Welcome to A People's Atlas of Nuclear Colorado

To experience the full richness of the Atlas, please view on desktop.
Jeffrey Beall, Entrance to the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site, 3 June 2017, Wikimedia Commons


Piñon Canyon

Piñon Canyon is a 238,000-acre training range in southeast Colorado operated by Fort Carson, the army installation just outside of Colorado Springs. The airspace is used for high-speed flight training, bomber aircraft training, drone flights, and Army aviation training, which are conducted from the Piñon Canyon Combat Assault Landing Strip. A coalition of ranchers and environmentalists successfully opposed a controversial expansion proposed by the Army, arguing that expansion plans were “one colossal land grab,” and that a proposed low-altitude training range would militarize the land and airspace of southern Colorado and pose environmental risks. For years, activists sought—and succeeded in achieving—Congressional bans to block expansion plans, and in November 2013, the U.S. Army announced that it had canceled plans for the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site geographical expansion. However, the Army announced it wished to fully restrict airspace above the site in order to expand training operations. Despite opposition by local farmers and environmental groups, the full restriction of airspace went into effect in 2017.


Federal Aviation Administration."Establishment of Restricted Area R-2603; Fort Carson, CO." 82 FR 46898. Federal Register, October 10, 2017. Accessed August 3, 2020.

Last Updated:


Continue on "Deployment, Training, Command and Control"