Vallecito Lake Spring, Durango, CO, 81301


Posted: June 5, 2014

Category: Colorado, United States, View All

C.R. 501
Durango, CO, 81301
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Small, continuous flow pipe extending from mossy, root covered rock on west side of road, on west side of Vallecito Lake. Small parking across the road. Clear, crisp, cold water – very good. Please treat this sacred spring with reverence.

  1. Amy says:

    Dear Find-a-spring,

    I wanted to share my experiences when we sought out to locate the spring in Vallecito, CO. While visiting Durago last week I was excited to discover that there was a spring located about 30 minutes from where we were staying. Full of curiosity and anticipation I enlisted the help of my husband, Cam who is 43 (I am 40 for the record) and my daughter, Sue, 23 and her boyfriend of 5 years, Russ also 23.

    We set off towards Vallecito discussing the hope of clear, crisp spring water. At times we sounded like children on the eve of Santa’s arrival. The drive from Durgano to Vallecito is beautiful so our conversations included the beautiful brush strokes of God’s handiwork in the landscape, campgrounds we passed with holiday vacationers, the tolerance to reside in such a semi-remote area and of course the use of marijuana. As we approached the Vallecito area via county roads Russ became our navigator offering detailed instruction and direction via his smart phone. Giddy like school children, we eagerly advanced towards the lake and the general area of the spring, stopping over at the first small “pull off” we hopped out of the car and scanned the country side for the “small, continuous flow” of delicious spring water. Feeling a small twinge of disappointment at our inability to locate the spring we optimistically reevaluated our map and the location of the Google pin.

    Like early explorers of the western states, we used the satellite navigation to survey the landscape and set out to narrow the location. The hunt for the water treasure increased as we drove from each foreshore analyzing and searching for the water source. This search continued into the late hours of the evening. As day settled into dusk we became weary, tired and thirsty. Sue, in her desperation climbed up a steep bank only to become stuck and tumble down a short time later, ruining her explorer pants. Russ began to feel as though he had lost his way – both literally and existentially – mumbling that the search for the spring had left him feeling uncertain about his choices in life and he was now questioning his future. Cam, ever the strong leader, continued to press onward offering to drive “a bit further” and suggesting that perhaps the Google pin was placed incorrectly. And I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt and responsibility for loss in this journey. I then advised the team that we should turn back before darkness set over the land. Sad, tired, hungry and of course thirsty we set back towards home moving slowly towards the motor wagon hunched over in the preverbal Charlie Brown gait.

    I’m writing to tell you this in hopes that if the spring is still there (which it may not be due to the recent fires in that area) that the original finder of the spring references a mile marker to identify the location. While our exploration was at best a reflection of our existence in this universe, at it’s worst it was the promise of something new and exhilarating that was held just outside of our reach then vanishing like innuendo.

    Thank you for the adventure, I hope someone else can find the spring someday.

    • Dorothy says:

      Thanks for the entertaining read. As someone who might had gone on a similar search, I appreciated your experience and insight.

      Did you ever return to find the spring? Another commenter says it exists, so I’m curious if you missed it because it comes out of a PVC pipe (that’s what the other commenter here says.)

  2. Ron says:

    On our many trips to Vallecito creek over the past 20 plus years we have seen hundreds of people pulled over on CO 501 just north of the lake filling jugs with water coming from a questionable piece of PVC pipe. My wife always said gross and made comments about Giardia and other water born parasites. Well last week a local told us it was filtered thru a thousand feet of mother earth and safe to drink. I am currently drinking my morning coffee made with it and plan to take 20 gallons home with me. Simple to find and you can drive to about 10 feet from it.

    • Dorothy says:

      Hi Ron,

      Thanks for corroborating the existence of this site.

      Did you take home the 20 gallons? How were they? Did you or your wife test them? What were the results?


  3. gigi says:

    This spring is not in Durango, cause the CR 501 is outside of it. No wonder the first writer could not find it! I have not tried but I will be trying to next week.

