Navajo Lake Trail
It’s a strenuous four-mile hike up this beautiful trail to Navajo Falls, the only publicly accessible nesting site in Dolores County for Black Swift. The swifts are best found here at dawn and dusk, so an overnight trip may be required in order to see them. The falls themselves are well off the trail and it is difficult and dangerous to reach them, so we strongly recommend looking for the swifts from the trail. The spruce-fir forest, aspen and willow habitats between the trailhead and the falls will produce birds like Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Fox Sparrow and Swainson’s Thrush. Yellow-bellied Marmots are numerous in the area, and mammals from porcupine to pine marten might be seen by the fortunate. Butterfly diversity can be high here, with alpine species around Navajo Lake.
Habitat: Spruce-Fir Forest, Aspen Grove, Stream, Streamside Willow, Mountain Meadow, Krummholz, Lake, Alpine Tundra
Directions: From Rico, head north on CO 145 until you reach Dunton Road (FR 535). Turn left (west) and travel for about five miles. The trailhead is on a small spur road that heads north from FR 535 at a hairpin curve.
Delorme: 76 B1
Roads of Colorado: 130 B1
Dates of Access: Summer only
Ownership: US Forest Service
Restrictions: Hiking can be a hazardous activity; bring raingear and water, and avoid thunderstorms
Parking: Unpaved parking lot at trailhead
Lodging: Primitive and backcountry camping
Handicapped Access: None