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GREAT SALT LAKE BIRDING TRAILS:
AREA DESCRIPTIONS FOR SITES 26 - 30

Below are area descriptions of:
[26]  North Arm Viewing Area
[26a]  Wheeler Creek
[26b]  Middle Fork WMA
[27]  Perception Park
[28]  Dairy Ridge Road
[29]  Morgan-Henefer Trail
[29a]  Lost Creek State Park
[30]  City Creek Canyon



[North Arm Kiosk]
North Arm Viewing Area

  [26]  PINEVIEW NORTH ARM VIEWING AREA  
An excellent Watchable Wildlife area on the north shore of Pineview Reservoir at the familiar "white binocular on a brown background" sign. The Wasatch-Cache National Forest maintains a great trail system through this rich riparian shrub and tree area. Birding is good all year, but best in early summer when nesting species are singing and establishing territories. In addition to the featured birds, this is a great area to view many of the common western riparian species like Northern Flicker, Yellow Warbler, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Tree Swallow, Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Song Sparrow, and American Kestrel.

Visit a Forest Service facility to get information on many other trails in the Pineview Reservoir area. Ogden Canyon is spectacular in itself, but drive carefully and pull completely off the road to view the scenery or look for birds. The road is curvy and heavily traveled. Favorite side trails include the Wheeler Creek trail [26A] and the trails at the Middle Fork Wildlife Management Area [26B].

HABITATS: Stream with tree, shrub, and herbaceous riparian vegetation

FEATURED BIRDS: Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, Cedar Waxwing, Fox Sparrow, Veery (rare), Willow Flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Chat and Gray Catbird

SEASON: All year but best in early summer

LOCATION: The Ogden Valley/Pineview Reservoir area is only 9.5 miles from I-15 and offers many birding opportunities (see next two sites). To reach the North Arm Wildlife Viewing area, take I-15 exit #347 (Odgen's 12th Street exit) and drive east. Twelfth Street becomes Utah-39 and goes up Ogden Canyon. After 9.5 miles take Utah-158 at the top of Pineview Dam. Cross the dam and drive 3.8 miles to this well marked site -- just beyond the bridge that crosses the North Arm of the Ogden River.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Public land managed by the Wasatch-Cache National Forest as a Watchable Wildlife site.

NOTES: Accessible restroom
(You will find more information on the North Arm Viewing Area HERE )
(You will find more information on Pineview Reservoir HERE )
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[Wheeler Canyon]
Unusual Z-formation Seen From Wheeler Canyon

  [26a]  WHEELER CREEK  
There are several trails in the Pineview Reservoir area managed by the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Wheeler Creek runs through a deep canyon and provides a cool spot for summer birding and hiking. Near the base of the trail, look up at the rock outcrop just east of Wheeler Creek (summer) for White-throated Swift, Violet-green Swallow, and Northern Rough-winged Swallow. Hike up the trail and look for the featured birds as well as other western riparian species.

HABITATS: Fast running stream, rock outcrops, and canyon walls with tree, shrub, and herbaceous riparian vegetation

FEATURED BIRDS: Cedar Waxwing, Western Tanager, Hermit Thrush, American Dipper, White-throated Swift, and Warbling Vireo

SEASON: All year but best in early summer

LOCATION: From I-15, take exit 347 (Ogden's 12th Street) and drive east towards the mountains. Twelfth Street becomes Utah-39 and heads up Ogden Canyon. Turn right into the Wheeler Creek trailhead parking lot (9.5 miles east of I-15) just before the road ascends towards the dam. The trail is an old road, nearly two miles long, that has been closed to vehicular travel for years. It goes uphill from Utah-39 and connects to the old Snowbasin Road (Utah-226) where there is also a parking lot. From Utah-226, you can connect with a trail that climbs to the Maples Campground.

