Pawnee is one of my favorite places to hike

Pawnee National Grasslands in Weld county Colorado may not sound like a very ‘cool’ place.  I mean, it’s a grassland. In the middle of no where. Yet it’s one of my favorite places to hike.

The land is flat with rolling hills and almost every dirt road looks the same.  Definitely not a place you want to be without a map!

The drive to the Buttes seems like it will take forever, because you in no way see any part of these so called ‘Buttes’ even in the distance.  How far could they possibly be?

Then you see a sign, and wonder what exactly the arrow is pointing at with words that read “Pawnee Buttes”.

[floated align=”left”]It’s an amazing scene.[/floated]Up and over another rolling hill and BAM! There they are!  These huge protruding mounds made of a fine clay and chalk-like substance that crumbles easily under any direct pressure, that you didn’t see just 5 mins before. It’s an amazing scene.

There’s a small parking lot at the trail head of course.

I highly recommend bringing some pretty essential items when planning a trip to Pawnee National Grasslands:

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First aid kit
Updated snake bite kit
Detailed map
The trail is mostly flat, with slight inclines and hills here and there (the trail starts off going down hill).

You can follow what seems to be an old river bed in a couple directions.  The hiker chooses which way to hike.  Even scramble on the formations some, just be careful!

I have seen rattle snakes, including baby ones (which are more dangerous because they haven’t learned how to control their venom yet).  So be wary of the time of year you are traveling there, be alert, cautious and prepared.

I was newly pregnant and hiked this trail with no problems.  Other than dealing with the exhaustion of pregnancy.  My step kiddos (7 & 11 at the time) were with us and had a blast exploring the terrain.  We even saw a few older folks with their walking sticks managing the trail just fine.

The Pawnee Buttes hiking trail is great for the whole family.


[info]From March 1 to June 30, there is a seasonal closure of the escarpment west of the buttes due to nesting birds.  You can still hike around, but some of the area is off limits.[/info]