The Alluvial Fan
On July 15, 1982 at 5:30 a.m. Lawn Lake broke through the terminal moraine that had held since the end of the last ice age, thousands of years ago. The release of 29 million gallons of water swept trees and car-sized boulders four miles down to the valley floor. In addition to tons of lighter rocks, gavel and sand creating a 42-acre alluvial fan. A trash collector heard the waters crashing down the Roaring River and called park rangers, who evacuated campers at Aspenglen campgrounds. Two were lost to the flood at the campground and one along the Roaring River. Much of the flood's force was weakened while submerging the meadows of Horseshoe Park, but still had enough force to flood the town of Estes Park to a depth of six feet. Lake Estes to the east of town contained the floodwaters preventing further damage.