Site Details

descriptions and directions

Cottonwood Marsh photo by Peter Burke

Conifer area - Jefferson County
Aliases: Flying J Ranch Open Space, Beaver Ranch Open Space, Newton Park, Meyer Ranch Open Space
Ownership: None Listed
Description: These four parks near Conifer are basically the same, and visiting just one would probably net you any target species. The best of the bunch is Flying J Ranch Open Space, where you can find abundant mixed-conifer woodland of high quality, interspersed with aspen groves, large meadows and even a small pond. Look here for Pygmy Nuthatch, Williamson's Sapsucker, migrating sparrow flocks in the meadows that can include Brewer's, Lincoln's, White-crowned, and even Fox Sparrows, and all the usual suspects for this elevation and habitat. There is even a slim possibility of Northern Pygmy-Owl during the winter.

Beaver Ranch Open Space, just south of Conifer, has all of the same habitats, as well as a nice willow-lined creek near the entrance. Look here for all the same species, as well as hummingbirds (including Rufous and Calliope in late summer) visiting thistles along the entrance road. Newton Park, just across the road to the north, is made up of three picnic sites that require advance reservation to use. However, you can walk into the park from Beaver Ranch. The habitat is the same, though for the most part a bit sparser, and this site is probably only worth visiting if you are really desperate.

If you haven't had enough of large meadows and mixed-conifer woodland, then visit Meyer Ranch Open Space, just northeast of Conifer. There is an extensive system of trails here that access some fairly good habitat, where you can expect to find the same species as Flying J.

Habitat: Mixed-Conifer Forest, Ponderosa Forest, Mountain Meadow, Pond
Directions: To reach Flying J Ranch, take highway 73 north out of Evergreen, and turn at the signed entrance on the left. To reach Beaver Ranch Open Space, take Foxton Road south out of Evergreen, and take an almost immediate right into the park. Newton Park is just across the road. Meyer Ranch Open Space is about a half mile east of Aspen Park along US-285.
Other Wildlife:
Other Attractions:

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