Nestled right next to the San Juan National Forest, Bayfield is known as the “Heart of the Pine River Valley”. The town features a small historic district with a few shops and restaurants to explore.
Agriculture has long been Bayfield’s main economic sector, with the town serving as a supply hub for local farms. Recently, neighbor Durango’s growth and high cost of living have encouraged some to move to Bayfield for cheaper real estate.
Bayfield is situated 18 miles east of Durango in southwest Colorado. The 2020 census reported 2,683 residents. It resides at 6,900 feet of elevation in La Plata County and was officially incorporated in April of 1906.
Lavenia McCoy Public Library – A great centerpiece of the community, this small public library has big offerings. There are frequent events, a great staff, and even an outdoor playground to enjoy.
Pine River Heritage Museum – Hidden in the bottom of the old Town Hall building, enjoy this free admission museum. They have plenty of interesting artifacts and displays including an old school room, soda fountain, and post office set-up.
San Juan National Forest – A huge natural playground covering over 1.9 million acres of land. Bayfield has a district ranger station in town with a small visitor center to learn more about the outdoor recreation activities within the expansive forest.
- Riverside RV Park is right in town and offers both RV sites and tent camping. They have a wide range of amenities such as wifi, cable TV, laundry, and showers.
- Miller Creek Campground is a little further away, but the gorgeous site is worth it. It’s a little more rugged with vault toilets and no water.
- Read about the camping near Durango and Bayfield.
- Vallecito Reservoir is about a 20 minute drive from town and offers great pike, bass, and trout fishing.
- Lemon Reservoir is a little smaller and has plenty of Kokanee salmon and trout to fish.
- You’ll find the largest variety of fish at the Navajo Reservoir. It is stocked with pike, bass, crappie, carp, trout, and catfish.
- Read about the lakes and rivers to fish near Durango.
- If you’re looking for a long trek, Vallecito Creek Trail is 12.7 miles along the water. It is relatively flat and a good place for dogs and families.
- Eagle Park has a peaceful walking trail that runs under the Twin Bridges and connects it to two other community parks in town.
Bear Paw Lodge – Cabin and vacation home rentals in town from May to October each year. The rentals have great amenities including outdoor picnic tables, cable TV, a fireplace, and fully stocked kitchens.
Horseman’s Lodge – This charming, country accommodation is available for rent year-round. There are kitchenettes in all the rooms and great views of the nearby lake.
Elk Point Lodge – Offering 12 lakefront cabin rentals on Vallecito Reservoir. They have complimentary canoes and kayaks to use, as well as easy access to many other recreational activities in the area.
Mill Street Bistro – Locals rave about the great atmosphere at this bistro, as well as the thoughtfully made dishes with fresh ingredients.
Brenda’s Old West Cafe – This space is decked out in old western decor and serves up homemade pies and hearty breakfasts.
Blue Sky Cafe – Cozy, locally owned cafe with freshly made dishes for every time of day. Also offering a selection of coffee and espresso drinks.
Jul – Pine River Festival – A perfect combination of locally brewed beer and live music performances. An entry ticket will get you access to over 20 brewery tastings, a taster glass, food vendors, and a cash bar.
Jul-Oct – Bayfield Farmers Market – Join local farmers and artisans for produce, crafts, and more at this weekly market held on Saturday mornings.
Activities near Bayfield
Cross Country Skiing:
- Lemon Reservoir (15mi)
- Los Pinos River
- Mesa Verde National Park (53mi)
- San Juan Mountains
- San Juan National Forest
- Vallecito Lake (13 mi)
- Weminuche Wilderness
- Lake Nighthorse (20mi)