Bathrooms are very clean. There is a designated parking area for hikers that is free. Parrotts Ferry Rd, Vallecito, CA 95251. Parking is available at the trailhead. Back down to Vallecito Creek and its bridges (or lack thereof). The first outings will take place on the Vallecito Creek Trail. Watch out for visible rocks up East Creek and at the end of the FS road. The trail climbs gradually as you follow Vallecito Creek north. Follow 500 to it‘s end at the campground. Eventually you hit the confluence of Vallecito Creek and Johnson Creek and cross a bridge to start heading towards Columbine Pass up the Johnson Creek drainage (the second of the two major climbs on the trip). At the Forest Service Vallecito Work Center, bear right onto Forest Road 602 and continue around the lake and up the Pine River about 7.5 miles to the trailhead at Pine River Campground. Vallecito Creek Trail – Easy/Moderate. The trail follows the edge of the campground for the first 0.6 miles before crossing Fall Creek via a bridge. From there I headed down Rock Creek, and up the Vallecito valley back to Beartown. Anglers must use artificial flies and lures due to the creek’s location within the wilderness area. I left from the Beartown trailhead, hiked south along the Continental Divide Trail for a couple days until reaching the area of Flint Lakes and Rock Lake. The Vallecito Creek Trail begins at the campground entrance. Vallecito Creek Trail (#529) – approximately 8.5 miles to Johnson Creek, 2000 ft ascent. The trailhead is located at: N37° 42' 44.57" W 107° 31' 04.97". The Vallecito Creek Trail begins in the Vallecito campground. A stunning day hike on the first few miles of the trail, or a wonderful four-to-five day backpack trip. I followed the class 1 trail back to the trailhead, following the creek, and passing a hunters’ camp along the way. The Vallecito Creek Trail begins in the Vallecito campground. The Vallecito Creek Trail begins in the Vallecito Campground. The trailhead is off Parrotts Ferry Road. The background shows the bottom of Boofaunt. Vallecito Creek is a stream located just 14.8 miles from Bayfield, in La Plata County, in the state of Colorado, United States, near Vallecito, CO. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including cutthroat trout, brook trout and brown trout here. From the Nebo Creek campsite and the trail junction of the Continental Divide Trail #813 and the Vallecito Trail #529, head south, then SW down the Vallecito Trail. Reach Vallecito Dam in another 9 miles and continue on County Road 501 along the west bank of the reservoir. Use the "Beartown/Kite Lake/Hunchback trailhead information for instructions on how to drive to the TH. About 1.5 miles up, I reached Indian Creek. It‘s easy to find if you follow the signs. Info: Trailhead is paved all the way to the parking lot. Due to the geological sensitivity of this outstanding natural formation, dogs and bikes are not allowed. After .6 miles you enter the Weminuche Wilderness. Tips, tactics, gear reviews for everything from bass and bluegills to stripers and bluefish - if it's fishing related, we cover it. After .6 miles you enter the Weminuche wilderness. Licenses can be purchased at a few local businesses, in Durango or online at - http://wildlife.state.co.us/ShopDOW/AppsAndLicenses/Pages/totallicensing.aspx. A long, long way to go! Crusco's Ristorante (197) ... so we made it down to the cave and creek. Dropping down next to the creek, the trail comes to the first bridge and the canyon narrows. The trailhead is at the north end of the campground and the parking is at the south end. The hike begins in a steep canyon with ponderosa pine forest, aspen and conifers. 20 Restaurants within 5 miles. Wanting to catch the fall foliage and beat the snow, I backpacked around 5 miles up the Vallecita Creek Trail for a night in late September 2016. Vallecito Creek borders one side of the campground and the … After five miles, you’ll find the first of several established campsites just past the bridge. Ponderosa, aspen and oak cover these lower altitudes. Natural Bridges Cave. You will find the beginning of Vallecito Creek Trail at the Vallecito Creek campground, just a few miles past the North end of Vallecito Lake near the towns of Bayfield and Durango. Note: On the Vallecito Trail, the third bridge (counting from the South) across Vallecito Creek is out due to an avalanche in the winter of 2004-2005. I began hiking up the Pine River Trail from the trailhead near Vallecito Reservoir. Best nearby. Website. The trail climbs gradually as you follow Vallecito Creek north. Johnson Creek Trail 504 goes west from Trail 529 to Vallecito Basin. Take the road all the way to the Vallecito campground/trailhead north of the reservoir. This was much more enjoyable in the daylight. Vallecito Creek Trailhead is a popular access point into the wilderness and offers great fishing along the tributary flowing into Vallecito Reservoir. There’s a split for about a half mile, horse riders to the left, hikers to the right. Vallecito Creek Trailhead is a popular access point into the wilderness and offers great fishing along the tributary flowing into Vallecito Reservoir. Vallecito Creek Trailhead. This trail is a major access point for the Weminuche Wilderness because it goes all the way to the Continental Divide and Colorado Trail on Rio Grande National Forest. The hike begins in a steep canyon with ponderosa pine forest, aspen and conifers. The camp hosts even spray peppermint! This popular trail is open to hiking and horseback riding only and is a main access point to the Weminuche Wilderness. 