McElmo Canyon

· Canyon of the Ancients

McElmo Canyon

Aliases: Ismay Trading Post

Heading west out of Cortez, this road not only provides access to some truly beautiful riparian habitat (viewing should be from the road), but also to Canyon of the Ancients and Hovenweep National Monuments and Yellow Jacket Canyon. Along the road itself, keep an eye out for Gambel’s Quail (rare in this part of Colorado), Black Phoebe (at the CR J bridge), Ash-throated Flycatcher and Cassin’s Kingbird, and Black-throated Sparrow. Common Kingsnake, known from just a few localities in Colorado, has been found along the road, along with a host of other reptiles and local butterflies like Desert Elfin, Desert Marble, and Southwestern Orangetip.

County: Montezuma

Habitat: Rimrock/Mesa, Lowland Riparian, Stream

Directions: From Cortez, head west on US 160 to the intersection with CR G, which is half a mile south of the McElmo Creek crossing south and west of town. Turn right (west) on CR G. The CR J bridge is on the right, about seven miles west of the highway.

Delorme: 84 B1-B3
Roads of Colorado: 144 A1-C1

Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: Any
Ownership: Private/BLM/National Park Service
Admission: Free

Restrictions: Be careful when pulling off along the road

Parking: Roadside
Lodging: Bed and Breakfast along the road

Handicapped: No
Handicapped Access: Limited

Latitude: 37.333675
Longitude: -108.736779

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Drinking FountainNo
Gravel TrailsNo
Paved TrailsNo
Visitor CenterNo
Gift ShopNo

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