Dam Monticello (USA) – description, history, location. Exact address, phone number, website. Reviews of tourists, photos and videos.

In sunny California, in Napa County, there is a strange landscape: you look at the pictures and wonder what the catch is. In the middle of Lake Berryessa, surrounded by picturesque wooded hills, a funnel gapes – cubic meters of water for no reason falls right into the bowels of the earth, as if a little more, and everything around will be sucked into the abyss. But no, nature has not gone mad, and the funnel is the creation of human hands. As well as the lake itself with an area of ​​80 sq. km, the second largest artificial reservoir in the state. But under it is a real flooded city: no one was hurt, but still creepy.

A bit of history

It all began in 1843, when the spouses José de Jesus and Sixtas Berriessa received land from the governor for a ranch, which they later named “Las Putas” – in honor of the Puta Creek, which still crosses the valley. But soon the couple accumulated gambling debt and, in order to pay off creditors, sold part of the property. The ranch was snapped up piece by piece by the farmers who founded the town of Monticello: thanks to the idyllic climate, wheat grew to heaven.

Through Monticello, they opened the road to the Devil’s Gate in the Napa Valley, at the beginning of the 20th century they discovered oil – in general, the infrastructure developed rapidly. But in winter, Puta Creek overflowed its banks, and a dam was indispensable. First, they built a bridge – the largest to the east of the Rocky Mountains, 91 meters long, and half a century later – a grandiose reservoir with several dams and canals. The protests of local residents were in vain: the vegetation was cut down, the cemetery was moved, and the city itself was completely flooded along with the bridge – too strong, and therefore not subject to demolition.

What to watch

The Monticello dam became famous thanks to the very funnel called the “Hole of Glory”. This is a cone-shaped concrete pipe 21 m deep with an inlet diameter of 22 m, tapering downward to 8.5 m.In the dry season, it rises formidably above the lake, and in the rainy season, when the volume of water in the reservoir exceeds 2 million cubic meters. m, completely hidden under the surface and lets through up to 1370 cubic meters. m per second.

Swimming near the funnel is strictly prohibited, but this does not stop some extreme sportsmen. And when the water level drops, rollers, skateboarders and cyclists cut through the spillway.

The dam itself is located about 60 m from the “Glory Hole”: it is a gigantic structure 93 m high with a ridge length of 312 m, the construction of which took almost 250 thousand cubic meters. m of concrete. Now there is a hydroelectric power plant that provides energy and water to the vicinity of the San Francisco Bay.

Practical information

Address: Napa, Lake Berryessa, CA 94558, USA. GPS coordinates: 38.5133; 122.1042. Website (in English).

How to get there: by car from Sacramento, Oakland or San Francisco, there is no public transport.

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