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Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Picture Canyon - Baca County
Ownership: None Listed
Description: One of the best-kept secrets in Baca County. This canyon is much like nearby Cottonwood Canyon, but with much less in the way of riparian habitat. Most of the PJ and cliff face/rimrock birds that occur in SE Colorado can be seen here, as well as grassland species. The hillsides right around the parking lot (as well as farther in) have Rufous-crowned Sparrows, and the cliffs can have nesting owls. About half a mile down the trail from the parking lot, a large seep with riparian habitat surrounding it and cattails in the middle should be good for migrants, and maybe a rail or two. Just beyond the seep the trail splits. Going left will take you south a mile to the Oklahoma border through a wide cholla and yucca grassland full of Cassin's Sparrows in summer. Following the main trail the other direction, you will reach an area with many amazing rock formations, and a narrow canyon with riparian and scrubby habitat along with a permanent spring, another good spot to check for migrants, and nesting Eastern Phoebe. Be sure to follow the foot trail when approaching this area, as the horse trail skirts the good stuff. Eventually the trail reaches an area with some good petroglyphs, passing through more canyon country and cholla grasslands.

Habitat: Cliff Face, Cholla, Yucca, Lowland Riparian, Grassland/Prairie, Pinyon-Juniper Forest
Directions: Go south on US 287/385 to CR M (18 miles south of Springfield) and go west on CR M. Go eight miles to GR 18 and turn left (south). About eight miles south of CR M, where the road begins to curve left, turn right onto the entrance road to Picture Canyon (signed).
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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