· Canyon of the Ancients
Aliases: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (Dolores section)
A small canyon at the northern reaches of the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, this is THE place in Dolores County for pinyon-juniper specialties. Look along the road in for Gray Flycatcher, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Pinyon Jay, Juniper Titmouse, Black-throated Sparrow, and maybe even Scott’s Oriole. This area has one of the highest densities of breeding Gray Vireos in the state. The small riparian area in the floor of the canyon is good for Virginia’s Warbler, Lazuli Bunting, Western Tanager, and Black-headed Grosbeak. The small pools of water are excellent for a variety of dragonflies and butterflies; this is one of the best places in Colorado to find Canyonland Satyr. Note that the road in is very rough and requires high clearance, but can be walked if you desire.
Habitat: Pinyon-Juniper Forest, Rimrock/Mesa, Lowland Riparian, Sagebrush
Directions: Note: distances are approximate. From Dove Creek, drive west on CR J. Turn left on CR 6 (1.5 m); right on CR P (5.5 m); left on CR 6 again (0.25 m); right on CR S.00 (2 m); left on CR 5 (0.5 m); right on CR S (0.5 m); left on CR 5 (0.5 m); right on CR T (1 m); left on CR 4 (1 m); right on CR U (1 m), and right on CR T.5, which snakes around past some farmsteads. At 0.7 miles, bear left onto an inconspicuous side road that drops down into the canyon; it may be necessary to open a barbed-wire gate at the entrance to public lands. The entire canyon floor is part of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.
Delorme: 74 C1-D1
Roads of Colorado: 128 A2-B2
Dates of Access: Open all year
Restrictions: Access road requires high-clearance vehicle
Lodging: Primitive camping
Handicapped Access: Limited
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