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Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge

Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Description - Arapaho NWR was established for the breeding and habitat of migratory birds. Major management programs are water management, grazing meadow/riparian management, Private Lands development, Owl Mountain Ecosystem Partner, Platte River Ecosystem participant, etc. Arapaho is a relatively young refuge as refuges go, therefore, a majority of the staff's time and effort is spent in maintenance activities.

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Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: J. David Lewis (Knoxville, TN)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I have made two trips to North Park Colorado. One of them was posted here after the first trip. I am an amature photographer and went back to take pictures. The journal from that second trip, with pictures, is posted at www.jdlphotography.com. Contact me if you are interested in linking my website to yours. I have also written a article for publication but have not found a publisher. If you are interested in that article, I can send it by email. It is much shorter than the journal. David Lewis

Filed By: J. David Lewis (Knoxville, TN)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: A few miles further north we found Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge. By then we were in 'big sky country' as I would interpret the phrase. The land around us was plains for almost as far as we could see. The elevation there is about 8,000 feet. There were large mountains in every direction, but they were so far away that they hardly encroached on our view of the sky. The wildlife refuge is mostly a large wetland along the Illinois River. The National Geographic book I read about this area talked a lot about elk, mule deer, pronghorn, and moose in the area, along with several small mammals and many water foul. Mostly, we saw prairie dogs, ducks and many other birds. It was mid-day and a poor time to look for large game animals. The area is really great, and Christie was particularly intrigued with the prairie dogs. There are thousands of them, and there were a couple of roads that meander through their colonies and the marshes. Christie likes to watch almost any kind of cute little animal. Just outside of Ft. Collins, we stopped to watch some black tail prairie dogs, that were much larger than these white tail prairie dogs. The adults there were like the size of a large cat. Those at Arapaho were more like a small cat size. There were also many young about the size of a squirrel. By something we read; June is the time the young start to emerge from the tunnels they live in. Leaving Arapaho, we came to Walden, where we would have come to Highway 125, if we had taken a more efficient route from Ft. Collins to Dubois. I don't remember the population sign, but I am sure it was well under 1,000. Many signs in the area referred to North Park, and we started wondering if there were actually two towns. Eventually, we decided that North Park is the enormous area of flat land surrounded by the mountains. We stopped for lunch at a neat café/bar, where the hamburgers are great and the characters were interesting to watch. There was a closed movie theater, with a plaque on the door, indicating that it was opened in 1946, a year before I was born. Businesses seemed to serve hunters and fishermen, and there were a few small motels. I like a neat little town like that. Maybe I can go back for a couple of days in one of the hotels, shooting pictures of the wildlife. The place we ate was Elkhorn Bar or Elkhorn Café, depending on which sign you read. While we were in there, I sat the camera on tables a few times, and let it take pictures of the local life. Some of these people were real cowboys. Somewhere later in the day, in one of these small towns, Christie saw a bar named 'Wildlife Sanctuary'. It was funny, but we can't remember which town it was. We are sure it was not Walden. For whatever reason, I am still focused on returning to Walden sometime. With a little reading, I have found that there are many opportunities for photographing large game animals. There is a moose habitat only 25 miles from Walden. I really do want to go back to Walden for a few days, taking pictures of wildlife.

More Information

Contact Information:
Arapaho NWR, P.O. Box 457 , Walden, CO, 80480, Phone: 970-723-8202
, r6rw_arp@fws.gov

Additional Information:
Colorado National Wildlife Refuges - Colorado's Wildlife Refuges provide excellent habitat for waterfowl, other bird life and an abundance of wildlife. The refuges offer opportunities for bird-watching, viewing wildlife, and hiking.

Arapaho NWR - Official agency website


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