Pawnee Buttes

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Pawnee Buttes
Protected Area
Pawnee Buttes2010.jpg
Pawnee Buttes and National Grassland
Country  United States
State  Colorado
District Weld County
Nearest town Keota, Colorado
Drainage South Platte River
Location Pawnee National Grassland
 - elevation 1,594 m (5,230 ft)
 - coordinates 40°49′24″N 103°58′10″W / 40.82333°N 103.96944°W / 40.82333; -103.96944Coordinates: 40°49′24″N 103°58′10″W / 40.82333°N 103.96944°W / 40.82333; -103.96944
Biome Temperate grassland
Geology Oligocene
Plant Shortgrass prairie
Designated United States National Grassland
Date 1960
Management United States Forest Service
For public Open to public, all year
Map of Colorado with Pawnee National Grasslands highlighted in red

The Pawnee Buttes are two prominent buttes located within the Pawnee National Grassland in Weld County, of northeastern Colorado. Rising approximately 300 feet (91 m) above the surrounding plains, the buttes are erosional remnants left standing in isolation as the surrounding High Plains surface has gradually worn away. The lower portions of the buttes are composed of relatively soft, clay-rich sedimentary rock called the Brule formation. The Brule formation is protected by an overlying layer of sandstone and conglomerate sediments called the Arikaree formation, which are more resistant to weathering.[1]

Pawnee Buttes Trail[edit]

The Pawnee Buttes Trail is noted for its scenery and birdwatching potential. The Overlook, the Lipps Bluff trail, and the area within 200 yards of the cliffs are closed to hikers from March 1 to June 30, to protect nesting falcons, eagles, and hawks. Hikers are encouraged to keep away from these areas during that time to minimize disturbance to the nesting birds.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gregory, L. 1996. Colorado Scenic Guide, Northern region, 3rd edition. Boulder: Johnson Books, 208 pp.
  2. ^ Darton, N.H. 1905. Preliminary report on the geology and underground water resources of the central Great Plains. United States Geological Survey, Professional Paper 32, 433 pp. (Plate 54-A)

External links[edit]

Media related to Pawnee Buttes at Wikimedia Commons