San Miguel River Canyon Preserve
Aliases: Naturita Canyon, Canyon Preserve
This Nature Conservancy Preserve includes two miles of the San Miguel River as it passes through magnificent Naturita Canyon, supporting a community of Colorado blue spruce, narrowleaf cottonwood, and thinleaf alder. There are no trails, but you can walk into the area from the north. Look for American Dipper and Peregrine Falcon. This is one of the few places in Colorado where you have a chance to see a river otter.
County: San Miguel
Habitat: Rimrock/Mesa; Lowland Riparian Forest; Stream
Directions: From the town of Placerville, head northwest on CO 145 four miles until you see the the Canyon Preserve sign on the left. Park at any turn-out for the next two miles.
Delorme: 65 C6
Roads of Colorado: 113 F2
Dates of Access: Open all year
Ownership: Nature Conservancy
Restrictions: Beware fast-moving stream water.
Parking: Pullouts from highway
Lodging: Hotels in Norwood or Placerville
Handicapped Access: Very limited viewing from car.