Vallecito Creek Trail

#5 of 161 trails in San Juan National Forest

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Vallecito Creek Trail is a 39 mile out and back trail located near Bayfield, Colorado and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from June until October.

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

Hiked this trail a couple of times with my oldest son this summer and enjoyed the hike both times. First time was over the July 4th weekend. We hiked in about 12 miles and camped between the Johnson Creek turnoff and Roelle Creek. The weather was great with just a couple of minor rainstorms over the 3 day outing. Awesome scenery, strawberries were on, and the temperature was at least 20 degrees cooler than home. Great hike for the more adventurous. Went again the 1st weekend of August for a quick overnight campout out with my oldest son's Scout Troop. Only hiked in about 5 miles this time, just past the 2nd bridge, and set up camp. A little cooler at night and in the early morning but still just as much fun; plus the raspberries were on this time. Great hike for beginners or a quick getaway with lots of camping spots after the first bridge if you keep your eyes open.

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Julie Holligan

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3 Completed 1 Reviews

I've done this trail a couple of times. Good condition and not technical. Really pretty. Steep climbing initially, so lowlanders, prepare yourselves. A little hard to find because you have to walk through or around the campground to get to the trailhead.

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10 Completed 7 Reviews

This was the first trail of a 40 mile trip. We went all the way up Vallecito to Rock Creek Trail at the base of Guardian Mountain.
The trail over these 14 miles is all gradual uphill. The first couple of miles is actually more up hill than I anticipated, I would rate it moderate to slightly aggressive. On the second day was saw a bull moose on the trail only 20 yards in front of us.
The bridge is out at the 7 mile mark. The water can be knee deep to waist deep. I would recommend poles. There are several nice camp sites at Johnson Creek intersection along with Rock Creek intersection. We probably saw 12-15 people the first day. After Johnson Creek, most people we saw were actually coming south down the trail.
Lots of horse droppings. Not fun. The horses also make for a very muddy trail in places. Expect to get dirty and expect flies where the horses are.
Rained 3 of 4 evenings. Had pea sized hail the third night. No big deal if you have a camp set up.

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3 Completed 3 Reviews

This trail is also wonderful for snowshoeing in winter. Someone usually breaks a trail to the first bridge. Amazing winter scenery, and you won't see a soul.

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13 Completed 8 Reviews

I love this trail. It takes you through forested hillsides, along cliff walls and down to the Vallecito creek. The creek is stunning and although this hike is the beginning of a backpack up to the Weminuche, day hiking it is wonderful too

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6 Completed 14 Reviews

seems up hill both ways. was awesome. bridge seven miles in is washed out. have to forge river. was waist deep in july 2011. didn't go the whole distance turned at Johnson creek and headed west up to columbine pass. still some snow on top but melting fast. plenty of water along way. bring water shoes for countless creek crossings. monsoon storms in afternoon so hike early and set up camp early.

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4 Completed 4 Reviews

A lovely young lady and myself, Ron Rigell, hiked this trail back in March, 2011. I have hiked this trail many times, but never in so much snow. My companion, Liz, a native Kenyan, had never been to Colorado or seen these "foothills" of the Rockies. So we made this trip in one day....driving from Ouray that mornng over the " San Juan Skyway", a beautiful drive.....Snow everywhere!!
We could not even get to the bridge over the "rushing" mountain creek, but I know we made it half way. Liz had a hard time with the altitude, but the shear beauty all around interpretted what I had always told her about "one of my favorite, special places on this earth that I wanted the woman I love to see".
We carved our name on an Aspen(I know not good)tree on the trail and I will see it again when I am back in October.
Liz and I are no longer together, for personal reasons. But everytime I hike this trail my memory of her and I there will never depart.......for I was the "white Hunter"...and she will always be my young African Princess....walking with me up that Rocky Mountain trail.
Peace to you my love,
Ron Rigell

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