Aliases: Rawhide Energy Station
Hamilton Reservoir was created as a cooling lagoon for Platte River Power Authority’s Rawhide Energy Station. Because of the warm water coming in from the power plant, it stays open even in the coldest winter weather. During cold spells when all the other water in the region is frozen, ducks, geese, grebes and other waterbirds can congregate here in huge numbers. The power company maintains a visitor viewing area on the south side of the reservoir where birds are easily seen with a scope. The utility also maintains an area of native prairie to the west that can be viewed from the entrance road. Lark Buntings, Grasshopper Sparrows, Common Nighthawks, and other prairie birds can often be found here in summer. If you are lucky, you may even see part of the bison herd that Platte River maintains on the land.
Directions: Rawhide Energy Station is located at 2700 E CR82 in Wellington, CO From I-25: take exit 288, CO 82/Buckeye Road and head west. Rawhide Energy Station is approximately three miles from the highway on the North side of Buckeye Rd. Go north on CR 9 and after the curve, go south into the nature viewing area, located just before the security gate.
Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: Daylight hours
Restrictions: The overlook may be closed without notice due to inclement weather or other circumstances. Call ahead to make sure the overlook is open. Please obey all rules and regulations, including closures.
Parking: Gravel parking area
Lodging: Hotels in Fort Collins
Handicapped Access: Limited birding from your car
Call before you head out: (970) 229-1776
Colorado Birding: https://coloradocountybirding.org/BySite.aspx?SiteID=529&CountyID=36