Approximately 18 miles northeast of Durango, Vallecito Reservoir is a large reservoir that is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in Colorado. At 7,800 feet above sea level, Vallecito Reservoir is the largest body of water at this elevation or higher in Colorado.
During the summer, Vallecito Reservoir a popular spot for fishing, kayaking, SUPing, boating, hiking, and picnicking.
In winter, Vallecito Reservoir freezes over allowing for ice fishing, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing right on the surface of the water itself.
One of the best ways to enjoy the scenery at Vallecito Reservoir is from a kayak or SUP. Vallecito Reservoir has calmer waters on both the northern end and southern end.
Rentals are available in many locations throughout Durango and at the Vallecito Marina itself.
Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brown trout, kokanee salmon, and northern pike are found in Vallecito Reservoir.
Power boats are allowed at Vallecito Reservoir. Boating on the calm waters allows for 360-degree views of the mountains and mesas of eastern La Plata County.
While there are many hiking trails to the north of Vallecito Reservoir, there are few established trails that start from the water's edge. However, most people will stroll along the water's edge on a makeshift beach trail.
The water at Vallecito Reservoir is clean and clear making it a great place to take a dip on a hot day. The beach is a mix of sand and silt and is great for picnicking as the water laps at your feet.
There are many picnic areas around the reservoir with both shelter and grills.
After fresh snow, Vallecito Reservoir becomes an incredible place to snowshoe and cross country ski. The Vallecito Nordic Club grooms over nine miles of managed trails that take off from the eastern shores and snake in and out of the beautiful ponderosa and oak trees
Vallecito Reservoir is a great place to ice fish. The Vallecito Lake State Park marina rents out augers and has all the supplies you need for a day of ice fishing. There are also many companies that offer guided ice fishing trips.
There are several campgrounds at Vallecito Reservoir, including Pine Point Campground, Graham Creek Campground, Pine River Campground, and Middle Mountain Campground. Advance reservations are required via recreation.gov.
Free, dispersed camping is not available near Vallecito Reservoir. The closest areas to disperse car camp for free will be on the northern end of Lemon Reservoir off of FSR 243.