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Two Buttes SWA
Description: This reservoir and state wildlife area just east of Highway 385 and south of the Prowers county line is among the crown jewels of Southeast Colorado birding spots. Above the dam is a middle-sized reservoir lined with cottonwoods and rimrock, which can be good for ducks and grebes when high and for shorebirds when low. Below the dam is a veritable wonderland of habitats, including extensive tangles of underbrush, tall trees, marshy ponds and grassy areas. This area can be excellent any time of year, but especially during migration; it is probably the best public area in Colorado to find roadrunners. Check for roosting Barn and Great Horned Owls along the cliffs. The vagrant list for this area is truly impressive. Look along the entrance road to the north for Mountain Plovers in season, and prairie longspurs in migration. Various species of reptiles and amphibians live here, including prairie rattlesnake, plains spadefoot and red-spotted toads, painted and ornate box turtles, and fence lizards. Pronghorn, raccoons and coyotes can be seen as well. Insect repellent can be a good idea during the warmer months.
Habitat: Grassland/Prairie; Yucca; Marsh; Pond/Lake/Reservoir; Lowland Riparian; Rimrock/Mesa
Directions: Note: distances are approximate, and all dirt roads in Baca County are VERY slippery after being rained on. From the north, go south on US route 287/385 to Prowers CR B.5 (30 miles south of Lamar), and go east for 4 miles to Prowers CR 12. Go right (south) on CR 12 for a little over 2 miles, to where the road going below the dam takes off to the left. The reservoir itself can be scanned from the dam, or from the many roads along the southeast part of the reservoir. From the South, go north on US routes 287/385 to Baca CR VV (14.5 miles north of Springfield), and go east on CR VV. Follow CR VV for a little over 5 miles to a 'T' with CR 30, and take a left. The entrance road to below the dam takes a very sharp right from just over the dam.
Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours of Operation:
Delorme: 101 B7
Roads of Colorado: 142 B2-B3
Lodging: Tent camping, or hotel in Lamar or Springfield
Parking: Gravel parking areas
Restrictions or Hazards: Do not park along the dam to scan the reservoir; be aware of hunters in season
Handicap Access: Easy walking trail; viewing from car
Other Wildlife: deer, racoons, rattlesnakes, and many other herps
Attractions: Excellent scenery
URL: Two Buttes SWA Website