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Trail of the Mourning Dove

Pawnee National Grassland

High Great Plains, Colorado

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Trail of the Mourning Dove

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  • The trail starts near the campground next to the farm implement display.- Trail of the Mourning Dove
  • An approaching storm blows across the prairie.- Trail of the Mourning Dove
  • Beautiful grasslands surround the campground.- Trail of the Mourning Dove
  • Wildflowers in July.- Trail of the Mourning Dove
  • Seasonal Crow Creek was very full in July of 2015.- Trail of the Mourning Dove
  • Small waterfall on Crow Creek.- Trail of the Mourning Dove
  • Signs of the ranching history on the prairie are all around the park.- Trail of the Mourning Dove
  • Sunflower along the trail.- Trail of the Mourning Dove
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great birding. Easy. Wildflowers in season.
Cons: 
Not very long.
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Region:
High Great Plains, CO
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
13.00 ft (3.96 m)
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
0.90 mi (1.45 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,757.00 ft (1,449.93 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The Pawnee National Grassland is a large, semi-protected area of high prairie grassland in northern Colorado. It is a patchwork of federal land and private property, and you'll find signs of its ranching history as well as the current boom in oil and gas drilling and wind energy. There are not a lot of opportunities to get closer to the essence of this land than driving through on the tangled network of dirt roads. The Pawnee Buttes Trail is one well-known hike in the area, and another is the Trail of the Mourning Dove in the Crow Valley Recreation Area, which also contains the lovely Crow Valley Campground.

The trail begins just adjacent to the campground and next to the collection of farm implements on display. It follows the seasonal Crow Creek that runs through the campground (which in July of 2015 was uncharacteristically overflowing its banks) and travels through a mix of grassland, cottonwood trees, willows, and other riparian plants. The bird population is large and varied; over 300 species have been spotted in the Crow Valley area, and activity is especially high during the spring and fall migrations. 

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

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