· Sandhill Crane
Aliases: North Crestone Creek Campground
Crestone is a small, isolated town in a gorgeous natural setting. Described as a ‘spiritual and New Age center,’ the town is covered in large cottonwoods (many of which died in the turn-of-the-century drought) and surrounded by pinyon-juniper woodlands on the east and wetlands on the west. The result is a town full of birds, from woodpeckers (including Lewis’s) to Pinyon Jays and Broad-tailed and Black-chinned Hummingbirds. The wetlands along the entrance road to town provide breeding places for Black-crowned Night-Heron, Wilson’s Phalarope, Wilson’s Snipe, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Cinnamon Teal, etcetera. The National Forest campground just northeast of town sits in a rocky canyon full of pinyon-juniper, mixed conifers, and mid-elevation riparian growth. Many montane and shrubland birds can be found here, including MacGillivray’s Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Brown Creeper, Hermit Thrush, Cordilleran and Dusky Flycatchers, Western Tanager and White-throated Swift. Mammals in the area range from elk to the elusive Ringtail, but the main attraction for wildlife watchers will probably be the birds.
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Urban/Suburban, Pinyon-Juniper Forest, Foothill Shrub, Mixed-Conifer Forest, Stream, Spruce-Fir Forest
Directions: From CO 17 at the tiny town of Moffat, head east on CR T about thirteen miles to the town of Crestone. To get to the North Crestone Creek Campground, turn left (north) at the T intersection to go through the main part of Crestone, and follow the main flow of traffic (if there is any) north and west through town until you emerge heading north on a paved road through PJ which will take you to the campground in a couple of miles.
Delorme: 71 D5, 81 D5
Roads of Colorado: 119 E4
Dates of Access: National Forest access roads are seasonally closed
Ownership: Municipal/Private/US Forest Service
Restrictions: Please respect private property.
Parking: Various parking areas
Lodging: Hotels and USFS campgrounds
Handicapped Access: Some viewing from car