· La Plata
Aliases: Cottonwood Park, Jackson Gulch Reservoir, Shark's Tooth Trail, Weber Reservoir
This small town between Cortez and Durango is not only a good place to base yourself when visiting the nearby area or Mesa Verde, it is also a decent birding spot in its own right. The Mancos Riverwalk provides access to the riparian corridor along the Mancos River, as does the nearby Cottonwood Park just west of Spruce Street north of the river. Look for migrants in season, and Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock’s Oriole, Downy Woodpecker, and other riparian birds during the summer. Another area to check is CR 41, which heads south out of town. At first, look for Lewis’s Woodpeckers in the large cottonwoods. Later on, as you enter extensive pinyon-juniper woodland, look for Gray Vireo, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Juniper Titmouse, and more. Mammals in the area include coyotes, desert cottontails, and mule deer.
Habitat: Urban/Suburban, Lowland Riparian, Stream, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Ponderosa Forest, Scrub Oak Forest, Aspen Grove, Spruce-Fir Forest
Directions: Mancos is along US 160 about fifteen miles east of Cortez. To get to the riverwalk, turn south from US 160 onto Beech Street and follow it to the parking lot behind the high school. To get to Cottonwood Park, turn south from US 160 onto Spruce Street at the west end of town and follow it to the river. To get to CR 41, turn south at the intersection of US 160 and CO 184. CR 184 turns into CR 41 here.
Delorme: 85 A6-A7
Roads of Colorado: 129 F4
Dates of Access: Open all year
Restrictions: Respect private property - bird from the road where applicable
Handicapped Access: Handicap accessible trails/restrooms