18 miles northeast of Durango in Southwestern Colorado surrounded by over 2.5 million acres of public land on all sides is Vallecito Lake. We stayed at Graham Creek Campground in the national forest and were once again alone but not lonely.
Tour of Carvings
A number of artistic carvings of fire damaged trees near the lake on Missionary Ridge have been created to commemorate the huge number of firefighters, EMTs, and others who fought to save lives and homes in the 2002 fire. There was a fun geo cache that involved getting clues from 7 carvings and putting together the answer to find the cache. They were quite some distance apart and we only had a couple of days at the lake since the campgrounds were closing down for the season.
We really liked Vallecito Campground along the river where many of the trails were north of the lake. We like the sound of the water as we sleep.
This was a nice moderate trail with a long drop to the river over the ledge.
At times, we walked along the stream but most of the time you couldn't see it because the canyon was too deep and steep.
A hiker we met along the trail mentioned that we hit this hike at the perfect time between tourist season and hunting. The added plus is the weather was fall like with a cool breeze.
We met a couple of cowboys hauling supplies up for the hunting pack trip that they lead.
One last morning walk before we head to Durango.