Sanchez Reservoir State Wildlife Area
Sanchez Reservoir is among the largest in the San Luis Valley, as well as among the most productive. The southern end can be frustrating to scan; most of the birds are usually on the north end. Look for just about any regular duck species during migration, shorebirds when the water level is sufficiently low, gulls, and sometimes loons and grebes. The small riparian areas nearby could have some passerines, and the sage flats that dominate this part of the valley have Sage Sparrow and Sage Thrasher. Black-tailed jackrabbits and desert cottontails are common in the same habitat.
Directions: From the intersection of CO 159 and CO 142 in San Luis, head east on the continuation of CO 142 (CR P.6) about three miles to CR 21 and turn right (south). From here it is about five miles south to the SWA. Check the seasonal ponds and the brush along the way for ducks and sparrows respectively, but do it from the road.
Delorme: 91 D7
Roads of Colorado: 152 A3
Dates of Access: Open all year
Ownership: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Admission: 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: Hunting, waterskiing, bowfishing prohibited. All crayfish must be returned to the water immediately, or killed and taken, abdomen must be separated from the tail.
Parking: Gravel parking area
Lodging: Primitive camping
Handicapped Access: Some viewing from car