The earthen dam was constructed in 1940 by the United States Bureau of Reclamation, with a height of 162 feet, and a length at its crest of 4010 feet. It impounds the Pine River for irrigation water storage. The dam is owned by the Bureau and is operated by the local Pine River Irrigation District.
The reservoir it creates, Vallecito Reservoir, has a water surface of 4.3 square miles and a maximum capacity of 125,400 acre-feet. Recreational opportunities include fishing, hunting, boating, camping and hiking.