Russell Lakes State Wildlife Area

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Aliases: Johnson Lake Nature Trail

Birders should never drive past this State Wildlife Area without stopping. The Johnson Lake nature trail along Highway 285 includes a boardwalk through a thriving marsh, with good views of ponds and wet meadows. In the colder months, if the water is not frozen, the ponds can be full of ducks of many species. In the breeding season, the area is full of birds, including Cinnamon Teal, Western and Clark’s Grebes, American Bittern, Sora, Virginia Rail, White-faced Ibis, Marsh Wren, Common Yellowthroat and Savannah Sparrow. The small grove of trees at the parking area has produced migrant warblers and breeding Bullock’s Oriole; Great Horned Owls often nest in the trees. The saltbush around the ponds has plenty of Brewer’s Sparrows and Sage Thrashers. Jackrabbits can be abundant in the dry brush, and mule deer are frequently seen. The ponds also host muskrats, various amphibians, and many species of butterfly, dragonfly, and damselfly.

County: Saguache
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Hedgerow/Shelterbelt, Sagebrush

Directions: From the town of Saguache, go nine miles south on US 285 to the beginning of the SWA. The SWA stretches along the east side of US 285.

Delorme: 80 A1-A2
Roads of Colorado: 118 B4-C4

Dates of Access: Johnson Lake trail always open; the rest is open from July 16 to Feb 14.
Hours: Any
Ownership: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Admission: Free

Restrictions: Please obey all rules and regulations.
Parking: Unpaved parking area
Lodging: Hotels in Saguache or Monte Vista

Handicapped: No
Handicapped Access: Transition between gravel trail and wooden boardwalk may require a short step

Latitude: 37.9383854
Longitude: -106.1448721

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

Amenities

RestroomsNo
Drinking FountainNo
Gravel TrailsYes
Paved TrailsNo
Platform/BlindYes
BoardwalkYes
ConcessionNo
Visitor CenterNo
Gift ShopNo
PrimitiveNo
Camping
Picnic
HuntingYes
FishingYes