· Gunnison Sage-Grouse
Aliases: Mount Baldy Chato
This is a remote and little-visited area that will reward the visitor with some rarely-seen vistas and lots of wildlife viewing opportunities. The road runs through mountain meadows, mixed-conifer forests, some terrific aspen stands, and at the highest elevations, some spruce-fir forest complete with Pine Grosbeak. Roadside willow carrs hold breeding Fox Sparrows, among many other birds. From the Cebolla Trailhead, if you are in excellent physical condition, you can hike through more spruce-fir and willow habitats to the alpine tundra on the slopes of Mount Baldy Chato, where you will find breeding American Pipit, Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, and (if you are lucky) White-tailed Ptarmigan.
Habitat: Spruce-Fir Forest, Krummholz, Streamside Willow, Alpine Tundra
Directions: FR 790 is a loop road off of CR KK-14 (FR 788). To drive this loop from the north, proceed on US 50 for about eight miles east of Gunnison, turn south on CO 114 and follow it about nineteen miles to the junction with CR NN-14. Turn right (west) on CR NN-14 and follow it about 3.5 miles, then turn right (west) onto CR KK-14. Follow CR KK-14 about nine miles to FR 790 and turn left (southeast). From here it is about fifteen miles to the trailhead on the left (south) side of the road. To drive the loop in the other direction, continue on CR KK-14 past the first junction with FR 790 another 8.5 miles or so to the second junction and turn left. From here it is about five miles to the trailhead on the right. You can also access CR KK-14 from the southwest. To do so, turn off CO 149 at Slumgullion Pass southeast of Lake City onto FR 788 and follow it fifteen miles northeast to a right turn onto CR 53 (signed for Los Pinos Pass). Follow this road five miles up to the pass. A mile beyond the pass is the first (southernmost) right turn onto FR 790.
Delorme: 68 D2
Roads of Colorado: 116 C3
Dates of Access: Summer and early fall
Ownership: US Forest Service
Restrictions: Hiking can be a hazardous activity; bring raingear and water, and avoid thunderstorms
Parking: Roadside and gravel parking lot
Lodging: Primitive camping
Handicapped Access: Some viewing from road, below treeline.
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