Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

La Plata Canyon - La Plata County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: This canyon is accessed west of Durango and is the source of the La Plata River. In winter all three species of rosy-finches can be found at the feeders at the house on the left side of the road about a mile from US 160. The road up the canyon goes all the way up to Kennebec Pass above tree line to alpine tundra. However, the last mile or two requires a four-wheel drive vehicle. The road passes through several different life zones including ponderosa and spruce/fir forests. Pine Grosbeaks and crossbills are present and hummingbirds [including Calliope] feed on the wildflowers, especially during fall migration. Lincoln's and White-crowned Sparrows breed here.

Habitat: Ponderosa Forest, Spruce-Fir Forest, Mountain Meadow, Krummholz, Alpine Tundra
Directions: From downtown Durango travel west on US 160 about 10 miles and turn right (north) on CR 124 just past Hesperus. Check the feeders at the house on the left after about 1 mile for Rosy-finches in winter. After about 6 miles the paved road ends, but the gravel road continues to above treeline. The last 1 -2 miles require a four-wheel drive vehicle, but scenery at the top is worth the drive. Trails go several directions from the parking area including the Colorado Trail which starts in Durango and ends in Denver some 470 miles distant. There are many places to stop en route to check the birds.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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