Grouse & Prairie-Chicken Tour for 2012
My most basic "Grouse Loop" through the state follows.
Loveland Pass (Clear Creek County)
Guanella Pass is closed.
Blue River Water Treatment Plant (Summit County)
A short detour
Blue Ridge Road, Silverthorne (Summit County)
Search around subdivisions in hills.
Near Coalmont Greater Sage-Grouse Lek (Jackson County)
Cameron Pass (Jackson) after dark
If you are interested in very little sleep.
Easier to find on the Grand Mesa (Mesa County)
Stay in Craig or Hayden start at:
Sharp-tailed Grouse Leks
Some years: Greater Sage-Grouse (do not count on them).
Go to 80 Route Leks after for:
Possible Blue Grouse
If 80 Route is open, this is a better visit for all three.
(Listed on CoBus website if open).
If Greater Sage-Grouse are missed at 80 Route,
then I end my day at Timberlake Lek, north
of Craig. (Add one to Day numbers below)
Stay in Craig, see Barrow's Goldeneyes on
Yampa River (south of Craig and continue
toward the Colorado National Monument.
If you have seen all the grouse possible here:
Continue toward Grand Junction with side trip to Oxbow:
Oxbow Wildlife Area (Moffat)
(In season, check CoBus website for sightings.
Pinyon Jay (possible)
Gray Vireo (late spring)
Rifle Rest Stop (Garfield)
Possible Peregrine Falcon
Or Great-tailed Grackles (would be listed on CoBus website.
End daylight at Cameo (Mesa)
After dark on Grand Mesa (Mesa)
Again Owl Trip reduces sleep to almost none.
Stay in Grand Junction
Colorado National Monument (Mesa)
(No need to visit before sunrise,
get a little extra sleep this morning.
I enter from southeast entrance;
keeps sun at back all day rather than looking into it.
Pinyon Jay (Campgrounds)
Juniper Titmouse (Visitor's Center & Campgrounds)
Black-throated Sparrow (just outside southeast entrance)
Gambel's Quail (subdivision just outside southeast entrance)
Black-throated Gray Warbler (Campgrounds)
Escalante Wildlife Area & Canyon (Delta)
Chukar (west of River to Pinnacle Rock)
Black Phoebe (near Pinnacle Rock)
Fruitgrower's Reservoir (Delta)
Sandpipers and Shorebirds
Lewis's Woodpecker (E. Horn's Home below dam)
Confluence Park (Delta)
End daylight at Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park (Gunnison)
Stay in Gunnison
Waunita Hot Springs Lek (Gunnison)
Head to Springfield; along route:
Temple Canyon Park (Fremont)
(If you have to skip a Location, this would be one)
Swallows Road (Pueblo)
End daylight either:
(May be worth skipping unless birds are on RBA.
Cottonwood Canyon (Baca)
Western Screech-Owl (sunset or later)
Day 5 (old route of past ten years)
Spend night in Elkhart, Kansas
Visit one of two Elkhart Lesser Prairie-Chicken Leks
Lark Bunting, late spring.
Back to Cottonwood Canyon
Across from Washington Work Center
(7 miles south of Springfield)
Lamar Community College (Prowers)
End day looking for Greater Prairie-Chicken (Yuma)
It helps to spend two extra days if interested in the Black Phoebes
of Uravan (Montrose) and Flammulated Owl of Uncompahgre
Plateau (Mesa & Montrose Counties). Also, the pace is
hectic (getting up at 4:00am and going to bed at 12:00am)
An extra day is useful for recuperating.
Day 5 (new route we will try first time, 2018)
Visit Lesser Prairie-Chicken Leks in Western Kansas, just across border from Holly, Colorado
Scroll down to Lesser Prairie-Chicken Information
Perhaps visit Lamar Community College (Prowers County)
And Two Buttes Reservoir south of Lamar (Baca County)
Uncommon warblers & Mountain Plover south of reservoir.
End daylight at Bonny Reservoir Wildlife Area (Yuma County)
Uncommon warblers and vireos, Long-eared Owls, Eastern Screech-Owls.
If going on Wray Greater Prairie-Chicken tour, continue to Wray during daylight.
Stay in Wray
Yuma County Road 45
Search for Greater Prairie-Chickens at Yuma County Road 45,
or visit one of the ranches which require a fee.
Pawnee National Grasslands
Afterwards continue to Mountain Plover Loops; Pawnee National Grasslands (Weld)
Lower Latham Reservoir (Weld)
Short-eared Owls (at sunset)
Back in Denver for night.
Pike National Forest & Pine Valley Ranch Park (Jefferson)
American Three-toed Woodpecker
Return to Loveland Pass
If missed White-tailed Ptarmigan
Please feel free to contact CoBus and
President, Gary Weston at the following address: