Crystal Dam is a 323-foot-tall (98 m) double curvature, concrete thin arch dam located six miles downstream from Morrow Point Dam on the Gunnison River in Colorado, USA. Crystal Dam is the newest of the three dams in Curecanti National Recreation Area; construction on the dam was finished in 1976. The dam impounds Crystal Reservoir. Crystal Dam and reservoir are part of the Bureau of Reclamation's Wayne N. Aspinall Unit of the Colorado River Storage Project, which retains the waters of the Colorado River and its tributaries for agricultural and municipal use in the American Southwest. The dam's primary purpose is hydroelectric power generation.
Crystal Dam, like the higher Morrow Point Dam farther upstream, is a thin-shell arch dam, primarily planned to generate hydroelectric power. Unlike its upstream companions, excess water spills over the top of the dam through a notched-out ungated spillway that can create a 227 feet (69 m) waterfall in times of overflow.Under normal conditions the river flows though an 11.5 feet (3.5 m) penstock to the 28 MW turbine. The dam is deep within the Black Canyon of the Gunnison in pre-Cambrian metamorphic rock.