blue Ridge/Rocky Ridge to the north and Pleasants Ridge to the south leading to Mount Vaca. While most dams have a spillway to the side to manage high waters, Monticello Dam features the less-conventional morning glory spillway, which is basically a concrete funnel surrounded on all sides by water. Putah Creek is recommenced from the waters discharged from the dam. The Solano Irrigation District operates the dam with permission of the United States Bureau of Reclamation. Solano Irrigation District provides water to many farmers in Solano County. When the dam was built, the town of Monticello had to be razed. Allegedly, two large bulldozers linked together by a chain were used to flatten the remains. When the lake is low, the foundations of the town are visible. Engineering estimates state that if the dam was completely vaporized (i.e., no rubble at all remained) it would flood Davis with about 3 meters of water. However the dam would never actually disappear without leaving any rubble behind. It would probably be an event like the St. Francis Dam disaster. —Steven Daubert notes that plenty of rubble remained in the St Francis Dam disaster... The Winters Express newspaper is known as the "Gateway to the Monticello Dam" and uses the dam in their masthead.  For news about Lake Berryessa, including current lake level information, check out the Lake Berryessa e-news 

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Reviewed by
itnkicn

  • 1 Review
  • 2 Helpful
October 31, 2013

the drive to this lake sucks and there is like no beach its a boat lake.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Greek_nomad

  • Road Warrior
  • 401 Reviews
  • 283 Helpful
September 25, 2014
Rated 5.0

Structural engineers and architects, people that love exploring constructions, this is your place!

We drove up to the east end of Monticello Dam and saw this mechanical miracle that protects the area.

It is very high and the interesting about this is how the remains of the old city can be seen when the water level is low.

Take your cameras and don't miss a thing out there!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
matt.white.5680

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
October 30, 2013

There is also a morning glory spillway at Pleasant Hill Dam in Mohican State Park in Ohio as well!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
bzatica

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
October 30, 2013

Also check out the morning glory hole in Owyhee Dam Reservoir in Oregon!

1 person found this review helpful

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Monticello Dam

Lake Berryessa
Napa, California
94558 USA

Hours

Open 24 hours today
  • Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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