Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Vallecito Reservoir - La Plata County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: This is the largest body of water in the county and the elevation is 7800 ft. Loons can be present during migration as are Western Grebes and are usually near the dam. The ponderosa and spruce/fir woods on the east side of the reservoir have Hammond's, Cordilleran, and a few Dusky Flycatchers. California and Ring-billed Gulls are present in small numbers during migration. Barrow's Goldeneye is possible in winter. Rare sightings include Wood Duck, White-winged and Surf Scoters, and Sabine's Gull. Dabbling ducks, gulls, and eagles are usually at the north end of the lake. In October as many as thirty Bald Eagles congregate at the north end to feed on the Kokanee Salmon.

Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Ponderosa Forest, Spruce-Fir Forest
Directions: From downtown Durango drive north on US 550 to 15th Street and turn right. Then after a short distance merge left onto Florida Road which becomes CR 240. After about 13 miles continue on CR 240 by turning right at the Lemon Reservoir intersection. After about 4 miles at the bottom of the hill turn left (north) on CR 501. In about 5 miles at information signs turn right (east) onto CR 503 which crosses the dam on the south side of the reservoir. Continue to the east side and look for flycatchers near the campgrounds or on the forest roads that go east. Except in summer, back track across the dam and drive to the north end of the lake where the water is shallower. During summer the road is open all around the lake.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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eBird Seasonal Bar Chart

Latest Vallecito Reservoir Sightings from eBird


CBRC Records from Vallecito Reservoir

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Mexican Duck2014-208 14 Apr 2014
Harlequin Duck1883-0017/15/1883
Thick-billed Longspur2010-100 9/25/2010
Blackpoll Warbler2002-0665/20/2002