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Sites
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SOUTHWEST UTAH BIRDING TRAILS
AREA DESCRIPTIONS FOR SITES 1 - 12

Below are area descriptions of:
[1]  Beaver Dam Slope
[2]  Lytle Ranch Preserve
[3]  Joshua Tree Natural Area
[4]  Welcome Springs
[5]  Gunlock Reservoir
[6]  Baker Dam Reservoir
[7]  Pine Valley
[8]  Snow Canyon State Park
[9]  Tonaquint Park & Nature Center
[10]  Virgin River Trail
[11]  Washington Fields
[12]  Fort Pearce to Hurricane Drive.


  [1]  BEAVER DAM SLOPE  

Beaver Dam Slope is a very popular Utah birding location. Driving the gravel roads and walking the dry washes in the area provides good birding when temperatures are cool. The area represents an extension of the more southern Mojave Desert into Utah and the lowest elevation in Utah. This area is inhabited by plant and wildlife species not found elsewhere in Utah. Utah bird checklists commonly utilize a specialized code for the birds found primarily in Washington County as the area is distinctly different from other areas in Utah. The next three hotspots are specific areas within the Beaver Dam Slope area and offer excellent birding opportunities. When plans call for birding any of the specific spots listed, drive slowly between the areas and look for Mojave Desert specialties. In addition to the featured birds, look for Costa's Hummingbird, Say's Phoebe, Brewer's Sparrow, and Red-tailed Hawk. The Le Conte's Thrasher is occasionally reported in the area.

HABITATS: Joshua tree, lowland riparian, creosote, and desert shrub.

FEATURED BIRDS: Greater Roadrunner, Gambel’s Quail, Loggerhead Shrike, Cactus Wren, Canyon Wren, Black-throated Sparrow and Scott's Oriole.

SEASON: Best during spring and fall migration, but also good for wintering birds. Best during early morning and late afternoon.

LOCATION: The "old" US-91 Highway is now a county road but still referred to as "Old Highway 91." It is the primary access road (paved) to Beaver Dam Slope and runs north from Littlefield/Beaver Dam, Arizona, (I-15 Arizona Exit #8) to a high point in the Beaver Dam Mountain range dividing the Beaver Dam Slope with the Santa Clara River drainage. The old highway covers a distance of approximately 34 miles from St. George to Littlefield, AZ. Access from St. George, on Old Highway 91, is from the Bluff Street/Sunset Blvd. junction through Santa Clara. It is approximately 11 miles to the "Gunlock to Veyo" junction, then south to Beaver Dam Slope. GPS COORDINATES: 37° 03' 55" N , 113° 53' 19" W

LAND OWNERSHIP: Mixed, mostly BLM

NOTES: Beaver Dam Slope includes Lytle Ranch Preserve (#2), Joshua Tree Natural Area (#3), and Welcome Springs (#4). No water or restroom facilities, except at Lytle Ranch. Summer temperatures frequently exceed 100°F in all lower elevations of Washington County.

(You will find more information on BEAVER DAM SLOPE HERE)
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  [2]  LYTLE RANCH PRESERVE  
Lytle Ranch Preserve is owned and managed by Brigham Young University (BYU). Campground facilities are available and good trails run throughout the area. Advanced reservations are only required for camping, call BYU at (435-378-5053). The preserve is on Beaver Dam Wash and is primarily a lowland riparian birding area. Some of the trails climb the short distance out of the Beaver Dam Wash into the Joshua Tree uplands. A couple of days birding in the Lytle Ranch area during the spring migration can often yield 100 species of birds. Lytle Ranch also supports a wide variety of snakes and lizards.

To bird the area, walk north from the campground through the orchard to a small pond. The trail extends north of the pond for additional good birding. Ask about recent bird sightings. In recent years a pair of Common Black-Hawks have nested approximately a mile from the ranch headquarters where large cottonwoods are near the trail. It's not feasible to list all birds observed at Lytle Ranch, but in addition to the featured birds, look for Western Kingbird, Scott's Oriole, Gambel's Quail, Western Screech-Owl, Verdin, Black Phoebe and Townsend's Warbler (migration).

HABITATS: Lowland riparian, desert shrub, orchard, pond, and stream.

FEATURED BIRDS: Summer Tanager, Common Black-Hawk, White-winged Dove, Costa's Hummingbird, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Brown-creasted Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireo, Phainopepla, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Lucy's Warbler, and Hooded Oriole.

SEASON: Best during spring and fall migration, but also good for wintering birds. As with most desert sites, early morning and late evening are best.

