Monticello Dam

by Dan on April 25, 2011

Incredible sight of Monticello Dam draining (Lake Berryessa, CA) photographs #scifi #bathtub

This bathtub drain spillway last saw action May 2006 due to low rainfall. Try to comprehend the magnitude of it’s size. The hole diameter is 72ft (22m) wide whilst the critical drop is 280ft (86m). That’s a man-made monster of humongous proportions.


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dan Sellars April 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm



To give you an idea of the kind of structure, this image below is a similar design from Germany. Our thanks to Dave (daveatsea2002) for helping us to duly credit the correct this omission. We included since we felt it provides a similar feel for what they did in California. This is link to that dam:


The Glory Hole” as local’s call it – This Bathtub Drain Spillway last saw action May 2006 due to low rainfall – DRAIN diameter 72ft (22m) wide & FALL is 280ft (86m) – Lake Level @ 440.89ft – 0.89 feet over spillway edge – Highest Lake level recorded over 446ft – DAM behind the HOLE holds Lake Level to 455.5ft – Top of DAM 456ft


2 Dave May 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Hi, resident of SF here and big fan (if that’s possible?) of the spillway. Thanks for mentioning its massive size – the 72′ opening really Never, Ever, looks that big in photos. Think of something 72′ wide, the lot your house is on, perhaps, or the broadest street your city, then think of it fitting into that opening!!

Anyway, I write because that last photo from Dan Sellers, the one of the dry lakebed and “funnel” is not here in California, I believe that photo is of a dam in Germany:


3 Dan Sellars May 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Hey Dave, Good comment. Duly added the credit. Amazing sight of a spillway. It gives us all the chills thinking about it.


4 Jamie June 17, 2011 at 5:18 am

Whoa! This is really amazing. A sight like that is incredibly a masterpiece. I wonder if someone fell there? But this really amazed me. Thanks for sharing.


5 Annette October 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm

It looks amazing, but I don’t get all the hooplah. Just appreciate nature and the gorgeous background. It’s fantastic.


6 Ramona Graciano April 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm

How fascinating!! I will visit the site soon!!


7 ellen bieber May 13, 2012 at 2:54 pm

wheres the bottom of this?????? *kinda scared*


8 Emma October 18, 2013 at 8:14 pm

I don’t think this is possible. Looks like a photoshop job to me. Yes, the round cement looks like a clear explanation, but I dunno about that. Where does the water go to?


9 Annette October 21, 2013 at 3:56 pm

The location is so gorgeous. Why the trickery?


10 efpierce October 24, 2013 at 9:14 pm

I would imagine the bottom of the spillway looks like the hole my sump pump is in underneath my house. I had to change it out this year and was expecting all kinds of muck and who-knows-what-else, but it was surprisingly clean and just covered with some pebbles. The water actually looked potable even for how much is was always moving.


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