Rocky Mountain National Park – Wild Basin
Aliases: Copeland Lake, Ouzel Falls
Here in the southeastern corner of Rocky Mountain National Park, the birding can be excellent, especially in summer. Along the first stretch of road, look for ponderosa pine birds like Williamson’s Sapsucker and Western Tanager. On the main Wild Basin Trail, keep an eye out for Dusky Grouse and American Three-toed Woodpecker. At the scenic Calypso Cascades, about 2 miles up the trail, Pacific/Winter Wrens have set up territories during a few summers, though they are not to be expected. If you’re feeling up to it, continue hiking another 2 miles up to Ouzel Falls, a nesting site for the elusive Black Swift. It is difficult to see the swifts on their nests near the waterfall, but sometimes they can be viewed soaring over the valley, even over the parking lot and the entrance station, especially on summer days with low, threatening cloud cover.
Directions: From Lyons: head northwest on CO 7 to CO 84 and go west on CO 84 until the road forks. Go to the right onto CO 115, which is located at the Sandbeach Lake Trailhead. Continue west on CO 115 until you reach the Wild Basin Ranger Station and parking lot.
Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: Daylight hours
Ownership: National Park Service, Department of the Interior
Admission: Daily, weekly, annual entrance fee
Restrictions: Please obey all rules and regulations
Parking: Gravel parking area
Lodging: Backcountry camping in summer, or hotels in Estes Park
Handicapped Access: Some viewing from in and around parking areas
» Visit the website for Rocky Mountain National Park – Wild Basin
RMNP Maps: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/maps.htm