Spanish Peaks SWA
Spanish Peaks State Wildlife Area is remote and beautiful. On the southern flank of its namesake mountains, it is similar to the nearby Bosque del Oso SWA, but possibly even more enticing. Four individual parcels of land make up this SWA, and it can be confusing to navigate between them; see the map on the orientation kiosk at the main entrance. Pinyon-juniper, scrub-oak and Ponderosa birds can all be found here, including Western Scrub-, Pinyon and Steller’s Jays, Spotted Towhee, Bushtit, Mountain and Western Bluebirds, Lesser Goldfinch, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-throated Gray Warbler, and all three nuthatches. Watch for turkey poults (chicks) in early summer, and for elk, mule deer, black bear, rock squirrels and jackrabbits. The Ponderosas also support a population of the scarce and beautiful Abert’s Squirrel, here at the southeasternmost limit of their range.
County: Las Animas
Habitat: Pinyon-Juniper Forest, Scrub Oak Forest, Ponderosa Forest
Directions: The maze of county roads can make finding this SWA difficult. Follow the directions carefully, be patient, and watch for directional signs; it is definitely worth the effort for wildlife viewing. From Trinidad, head west on CO 12 about six miles to Cokedale and turn right (north) on CR 57.7 up Reilly Canyon towards Boncarbo. In about seven miles, at a fork in the road, bear left on CR 30.1 through the tiny hamlet of Boncarbo. Follow this road a little over three miles to a sharp right-hand turn onto CR 43.5, which leads to the SWA.
Delorme: 93 B4-C4
Roads of Colorado: 153 E2
Dates of Access: Open all year
Ownership: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Restrictions: Road between Dochter and Sakariason tracts is closed when wet; be aware of hunters in season
Parking: In designated sites only
Handicapped Access: Limited