A Hidden Gem Called Down Valley Park
Down Valley Park is a little gem we found when we were riding around in Colorado. It is located in Placerville and it’s home to baseball and soccer fields, picnic areas, a catch & release pond, and more. It is owned and operated by San Miguel County. It was opened to the public in 2005.
Also Known As Placerville Park
If you are in the area of Telluride and are going to look for this park you can find it on Google Maps under “Placerville Park” not “Down Valley Park.” The maps address is 22632 CO-145, Placerville, CO 81430.
A Central Parking Lot
As you turn into the park entrance from CO-145 and enter the parking lot the ball fields and county maintenance building will be on your left. Straight in front of you will be the bathrooms and picnic area and on your right will be the playground area and pond. Directly in front of you (the rear of the park) is the San Miguel River.
The building that is centralized to the park houses the restrooms and information boards. The restrooms were clean and there were some scattered picnic tables near the building. There were also some workers who were working throughout the park who were very friendly.
San Miguel River
The San Miguel River runs along the back of the park and you can get to it from multiple areas throughout the park.
The first time we had stopped here we were out exploring and just needed a restroom when we came upon this place. We decided to come back another day to explore. Today was that other day.
We Needed Some Info
We found a spot in the parking lot which was not crowded and headed for the building that houses the restrooms hoping to find some type of brochure. As we expected there was a ton of information. Some of it was rules and regulations, some community events, and as expected information about the park.
As we were reading the notices we just happened to look over to the side and saw something about a “Quest Hunt.” Hmm, we love a good hunt. That’s the reason we Geocache…lol.
Similar To Geocaching
As it turned out it was a lot like Geocaching except for the fact that you had to find a bunch of clues that would lead you to the eventual treasure. We figured this would be a great way to not only have some fun but explore the park and get some exercise. So we grabbed a brochure and off we went.
Which Way Do We Go?
As usual, we never seem to head in the right direction so we found some of the numbers out of order…lol. Our Quest took us through the playground and to the edge of the pond where we found a sandy “beach-type” area. On the sand were numerous butterflies.
Anyone For Some Fishing?
We continued to follow a trail along the edge of the pond. This pond was a catch and release pond and there were a few spots along the way where you could just set up your pole, relax, and do some fishing.
The trail around the pond was an easy trail to navigate and we found a bunch of the numbered signs along the way. Each numbered sign had a placard that you would lift and it would give you a little piece of information about the surrounding area.
There were also some great views of the mountains along the way. As we started on the backside of the trail, we found ourselves walking between the pond and the San Miguel River. The San Miguel River starts above Telluride in the San Juan Mountains and ends 72 miles downstream at the junction of the Dolores River.
The Pollinator Garden
Continuing along the pond ends, but we were still following the river. On our left was the Pollinator Garden. The Pollinator Garden is about 7500 square feet of plants specifically planted for the local butterflies and bees. This garden, essential to the preservation of the environment, was completed in May of 2017 and consists of between 12 and 15 pollinator species.
Next up were the two big fields. First was a softball field and next a soccer field. There is a number at the park that you can call if you would like to reserve the fields. Calling that number will also get you the prices.
Following the trail around the field bings you back to the parking lot.
- Beautiful Scenery
- Hiking Trails
- Catch & Release Pond
- Clean & Well Kept Facilities and Grounds
- Could Get Very Crowded If There Are Ballgames Going On
- Telluride School District Has Priority Use Over Both Fields
- No Overnight Camping
We love to find little gems while out exploring. We love them even more if they are free!!!…lol. This place fits both those categories. We feel it’s a great way to spend a morning/day/afternoon with either by yourself or with family and friends.
The “Quest” was put together by one of the employees of the park and was super fun. It led you throughout the park with little placards that were full of great information. If you are in the Ridgeway/Telluride area and have some time to kill we would definitely recommend Down Valley Park.
Date Of Visit: July 1st, 2019
Cost To Enter Park: $0
Pet Friendly: Must Be On A Leash
Hours: Sunrise To 9 PM
Have you ever visited this park? Does this park sound like something that may interest you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.