|Lake Dorothey/James M. John State Wildlife Areas|
These adjacent state wildlife areas rise up the east side of Raton Mesa from the High Plains of southeastern Colorado to Fisher’s Peak at 10,000 feet in elevation. Lake Dorothey is a 10-acre reservoir stocked with sport fish. Willow riparian habitats with New Mexico locust along the stream near...
|Description: The canyon is an area of mixed habitats: shortgrass prairie with scattered pinon-juniper woodlands, limestone breaks, red sandstone cliffs, cottonwood riparian zones, some aspen, a basalt ridge along the south, and a series of side canyons along the Purgatoire River.|
Wildlife to Watch: Great place to see pronghorn-a herd of about 1,000 live on the Pinon Canyon Military Reservation-as well as 400 to 500 mule deer. Excellent raptor viewing-golden eagles; Swainson’s, ferruginous, and red-tailed hawks; and prairie falcons all nest here. Watch also for northern harriers and turkey vultures. Songbirds are common in the grassland riparian area. Wild turkeys and scaled quail may be seen. Carnivores include coyotes, foxes, and badgers. Beavers along the river; prairie dogs and rabbits in upland areas.
Special Tips: You must first stop at the headquarters office 41 miles northeast of Trinidad on U.S. Highway 350 to get a pass and area map.
There is a $10 annual fee.
Call ahead to ensure access as there is no drop in visitation. Access is restricted during training activities, particularly in summer.
Other Activities: Restaurant nearby.
Ownership: U.S. Army
Size: 236,000 acres
Closest Town: Trinidad, 30 miles
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: