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May 6, 2008

Hinds Pumping Plant

The Hinds Pumping Plant is the pump on the Colorado River Aqueduct that you can easily see from I-10 east of Coachella Valley. Most people call it Hayfield, since that's the name on the exit. But in 1967 it was renamed for Julian Hinds.

This is the last pump on the aqueduct and raises the water up above 1,700 feet so it can cruise the rest of the way into the L.A. area. Here's the Google satellite view of the pumping plant.

All my photos of the Hinds plant can be found here or if you want to see these plus all my photos from the Eagle Mountain Pumping Plant, go here. Here are some samples:
Hinds Pumping Plant View (3)

Hind Pumping Station

Hinds Pumping Plant (7936)

Hinds Pumping Plant (7924)
You can see where the reservoir used to be.
They used the reservoir only for the first few years, but it was unlined and too much water was lost into the ground.

Hinds Pumping Plant (7926)
This used to be the intake from the reservoir.

Hinds Pumping Plant (7900)
Gardner looking over the sand trap.

Hinds Pumping Plant (7919)
If all nine pumps are turned on the water overshoots the tunnel and carves away at the rocks above.
This is the point where the water enters the tunnel under the Little San Bernardinos. It's all downhill from here as the water travels around Desert Hot Springs, under White Water Canyon, under I-10 and then under Mt. San Jacinto.

Hinds Pumping Plant (7907)

Hinds Pumping Plant (7885)

Hinds Pumping Plant (0686)

Hinds Pumping Plant (7890)

Hinds Pumping Plant (7898)
After passing through the sand trap.

Colorado River Aqueduct Map (0659)

Hinds Pumping Plant (0687)

Hinds Pumping Plant (0685)

Julian Hinds (0654)
In 1967 it was renamed from "Hayfield Pumping Plant" to "Julian Hinds Pumping Plant."

Hinds Pumping Plant (0692)

Hinds Pumping Plant (7910)

Hinds Pumping Plant (7888)
Before R2D2 and C3PO...

Hinds Pumping Plant (0682)
Click for video.

Hinds Pumping Plant (7918)
Click for video.

Hinds Pumping Plant (7922)
Click for video.

Filed under California,Photography | permalink | May 6, 2008 at 01:26 PM


Great information! I’m an old gas pipeliner from Ohio, and noticed this from I 10......recognized it as some sort of pipeline.
Very interesting, using Isaac Newton’s discovery to move water, and quite a distance!

Posted by: Jack Moyer at Mar 28, 2022 6:49:48 PM

I have wondered for YEARS what that plant was and this time when I was heading into California on I-10 west, I noticed Waze was displaying the name and looked it up, bringing me to your page. Thanks for the info!

Posted by: Charles Whealton at Dec 21, 2021 1:55:47 PM

Amazing we are driving north and we see something close the hill of the mountain and I look it in my phone what was that and found all the information about it we were impressed about all .

Posted by: Martha Araujo at Dec 7, 2019 9:48:12 AM

Oh my, yes, indeed. Here west of Eagle Mountain Road and east of Hayfield the aqueduct is on the surface, only a mile or so north of the highway. From I-10 it will look like just a dirt-colored line. You may be able to make out the v-shaped levees on the uphill side that channel water runoff from the mountains to underpasses.

The most obviously visible element is at Hayfield itself where the giant silver-colored pipes carry the water uphill into the mountains.

West from Hayfield the aqueduct is all underground, but between Hayfield and the Cactus City rest stop you can see tailings from its construction in some of the canyons where the aqueduct dips deep underground to pass beneath the canyon.

West of the Cactus City rest stop I-10 and the aqueduct diverge. They come back together again east of Cabazon where the aqueduct passes under I-10. The only surface evidence of it there, however, is the road maintained by MWD. If you look carefully south of I-10 you may be able to pick out the tailings from the construction of the aqueduct under Mt. San Jacinto.

Posted by: Ron's Log at Feb 22, 2010 2:00:47 PM

Can the aqueduct be seen from anywhere along I-10 as you are traveling westbound from Blythe to Disneyland (i.e., from Blythe on into Riverside County toward Colton?)

Posted by: don at Feb 22, 2010 11:54:11 AM

I was interested in this because my dad was one of the workers who constructed this pump station when I was an infant. He used to point it out to me whenever we drove past it on the highway in later years.

Posted by: David E. Casteel at Jan 9, 2010 8:09:39 PM

There's more info at this other posting. Our tour was arranged by a member of Great Outdoors who works there, but they did seem eager to encourage visitors. Contact the Metropolitan Water District to arrange for a tour.

Posted by: Ron's Log at May 7, 2009 9:19:42 PM

Thank you so much for the great pictures. Always wondered about the enclave and pipes you can see from I-10. How did you arrange a tour?

Posted by: Linda at May 7, 2009 3:33:37 PM

Thanks for sharing your photo's. It is amazing to see the quality of work that went into this water conveyance project and how well it is being maintained. I only wish I could of been on the tour also.

Posted by: Bob Wall at Mar 22, 2009 5:50:47 PM

Amazing engineering showing great forethought and conservative design.
I bet most Angelenos don't have a clue of how their water gets to them,
and at what cost.

Also, I very surprised you got to see it, let alone take all those hi-rez photos.
The Hoover Dam tour has been greatly curtailed because of (in service to?)
the Culture of Fear.

Posted by: b at May 6, 2008 3:51:21 PM

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