LOCATION: From St. George, take Sunset Boulevard (UT-8) through Santa Clara on old highway US-91. At 11 miles from the North Bluff Street junction the road splits and the Gunlock to Veyo Road goes west and north. Take the left fork and drive south to Castle Cliff (11.2 miles), then turn west on a maintained gravel road marked Big Cottonwood Game Ranch which is a private hunting area. Follow signs to Lytle Ranch, made easier by the white binoculars on a brown sign, which designates a Wildlife Viewing Area. The distance from Castle Cliff to Lytle Ranch is 13.6 miles. The driveway to Lytle Ranch Preserve headquarters is just before crossing Beaver Dam Wash. GPS COORDINATES: 37° 08' 36" N , 114° 01' 20" W

LAND OWNERSHIP: Brigham Young University.

NOTES: Fee area, camping, restroom facilities. Reservations are only required for camping, phone 801-422-5052.

(You will find more information on LYTLE RANCH PRESERVE HERE)
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  [3]  JOSHUA TREE NATURAL AREA  
The maintained gravel and dirt roads through the Joshua tree natural area are suitable for passenger cars most of the year although high clearance vehicles are more appropriate. This area represents the northern extent of Joshua tree range. In addition to wildlife viewing, the flowers and other Mojave Desert vegetation provide their own scenic attraction. The Mojave Desert/Joshua Tree Road crosses the Woodbury Desert Study Area, parallels the boundary of the Beaver Dam Mountain Wilderness, and rejoins Old Highway US-91 two miles south of the Gunlock to Veyo Road junction. Birding opportunities are usually near the road. It is best to drive slowly and stop often to walk short distances up or down the dry wash areas. Look for available water at the "guzzlers" and livestock water tanks that have been built in the area. Be aware and on the lookout for rattlesnakes in the area.

In addition to the Mojave Desert vegetation, the road traverses through rocky canyons and pinyon-juniper woodlands. At elevations higher than the Mojave Desert, look for Pinyon Jay, Juniper Titmouse, Bushtit, Black-chinned Sparrow, Gray Vireo and Gray Flycatcher.

HABITATS: Joshua Tree and associated Mojave Desert shrub at lower elevations and pinyon-juniper woodlands higher.

FEATURED BIRDS: Gambel’s Quail, Greater Roadrunner, Scott’s Oriole, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Common Poorwill, Loggerhead Shrike, and Ash-throated Flycatcher.

SEASON: Best during spring and fall migration, but also good for winter birding. Common Poorwills are commonly seen along the road just after sunset during summer months.

LOCATION: From St. George take I-15 southwest to Arizona Exit 8 (Littlefield/Beaver Dam) then north for 9.3 miles to the “Woodbury-Hardy Desert Study Area" sign and then travel east on a gravel road. The road goes through Bulldog Canyon and then curves to the north in approximately 5 miles. The road goes over Bulldog Pass then joins Old Highway US-91 2.7 miles south of the Gunlock to Veyo Road junction. From the north, this road junction is 2.7 miles south of Castle Cliff (see location of site #2, Lytle Ranch Preserve). The road is rough in spots, but good enough for passenger cars during dry weather. Don't attempt the drive during wet weather. GPS COORDINATES: 37° 01' 04" N , 113° 54' 28" W

LAND OWNERSHIP: BLM, private, state, and Paiute Indian Reservation.

NOTES: In the Woodbury Desert Study Area and surrounding area the desert tortoise is protected, follow the rules posted on signs. Never pick up a desert tortoise as it could prove fatal to the tortoise. The only facilities available are at a convenience store and gas station in Beaver Dam, Arizona.

(You will find more information on JOSHUA TREE NATURAL AREA HERE)
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  [4]  WELCOME SPRINGS  
The Welcome Springs road passes through Mojave/Joshua tree desert to a lowland riparian area near the spring. Welcome Springs is a productive stop on the way to or from the Lytle Ranch Preserve. Stop at the water tank and old corral and walk east up the intermittent stream. Some individuals have driven an unimproved road up the stream bottom, but birding is better on foot and chances of getting stuck in this remote area is lessened. In addition to the riparian and desert species, Long-eared Owls and Cooper's Hawks have been observed. During the spring there is usually enough available water to attract many species of migrating birds.

