Rocky Mountains

South Park Trail

A Prairie Between Peaks

Only 1-2 hours from Denver, South Park is a flat area nearly the size of Rhode Island at an elevation of 10,000 feet, which harbors remnants of a rich prairie and wetland ecosystem. Among the abundant Brewer’s Blackbirds, Swainson’s Hawks, and pronghorn, many waterbirds breed, including a few Mountain Plovers. Where the mountains rise to the west, Veeries and Swainson’s Thrushes harmonize in the willows. In fall, South Park’s reservoirs host huge numbers of ducks, occasionally including loons, and in winter, flocks of rosy-finches descend to the cold valley floor. If you like grand, sparsely populated landscapes, put this place on your list.