Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge
Aside from the numerous lakes and ponds the provide ample habitat for ducks, shorebirds and the Peregrine Falcons that eat them, this refuge is also the best place in Colorado to find Greater Sage-Grouse outside the lekking season. Driving the refuge road at dawn or dusk gives you nearly even odds of finding these magnificent birds, and you may also see Short-eared Owls (which are uncommon at best). The series of ponds are excellent for ducks, especially dabblers and Ruddy Duck, and are also a good place to get exceptionally close views of nesting Eared Grebes, Marsh Wrens, and Yellow-headed Blackbirds. When the water is low look for shorebirds, which usually include American Avocet, Wilson’s Phalarope, and Baird’s Sandpipers, in season. Moose, elk, mule deer, coyotes, and jackrabbits are sometimes seen in the area as well.
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Marsh, Sagebrush
Directions: The entrance to the auto route is on the west side of CO 125 four miles south of Walden, and 28.5 miles north of the Grand/Jackson county line. There is a small kiosk just off 125 marking the beginning of the auto route. The entire length of the auto route provides good looks at many lakes.
Delorme: 17 C7
Roads of Colorado: 38 B2
Dates of Access: Closed during the winter months, daylight hours
Hours: Daylight hours
Handicapped Access: Car birding