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      GREAT SALT LAKE BIRDING TRAILS      
AREA DESCRIPTIONS FOR SITES 1 - 10

Below are area descriptions of:
[1]  Lucin
[2]  Clear Creek
[3]  Golden Spike National Historical Site
[4]  Salt Creek WMA
[5]  High Creek Canyon
[5a]  Green Canyon
[6]  First Dam
[6a]  Allen & Alice Stokes Nature Center
[7]  Riverside Nature Trail
[8]  Tony Grove Lake
[9]  Limber Pine Nature Trail
[10]  Bear River Meadow


  [1]  LUCIN  
Lucin, an oasis in the west desert, is sometimes referred to as a "warbler trap." At first glance Lucin looks like a small pond with some surrounding trees, but it is much more, especially during the spring and fall migrations with more than 100 species recorded at the site.

When Lucin was a railroad town, water was piped to the town site from distant springs. A constant water source was needed for steam engines and inhabitants, but also resulted in a pond that still remains. This old railroad town was long abandoned before the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) obtained a lease on the area in 1999. UDWR, in partnership with Wasatch Audubon Society and others, have removed trash, built fences, and planted shrubs and trees to enhance Lucin's value to migrating birds and other wildlife. As water has been at this site for over 100 years, there are large cottonwood, box elder, and willow trees present. This green spot on the desert is visible for miles and I'm sure the birds also see and are attracted to the area.

Look for uncommon Utah migrants, including American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, Black-and-White Warbler, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon and Myrtle race), Northern Flicker (red-shafted and yellow-shafted race) and Scott's Oriole. During the spring and fall migration seasons the birds stop for some short lived R&R (resting and refueling) and then move on. A birder never knows what will be at the site on any given day.

HABITATS: Water impoundment with trees and shrubs surrounded by desert shrub

FEATURED BIRDS: Eastern and Western Kingbird, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Wood Pewee, Northern Mockingbird, Lark Sparrow

SEASON: Best during spring and fall

LOCATION: Lucin is located five miles south of Grouse Creek Junction which is on UT-30, 47 miles southwest of Park Valley -- look for the sign at the junction. This junction is about 8 miles east of the Nevada state line.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Railroad property under lease to Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

NOTES: No facilities, bring drinking water and fill the gas tank
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  [2]  CLEAR CREEK  
The east-west oriented Raft River Mountains are unique as they divide the Great Basin from the Snake River drainage. The bird population is highly variable during migration. Birding is good near the Clear Creek Campground, or driving up the Clear Creek road. Interesting possibilities include Townsend's Solitaire, Hairy Woodpecker, Warbling Vireo, Western Scrub-Jay, Hermit Thrush, Lincoln's Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, and many of the western Warblers.

South slopes support pinyon-juniper woodland while the north slopes support Douglas fir and other conifers. The creek bottoms contain riparian woodland with a lush understory. The top of the Raft River range is open range and wet meadows. A Forest Service map is needed if you plan on exploring more of the mountain. A favorite side trip is the gravel road from Standrod to Yost past the old One-mile Guard Station.

HABITATS: Stream, cottonwood riparian, and pinyon-juniper

FEATURED BIRDS: Western Screech-Owl, Western Tanager, Pinyon Jay, Gray Flycatcher, Black-headed Grosbeak

SEASON: Summer

LOCATION: Take UT-42 west from Snowville to just across the Idaho state line at the old town site of Strevell (no buildings remain). Take the gravel road heading west for 3.3 miles to the Clear Creek Campground sign, then south and west 6.2 miles to campground.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Public land managed by the Sawtooth National Forest

NOTES: Camping and picnic facilities with pit toilets are available at this Watchable Wildlife area
(You will find more information on the Sawtooth National Forest HERE )
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  [3]   GOLDEN SPIKE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE  
The walking and auto-tour trails associated with the Golden Spike National Historic Site offer an excellent opportunity to combine birding with railroad history. Details can be found at the visitor center. Above the 1.5 mile Big Fill walking trail are small caves in the rock outcrops where Barn Owls have been observed.

