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Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Diamond Peak area - Moffat County
Aliases:
Ownership: None Listed
Description: (submitted by Andrew Spencer) If you want to get away from it all, then this is a great area to do it. This area is as far NW as one can get in Colorado, and is extremely rarely visited by birders. A number of isolated mountains rise out of the valley here. Diamond Peak is that tallest, though the enormous Cold Spring Mountain to the south is far larger. These two peaks, along with nearby Middle Mountain and the O-wi-yu-kuts Mountains are outliers of Utah's Uintah Mountains, and some of the specialties from there should be looked for in this area.

Diamond Peak has thick mixed conifer woodland and aspen groves where most species of such habitat can be found, including Dusky Grouse and Red Crossbill. A neat bog is found on the southwest flank of the mountain, just above the small cabin and pond. Look here for Cassin's Finch, more Dusky Grouse, Red-naped Sapsucker, and others.

Most of the land in the valley is dense sagebrush, with Greater Sage-Grouse a possibility. Middle Mountain, against the Utah border, contains many of the same habitats as Diamond Peak, with the same species plus breeding Peregrine Falcon.

The Wiggins unit of the Browns Park SWA, against the Utah border west of Diamond peak contains dense limber pine woodland, aspen groves, and brushy thickets. A singing Winter Wren, of the western race, was heard here in the summer of 2003, testifying to this area's Uintah roots.

Many more chances for exploration exist here. I have never driven around the north side of Diamond Peak, or onto Cold Spring Mountain, and doubtless many more very cool areas with great habitat are just waiting to be found.

Habitat: Mixed-Conifer Forest, Aspen Grove, Sagebrush
Elevation:
Directions: To reach this area, travel through Irish Canyon (see directions above) to CR 72, almost 5 miles from the northern mouth of the canyon, and head west. The spring at the base of Diamond Peak is reached by turning right off of CR 72 at 9 miles from CR 10N. To reach Middle Mountain and the Wyoming border, continue on CR 72, and follow it as it bends to the north, for an additional 11 miles. If you stay straight as CR 72 bends north at 10 miles from CR 10N you will be on an unmarked road that heads to the Wiggins Unit of the Browns Park NWR, in about five miles.
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