From the water tank and parking area there is a second birding option on a trail (unimproved road) heading north. This trail curves to the east and goes up another riparian corridor. The shrubs and small trees (no cottonwoods) are more lush in the dry wash and provide good birding opportunities. After only walking about one-half mile up the draw the canyon becomes steep and rocky. Most birders prefer to walk south out of the draw, birding the ridge, then dropping back into the Welcome Springs riparian area. We've found birding good within one-half mile of the tank in all directions.

HABITATS: Joshua tree, blackbrush, and lowland riparian vegetation including live oak and cottonwood trees.

FEATURED BIRDS: Cooper's Hawk, Hooded Oriole, Black-throated Sparrow, Rufous-crowned Sparrow and Summer Tanager.

SEASON: Best during spring and fall migration.

LOCATION: Drive west from Castle Cliff towards the Lytle Ranch Preserve (see #2) for 1.8 miles to the BLM Welcome Springs sign then north for 1.8 miles to the livestock water tank and corral. GPS COORDINATES: 37° 05' 49" N , 113° 54' 41" W

LAND OWNERSHIP: Mostly BLM.

NOTES: Remote area with no facilities or services.

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  [5]  GUNLOCK RESERVOIR  
During spring and fall migration, it is worth a trip to Gunlock Reservoir when in southwestern Utah. Gunlock Reservoir offers open-water birding for migrating water birds and lowland riparian birding below the dam for a multitude of species year around. During warm weather, the main section of the reservoir is often full of motorboat traffic, thus very few birds. There are several pullouts along the upper part of the reservoir that are good for scanning the mudflats and water below the road. Green Herons are often found along the Santa Clara River just above Gunlock Reservoir. The lowland riparian area above the reservoir is also good for many other species, including Summer Tanager, Western Screech-Owl, Black Phoebe, Bewick's Wren, Canyon Wren, Lucy's Warbler and Bullock's Oriole. Great-tailed Grackles are usually in the picnic and camping areas along the reservoir shoreline. To bird the riparian area above the reservoir, park on the road and walk into the riparian area. With the soft sand near the river it is easy to get stuck.

The riparian habitat just below the dam, managed by BLM, provides excellent birding. There are pullouts and several trails crisscrossing the riparian area. Look for Bullock's Oriole, Summer Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Blue Grosbeak, Yellow Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Black Phoebe, and House Finch during the nesting season. Many more species are possible during spring and fall migration.

The best pullout to scope the open water is 1.6 miles from the dam. Look for Eared Grebe, Common Loon, and many other waterfowl species during migration. Good birding is also available along the road from Gunlock Reservoir to Veyo and the junction with UT-18 (it is 10.7 miles from dam to junction). Look for pullouts to view lowland riparian habitats (cottonwood) below the road and rocky desert slopes above the road.

HABITATS: Open water and lowland riparian.

FEATURED BIRDS: Green Heron, Common Loon, Western Screech-Owl, Bewick's Wren, Yellow-breasted Chat, Blue Grosbeak, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Hooded Oriole, and Great-tailed Grackle.

SEASON: Best during spring and fall migration, but offers good birding year around.

LOCATION: Take Sunset Boulevard west from St. George, through Santa Clara, to where Old Highway US-91 junctions with the "Gunlock to Veyo Road", near the ghost town of Shivwits. Then drive north (right fork) approximately 5 miles to Gunlock Reservoir. It is 12 miles from the historic Hamblin House in Santa Clara to the Gunlock Reservoir dam. GPS COORDINATES: 37° 15' 44"N , 113° 46' 19" W

LAND OWNERSHIP: The reservoir is part of Gunlock State Park, the riparian area below the dam is managed by BLM.

NOTES: Free birding opportunities along the road, but fee area for facilities and camping at the State Park. Camping spots are available on a first-come basis. More information on the state park can be obtained from 1-800-322-3770.

(You will find more information on GUNLOCK RESERVOIR HERE)
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  [6]  BAKER DAM RESERVOIR  
Baker Dam Reservoir and the riparian area just below the dam provide a good birding hotspot near Veyo on the Santa Clara River. The south end of the reservoir and approximately a half mile below the dam are managed by BLM. Migrating water birds use the reservoir in spring and fall. The riparian area along the Santa Clara River is always good.

After walking the Rim Trail from the campground, drive or walk across the dam and along the road east of the reservoir. In close proximity to the road are opportunities to view water birds on the open water, riparian birds in the trees along the shoreline, and upland birds in the pinyon-juniper woodlands east of the road. Look for Golden Eagle, Cinnamon Teal, and Cassin's Vireo.

HABITATS: Open water, lowland riparian and pinyon-juniper woodland.