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

NOTES: No facilities
(You will find more information on the Wheeler Creek Area HERE )
(You will find more information on the Pineview Reservoir HERE )
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  [26b]  MIDDLE FORK WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA  
The Utah Division of Wildlife (UDWR) manages the area as wintering elk and deer habitat. The area is closed during the winter so wintering elk will not be disturbed. If you are birding during winter months, stop at the gate to scope the surrounding slopes for deer, elk, Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks and more. Wild Turkeys are often viewed in this area.

My favorite plan for non-winter birding is to park at the end of the road and look in the nearby large cottonwood trees for nesting Great Horned Owl, American Kestrel, Bullock's Oriole, and Western Kingbird. Both Eastern and Western Kingbirds inhabit the area, with Eastern observed more often along the road. After birding the cottonwoods, walk east up an old road that angles towards the top of a small ridge. On the other side of the ridge is a wetland area formed by several beaver ponds. From there, walk towards the riparian area along the Middle Fork of the Ogden River.

Many upland and riparian species can be found here, including, Bullock's Oriole, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow Warbler, American Goldfinch, Lazuli Bunting, Warbling Vireo, Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow and American Kestrel. Watch the sky for Golden Eagle, Turkey Vulture, Common Raven and Red-tailed Hawk. Along the road between the North Arm and Middle Fork look for Sandhill Crane, Bobolink, and Brewer's Blackbird.

HABITATS: Stream with tree, shrub, and herbaceous riparian vegetation, sagebrush, and grassland

FEATURED BIRDS: Bald Eagle (winter), Yellow Warbler, Western Meadowlark, and Western Kingbird

SEASON: All year but best in early summer

LOCATION: When leaving the North Arm Viewing area (site #26), turn right and almost immediately take the right fork headed towards Eden. The General Store in Eden can serve as a gift shop, restaurant, or pit stop. At the stop sign turn south on Utah-166. Utah-166 will turn east, follow it until the road heads south, then continue east on the gravel road to the end of the road. A left turn will take you into the WMA (4.3 miles from the North Arm Viewing site.

LAND OWNERSHIP: State land managed by Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

NOTES: No facilities
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  [27]  PERCEPTION PARK  
Perception Park Campground is one of many camping areas maintained by the Wasatch-Cache National Forest along the South Fork of the Ogden River. The site is nearly one-mile high in elevation. At this campground and picnic area, several excellent trails pass though the wooded riparian area along the Ogden River. Some of these trails are paved for wheelchair access. Typical western riparian species are common, including Violet-green Swallow, American Dipper, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow Warbler, MacGillivray's Warbler, Spotted Towhee, Western Tanager, Hermit Thrush, Gray Catbird, Fox Sparrow, and Lincoln Sparrow.

HABITATS: Stream and wooded riparian

FEATURED BIRDS: Hermit Thrush, Belted Kingfisher, and Lazuli Bunting

SEASON: Summer months

LOCATION: Along UT-39, approximately 6 miles east of Huntsville

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

NOTES: Accessible restroom
(You will find more information on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest HERE )
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  [28]  DAIRY RIDGE ROAD  
The Monte Cristo road (UT-39) offers several opportunities for high elevation (9000 feet) birding during the summer months. High mountain meadows, spruce-fir forests, and aspen groves offer opportunities to observe Mountain Bluebird, White-crowned Sparrow, Green-tailed Towhee, Tree Swallow, Purple Martin, Williamson's Sapsucker, and Dark-eyed Junco in their breeding habitat.

The Dairy Ridge road (FS-67) is an unimproved road, best traveled during dry weather. Walking along this road, or other roads and trails leaving the main highway, is often more productive than driving. In addition, the mountain flowers are spectacular. Other nearby options include the road to Bluebell Spring (FS-201) and the Wasatch Ridge road (FS-68).