  4. gigi says:

    And this website takes you to Talon Ln by the college, with no mention of CR 501.

  5. AJ says:

    Hi, I am the original “finder” of the Vallecito Spring and have also had a tough time locating that spot… It is on the west side of the road, spouting it’s vital elixer, day and night without fail. I suggest stopping into one of the local establishments by the lake, or maybe the fire dept to get specifics. I don’t have a smarty-phone so sorry for the mismarked Google pin.
    I’m actually surprised that none of the tech savvy Durangoans have adjusted the marker.
    It’s some gooooood wah-wah! Don’t give up~

  6. Ethan says:

    Yes, the spring is way north of where the pin is located. Keep going past the lake until until the road curves 90 degrees to the right, take the paved road on the left and continue a little. You will find a few small lakes on the right and the spring on the side of road on left.

    Enjoy and be joy.

  7. dont drink this water, it is not fit for consumption, it was tested, it will make you very ill. youre better off going to a healthy spring some place else. i live up here almost next to the thing. it is small and unimpressive and may be deadly, take it from me.

  8. Monica B says:

    I FOUND IT!!! Dear Findaspring: Here is the nearby address – – as yours is not correct at the current moment:

    317 County Road 500, Bayfield Colorado
    (It’s on the left side of the road – about a foot of PVC sticking out of a mossy rock while there’s a pull off on the Right side directly across and ponds to your right)


    Here’s some written details:
    From Durango:
    -North on Florida Road
    -When you get to Lemon (before Lemon Resovoire) turn Right on 240
    -Left onto CR 501 towards Vallecito
    -You will pass River/Lake resorts and the General store (which you can also find on GPS)
    -L onto CR 500 and about a mile down the road you’ll see the PVC pipe/Beautiful spring water on your left.

    When you turn at CR 500 you will see a sign that has options for directions. Head towards Wits End Campsites.

    Yayyyyy – – -after a 3 hour journey I’ve got plenty of spring water and I’ll be back!

    Follow these directions – – the address posted is not correct nor is the pinpoint on the map shown here. (As of 2/25/16) – -Hopefully they will correct it. – What a great website! 🙂 Thank you everyone involved!

    • Jan Buzan says:

      Thank you so much for the updated directions. I’ve been here twice in a year now. It’s awesome. It appears there was a fire recently real close by but I don’t think it’s affected the water because it taste delicious. Thank God hallelujah.

  9. Kelly V. says:

    The last entry was mostly correct: here are directions from Durango-
    written details:
    -North on Florida Road
    -Right on 240
    -Left onto CR 501 towards Vallecito
    -You will pass River/Lake resorts and the General store (which you can also find on GPS)
    -L onto CR 500 and about a mile down the road you’ll see the PVC pipe/Beautiful spring water on your left.

    Tested water, and it’s perfectly safe! Beautiful, cold, and crystal clear! Will be making weekly trips from now on!

  10. Ray says:

    Yay! I found it too! I was sorta skeered because of that one post but after a couple of gallons I’m still alive. Had some machine water after that just to be cautious before I have some more. Gosh, I don’t even know where to have water tested.

  11. Thanks for Monicas post I found it too!!

    There are now two pipes, new obe with a better flow.

    Its past that address Monica
    Shared, and there is a pulloff across from it on the east
    Side of the West road around the lake.

    Gps here
    Its worth it, its delicious!

    37.449705, -107.560543

  12. Tiffany says:

    Has anyone had the water tested recently? Just curious. I was able to locate the spring and it’s got lots of gifts around it suggesting to me people are still using it and it is safe. But wanted to know if it’s been formally tested.

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If you think a better GPS coordinate is suitable, please make a comment on the spring page including the better coordinates. Also upload a photo to the spring post page. Once someone else confirms the more suitable coordinates, we will adjust the pin drop on map.