Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Four Mile Country - Garfield County
Aliases: Sunlight Ski Area
Ownership: None Listed
Description: One of the best places to see lots of Purple Martins is at the Sunlight Ski Area southwest of Glenwood Springs. Follow the directions below, and look for the closest Purple Martin nests in the first aspens just west of chair lift #2 at tower #8. There are at least a dozen nesting martins in the general area.

Go back down the road and turn onto Forest Road 300. Forest Road 300 is a good road that can be traveled with a sedan in good weather all the way to its end (about 20 miles) in Pitkin County. The majority of the route is in Garfield County. In wet weather, the farthest end of the road may not be suitable except for 4-wheel vehicles; the road is only open a few miles in winter but is a good snowshoe route. In summer along this route you may encounter Tree and Violet-green Swallows, Purple Martin, Western Wood Peewee, Warbling Vireo, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pine Grosbeak, Red-naped Sapsucker and House Wren in the aspen stands. Northern Pygmy-Owls have been heard in this country. The open meadows host Lincoln's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Mountain Bluebird, American Kestrel, and Red-tailed Hawk. MacGillivray's Warblers are usually in the willows. All three accipiters nest in this area and you may be lucky enough to glimpse one. The conifer stands in this country have Engelmann spruce and Subalpine fir, Williamson's Sapsucker, Hairy Woodpecker and Three-toed Woodpecker. Western Tanager, Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Brown Creeper, Pine Siskin, Red Crossbill and Gray and Steller's Jays also haunt the conifers. This is good area for Boreal Owls. Dusky Grouse use the ridgelines between drainages. This is wonderful place for a day drive with many opportunities to stop and hike in the White River National Forest and look for your target birds.

Habitat: Aspen Grove, Mixed-Conifer Forest, Spruce-Fir Forest
Directions: Exit I-70 at Glenwood Springs. Take highway 82 southward thru town to 27th street. Go west on 27th street (this becomes Four Mile Road and County Road 117) to Sunlight Ski Area (about 10 miles from Glenwood Springs).
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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