Aliases: Rocky Ford State Wildlife Area, Dye Reservoir
This large town is an excellent birding location, with many large trees that often contain some interesting species. The gem of this area, though, is the Rocky Ford State Wildlife Area, with its excellent riparian habitat, thickets and river access. Look here for sparrows, migrants, Western Screech-Owl, squirrels, muskrat and deer. A short viewing trail is located on the McClelland Tract of the SWA which leads from a parking area along the top of the rolling hills above the Arkansas river to an overlook with a sandstone bench. In addition to the SWA, the sewage ponds just northeast of Rocky Ford can be great for shorebirds and waterbirds, depending on water levels. Dickcissels nest near here.
Habitat: Urban/Suburban, Pond/Lake/Reservoir, Lowland Riparian, Wet Meadow
Directions: Rocky Ford is along US 50 about fifty miles east of Pueblo. To get to the sewage ponds, Rocky Ford SWA and Dye Reservoir, from US 50 in the middle of town, head north on CO 266. After this highway curves around to the east and heads out of town, turn left (north) on CR 20.5. The sewage ponds are just down this road on the right. To get to the SWA, continue on CO 266 across the Arkansas River; the SWA is on the right and can be accessed via CR 80.5. Just beyond CR 80.5, CO 266 crosses the canal. To scan Dye Reservoir, turn left onto the canal road that is on the north side of the canal. The reservoir is visible on the right in about a mile.
Delorme: 98 D3
Roads of Colorado: 123 F3
Dates of Access: Open all year
Ownership: Municipal/ Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Admission: Town of Rocky Ford is free; A valid hunting or fishing license is required for everyone 18 or older to access any State Wildlife Area or State Trust Land leased by Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Restrictions: Please respect private property; No fires at the SWA; Keep dogs on leash unless in use for hunting
Lodging: Camping at the SWA, or hotel in town
Handicapped Access: Some car viewing and easy walking trails
» Explore eBird Hotspot for this site
719-336-6600 for Colorado Parks & Wildlife information