Tamarack Ranch State Wildlife Area
While you won’t see many tamarack trees here, this large SWA is the best spot in northeastern Colorado to search for the full suite of northeastern specialties. Search particularly in the denser riparian habitat to the north of the road and south of the river for Northern Cardinal; Baltimore Oriole (as well as hybrids of all sorts); Eastern, Spotted, and everything-in-between Towhees; Red-bellied Woodpecker; and Bell’s Vireo. The more open country to the east of CO 63 could have Field Sparrow, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Upland Sandpiper. In the winter months, flocks of sparrows might include Harris’s Sparrow, and Rough-legged Hawks are sometimes found hanging out in the area. Hunting occurs on this property, so be sure to check for seasonal restrictions before heading out.
Directions: From I-76: take exit 149/Crook and go north on CO 55. In a little over a mile, head east on CR 385 into the parking lot. The western portion of the State Wildlife Area is accessible via a dirt road just north of the parking lot at R 385.
Dates of Access: Open all year with the following exceptions: Closed to all but hunting the last weekend of October, opening day, and the first weekend of December
Hours: Daylight hours
Restrictions: Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds visitors to check current hunting, fishing and land use regulations when planning to visit a State Wildlife Area. Please obey all rules and regulations.
Parking: Gravel parking areas and roadside
Lodging: Limited primitive camping available, lodging in Sterling or Julesburg
Handicapped Access: Limited birding from your car