Hot Creek State Wildlife Area
This remote state wildlife area has an enormous spring system with extensive marshy areas that are good for rails, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Savannah Sparrow and other species typical of this habitat. Pinyon Jays can usually be found in the surrounding pinyon-juniper forest. The road in requires high clearance, mostly due to a stream crossing with 2-3 feet of water. The wet meadows surrounding the springs are excellent for many rare and beautiful butterfly species, including Nokomis Fritillary, Sandhill Skipper, Ruddy Copper, and more.
Habitat: Wet Meadow, Pinyon-Juniper Forest
Directions: From the junction of US 285 and CO 15, about 13 miles south of Alamosa, turn right (west) onto CO 15 and travel for 10.5 miles. Turn left onto FR 255. Go 2.8 miles from the intersection of CO 15 and FR 255 and take a left onto an unmarked rough road (Hot Creek Road). A low-clearance vehicle will not be able to travel far on this road. The best habitat is from one to two miles in.
Delorme: 90 B1
Roads of Colorado: 134 B1-2
Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: Open May 1 to Nov 30
Ownership: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Restrictions: High-clearance vehicle required for the entrance road. Area closed Dec 1 to April 30
Parking: Roadside/gravel parking area
Handicapped Access: Limited