Chatfield Dam was the second of three dams built to reduce flooding risks in the Denver area. Located southwest of Denver on the South Platte River, construction of the dam was begun in 1967 and was completed in 1975. The dam measures approximately 13,136 feet in length with a maximum height of 147 feet from the streambed to the top of the dam.
Chatfield Lake lies on the South Platte River at its confluence with Plum Creek, near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains about 25 miles southwest of downtown Denver. The lake is 2 miles long and has an average depth of 47 feet. The lake drains an area of approximately 3,018 square miles. The 1,479-surface-acre lake has a storage capacity of 27,046 acre-feet.
The dam and reservoir are owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps leases 5,381 land and water acres to the State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation to operate Chatfield State Park.The Corps has leased separate portions of its Chatfield property to the Colorado Division of Wildlife for fish production and rearing areas, and to the City and County of Denver, which in turn has a management agreement with Denver Botanic Gardens.