San Miguel River Tabeguache Preserve
Aliases: Naturita Canyon
This Nature Conservancy preserve contains a seven-mile stretch of the San Miguel River just northwest of the town of Naturita. It has a visitor’s area with restrooms, a kiosk, a short walking trail and a picnic area. In between the pinyon-juniper hillsides, it also contains some excellent lowland riparian forest of cottonwood and willow. Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons are two of the higher-profile birds to look for in this area; Black Phoebes are a good bet too. The pinyon-juniper hillsides are good places to look for Gray Vireo, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Black-chinned Hummingbird. Keep an eye out for the locally endangered river otter when you’re near the river.
Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Mesa/Rimrock, Pinyon-Juniper Forest, Stream
Directions: From Naturita, head north/west on CO 141 to mile marker 74. The visitor's area on the right (north) side of the road. The preserve extends along the river from here to mile marker 67.2.
Delorme: 64 C3
Roads of Colorado: 113 D1
Dates of Access: Year round. Difficult to access in winter
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
Ownership: Nature Conservancy
Parking: Gravel parking area
Lodging: Hotel in Naturita
Handicapped Access: Limited