Williams Creek Reservoir
Thanks to its gorgeous natural setting, Williams Creek Reservoir is a very popular destination for fishermen and campers. It is also a popular destination for waterbirds ranging from Cinnamon Teal to Western Grebe, most of which congregate along the reservoir’s north shore. The road north of the reservoir traverses some mid-elevation riparian areas with Red-naped Sapsucker; thick willows along the stream in the valley floor harbor Fox Sparrows and MacGillivray’s Warblers; elk graze in the wet meadows; Boloria fritillaries flutter, and Wilson’s Snipe winnow overhead on summer evenings. At the end of the road pick up the Williams Creek Trail, a beautiful path through mixed-conifer and spruce-fir forests where Cassin’s Finch, Hammond’s Flycatcher and Three-toed Woodpecker can be found. One of the authors once frightened a black bear off this trail, so keep your eyes peeled.
Habitat: Lake, Ponderosa Forest, Streamside Willow, Mixed-Conifer Forest, Spruce-Fir Forest
Directions: Two miles west of Pagosa Springs on US 160, head north on Archuleta CR 600 (Piedra Road), and stay on this road for 15.5 miles to the Hinsdale County line. This road then becomes Hinsdale CR 631. To get to Williams Creek Reservoir, continue north for 6.2 miles to CR 640. Go north on CR 640 for 1.5 miles to the reservoir. Continue past it to the end of the road to reach the Williams Creek Trailhead.
Delorme: 77 D7
Roads of Colorado: 132 A3
Dates of Access: Open all year, but most roads closed in winter.
Ownership: US Forest Service
Parking: Unpaved parking areas
Lodging: Five USFS campgrounds in area
Handicapped Access: Viewing from car