Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

US 550 between Ouray and San Juan County - Ouray County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: South of Ouray, US 550 travels along the edge of the steep canyon created by the Umcompahgre River. Flatlanders might have heart palpitations caused by the sheer drops from the road surface, but numerous pullouts and trailheads offer the chance to ogle the scenery and search for Black Swifts. As one approaches San Juan County, climbing to Red Mountain Pass, the land levels a bit and offers a wider variety of habitats. Crystal Lake, on the west side of US 550 about halfway between Ouray and the San Juan County line, has hosted waterfowl, but much of the water surface can be difficult to see without looking for the best vantage points. The Rest Area across from the now-being-reclaimed Idarado Mine is worth a quick stop to watch for migrating raptors and other birds in fall.

Habitat: Mixed Conifer Forest, Spruce-Fir Forest, Streamside Willow, Cliff Face
Directions: Travel US 550 south from Ouray or north from San Juan County. Take advantage of pullouts, trailheads, and the Rest Area.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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