DURANGO, Colo. – Colorado’s public lands are vital to wildlife. So what better way to spend Colorado Public Lands Day, May 19, than to view various bird species at Sambrito Wetlands at Navajo State Park.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife will host an informal event there for wildlife watchers from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. The area, however, remains open until ?? p.m…
The wetlands area holds abundant bird habitat, including willows, irrigation ditches, swampy areas and nearby Navajo Reservoir. A mile-long hiking trail provides excellent viewing locations and it connects to other trails that lead to more good locations for observation. The area is home to a wide variety of ducks, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds.
There’s also a good chance of seeing deer, coyotes, foxes, and rabbits ‒ even river otters have been spotted there.
“This area holds a surprising amount of wildlife,” said Brian Sandy, manager of Navajo State Park. “Plus, the trails are well suited for kids and people of all ages. If people want to venture farther they can walk for more than a mile through wetland areas all the way to Navajo Reservoir.”
Besides the Sambrito area, in the northeast corner of the park, an easy trail is located near where the Piedra River enters the reservoir. That location contains abundant wetlands, cottonwood galleries and a variety of other wildlife-friendly vegetation.
At the Sambrito Wetlands, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will have a couple of spotting scopes for public use and information about the park and bird species of the area.
Sambrito Wetlands are located in the southwest corner of Archuleta County just off County Road 988. From Ignacio on the west, travel 13 miles on Colo. Highway 151, then turn south on the county road that leads to the wetlands. From Arboles on the east, go four miles to County Road 988.
Daily entry fee to the park is $7 per vehicle. This is a remote location, so please pay by check or with exact change. An annual pass for the park costs $70.