In addition to the featured birds (below), look for Swainson's Hawk, Rock Wren, Common Raven, Lark Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, Gray (Hungarian) Partridge, Northern Mockingbird, Brewer's Blackbird, Say's Phoebe, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Common Poorwill, and Common Nighthawk. This is an excellent area for wintering raptors including Rough-legged Hawk, Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon, Merlin, American Kestrel, Long-eared Owl, and more.

HABITATS: Desert shrub, rocky outcrops, and grasslands

FEATURED BIRDS: Sharp-tailed Grouse, Chukar, Ferruginous Hawk, Sage Thrasher and Brewer's Sparrow

SEASON: February through early May or August through September for migrants; May through June for breeding birds.

LOCATION: Travel west from Corinne on UT-83 for 18 miles, then turn right (west) for 8 more miles. The route is well marked by Park Service signs. Trail details can be obtained at the visitor center.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Public land managed by National Park Service

NOTES: Accessible restroom, drinking water, fee area, Watchable Wildlife area
(You will find more information on the Golden Spike National historical Site HERE )
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  [4]  SALT CREEK WATERFOWL MANAGEMENT AREA  
This area is a favorite place to overlook a large expanse of marsh. The best observation place is from Compton's Knoll. A spotting scope is needed for best observations. In addition to many common waterfowl species, Eurasian Widgeon, Ross's Goose, and Thayer's Gull have been observed in the winter. Compton's Knoll has traditionally been a UDWR Bald Eagle observation site the first Saturday in February and a Tundra Swan observation site in March.

HABITATS: Open water and marsh land

FEATURED BIRDS: Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle (winter), Cinnamon Teal, Tundra Swan, and Sandhill Crane

SEASON: Good all year, but best during spring and fall migrations

LOCATION: There are two popular routes. The first option is to drive 4 miles west of Corinne on UT-83 then follow the signs to the landfill. At the site, the road to the WMA heads north, whereas the road to the landfill heads south. The second option is to drive 8 miles west of Corinne, just past Little Mountain, then north, staying right at all side roads, to the site.

LAND OWNERSHIP: State land managed by Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR).

NOTES: An observation shelter and restroom facilities are currently (2001) under construction at this Watchable Wildlife site.
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  [5]  HIGH CREEK CANYON  
Birding is good all the way up High Creek to the trailhead at the road's end. Winter Wrens can be seen and heard singing a short distance up the High Creek trail in June. The scenery is also outstanding. Several trails depart from the trailhead and provide access to high mountain habitats within the Mount Naomi Wilderness. As with any high elevation walks, one should always carry extra clothing, water, and some high energy food. The weather can change abruptly.

The featured birds are from the riparian habitat along the road. Hiking the adjacent ridge or to a higher elevation will produce different birds. Possibilities include Blue Grouse, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Golden Eagle, Common Raven, Red-tailed Hawk, Western Meadowlark, and Vesper Sparrow.

HABITATS: Stream, riparian, mountain shrub, bigtooth maple, aspen and conifer

FEATURED BIRDS: American Dipper, Winter Wren, Western Tanager, Plumbeous Vireo

SEASON: Spring, summer, and fall -- high elevation hiking only during summer months

LOCATION: Turn east at the Forest Service sign, 2 miles north of the US-91 and UT-142 Junction. The road stays fairly close to High Creek with the pavement ending in approximately 3.5 miles. The Forest Service boundary sign is 4.5 miles from US-91. The non-surfaced road is a little rough, but passable in a passenger car. After the Forest Service boundary sign, the road goes 2.5 miles to the trailhead with a campground/picnic area about half way.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Public land managed by Wasatch-Cache National Forest

NOTES: Trailhead parking, picnic site, and pit toilets
(You will find more information on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest HERE )
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  [5a]  GREEN CANYON  
Green Canyon habitats are similar to the habitats found along High Creek. Just before entering the canyon, at an electric substation, park and look for Lark Sparrow in the sagebrush. Approximately .7 miles up the canyon, there is a parking area that offers access to juniper woodlands with Black-throated Gray Warbler, Spotted Towhee, and Virginia's Warbler and more. When driving up the canyon, listen for Chukars on the south facing slopes and Hermit and Swainson's Thrush along the riparian area. The Preston Valley Trailhead is 2.6 miles up the canyon. This trail leads to the ridge top, look for Cooper' Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, and Red-breasted Nuthatch. The canyon road is approximately five miles long and offers access to trails into the Mount Naomi Wilderness.

