Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Big Gypsum Valley - San Miguel County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: This large sagebrush and grass steppe valley is bordered on either side by a ridge of low mountains. At the west end of the valley the Dolores River cuts the valley perpendicularly. Spring and early summer is the best time to find specialties for San Miguel County. Sparrows are common in the sagebrush and grass steppe including Black-throated Sparrow. Where pinyons and junipers are present look for Gray and Ash-throated Flycatcher and Gray Vireo. At the river lowland riparian species are present. Yellow-breasted Chat, Lazuli Bunting, and Bullock's Oriole all nest along the river. The red rocks walls have both Rock and Canyon Wrens. Black Phoebe can be found near the bridge. Even a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was found just west of the river. Watch for Northern Mockingbird, Scott's Oriole, and Indigo Bunting in the area near the river.

Habitat: Sagebrush, Grassland/Prairie, Pinyon/Juniper Forest, Lowland Riparian, Cliff Face
Directions: From the intersection of CO 145 and CO 141 four miles east of Naturita drive south on CO 141 for 23 miles. Turn right (northwest) on CR 20 R. Look for the sign "Big Gypsum Valley". Stay on this graveled county road until the Dolores River is reached in 15 miles. Birding the road is a good way to find many of the specialties.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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Other Sites in San Miguel County
eBird Seasonal Bar Chart

Latest Big Gypsum Valley Sightings from eBird


CBRC Records from Big Gypsum Valley

SpeciesAccession No.Date(s)
Black Phoebe1998-0923/22/1998
Black Phoebe1998-0947/6/1998