Pawnee National Grassland Photos

West Butte featured in Pawnee National Grassland photos by Sara Turbyfill.

Photography at Pawnee National Grassland

There are many beautiful places for photography throughout the state of Colorado. However, Pawnee National Grassland is one of the most fascinating locations for photography in the Eastern Plains. The grassland is located about 35 miles east of Fort Collins in Weld County. I’ve only had the opportunity to visit Pawnee National Grassland on one occasion but hope to return in the near future. This page features my Pawnee National Grassland photos.

Undoubtedly, the Pawnee Buttes are the main attraction at the grassland. There are 2 buttes located on the property: the east butte and the west butte. The buttes are flat-topped rock formations that reach heights of up to 300 feet. People visit the grassland to photograph these iconic rock formations. The east butte is located on private property and is inaccessible to visitors. However, there is a path leading to the west butte which brings individuals up close to the formation.

In addition to the Pawnee Buttes, photographers also visit the grassland to enjoy wildlife photography. Hundreds of animal species are spotted at the grassland throughout the year. Common bird sightings include broad-tailed hummingbirds, burrowing owls, lark buntings, prairie falcons, and western meadowlarks. Other inhabitants include the American badger, black-tailed jackrabbit, pronghorn, swift fox, and white-tailed deer.

The grassland also provides opportunities for nature photography. Dozens of plants and wildflowers are found at Pawnee National Grassland throughout the year. Wildflowers bring color to the grassland when in bloom from April through September, providing one-of-a-kind photography opportunities. Common plants and flowers include the blue flax, pink cleome, plains prickly pear cactus, prairie coneflower, tansy aster, and yucca. 

Volunteer for the U.S. Forest Service

To summarize, Pawnee National Grassland provides special photo opportunities. Hundreds of unique plant and animal species are found at the grassland, giving photographers the chance to capture once-in-a-lifetime shots. A few potential photography subjects include the lark bunting, burrowing owl, pronghorn, and yucca plant.

Although I created this page to showcase my Pawnee National Grassland photos, I’d like to emphasize how important it is to volunteer for organizations like the U.S. Forest Service. The U.S. Forest Service is responsible for maintaining Pawnee National Grassland and thousands of acres of land throughout the United States. Volunteering helps ensure that places like the Pawnee Buttes will be protected for years to come. To learn more about the grassland or find opportunities to volunteer, check out the resources below.


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