HABITATS: Juniper woodlands, aspen, sagebrush, and conifers

FEATURED BIRDS: Black-throated Gray Warbler, Lark Sparrow, Calliope Hummingbird, Virginia's Warbler, Cukar, Common Poorwill, Northern Pygmy Owl, Flammulated Owl, Golden Eagle, Ruffed Grouse, and Northern Goshawk

SEASON: All year, but best in late spring and summer

LOCATION: From 1600 East in Logan, turn east on 1900 North and follow to the canyon.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Primarily public land managed by Wasatch-Cache National Forest
(You will find more information on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest HERE )
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  [6]  FIRST DAM  
A Forest Service visitor center is on the hill just before the road drops into the Logan River canyon and First Dam. A stop at the visitor center is well worth the time. From the Lady Bird overlook one can enjoy the scenery of the Wellsville Mountains and observe the old Lake Bonneville area. Pick up a "Scenic Guide to the Logan Canyon" to assist your enjoyment of this sight and the next three sites. Then drive to the bottom of the hill, park in the First Dam parking lot and start enjoying the great Logan Canyon birding opportunities.

HABITATS: Small impoundment

FEATURED BIRDS: Barrow's Goldeneye, Common Goldeneye, and Hooded Merganser

SEASON: Best during winter months

LOCATION: Take US-89 to the mouth of Logan Canyon on the east edge of Logan.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Unknown, but with public access

NOTES: Public parking area with observation decks and accessible restroom
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  [6a]  ALLEN AND ALICE STOKES NATURE CENTER  
The nature center is accessible to the public along a gated road from a parking area. The road (trail) goes along the Logan River and is good for many western riparian species. Information and items for purchase are available at the Nature Center when it is open.

HABITATS: Stream and riparian woodland, with montane brush on the slopes above the trail

FEATURED BIRDS: American Dipper, Cassin's Finch, Fox Sparrow, House Wren, and Mountain Chickadee

SEASON: All year

LOCATION: The parking area is along US-89, approximately one mile from the Forest Service visitor center (east of Logan).

LAND OWNERSHIP: Public land with special use permit for the nature center

NOTES: Accessible restroom
(You will find more information on the Stokes Nature Center HERE )
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  [7]  RIVERSIDE NATURE TRAIL  
Riverside Natural Trail is one of the best, out of many, great birding spots up Logan Canyon. Birders should look for Belted Kingfisher, Violet-green Swallow, Yellow Warbler, Gray Catbird, Swainson's Thrush, Mountain Chickadee, Lincoln's Sparrow, American Dipper, Lazuli Bunting, Cordilleran Flycatcher, and Warbling Vireo. There is also a chance for Northern Pygmy-Owl, Blue Grouse, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Winter Wren.

Near the Spring Hollow Campground is a small reservoir that is good for Barrow's and Common Goldeneye during the winter. Campground hosts at Spring Hollow often keep hummingbird feeders, look for Broad-tailed, Black-chinned, Calliope, and Rufous (August). Crimson trail is a steep trail branch off of the Riverside Nature Trail into juniper woodlands and mountain shrub habitats, look for Golden-crowned Kinglet, Rock Wren, and Canyon Wren.

Look for White-throated Swifts flying around the nearby cliffs. Riverside trail is approximately 1.5 miles of flat terrain. A loop walk from Spring Hollow on the Crimson Trail to Guinavah-Malibu then down back along the Riverside trail will be 4 miles of walking with some steep terrain.

HABITATS: Stream, small reservoir, and wooded riparian with mountain brush and conifer along the Crimson trail.

