Chico Basin Ranch
Aliases: Vega Pond
This is a private ranch located out on the plains and straddling the El Paso/Pueblo County line. The ranch charges birders a $10 fee per person per day. The bulk of the ranch is in Pueblo County but there is an excellent migrant trap on the El Paso side where Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory bands birds each spring. The best birding locations are the large grove of Russian Olives and Cottonwoods on the El Paso side (the Banding Station), and the trees and ponds around the headquarters. Vega Pond, on the El Paso side, is also a good location to bird. Migration here can be stunning, with landbirds, shorebirds, and waterbirds represented. Mountain Plovers breed, and sparrows are present during the winter.
County: El Paso
Habitat: Grassland/Prairie, Cholla, Lowland Riparian, Pond
Directions: From I-25 take Exit 122 East. This is the same exit for Pikes Peak International Raceway. Head east on Old Pueblo Road approximately 1.5 miles to Hanover Road. Travel approximately 12.3 miles to Peyton Highway. Turn right and head south to the main gate of the ranch. Upon arriving, proceed directly to ranch headquarters (about two miles in on the main road) in order to check in and pay the entrance fee.
Delorme: 63 D7
Roads of Colorado: 106 3A
Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Restrictions: Private property; owner may restrict access
Parking: Gravel parking areas
Lodging: On-site cabin rental, or hotel in Fountain
Handicapped Access: Limited
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For more information, contact Chico Basin Ranch by phone (719-683-7960), fax (719-683-4185) or email (email@example.com).