Pawnee Buttes Trail is a 4.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Grover, CO that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
From Ft. Morgan, take Main St.(52) north out of town to Hwy. 14.,Turn left(west) to New Ramer. From Sterling take Hwy. 14(west) to New Ramer. From New Ramer, drive north on Co. Rd. 129 to Co. Rd. 110. Turn left(west) on this road and follow it to the Pawnee Buttes.
Great views, bird watching, interested plants, very quiet and remote. Nice facilities provided by USFS including bathroom (pit toilet) and picnic shelters. Trail is well maintained.
It's easy and short. Because it's so far out, there's never anyone else there. It's fun to walk around in the canyon too.
Beautiful, easy hiking, and even on Memorial Day weekend we only saw three groups of other hikers near the buttes. Unfortunately for hikers, the buttes are closed through June 30 in order to allow the raptors peace for nesting, so you are limited to the trail around the base, but it's a very beautiful and quiet area. Lots of wildlife, including prime antelope viewing on the way in. It's clear that fracking has had a great impact on the landscape, which is unfortunate, but you will still have no problem finding tranquil beauty here. Bring your own water in!
I went with my 2 large dogs in late March and we really enjoyed it! ... Well, once I got there and out on the trail. The last 50 minutes of my drive was down a dirt road with a speed limit of 55 and oil tankers not holding back. After an hour of playing chicken I was glad to be at our destination... and alive! (Next time I will research a different route in!) I was amazed at the temperature drop and luckily I had my gloves and heavier jacket in the car. The winds were intense when you weren't shielded by the buttes and I imagine that may always be the case as the beautiful views include massive white windmills for as far the eye can see. The trails over the tops of the buttes are closed March - June due to birds of prey nesting. It was still a lot of fun walking to the end of the trail between the buttes and exploring other smaller trails winding throughout the bottom of the buttes.... or maybe that was just me inventing trails systems trying to avoid the drive out of there! All kidding aside, I will definitely go back again after June!
A great place to go in May to take photo's of the Buttes in the afternoon with thunderheads and wildflowers, if its been a wet spring. Awesome for sunsets also if the clouds are there.
For the first hike of the spring, we decided to mix up things a bit and head away from the mountains. The driving approach was interesting, with antelope herds, the wind farm, missile silos, and a lot of other things to see. The hike to the buttes was relatively easy, traversing down between cliffs where raptors nest (side trails closed until June 30 for nesting birds), then across a bit of an open range to pass by the bases of the buttes, which are quite pretty. I can imagine in the right light, they are extremely striking. On a spring Friday afternoon, we only passed one other group, so it was quite calm and peaceful. Be warned, there are no restroom facilities at the trail.