Groundhog Reservoir State Wildlife Area
Backed by the striking silhouette of Lone Cone mountain, Groundhog is the largest body of water in Dolores County and a remote destination that is mostly accessible from May through September. Although the reservoir frequently seems empty of birds, a spotting scope will usually reveal good numbers of ducks and Western and Eared Grebes; sometimes shorebirds, Bald Eagles or Ospreys, and even Surf Scoters have been seen. This is also one of the best places in Colorado to find Purple Martins, which nest in the aspen groves near the water and sometimes forage over the parking lot. The wet meadow and aspen habitats surrounding the reservoir can serve up breeding birds like Lincoln’s and Fox Sparrows. Elk are common in the area, as are deer, coyotes, foxes, and the marmots for which the reservoir is named.
Habitat: Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Aspen Grove, Wet Meadow, Mixed Conifer Forest
Directions: From the town of Dolores, drive north on CR 31, which is also FR 526. Turn right onto CR H.00, which is also FR 533, at a signed intersection after roughly 25 miles. Groundhog Reservoir SWA is on the left at about 4 miles.
Delorme: 75 B6
Roads of Colorado: 129 E1
Dates of Access: Mostly May to September
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: Please obey all CPW rules and regulations.
Parking: Unpaved parking lot
Lodging: Primitive camping in a privately run RV Park and Campground.
Handicapped Access: Some viewing from car.
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