Zebulon Pike is generally known for donating his name to Pike’s Peak. Some also remember his epic journey to the then-poorly-known western U.S. Less well-known is that he spent a good deal of time in a Spanish jail for trespassing. This is where he trespassed, unfurling the American flag over territory then owned by Spain. Now owned by the state historical society, it is open during summer to tourists. The entrance road behind the gate happens to pass through a remarkable willow swamp that has a good population of Southwest Willow Flycatchers, and the riparian forest that abuts the state property is absolutely the best in the valley. Everything off the state property is off-limits, but this is a must-stop visit for birders in summer. Also note that mosquitoes here are an order of magnitude worse than ANYWHERE else in Colorado – bring repellent.
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Streamside Willow, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Wet Meadow
Directions: From US 285 in the town of La Jara, head east on CO 136, to and through the nearby town of Sanford. A mile east of Sanford on CR V, turn left (north)onto CR 21, go north three miles and turn right (east) onto CR Y. In three miles CR Y ends in a T intersection with CR 24. The gate to Pike's Stockade is on the left (south). If it is not open, do not enter the property. However, it is sometimes possible to see and hear the Willow Flycatchers along the entrance road from outside the gate.
Delorme: 90 B4
Roads of Colorado: 151 D1
Dates of Access: Summer months
Hours: Daylight hours
Restrictions: Respect private property in the area
Parking: Gravel parking area
Handicapped Access: Some viewing from car