Carrizo Canyon Picnic Area, Colorado Hiking Trail Information


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.



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Carrizo Canyon Picnic Area

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.
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.