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Old 02-18-2019, 05:31 PM   #1
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Vallecitos Reservoir

This summer I'd like to take a trip to Vallecitos lake in Colorado. I found this place last summer searching for places to camp in Colorado, and from a few people that have been their I've heard great things. Last year I tried booking at the 5 branches RV park but their wasn't any openings that worked with our schedule.
So I'm looking for advice on finding a place to stay for a few days maybe up to 4 days. So I have a 32' camper, 3 preteen kids, and 2 small dogs.
Is it better to reserve at a park or will I be ok trying to find a spot at a public site?
How's the fishing at the lake and river?
Is there any must see things in the area?
Best places to eat if we wanna go grab a bite rather than cooking?
Best route coming up from Santa Fe NM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:03 PM   #2
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If you want to rough it, I recommend Vallecito Campground, a Forest Service campground that you can research and book at recreation.gov. No electric and water tees are a short distance around the 80+ sites. No at-site dump and don't remember if there is a dump at the entrance. There are toilets. Have stayed there several times as its one of my favorites. Last time in '16 with 36' Class A. Favorite spaces C12, D9, D11 all back up to mountain and hiking trail. Fire pits at sites. The sites along the river are popular but have never booked in time. Great hiking. Kids would enjoy. Not a fisherman but saw many doing so along beautiful Vallecito Creek. Quiet relaxing place. For 3-4 days, that's where I'd stay. Close is Blue Spruce RV Park. Hard to get RSVP's Nice Place. These two are above the town. Just below town is Vallecito Resort. Stayed there 5 days...also a nice place but not as quiet. More like a typical RV park. Don't know 5 Branches CG. Must be on others side of lake. I prefer West side. Also West side has restaurants and services.
Durango is 35 minutes and MUST do is the Durango & Silverton Train (all day) Lots of stuff around Durango. Only reasonable route is 84 N to Pagosa Springs, 160 W to Bayfield. After getting out of SF its all 2 lane but good road w/ some hills no problem. Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by planopat View Post
If you want to rough it, I recommend Vallecito Campground, a Forest Service campground that you can research and book at recreation.gov. No electric and water tees are a short distance around the 80+ sites. No at-site dump and don't remember if there is a dump at the entrance. There are toilets. Have stayed there several times as its one of my favorites. Last time in '16 with 36' Class A. Favorite spaces C12, D9, D11 all back up to mountain and hiking trail. Fire pits at sites. The sites along the river are popular but have never booked in time. Great hiking. Kids would enjoy. Not a fisherman but saw many doing so along beautiful Vallecito Creek. Quiet relaxing place. For 3-4 days, that's where I'd stay. Close is Blue Spruce RV Park. Hard to get RSVP's Nice Place. These two are above the town. Just below town is Vallecito Resort. Stayed there 5 days...also a nice place but not as quiet. More like a typical RV park. Don't know 5 Branches CG. Must be on others side of lake. I prefer West side. Also West side has restaurants and services.
Durango is 35 minutes and MUST do is the Durango & Silverton Train (all day) Lots of stuff around Durango. Only reasonable route is 84 N to Pagosa Springs, 160 W to Bayfield. After getting out of SF its all 2 lane but good road w/ some hills no problem. Good luck.
Thanks for the quick reply!. And I'm all about roughing it but I was hoping to be closer to the lake. I looked at a map of the area and it looks like that campground is a lil ways from it.
Are you familiar with any of the camps on the east side of the lake?
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:33 PM   #4
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Yes. I have driven around the lake but wasn't checking out RV parks so I'm afraid I can't be much help. I'm sure you've thought of it but I'd check with the chamber of commerce for a list and then look at the web sites and reviews. You'll also want to get a reading on the lake level as one year it was so low the sail boats couldn't sail.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:52 AM   #5
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We stayed in Bayfield and made the short drive to Vallecito. Durango and Chimney Rock is close by. A nice brew pub in Bayfield. Take 84 to Pagosa and make a left on 160. Keep in mind time of year as they have monsoon season just like us.
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for the post! We just booked 4 nights at Vallecito!
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bedlinedf250 View Post
This summer I'd like to take a trip to Vallecitos lake in Colorado. I found this place last summer searching for places to camp in Colorado, and from a few people that have been their I've heard great things. Last year I tried booking at the 5 branches RV park but their wasn't any openings that worked with our schedule.
So I'm looking for advice on finding a place to stay for a few days maybe up to 4 days. So I have a 32' camper, 3 preteen kids, and 2 small dogs.
Is it better to reserve at a park or will I be ok trying to find a spot at a public site?
How's the fishing at the lake and river?
Is there any must see things in the area?
Best places to eat if we wanna go grab a bite rather than cooking?
Best route coming up from Santa Fe NM.
Fishing is great Vallecitos has northern pike which are a blast on a fly rod . the trout fishing is also very good
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:26 PM   #8
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Pick up a map of the chainsaw carvings. Fun to find them on a drive around the reservoir.
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