Vallecito Dam


Storage for the project is impounded by this 162-foot-high earthfill structure, which contains 3,738,000 cubic yards of material. Vallecito Dam is on the Pine River, 18 miles northeast of Durango. The reservoir has a total capacity of 129,700 acre-feet. The spillway is a gate-controlled, concrete-lined open channel, 2,300 feet long at the right abutment. The outlet works is a twin section concrete conduit through the right abutment of the dam.


Vallecito Dam is located on a terminal glacial moraine that extends across the valley floor and is up to 200 feet thick.   The moraine consists of poorly sorted clay, sand gravel and cobbles with localized pockets of loose sand in the vicinity of the river channel.  Red to gray micaceous siltstones, shales and sandstones of the Culer Formation (lower Permian) are exposed at both abutments.  A 3-foot thick limestone bed is exposed at the left abutment and dips to the northwest at 16 degrees; bedrock at the right abutment dips 2 to 7 degrees to the northwest.  The bedrock is highly fractured and subject to erosion.  There does not appear to be any unusual settlement of the dam embankment.

RegionFacilities in Upper Colorado | Upper Colorado Home Page
CountyLa Plata
ProjectPine River
Dam TypeZoned earthfill
WatercoursePine River (Los Pinos)
Location18 miles northeast of Durango, CO
Original Construction1938-1941
Modified Construction
National ID NumberCO01695
Hydrologic Unit Code

Structural Height162.00 ft
Hydraulic Height (Normal Operating Depth at Dam)121.5 ft
Top Parapet (Elevation)
Spillway Crest Elevation7646.00 ft
Crest Elevation7673.0 ft
Crest Length4010.00 ft
Crest Width
Base Width
Volume of Dam Construction Materials3,738,000 cu yds
Streambed at Dam Axis7547.00 ft
Top of Exclusive Flood Control Pool (Elevation)
Top of Joint Use Pool (Elevation)7665.00 ft
Top of Active Conservation Pool (Elevation)
Top of Inactive Conservation Pool (Elevation)
Top of Dead Storage Pool (Elevation)7582.54 ft

Hydraulics & Hydrology
Total Water Storage at Elevation
Maximum Water Surface Elevation7668.5 ft
Normal Water Surface Elevation
Spillway Type
Auxiliary SpillwayNo
Spillway Capacity at Elevation30000.00 cfs at 7665.00 ft
Auxiliary Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Uncontrolled Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Outlet Works Capacity at Elevation3100.00 cfs at 7665.00 ft
Diversion Capacity at Elevation
Drainage Area270.00 sq mi
Hydrometeorological Report (HMR)HMR 49
Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) Report

Contact Information
Title Area Office Manager
Organization Western Colorado Area Office - Durango
Address 185 Suttle Street, Suite 2
City Durango, CO 81303
Phone (Office) 970 385-6500
OrganizationPine River Irrigation District
Address13029 Cty Rd 501
CityBayfield, CO 81122
Phone (Office)970 884-2558

Last updated: Apr 10, 2009