The Big Thompson Flood  LbNA # 13191

Placed DateJan 22 2005
LocationLoveland, CO
Found ByShemaAcademy
Last UpdateJul 25 2015
Hike Distance?

The Big Thompson Flood

***This box was replaced 5/2/2015. Please note a slight change in the clues.***

This letterbox is the third in a series commemorating the history of Northern Colorado, and will take you to various outdoor historical sites.

On July 31st, 1976 the Big Thompson Canyon was filled with residents and visitors. This normal seeming Saturday morning the state of Colorado was celebrating it’s Centennial, and also the final weekend before students would return to school for the next school year.

A weak but moist easterly flow was forming on the east side of the Rockies with air rising up the mountain’s slopes. This was enhanced by a warm day causing cumulus clouds to spring up. As the day continued, these same clouds developed into cumulonimbus, followed by a thunderstorm and heavy rain.

Normally the winds in this area are strong enough to push thunderstorms to the east, but on this day the winds were extremely weak causing the rain to remain stationary over the mountain. Because the mountain is comprised greatly of sheer rock, there was little vegetation and soil to absorb the rainfall. Eight inches fell in one hour and the rose so quickly that it sent huge boulders hurling downstream. Within 2 hours the flood created over $30 million in property damage and killing at least 139 people and injuring another 88, with 7 missing. The flood destroyed 316 homes, 45 mobile homes, and 52 businesses.

During the flood, a large green “monster” was washed nearly a half mile down stream from it’s perch. If you know of this “monster” you may head directly there. If not, follow the clues below. (This green “monster” is no longer green but is now tan in color)


1. From the city of Love you will head against the rivers flow on “Dwight’s” road.

2. After driving a few miles out of town you will notice a store that beavers would truly love! Park here.

3. Walk to the west end of the store and look to the west and see the large “monster” perched above the road exiting one mountain side and entering the other.

4. You will find a large lilac bush behind a fence with a small opening in the fence to it's west. Under the bush you will see a rock formation near the fence with a cool "orange rock" covering this boxes new home. This location is more susceptible to being found or seen by people, but is far less likely to wash down stream than the last location.

Please attempt to hide the box better than you found it as this location can draw many people, especially in the summer, that may not appreciate letterboxing the way that you an I do. Also, since this is a public place, please be discreet. Leave a message in the journal if you wish. If you want, please let me know when you find the box and it‘s condition. After you are done, check out the other letterboxes in Northern Colorado.

Planted by Ramdelt.
A handmade stamp, journal.