DISTANCE
4.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
88 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

no shade

no dogs

hiking
2 months ago

The previous reviews, in my opinion, are way off the mark. This is a fascinating area, and the remaining public grasslands of North America are scarce, and that's even more reason to appreciate Blue Stem Prairie Open Space. The reservoir was dry (May 7), and Spring is just starting out there, but there is still plenty to see. Pronghorn, prairie dogs, prairie rattlesnakes (nice!), all sorts of birds, and the spring wildflowers are peaking through...in another few weeks this place should blow out in color. And, of course, the views...enough said!

The hike itself is super easy with what amounts to a rolling landscape - the inclines are barely noticeable. You have to watch your step from time to time along the dirt/gravel/grassy path, but difficult terrain is not an issue here. I only saw one other person there (early Monday afternoon) and they didn't hike at all from what I saw. You are surrounded by traffic on Powers Blvd. to the east, but it's off in the distance from most of the hike, and I only saw one plane take off in the 2 hours I was there

I'm more worried about the folks who can't read the signs that say dogs aren't allowed, and then proceed to let their dogs poop all around the first part of the trail. And then you have the other person or persons who left a giant pile of cat food out there. I'm hoping it's not that irresponsible "Nip and Release" program for cats that operates all over the country.

In regards to the prairie dog plague - there is a sign that tells you it's present - it's not a concern to humans unless you get close enough to a prairie dog to kiss it (good luck with that!) or get bit by the fleas it carries (you shouldn't be near active dens). Transmission to humans is unlikely even if you are exposed - most people get it from rodents around their homes, not in wild areas. The word "plague" invokes an irrational fear in most people.

Do yourself a favor and visit this place before it gets too warm, or as it cools later in the year. It's the type of habitat you don't see often these days - give it a chance!