Marshall Pass Road
Aliases: Mount Ouray
This bumpy high mountain road provides an alternative to Monarch Pass, and access to beautiful spruce-fir woodland and mountain meadows. Along the lower portions of the road look in the sage flats for Sage Thrasher, Vesper Sparrow, and other sagebrush species. Higher up, look in the extensive willow carrs for Lincoln’s, Fox, and White-crowned Sparrows, and Wilson’s and MacGillivray’s Warblers. Near the top you enter spruce-fir woodland where American Three-toed Woodpecker, Pine Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, Brown Creeper, and Dusky Grouse are possible. If you are in the area at night, keep an ear out for Boreal and Northern Saw-whet Owls. The Colorado Trail intersects the pass near the top, and if hiking is your cup of tea you can access much more spruce-fir woodland, willow bogs, and alpine tundra on the way to Ouray Peak.
Habitat: Sagebrush, Streamside Willow, Mixed-Conifer Forest, Aspen Grove, Lodgepole Forest, Spruce-Fir Forest, Alpine Tundra
Directions: The Marshall Pass Road (CR XX32 Road/FR 243) heads southeast from US 50 at the tiny hamlet of Sargents, just inside the Saguache County border, 32 miles east of Gunnison and 21 miles west of Poncha Springs.
Delorme: 69 A6-B7
Roads of Colorado: 102 A4-B4
Dates of Access: Warmer months
Ownership: US Forest Service
Restrictions: Road closed during the winter months
Parking: Roadside and gravel parking areas
Lodging: Primitive and fee camping
Handicapped Access: None