The Failed Tetonia Dam

The Failed Tetonia Dam

This particular failed dam site is about 20 minutes from the home where we stayed while visiting Tetonia, Utah. It was ominous, to say the least.
From the rocky gravel winding road down into the bottom of the reservoir to the general foreboding feeling I got while we were there, I’ve decided I have no business visiting disaster sites. At all. I think I’ll stay away from battlegrounds as well and stick to nature trails and happy waterfall places…

“The Teton Dam was an earthen dam on the Teton River in Idaho, United States. It was built by the Bureau of Reclamation, one of eight federal agencies authorized to construct dams. Located in the eastern part of the state, between Fremont and Madison counties, it suffered a catastrophic failure on June 5, 1976, as it was filling for the first time.
The collapse of the dam resulted in the deaths of 11 people and 13,000 head of cattle. The dam cost about $100 million to build, and the federal government paid over $300 million in claims related to its failure. Total damage estimates have ranged up to $2 billion. The dam has not been rebuilt.”

August 26, 2015


  1. BobbieZen !!! We lived not too far from there for a dozen years! (Only visited the dam site once, though.) We’ve explored a lot of the back country in that area many, many times. Gosh, if you had just gotten there earlier we could have met. Like, maybe 20 years earlier?


  2. William Parmley I really enjoyed exploring the land out there…The waterfalls, the off the road fishing spots… Beautiful area! This place just had a sadness to it that was hard to describe. I’m sure once was enough.


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