Vallecito Lake is located just outside of Durango, Colorado. Today’s and tonight’s Bayfield, CO weather forecast, weather conditions and Doppler radar from The Weather Channel and Weather.com 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. Settlement of the San Juan Basin was incidental to the discovery of gold and the rapid expansion of mining in the San Juan Mountains. The 1840s saw the decline of the fur industry due to over trapping and the decline in the fur market, but a few trappers continued to work the region into the late 1870s. Tour of Carvings 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. . Farming was practiced on a small scale along the Mancos, La Plata, and Animas Rivers before the ceded lands were purchased from the Southern Utes. Investigations into possible dam sites began in early 1936, with the final report being issued in May 1936. See local attractions. This picture, dated June 11, 2019, shows that there is still room in the reservoir for water coming down from the Weminuche Wilderness. The project stores spring floodwaters to provide a supplemental water supply to about 13,000 acres of the Southern Ute lands and to about 41,000 acres of land outside the Southern Ute Reservation. Construction of Vallecito Dam began on May 14, 1938, and was completed in 1941. 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. Under the agreement that removed the northern Ute bands to reservations in Utah, the members of the southern and mountain bands were to receive allotments of agricultural and grazing lands. As a result, it was necessary to relocate the road. Both the Ute and the Anglos violated provisions of the treaty, and in 1878, a military post, Fort Lewis, was established near Pagosa Springs to enforce the treaty. The moisture content of the most of materials excavated from both the required excavations and the borrow pits was near the required level at the time of placement, so only a small amount of water had to be added. Construction was started in mid-October, and was completed and accepted in late December 1938. Their bid was $21,490. This claim was contested by whites in the area who had filed earlier claims, and in 1901, an adjudication suit was filed against the Indian Agency. Work under the contract began on September 5, and was accepted on November 25, 1940. The lake water level is about 39% full. The treaty established an area equal to about one-third of the Colorado Territory as the Ute reservation and established two Indian agencies, one near the White River to serve the northern bands, and one near present day Ignacio, the Pine River (Los Pinos) Agency, to serve the southern bands. A total of 375 allotments totaling 72,970 acres along the Pine River were awarded by 1898. Click ID to show plot for point. Placement of embankment materials was delayed until the diversion channel could be filled to the same level as the rest of the embankment. The capacity of the ditches and canals ranges from 260 cfs down to 1 cfs. Vallecito Reservoir Teacup Diagram: - Major Storage Reservoirs in the Upper Colorado Basin Current Reservior Levels: - USGS Station 09353000 -- Vallecito Reservoir near Bayfield, Colorado Mountain Snowpack Maps for Colorado River Basin Flow Information The construction of Vallecito Dam would flood the road that ran through the valley. 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