Pawnee National Grasslands (western section)
Aliases: Murphy's Pasture, Central Plains Experimental Range,
The Pawnee National Grassland is one of the premier patches of shortgrass prairie remaining on the Great Plains, a haven for a suite of prairie birds increasingly scarce elsewhere: Ferruginous Hawk, Mountain Plover, Long-billed Curlew, Burrowing Owl, McCown’s and Chestnut-collared Longspur, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Colorado’s striking state bird, the Lark Bunting. In some years, Cassin’s Sparrows are numerous. Pronghorn and black-tailed prairie-dog are hard to miss, and coyotes are sometimes seen, along with the occasional swift fox. The National Grassland is a complex and remote patchwork of federal, private, and leased lands; a good map is essential for navigating the area.
For a self-guided birding tour: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5318485.pdf
Directions: To get to one of the best areas, Murphy's Pasture, from I-25: exit 269-A, CO 14/Mulberry St. and go east for 35 miles to CO 69. Head north on CR 69 and in 3 miles, go east onto CR 96. Murphy's Pasture is the next 4 miles of road.
Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: Daylight hours
Restrictions: Beware of rattlesnakes. Bring a map and adequate water
Lodging: Camping at Crow Valley Campground, or hotels in Greeley
Handicapped Access: Viewing from car
» Visit the website for Pawnee National Grasslands (western section)