Carrizo Canyon Picnic Area


Area Status: Open

Carrizo Canyon:The east fork of Carrizo Creek flows through this small canyon graced by juniper and cottonwood trees. American Indian petroglyphs can be found along the canyon walls. A variety of wildlife, especially birds, can be seen in the early morning or before sunset.

Carrizo Picnic Area: The hiking trail along Carrizo Creek gives access to one of the few permanent water sources on the Carrizo Unit of the Comanche. Many different bird species come and go throughout the year. Bird highlights include the Black-chinned Hummingbird, Ladder-Backed and Lewis’s Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Cassin’s Kingbird, Greater Roadrunner, Ash-throated Flycatchers, Mississippi Kite, Western Screech Owl, and Canyon and Bewick’s Wren. Beneath the water surface are snapping turtles, softshell turtles, bullfrogs and channel catfish. Along the trails near the rock walls you may find bullsnakes, collared lizard and the Texas horned lizard.  

 
Fishing on the Comanche National Grassland:
There are fishing opportunities for warm water, native species on the Comanche National Grassland. Carrizo Creek and Picket Wire Canyon are open year-round for those looking to catch Channel catfish. Access to Carrizo Creek is at the Carrizo Picnic Area with a short hike down to the fishing areas.
 
Preservation
Please do not touch rock art and petroglyphs. Oils from your hands promote deterioration of the drawings and the rock surface. Do not draw or scratch graffiti on rocks or cliff faces. Graffiti defaces a fragile irreplaceable legacy.  All cultural resources on public lands are protected by law.

 

At a Glance

Operational Hours: All day
Rentals & Guides: None
Fees: None
Permit Info: Commercial tours required to have a special use permit. Fees vary. Contact the Forest Service office in La Junta phone 719-384-2181, for futher information.
Open Season: Open Year Round
Usage: Light-Medium
Restrictions: Park in designated areas only. No shooting. Use existing fire grates only. As you enter this area, please remember that you are the guardian of this unique canyon. Rock art, stone tools, charred bones, and rubble from dwellings provide evidence that people thrived on the Comanche National Grassland for thousands of years. Each relic of the past holds a clue that archaeologists use to reconstruct life here long ago. These cultural resources are ancient, fragile, and irreplaceable. If destroyed or removed, the information they reveal is lost forever. And so is a legacy that belongs to us all. Please do not touch rock art. Oils from your hands promote deterioration of the drawings and the rock surface. Do not draw or scratch graffiti on rocks or cliff faces. Graffiti defaces a fragile, irreplaceable legacy. All cultural resources on public lands are protected by law. The Antiquities Act and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act impose fines and penalties for disturbing or removing artifacts. Please help protect our past. Report any acts of vandalism to the Comanche National Grassland office in La Junta: (719) 384-2181 or in Springfield: (719) 523-6591. We thank you for observing the rules for this area and for helping us to preserve this valuable resource. Please be part of the solution, not part of the problem
Closest Towns: Kim and Springfield, Colorado
Water: None
Restroom: Vault
Operated By: USDA Forest Service

General Information

Directions: From La Junta, Colorado drive south on Highway 109 for 58 miles; turn left (east) on Highway 160 for 25 miles; turn right (south) on County Road 10 for 9 miles; turn right (west) on County Road M for 5.5 miles and turn left (south) on Forest Service Road 539 for 1.9 miles to the parking area. From Springfield, Colorado take Highway 287 south for 17 miles; turn right (west) on County Road M for 22 miles, turn left (south) on Forest Service Road 539 for 1.9 miles to the parking area.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Lake and Pond Fishing

Day Hiking

Backpacking

Viewing Wildlife

 A variety of wildlife, especially birds, can best be seen early in the morning or just before sunset.

Status: Open
Fees: No Fee
Difficulty Level: Easy to Intermediate

Viewing Plants

Viewing Scenery

Picnicking

The picnic area remains open.
Drinking water is NOT available, the water in Carrizo creek is not potable.
No electricity or garbage cans are available, please pack out all trash.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
N/A

  Latitude : 
37.13548019

  Longitude : 
-103.0154583

  Elevation : 
4500 feet