North Lake SWA/North Fork Road

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Aliases: North Reservoir, Monument Lake Park, North Lake

Besides the road over Cordova Pass, the only road in Las Animas County that accesses good high-elevation habitats is the North Fork Road (FR 34). Expect excellent willow tangles and aspen stands, along with some ponderosa, oak and mixed conifer habitats. The stream along the road (the north fork of the Purgatoire) has American Dippers, and birding along the road at night might produce Flammulated or Saw-whet Owls. Elk, deer, bear, pine marten, mink, and porcupines live in this area. While the road itself does not make it to the spruce-fir belt, from the campground at its end (fee area) one can continue on hiking trails to higher elevations and above treeline, with all the benefits thereof. Highway 12 through this area passes through amazing displays of fall color when the aspen leaves turn in October; summer is the time to tour the Cucharas Pass Wildflower Identification interpretive trail.

County: Las Animas
Attractions: Highway of Legends Scenic and Historic Byway

Habitat: Mixed-Conifer Forest, Aspen Groves, Streamside Willow, Stream

Directions: From the top of CO-12 along the Huerfano/Las Animas County line, travel south for 2.3 miles to the turn-off for FR 34. The road continues for 5 miles to a campground. North Lake is along CO-12 just north of this turn-off, and Monument Lake is just off CO-12 to the east, 1.5 miles south of this turn-off.

Delorme: 92 B2-C2
Roads of Colorado: 152 C2

Dates of Access: No winter access up North Fork Road (SWA is on Hwy 12 and is accessible all year)
Hours: 0
Ownership: Colorado Parks and Wildlife/US Forest Service
Admission: Camping fee for Angel and Shavano campground

Restrictions: No fires, no camping. Obey CDOW rules and regulations; be aware of hunters in season
Parking: Parking lots
Lodging: Tent camping at Purgatoire Campground

Other Wildlife: Bears, elk, bighorn sheep (nearby)
Handicapped: Yes
Handicapped Access: Limited

Elevation: 8584
Latitude: 37.24012
Longitude: -105.08545

URL: http://wildlife.state.co.us/LandWater/StateWildlifeAreas/

Amenities

RestroomsYes
Drinking FountainYes
Gravel TrailsYes
Paved TrailsNo
Platform/BlindNo
BoardwalkNo
ConcessionNo
Visitor CenterNo
Gift ShopNo
PrimitiveNo
CampingYes
PicnicYes
HuntingYes
FishingYes