San Luis Hills

· Blanca

San Luis Hills

Aliases: John James Canyon

Rising out of the floor of the valley in the middle of otherwise flat sagebrush and grassland, the San Luis Hills provide not only a chance to look for some rare species for the San Luis Valley, but also a good chance to go hiking in an area not generally known for that pastime. The main draw here is Black-throated Sparrow, which can usually be found near the parking area as well as along the trail. Also keep an eye out for Bewick’s Wren, Sage Sparrow, Virginia’s Warbler, and pinyon-juniper species such as Pinyon Jay. This remote area supports populations of coyote, pronghorn, and black-tailed jackrabbit.

County: Conejos

Habitat: Pinyon-Juniper Forest, Sagebrush

Directions: From Antonito at the junction of Highway 285 (Main Street) and 8th Ave. travel east on the paved G Road). At 3.8 miles, the road turns to gravel and at 9.7 miles, there is a cattle guard (grate) across the road. About 100 feet east of the cattle guard, there are two primitive jeep roads that head to the north. Take the east branch and you will be heading northeast for about a mile. Then the road turns to the northwest for another mile, until you see the fence and entrance to John James Canyon. Park there and start your hike up the trail. Passenger cars can make it to this point in dry weather with some care. Note that these are technically the called Pinyon Hills on many maps.

Delorme: 90 C4, 91 C5
Roads of Colorado: 151 D2-E2

Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: Any
Ownership: BLM
Admission: Free

Restrictions: None

Parking: Gravel parking area
Lodging: Primitive camping

Handicapped: No
Handicapped Access: None

Latitude: 37.090781
Longitude: -105.837151


Drinking FountainNo
Gravel TrailsYes
Paved TrailsNo
Visitor CenterNo
Gift ShopNo

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