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View all of Dolores County
The scenery in this canyon will make up for any birds you miss! There are two areas from which the canyon can be seen and birded. The first is down a rough but passable road that goes to the canyon floor. The Ponderosa Pines along the road and the river are sparse, but reach amazing size, and can have calling Flammulated and Saw-whet Owls in season. Spotted Owl is a remote possibility in some of the larger (inaccessible?) stands of Ponderosa in the canyon; a float trip would be required to conduct an adequate search. Canyon Wren, Common Poorwill, Gray Flycatcher and Plumbeous Vireo can all be found along the upper portion of the road, and Rock Wren can also be seen farther down. The campgound at the canyon floor has a nice patch of oak and riparian habitat. The second part of the canyon worth checking is the Dolores Canyon Overlook, which has both awesome scenery and White-throated Swifts. A fire in the overlook area in 2003 may have created some good woodpecker habitat.
Cliff Face, Rimrock/Mesa, Pinyon-Juniper Forest, Stream, Lowland Riparian
To get to the canyon floor, drive SE out of Dove Creek along US 491 about 0.5 miles and turn left on CR J.00, then left onto CR 9.00 soon thereafter. Turn right on CR H.00 (.4 m) and left on CR 10.00 (1 m). Follow CR 10.00 to the canyon bottom. This route is signed, but be careful in following CR 10.00 so as not to end up in the driveway of the last house along the route. To get to the overlook, start as above but remain on CR J.00 through various twists to a left turn (about 5.5 m) which should be signed. The overlook is at the end of the road (about 3 m).
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