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Medano Pass Road
Aliases: Medano Pass Road (east side)
Description: This is a little-traveled road that leads through some very interesting mountain habitats. The first seven miles of the road pass through private property, so you will need to bird from your car, but after that you can explore off the road in the National Forest. The first half mile of the road passes by some excellent cattail marshes where you might find rails or Yellow-headed Blackbirds. Farther west you can scan Creager Reservoir, where coots, grebes and Ruddy Ducks breed. The National Forest has beautiful aspen groves and mixed-conifer forest where you will find a variety of mountain birds, and possibly elk, mule deer, and even bighorn sheep as well. There is free primitive camping along this road inside the National Forest. Those with four-wheel drive can continue down the west side of the pass into the spectacular Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve.
Habitat: Pond, Marsh, Pinyon-Juniper, Ponderosa Forest, Mixed-Conifer Forest, Aspen Grove
Directions: From CO 69 about nine miles west of Gardner, head left on 559 Road towards Medano Pass.
Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours of Operation: Limited access in winter
Delorme: 81 B7
Roads of Colorado: 136 A1
Ownership: Private, USFS
Lodging: Free primitive camping
Restrictions or Hazards: Please respect private property
Handicap Access: Viewing from car