· Peak to Peak
Once upon a time, all the traffic traveling from Denver to western Colorado crossed Loveland Pass, and while the opening of the Eisenhower Tunnel has changed that, Loveland is still the best place near Denver to get to the alpine tundra. It is also the most reliable place in the state to find White-tailed Ptarmigan in winter plumage. The best birding is right at the top of the pass, where in the winter you can search for ptarmigan (which often hang out along the path heading west across the road from the parking area, or in the bowl on the southeastern side). During the summer months, the ptarmigan are much harder to find, but breeding American Pipits, Horned Larks, White-crowned Sparrows, and others make up for it. Loveland Pass also offers some of the best highland butterflying in the state, with several rare species possible, such as Polixenes Arctic and Magdalena Alpine.
County: Clear Creek
Directions: From I-70: exit 216, US Hwy 6/Loveland Pass Rd., just before the Eisenhower Tunnel. Head southeast on US Hwy 6, past Loveland Basin Ski Area. There is a large pull-out area at the top of the pass, on the east side.
Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: Daylight hours
Restrictions: Road closures occur often in the winter
Parking: Paved parking area
Lodging: Hotels in Silverthorne and several Forest Service Campgrounds nearby
Handicapped Access: None
» Visit the website for Loveland Pass
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