HABITATS: High elevation meadows, sagebrush, aspen, and conifer forests

FEATURED BIRDS: Blue Grouse, Mountain Bluebird, White-crowned Sparrow, and Green-tailed Towhee

SEASON: Summer only

LOCATION: Approximately 20 miles east of Huntsville on UT-39

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

NOTES: The Monte Cristo area is a heavily used snowmobile area in the winter. Restrooms are available at the large snowmobile parking lot just before going to the higher elevations
(You will find more information on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest HERE )
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  [29]  MORGAN-HENEFER TRAIL  
The main draw of this trail is winter eagle viewing. Other winter species include Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Common Raven, American Crow, Black-billed Magpie, and Black-capped Chickadee.

In the towns of Morgan and Henefer a birder should be on the lookout for Bohemian Waxwing (winter) in crabapple and Mountain Ash trees. On the grassy slopes above the canyon road, look for flocks of Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (also a possibility for Black Rosy-Finch). If East Canyon Reservoir is not frozen, look for Red-breasted Merganser, Common and Barrow's Goldeneye, Bufflehead, and Redhead. Common Loons use this reservoir during migration. Deer, elk, porcupine, and coyote also provide watchable wildlife opportunities. Look for Sage Grouse along UT-65 between East Canyon Reservoir and Henefer.

HABITATS: Pastures, cottonwood riparian, grassy slopes, sagebrush and open water

FEATURED BIRDS: Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Northern Shrike, Wild Turkey, Sage Grouse, Bohemian Waxwing, and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch

SEASON: All year, but best in winter

LOCATION: Take Exit #103 (Morgan) from I-84 and travel on UT-66 to East Canyon Reservoir, then UT-65 to Henefer. I-84 can be accessed at Henefer.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Variable, but mostly private, bird from roadway or at the signed public access pull-outs.

NOTES: East Canyon State Park is a fee area with restroom facilities and restrooms and restaurants are available in Morgan and Henefer
(You will find more information on East Canyon State Park HERE )
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  [29a]  LOST CREEK STATE PARK  
Lost Creek State Park is mostly undeveloped. The road to the area is paved and mostly used by anglers looking to catch some trout. Birding is best in the early summer when the riparian area below the dam abounds with nesting bird activities. Many of the western riparian species can be expected with other species viewed along the road up Lost Creek. During winter months, look for Wild Turkey and Bald Eagle.

HABITATS: Wooded riparian, upland grassland and sagebrush, pastures and hayfields on East Canyon road

FEATURED BIRDS: Yellow Warbler, Bullock's Oriole, and Lazuli Bunting

SEASON: All year, but best in early summer

LOCATION: Take exit #111 from I-84 (near Devil's Slide) and drive past the cement plant and up Lost Creek.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Private along Lost Creek road, so bird from the road. Lost Creek State Park is public. The road is approximately 10 miles long.

NOTES: Primitive camping, vault toilets, no drinking water
(You will find more information on Lost Creek State Park HERE )
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  [30]  CITY CREEK CANYON  
The riparian vegetation along City Creek is a favorite local birding area. The road is open to vehicles on the even days of the week, to bikes on odd days. Pedestrians may walk up the road any time. It is usually best to park in the parking lot and walk up the paved roadway. However, the higher elevation habitats near the end of the road are good for different species.

Interesting birds include Blue Grouse, Western Screech-Owl, American Dipper, Townsend's Solitaire, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Common Poorwill, and Steller's Jay. Don't be shy about talking to other birders along the trail. This trail is heavily birded and often the rarer species are staked out.

HABITATS: Riparian, grassy slopes, juniper woodlands with spruce-fir at higher elevations

FEATURED BIRDS: Winter Wren (winter), Northern Pygmy Owl, and Golden-crowned Kinglet

SEASON: All year

LOCATION: Head north on B Street, in the Avenues area of Salt Lake City, to 11th Avenue and follow Bonneville Boulevard north (.07 miles) to the parking area.

LAND OWNERSHIP: Salt Lake City

NOTES: Accessible restroom
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HOME GSL
BIRDING
MAP & KEY
AREA
DESCRIPTIONS:
1-10 11-20 21-25 26-30 31-40 41-49