Approximately 23 miles from Blue Spruce RV Park & Cabins, is a community with a Victorian downtown filled with shops, galleries, restaurants and local breweries. Several whitewater rafting companies are headquartered here. The Henry Strater Theatre is located in the Strater Hotel where you can attend a melodrama or vaudeville show. Pamper yourself at the Trimble Hot Springs.
The Durango Mountain Ski Resort is located 25 miles north of town. Durango is the southern terminal of the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The train is a coal-fired steam locomotive that makes a daily roundtrip between Durango and Silverton.
Durango hosts a number of music festivals. For those interested in classical music, please visit Music in the Mountains. The Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College offers year round events.
The northern terminal of the Durango-Silverton Railroad. Silverton was once a booming mining town. Today, Silverton is loaded with great places to shop, eat, hike, sight see and just enjoy being in the mountains. Located at over 9,000 feet elevation, Silverton was one of the mining hubs of the late 1800’s and many old mining structures still can be seen right in town and via four-wheel drive trips.
Located approximately 60 miles west of Durango, this National Park encompasses 80 square miles. It contains some of the world’s larger and best-preserved cliff dwellings. Cliff Palace is the largest and most famous of the Cliff dwellings. Experience the world of those early inhabitants of Mesa Verde. Ponder why people came here, and how they flourished within this challenging, high desert environment. Learn how social and religious structures developed into the ways still followed by contemporary Puebloan peoples across the Southwest. Compliment your understanding of today’s cultures with valuable insights about the past. Be sure to leave time to visit the Far View Visitor Center, which is open during the summer (early June through Labor Day Weekend) or the Chapin Mesa Museum which is open 8 am-6:30 pm during the summer and 8am-5pm during the rest of the year.
You can view the rich cultural heritage of the Southern Ute Indians. Visit the Sky-Ute Casino for a little gambling, bingo and goood food.
McPhee Reservoir, the second largest lake in Colorado offers fishing, camping and boating. The Anasazi Heritage Center is located here. It was built as a place to preserve and display the extensive collection from the archaeological sites identified during the reservoir excavation. The Dolores River is known as one of the top rivers in the nation for excellent fly-fishing!
Approximately 40 miles west of Cortez. The monument contains the remains of many-roomed pueblos, small cliff dwellings and towers. Stop at the Ranger station for directions before attempting to explore this Monument. Visit Hovenweep National Monument to learn more.
Located approximately 50 miles east of Bayfield. This community is the home of the largest natural hot springs in the United States. The water is claimed to have healing powers and comes out of the earth at 153 degrees. Visit The Springs Resort to learn more.
Get yourself settled in at the Blue Spruce RV Park & Cabins and you’ll find you are at the gateway to the San Juan National Forest and the Weminuche Wilderness: cascading rivers, glacial valleys and the seemingly unreachable summits of skyscraping granite that cast magical reflections in alpine pools. View Map.
The San Juan mountain region is full of mining camps and ghost towns that were centers of activity over a century ago. Many towns have withstood the test of time; others are in various stages of decay. The ruins can be accessed via hiking trails, 4×4/atv roads and 2 wheel forest roads.
One of the best ways to experience the area is to get out and explore the many forest service roads available to you. Middle Mountain Road is 11 miles long reaching 10,400 ft elevation – after that it’s four wheel drive time. The old mining town of Tuckerville is at the end of the road, but not before you pass high elevation vistas and wild flowers galore. Pine River Road follows the river to the national forest trail head. Enjoy the beauty of many open valleys and waterfalls. Florida Road, out of Lemon Reservoir, goes up pass Lost Lake to Endlich Mesa, a high flat plateau dotted with small lakes.
The Vallecito Reservoir, where water from the Pine and Vallecito Creek is impounded, has facilities for swimming, picnicking, boating, and fishing. The surface area of the reservoir at maximum capacity is 2,720 acres. Whether you take a boat out or sit along the shore enjoying an afternoon picnic, the lake has something to offer everyone.
B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Boat). What, you don’t have your own boat? Well, that’s no problem. Boat rentals (small fishing, large pontoon, pleasure boats and canoes) are available from one of Vallecito’s full service marinas. With 22 miles of shoreline there is plenty of exploring to do whether you are catching the fish or catching the site of a bald eagle or ospreys soaring overhead.
