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Thursday, August 19, 2021

Pawnee Buttes Guide

Colorado Daytrip Roadtrip Series

Pawnee Buttes Guide

Situated on the eastern plains, these buttes are the last of what was a massive mesa. Located in the Pawnee National Grassland, these two sandy creations make for excellent photos. The hike is fairly easy, some of it does cross private land so just be mindful. You'll walk across flat grasslands then go down into a geologic wonderland before popping up back on flat grasslands to the base of the buttes. 

How To Get There:

From Denver take I-76 to CO RD 49 in Hudson, then turn right onto CO-392 E and continue onto CO RD 105. The journey takes roughly two hours and eight minutes. 


There is a parking lot with a restroom, tables and plenty of space to spread out. You'll probably see people camping all over the place.

Be Prepared:

The road to get to the buttes' parking lot is rough. It's all gravel, there's a lot of washboard and you have to go over many a steep hill on gravel roads. Go incredibly slow and take your time! Bring a big bottle of water with you on the hike and wear a hat and SPF. It is best to do this super early in the morning as there is not a lick of shade.

Additional Stops:

Dearfield Colony

Formed by Oliver Toussaint Jackson, this was the largest Black colony in Colorado, formed in the early 1900s. Around 250 people lived in the town until the Great Depression. People were pretty much gone by 1950 and now there are just abandoned buildings with grass growing through them where the town once was. However, this is an important stop as history is incredibly important, so I highly recommend making a visit. 
Support the preservation of Dearfield >>

Something Brewery, Brighton

Before heading back to Denver pop into downtown Brighton for a blood orange sessional IPA. The taproom is cozy and they have a few outdoor tables with a foodtruck parked out front. Head to the back for even more outdoor seating.

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