FEATURED BIRDS: Fox Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned Warbler, Hermit Thrush

SEASON: Best during summer months

LOCATION: The 1.5 mile long flat foot trail between Spring Hollow and Guinavah-Malibu Campgrounds is along US-89 east of Logan. Spring Hollow is 4.3 miles east of the Forest Service visitor center.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Public land managed by Wasatch-Cache National Forest

NOTES: A Watchable Wildlife site with restrooms
(You will find more information on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest HERE )
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  [8]  TONY GROVE LAKE  
From the parking lot at Tony Grove Lake, 8,050 feet in elevation, a birder has access to a variety of high mountain habitats. Mountain birds include Clark's Nutcracker, Spruce Grouse, Blue Grouse, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Brown Creeper, Pine Siskin, Cassin's Finch, Mountain Chickadee, Calliope Hummingbird, and Steller's Jay.

The three trails leaving the parking lot all provide good birding and excellent views of wildflowers (August). The lake trail is about one mile long and goes around Tony Grove Lake. The Naomi Peak trail ends at an elevation of nearly 10,000 feet. The Coldwater Spring trail goes through a variety of habitats and gains about 400 feet in elevation. The wet area below the lake is good for Lincoln's Sparrow. The best chance for Three-toed Woodpecker is in early June before the campground opens. In recent years, a colony of Purple Martins have nested in the aspens in the basin below a nearby gravel pit.

HABITATS: High elevation forest and range including mountain meadow, spruce-fir forests, aspen groves, high elevation riparian, and tall forb/sagebrush with abundant flowering plants in early August

FEATURED BIRDS: Clark's Nutcracker, Rufous Hummingbird (August), Red Crossbill (irregular), and White-crowned Sparrow

SEASON: Summer only

LOCATION: Drive 19.6 miles east of the Forest Service visitor center on US-89, turn left (west) just past Utah State University Forestry camp. Just after the turn, the Tony Grove Lake road heads south. The road ends in 7 miles at Tony Grove Lake and near a 37-site campground. To bird around the gravel pit (Purple Martin), drive 4.5 miles up the Tony Grove road, then turn right on a small road that dead ends in one mile at the gravel pit.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Public land managed by Wasatch-Cache National Forest

NOTES: A Watchable Wildlife area with accessible restroom
(You will find more information on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest HERE )
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  [9]  LIMBER PINE NATURE TRAIL  
This trail gets it name from a limber pine that was once thought to be the largest and oldest limber pine in the country. It has since been determined that the tree is actually five trees that have grown together. Expect beautiful scenery and high elevation birds. Weather can change quickly, so be prepared. Sunrise Campground (7,600 feet in elevation) has 28 units. Nearby is the T. W. Daniels Experimental Forest. Drive south on a dirt road from the summit of Logan Canyon, look for Brewer's Sparrow, Williamson's Sapsucker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Red Crossbill, and Northern Goshawk.

HABITATS: High elevation conifer and sagebrush

FEATURED BIRDS: Dark-eyed Junco, Mountain Bluebird, Clark's Nutcracker

SEASON: Open from mid-summer until early fall

LOCATION: On US-89, 30.7 miles east of Forest Service visitor center in Logan

LAND OWNERSHIP: Public Land managed by Wasatch-Cache National Forest

NOTES: Many hiking opportunities with restrooms available
(You will find more information on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest HERE )
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  [10]  BEAR RIVER MEADOWS  
This roadside trail goes through private property, so all viewing should be done from the road. Many birds can be observed throughout these wet meadow and lowland riparian habitat types. Interesting possibilities include Black-crowned Night-Heron, White-faced Ibis, Northern Harrier, Mountain Bluebird, Savannah Sparrow, Brewer's Blackbird, and many waterfowl species. Other guides refer to this area as the Randolph Viewing Area or the Rich County Bottoms.

HABITATS: High mountain wet meadows and riparian

FEATURED BIRDS: Sandhill Crane, Long-billed Curlew, and American Bittern

SEASON: Spring, summer, fall

LOCATION: Drive 1.5 miles north of Randolph on UT-16, then east on the Crawford Mountain road, then northeast after crossing the Bear River. The road crosses into Wyoming before joining with UT-30/WY-89.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Private land, respect private property rights

NOTES: No restrooms available
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