Make fishing easy? Hire friend of the park and local fishing guide Eric Diamond (that is Eric in the middle with the “Catch of the Day”). He has twenty years experience fishing on the lake and provides everything you need to catch that big fish. Learn all about the history, wildlife, weather, and local info in and about Vallecito Lake. You may even hear one of his cowboy songs.
Fishing, you ask? Of course – both fly and conventional fishing! The lake provides a great variety of fish such as brown trout, rainbow trout, northern pike, walleyes, small mouth bass and kokanee salmon. Full service marinas can outfit you with boats, tackle, rods, license and bait.
For those who seek more of a wilderness experience, the Pine River offers 50 miles of exquisite back country fly-fishing between the boundary of the Wilderness area and the Continental Divide. The upper Pine is entirely hike-in water where you will find wild fish (rainbows, brookies, browns and cutthroats).
Access to the river begins at the Pine River Trail head east of Vallecito Reservoir at Granite Peak Ranch. The first 3 miles of river above the trail head, as well as the trail itself, passes through the private ranch. No fishing is permitted on the ranch, and hikers into the wilderness must stay on the trail until reaching the national forest boundary.
Fat or skinny tires, there are unlimited miles of trails and roads. Mountain bikes and hybrids are the best choice around the Valley. Although the roads are paved around the west side of the Lake, it is strenuous effort from there. The east side has hard packed dirt/gravel roads, with many trails down and around the lakes edge. Going across the dam provides one with great views up to the Continental Divide or down into the valley. Pine River Road follows the river through a beautiful valley to the trail head at 7 miles.
For those with skinny tires, a ride to Durango, Bayfield or Lemon Dam offers miles of meandering roadways with roomy shoulders and beautiful scenery. You’re sure to meet up with locals who will welcome you to “hop on the back” and enjoy their camaraderie!
Vallecito Creek Trail is a wonderful day trip just a half-mile from Blue Spruce RV Park. Picnic tables are next to the creek where fishing, hiking and simply relaxing are at its best. The trail begins with a resplendence of natural beauty. Unfolding before your eyes are tiny pools, waterfalls and steep canyon walls. Rising high above the gorge you observe a geological phenomenon called glacial pudding. Slowly descend back down with a watchful eye and you will discover many wild flowers in the wilderness, daisies, violets, columbine and fireweed to name a few. View aerial photos of the Vallecito Creek Trail. It is no wonder Trails.com rates this a four star hike. Discover the pleasures of nature with a walk into the Weminuche Wilderness Area.
The Weminuche is an outdoor adventurer’s nirvana. Hikers can explore for days on its 500 miles of trails. Fisherman will find trout hiding in innumerable lakes and streams. Climbers will find the fourteeners in the Needles some of the easier climbs. Several of the thirteeners that dot the wilderness are even greater challenges. Looking for wildlife? You may spot deer, elk, black bear, eagles and if really lucky, bighorn sheep or cougar.
A great source of trail information is the web site for the San Juan National Forest. Check the list of Columbine Ranger District trails in the Pine River drainage for helpful information and maps.
There is no better way to explore this country than on the back of a your faithful trail horse. Hourly rides, day rides, all day rides, cowboy breakfast rides, high country and wilderness rides, sunset dinner rides, pack trips, drop camps and fall hunts. Contact one of the local stables and cowboy up for the ride of your life.
The area around Vallecito Reservoir is renowned for both fishing and hunting. The region has fantastic large game habitat for Elk, Mule Deer and Bear. It is a beautiful country and a popular hunters’ staging area.
The San Juan’s include Game Management Units 70 thru 78. Questions on where to go and how to get there? Call the San Juan Mountain Association Bookstore at (970) 247-4874. Questions on licenses and regulations? Call the Colorado Division of Wildlife at (970) 247-0855. Looking for an outfitter, contact one of the local services.
Vallecito Lake is a magical winter wonderland. We are renting kids and adult snowshoes this year. Experience cross-country skiing around or across the frozen lake. The Pine River Nordic Club offers groomed trails free of charge. Groomed snowmobile trails are maintained by the San Juan Sledders. Use Vallecito as your winter headquarters for ski vacation or activities such as cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowshoeing, or just relaxing in front of a warming fire. The Blue Spruce RV Park & Cabins is centrally located between Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort(52 Miles) and the Wolf Creek Ski Area(60 Miles).
Mileage Chart or How Close is It To . . .
|Durango Mountain Resort||52|
|Salt Lake City||440|
|Wolf Creek Ski Area||60|