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descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Eldorado Canyon State Park - Boulder County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: "Slow down or walk," says the sign at the entrance to the tiny hamlet of Eldorado Springs, and the sudden deterioration in road quality ensures that you have no other choices. But you wouldn't want to zoom past this town anyway. There's some decent riparian habitat along the river, and Red-eyed Vireos have been found in town doing things suspiciously similar to breeding. The views become increasingly spectacular as you get towards the entrance of the state park, which is framed by enormous cliffs. Near the entrance station, in the warmer months, you'll find Canyon Wrens caroling, dippers bouncing downstream, and squadrons of swifts and swallows dogfighting far above your head. Check the cottonwoods for migrants. Past the canyon mouth, the valley flattens out and mixed conifer forests press down against the road. The trail system here connects with the Walker Ranch and with the disjunct western section of Eldorado Canyon State Park several miles upstream, which contains more mixed conifer forest, ponderosa and mountain meadows.

Habitat: Lowland Riparian, Cliff Face, Stream, Mixed Conifer Forest, Ponderosa Forest, Mountain Meadows
Directions: From Boulder, take Broadway (CO 93) south out of town a few miles to its intersection with Eldorado Canyon Road (CO 170). Turn right (west) on Eldorado Canyon Road and follow it to and through the town of Eldorado Springs to the state park entrance. From Denver, take US 36 west and exit at Louisville/Superior (exit #...?) onto McCaslin Boulevard. Head south on McCaslin to CO 170 and turn right (west). Continue as above.
Other Wildlife:
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