Brown Lakes State Wildlife Area
This is one of the best birding locations on the Silver Thread. Many species of ducks stop here in spring and fall, as do Eared Grebe, Spotted Sandpiper, and various swallows. Fox Sparrows breed in the willows below the dam, and you might see a Black-crowned Night-Heron too. Bald Eagles can sometimes be seen in the area. A few miles beyond Brown Lakes up the mountain is FR 514, which runs through some nice spruce-fir forest with Three-toed Woodpeckers. Mammals in the area include elk, deer, and marmot.
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Mixed Conifer Forest
Directions: From Lake City, go south on CO 149 for 26.5 miles to FR 515, on the right and 3.5 miles north of the Mineral/Hinsdale county line. Go west on FR 515 to the SWA. To get to FR 514, continue past the lakes to a fork in the road and keep right on FR 516. Follow it about three miles to the top of the hill and turn right again onto FR 514.
Delorme: 77 B7, 78 B1
Roads of Colorado: 132 A1
Dates of Access: Open all year
Ownership: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Admission: A valid hunting or fishing license, or State Wildlife Area pass is required for everyone 16 or older accessing any state wildlife area or state trust lands.
Restrictions: Camping prohibited. Please observe all CPW rules and regulations.
Parking: Unpaved parking lots
Lodging: Camping on US Forest Service land east of lower lake.
Handicapped Access: Viewing from car