Madden Peak Road
This dirt road heads north from the high point between Cortez and Durango, providing access to excellent ponderosa pine woodland and aspen groves. Driving this road early in the morning during April is a fantastic way to find Dusky Grouse, which often display right along the road. A little later in the year, Purple Martins can sometimes be found in the larger aspen groves that border meadows. Look for Grace’s Warbler, Williamson’s Sapsucker, and Dusky and Hammond’s Flycatchers in the ponderosa woodland, and Red-naped Sapsucker, Orange-crowned Warbler, Violet-green Swallow, and Flammulated Owl in the areas with aspens. A number of mammal species could also be found along this road; both black bear and bobcat have been seen; drive slowly to avoid hitting the numerous elk and deer.
County: La Plata
Habitat: Mountain Meadow, Scrub Oak Forest, Aspen Grove
Directions: From Durango go west on US 160, and just west of the La Plata/Montezuma county line sign, turn right (north) on Madden Peak Road (FR 316).
Delorme: 85 B7
Roads of Colorado: 146 A1
Dates of Access: Summer months
Ownership: US Forest Service
Restrictions: Likely closed in winter due to snow.
Lodging: Primitive camping
Handicapped Access: None