"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Friday, September 16, 2016

Vallecito Lake

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.


  1. Beautiful - - visiting Vallecito Lake is on our bucket list!

  2. We made two trips to Durango but missed this place - maybe next time. Looks like a pretty area.

  3. What a nice campground. We couldn't stay up that way because of total lack of cell service but we did drive around. I did not see that multi-geo cache! What fun with the carvings and all!

  4. Thanks for the tour of CO, we love this area of the state and will have to check some of these places out when we get there again.

  5. You have had an amazing trip of a life time. It has been good to follow along.

  6. I use to do a lot of backpacking in the wilderness adjacent to the lake

    1. This is our first time and were amazed at the good condition of the trrails

  7. What a pretty lake and trail! I agree, it's good to get out before the hunters. Makes me nervous to hike during hunting season.