La Plata Canyon
The La Plata Canyon road (CR 124) passes through the tiny settlement of Mayday, where rosy-finches come to feeders in winter and oak shrubland birds such as Western Scrub-Jays can be seen year-round. In summer you can drive much farther up the road, into dense coniferous forests with some riparian willows and mountain meadows. Most of the high-elevation birds can be found, including Pine Grosbeak, Wilson’s and MacGillivray’s Warblers, and Lincoln’s Sparrow.
County: La Plata
Habitat: Ponderosa Forest, Spruce-Fir Forest, Mountain Meadow, Krummholz, Alpine Tundra
Directions: From downtown Durango travel west on US 160 about 10 miles and turn right (north) on CR 124 just past Hesperus. Check the feeders at the house on the left after about one mile for rosy-finches in winter. After about 6 miles the paved road ends, but the gravel road continues to above treeline. The last one to two miles require a four-wheel drive vehicle.
Delorme: 86 B1-A1
Roads of Colorado: 146 A1, 130 A4-B4
Dates of Access: Upper portion of the road open in summer only
Ownership: US Forest Service/Private
Parking: Roadside, with some unpaved pullouts
Lodging: Camping in designated sites only (summer)
Handicapped Access: Some viewing from car