30 Miles round trip. Plan to spend a few days. So remember to take the trailhead path unless you crave adventure and a heart pounding climbs. Visitors enjoy the area for its beautiful scenery and wide range of recreational activities, including boating, fishing and hiking. Park in the parking lot for the trailhead. Stay on 501 until you reach CR-500. (R. From either vantage point, a commanding panorama of the Needle Creek drainage is possible. You will need to look for the brown “Natural Bridges Day Use Area” sign on the side of the road. It is covered with calcium deposits, creating interesting, oddly-shaped, large limestone rock formations. The Vallecito Valley is packed with people but once you reach the Johnson Creek juncture you should be free of pesky day hikers. Graham Creek Campground is situated above Vallecito Lake, in the scenic San Juan National Forest of southwestern Colorado. The avalanche debris was cleared from the trail in fall 2007. The grooming angel Brad (of Brad’s Cabin) groomed the FS road to Graham Creek today with his truck and snowmobile. Vallecito Creek Trail – 14.2 miles out and back. Park at the Vallecito Campground and follow the trail up steep cliffs over the cascading creek. All-in-all, from the turnoff at Johnson Creek from the Vallecito Creek Trail, the summit of Jupiter Mountain is 9.21 miles, and 4680 vertical feet away (according to my GPS). Johnson Creek Trail: Beyond the basin, the main trail climbs another 1,400 feet over two miles to Columbine Pass where it meets up with the Johnson Creek Trail, which drops into the Vallecito Creek drainage. The hike begins in a steep canyon with ponderosa pine forest, aspens, and conifers. The trail climbs gradually as you follow Vallecito Creek north. The inside structure | … I was able to appreciate the creek and its depth, and even saw dozens of trout swimming in the deeper pools. A secondary route climbs steeply to Twin Lakes. The Vallecito Creek Trail begins in the Vallecito campground. Emerald Lake in the San Juan National Forest, Colorado’s third-largest natural lake, is a 10-mile trek from the Pine River Trailhead near Vallecito Reservoir. The Natural Bridges limestone cave was created over time as the waters of Coyote Creek eroded a layer of soluble bedrock. The trailhead is located at the entrance to the San Juan National Forest’s Vallecito Campground. He actually did a great job packing down the 6-7” of very dry light snow from this last storm. Turn off of US 160 onto CR-501. 4WD with good ground clearance required. Vallecito Creek Trail: Access from the east. The trailhead is some 30 minutes outside of town, near the rural community of Vallecito. Trailhead to the Weminuche Wilderness too. Fees run from $3.00 per day to $30.00 for an annual permit. Vallecito Lake, Spanish for “little valley,” sits at an elevation of 7,900 feet. From CR 501 continue to North end of the Lake and bear left (North) for 2.8 miles on CR 500 to reach Vallecito Campground and trailhead parking. Rock Creek Trail 655 goes to Rock Lake and Trail 815 joins Continental Divide Trail 813 north of West Ute Lake. This is a major drainage originating from the Continental Divide deep in the wilderness. Nearest trailhead is the Beartown/Kite Lake north of Hunchback Pass. Now on the east side of the creek, the trail pulls higher again. Participants should meet at the trailhead parking lot. The Vallecito Creek trailhead is located about 30 miles east of Durango past Vallecito Reservoir. Looking upstream at the top of Paddle Bitch. The surface is better closer to the trailhead and then deteriorates after the houses. Very nice campground with lots of space between the campsites and huge Ponderosa pines. Primarily used for hiking, backpacking and horseback riding, this 12.7-mile out-and-back trail is an excellent starting point to exploring the Weminuche Wilderness. 15 Other Attractions within 5 miles. On Friday morning, we groomed the FS road, East Creek, and we set classic tracks on the FS road. Add 9.75 miles from the Vallecito Creek trailhead at 7900 feet and 1220 more vertical feet, for a total of 19 miles, and 5900 vertical! We got a couple of inches of additional snow this week. In a normal year, one can walk across this creek with one's boots on, stepping on a few stones to get across. The hike starts in a steep canyon with ponderosa pine forest, aspens, and conifers. Yes, Vallecito Nordic is open! It is easy to crank out the miles as you had down Vallecito Trail and then the opposite becomes true when you hit Johnson Creek. VALLECITO CREEK. Getting There From Durango or Bayfield, head to Vallecito Reservoir. 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