Sheltered in a secluded mountain valley 8,000 feet above the sea,
Vallecito Lake is one of the largest and most beautiful bodies of
water in all of Colorado. It
sits in the heart of the unspoiled San Juan National Forest. Only
23 miles northeast of Durango,
Vallecito Lake offers a variety of accommodations and recreational
Relax and take advantage of record-breaking fishing, boating, fantastic
hiking trails and horseback riding in the summer. Fall brings spectacular colors and cool mountain evenings, just right
for sleeping. There's also world-class hunting for elk and deer, all
with fully equipped guide services. Enjoy miles of cross-country skiing
and snowmobiling trails in winter. Year-round there are opportunities
to discover breathtaking scenery, as well as yourself, at Vallecito
There are RV parks, campgrounds, a laundromat, cabins and lodges, and several restaurants in Vallecito.
It is a great destination for family reunions and weddings.
One of the hiking trails along the waters edge.
Either from shore or boat, Lake Vallecito offers great fishing for Trout or Northern Pike. The record for the biggest Northern Pike caught in Colorado is from Lake Vallecito.
The dam for Vallecito was completed in 1941 to provide irrigation water and flood control for the Pine River Valley below. The road across the dam will get you to fishing areas, several private summer cabins, and several Forest Service campgrounds. Check with the Forest Service at 970-884-2512 or 970-247-4874 on the status of campgrounds and hiking trails in areas affected by the 2002 fire. But, as you can see from the photos on this page, despite the fire, Lake Vallecito offers numerous recreational opportunities and beautiful scenery.
Carving at Vallecito Resort
This is the first of 14 Chainsaw carvings created from trunks of trees killed in the Missionary Ridge Fire. The carvings are a memorial to the people and wild creatures affected by the fire, and the people who helped fight it. The carvings are at businesses and public places along the lake. A brochure is available at local tourist spots showing all the locations.