The Derby Mesa Loop, a 17-mile loop along Derby Creek, takes in beautiful scenery and reaches up into aspen and spruce-fir habitat. Northern Goshawk and Dusky Grouse can both be found here, though you’ll need some luck with the former, and the latter is easiest in the spring when displaying. In the lower portions, where the road passes through montane shrubland, watch for Green-tailed Towhee, Orange-crowned and Virginia’s Warblers, and Plumbeous Vireo. Higher up, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Red-naped Sapsucker, and the occasional Purple Martin are possible. Elk, mule deer, and marmots can be seen, sometimes in good numbers. Some of this area is inaccessible when there is snow on the roads.
Habitat: Aspen Grove, Mixed-Conifer Forest, Pinyon-Juniper Forest, Scrub Oak Forest
Directions: Take the Dotsero exit off I-70 (exit 133). Head north on the Colorado River Road about 22 miles to the south end of the Derby Mesa loop road (CR 39) on the left. The north end of this loop road hits the Colorado River Road just a little farther north in the tiny town of Burns.
Delorme: 36 A2-B2
Roads of Colorado: 52 C4
Dates of Access: Limited access in the winter
Parking: Roadside and gravel parking areas
Lodging: Primitive camping
Handicapped Access: Limited