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Picket Wire Canyon
"Picket Wire" is actually a corruption of the name "Purgatoire," and so you will not find it on the map. A joint effort by the Comanche National Grasslands and the Pinyon Canyon Maneuver Site allows foot and bike access to an 8 mile stretch to this wide canyon with permanent water. The hillsides here are dominated by PJ, the valley bottoms by saltbush, and the riverside by sparse but large cottonwoods. From the parking lot, it is a mile to the river down a steep, rough, road. From there, it is a mile and a half south to the Las Animas County line, and five miles to the dinosaur tracks that many people come here to see. Ornithologically, Picket Wire Canyon is good for such SE specialties as Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Curve-billed Thrasher, Scaled Quail, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, and Cassin's Kingbird. Other species seen here include Black-throated Gray Warbler, Gray Flycatcher, Bushtit, Lewis' Woodpecker, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and wrens of various stripes. The groves may have migrants in season, and the saltbush and greasewood flats could have Black-throated Sparrows.
Pinyon/Juniper Forest, Sagebrush, Lowland Riparian, Stream
From La Junta, head south on CO 109 to GR 802 (David Canyon Road) and turn right (southwest). Follow this road to its T intersection with GR 25 and turn left (south). Follow this road six miles south to the entrance to Picket Wire Canyon.
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eBird Seasonal Bar Chart
Latest Picket Wire Canyon Sightings from eBird
CBRC Records from Picket Wire Canyon