Pawnee Buttes

Twin 300-Foot Buttes
Tower Above Grassland

Route
in Pawnee National Grassland, CO
  • Total Length
    4.4mi
  • Ascent
    321ft
  • Difficulty
    Moderate

The Pawnee Buttes are located in the northeast corner of Weld County, Colorado, approximately 13 miles south of the Wyoming border.  A predominant geologic feature within the Pawnee National Grassland, the Buttes rise 300 feet above the prairie.

A 1.5 mile trail leads hikers to the first Butte.  The second Butte is on private land but may be accessed unless otherwise posted. If there is a gate, leave it the same way you found it. As the rock is crumbling sandstone, climbing on the Buttes is not recommended. 

Take a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water, as temperatures may top one hundred degrees in July and August.

Please do not disturb any hawks and falcons nesting in the rocky cliffs. The Pawnee Buttes trail is open year round; however, there is a nearby closure from March 1 – June 30 to protect any nesting raptors. To clearly understand what is closed, check this map. Please stay on the main trail during this time as adults may desert their eggs or young birds if disturbed.

USFS Overview

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  • Hiking
  • Out & Back
  • Geology
  • Wildlife
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Timeline
Start Hiking
For 1.8mi
Continue Hiking
For 0.4mi
This segment enters private land, so be respectful of any posted signs. 
Continue Hiking
For 2.2mi
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