Williams Fork Valley / Ute Pass
South of the Williams Fork Reservoir lies a beautiful valley with many side roads worth exploring. The main road through this area (Grand County Road 3) begins by running through mountain meadows with Vesper Sparrows, Brewer’s Blackbirds, and pronghorn. Gradually it rises into coniferous forest along the Williams Fork River, where Hermit Thrush, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Dusky Flycatcher may be found. In the upper reaches of the Williams Fork are many fine primitive picnic and camp sites. Moose are numerous. Dippers nest along the river. Cassin’s Finches and Audubon’s Warblers sing from the treetops. Mountain pine beetles killed many of the lodgepole pines in this valley in 2002-2006, but the forest is regenerating quite nicely. The road to Ute Pass, which connects the Williams Fork Valley with CO 9 north of Silverthorne, passes through some nice stands of spruce-fir forest with high-elevation birds like Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Lincoln’s Sparrow.
Dates of Access: Mostly late May - October
Ownership: US Forest Service, Henderson Mill
Restrictions: Please respect private property of the Henderson Mill, as posted
Parking: Gravel pullouts
Lodging: Primitive camping
Handicapped Access: Birding from car