We are having fun exploring this area of Colorado. Today we drove about 20 miles from Durango and visited the town of Vallecito to see the awesome lake and dam.
Sheltered in a secluded mountain valley 8,000 feet above sea level, Vallecito Lake is one of the largest and most beautiful bodies of water in Colorado. It is huge and has a couple of marinas, some with boat rentals etc.
Vallecito, Spanish for "Little Valley", and ancestral home to many of Colorado's Ute Indians, became the name of the sparkling waters of the lake it surrounded.
We checked out many of the awesome campgrounds in the area, we loved the Blue Spruce one, but they didn't have any monthly spots available. I can see why they book up fast in this area.
We also noticed a lot of tree carving in the area. I did a little research and found they had a fire in the area in 2002. The Tour of Carvings commemorates the Missionary Ridge Fire of 2002. Vallecito Lake is home to thousands of Ponderosa Pine trees with many over 200 years old and standing up to 175 feet tall, many of the trees were lost in the fire.
Local artist Chad Haspels carved many of the fallen trees to memorialize the wildfire and fire fighters. Most of the carvings are mounted on concrete piers and can be found all around the lake area. They have a number and name assigned to aid in identification. Each one stands 18 feet tall and weighs around 2,600 pounds.
I am adding pictures of each of them from their site and hope you enjoy. Check back later for more from Colorado.