Taylor Park Dam is on the Taylor River, a tributary of the Gunnison River. The dam is a zoned earthfill structure 206 feet high, with a crest length of 675 feet and a volume of 1,115,000 cubic yards. It creates a reservoir with a storage capacity of 106,200 acre-feet. The spillway is an overflow-type weir crest 180 feet long with a capacity of 10,000 cubic feet per second. The outlet works is a horseshoe tunnel with a diameter of 10 feet, and a capacity of 1,500 cubic feet per second.
The Taylor Park damsite is on the western flank of the Sawatch Mountains. It is characterized by complexly folded and faulted Precambrian rocks unconformably overlain by Paleozoic sediments. During the Laramide Orogeny, the area was subjected to uplift, folding, and thrust faulting. Renewed movement, probably during the Miocene period, dissected the area with a series of highangle normal faults. The last major process to affect the area was glaciation which modified the preexisting erosional valleys by additionally carving or filling them with debris.
The dam is founded on highly jointed bedrock, alluvial deposits, and some talus cone material. The left abutment is composed of Precambrian metamorphic rock, predominantly phyllites or finegrained schists with nearly vertical structural attitude. The right abutment is founded in Paleozoic folded sedimentary rocks composed of sandstone, overlain by quartzites and dolomitic limestone. The contact between the two formations occurs at the base of the right abutment as a fault zone. The fault zone, investigated by borings, test excavations and tunnels, consisted of a crushed zone several feet wide, with material altered to a soft gouge due to weathering. Much of this material was removed during construction activities. Several small secondary faults with minor crushed zones were also uncovered during the foundation excavation.
The alluvial materials are found above the phyllite, under the downstream embankment shell, from about 75 feet downstream of centerline to the downstream toe. Material is predominately well graded to poorly graded gravel with varying amounts of silt, sand and cobbles. In this area, the foundation was not stripped to bedrock.