FEATURED BIRDS: Green Heron, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, and Cinnamon Teal on the water. Gray Flycatcher and Bushtit in the woodlands. Nesting Osprey have been reported.

SEASON: Yearlong, but best during spring and fall migration. The reservoir is 4,900 feet in elevation, therefore remains relatively mild during summer months.

LOCATION: Baker Reservoir is 14 miles north of the Gunlock Reservoir (hotspot #5), through the town of Gunlock, on the county's "Gunlock to Veyo" road. Or, Baker Dam can be reached by driving approximately 20 miles north of I-15 (Exit 6) in St. George to Veyo on UT-18, then 3.8 miles south on the Gunlock Road. The turn-off is signed. GPS COORDINATES: 37° 22' 38" N , 113° 38' 32" W

LAND OWNERSHIP: South end of reservoir and 0.5 miles of riparian are managed by BLM.

NOTES: BLM operated campground. Camp sites, tent sites, and picnic sites (fee area) are provided. Restaurant, convenience store, and gas in Veyo.

(You will find more information on BAKER DAM RESERVOIR HERE)
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  [7]  PINE VALLEY  
Pine Valley offers excellent high-elevation birding on the Dixie National Forest. Several campgrounds are located near the end of the road. The walking trails from all of the campgrounds and parking areas are excellent for birding. This is a beautiful area with an interesting mix of birds. A small reservoir offers open water birding and the large pine trees are good for nuthatches (three species), woodpeckers, Western Tanager, Mountain Chickadee, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and Bald Eagle (winter).

The various habitats in the town of Pine Valley are also good for birds. Stay on the streets and respect private property. The meadows near town are good for Mountain Bluebirds.

HABITATS: Mountain shrub and ponderosa pine.

FEATURED BIRDS: Grace's Warbler, Western Bluebird, Mountain Bluebird, Pygmy Nuthatch, and Cassin's Finch.

SEASON: Best during summer and early fall.

LOCATION: The Pine Valley Road goes east from the small town of Central. Central is on UT-18 and 2.4 miles north of the turnoff to Baker Dam (hotspot #6). From the Central to the end of the road is approximately 10 miles. GPS COORDINATES: 37° 22' 47" N , 113° 28' 28" W

LAND OWNERSHIP: Dixie National Forest

NOTES: Cafe and campgrounds available during summer months. The closest gas station is at Veyo.

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  [8]  SNOW CANYON STATE PARK  
There are excellent birding opportunities within the 6,500-acre Snow Canyon State Park. Snow is not the attraction here, the park was named after Lorenzo and Erastus Snow, early pioneers. The area is protected primarily for its scenery. Some 130 million years ago, most of southern Utah was covered with sand dunes. These dunes shifted and layered until being compressed into rock forming the multi-shades of red, pink, and white sandstone that form the area's spectacular scenery. The green vegetation of the desert floor and the clear blue sky enhances the color diversity and contrast. We suggest you pick up information about trails, recently reported birds, and other helpful birding hints at the park headquarters. Our favorite birding spots include the Hidden Pinyon Trail (1.5 miles) and around the campground. The 0.75-mile hike on the Johnson Arch Trail is an easy walk and offers good birding opportunities, however the trail is closed from November 1 to March 15 to protect the endangered Desert Tortoise. More active birders will find the Three Ponds Trail delightful. The Three Ponds Trailhead is just south of the park headquarters and requires a 6-mile round trip hike if hiking through West Canyon to Three Ponds. This is an exposed trail, so carry extra water, sun screen, and snack food. The trail traverses several habitat types, therefore offers a diversity of birds.

A short walk from any pullout along the main road will often be productive for observing birds as well as an opportunity for great photographs. Possible sightings include, Lesser Nighthawk, Costa's Hummingbird, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Verdin, Rock Wren, Canyon Wren, Bewick's Wren, Northern Mockingbird, and Lesser Goldfinch.

HABITATS: Sandstone canyons, lowland riparian, shrub-tree campground, and desert shrub.

FEATURED BIRDS: Peregrine Falcon, Gambel’s Quail, Red-naped Sapsucker, Gray Vireo, and Black-chinned Sparrow.

SEASON: Best during spring and fall migration, but also good for winter birding. During the hot summer months, plan to bird early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

LOCATION: From I-15, exit 6 in St. George, drive north on U-18 (Bluff Street). The south park entrance is found by turning left (west) on Snow Canyon Parkway on the north end of town. This parkway goes northwest to a Snow Canyon State Park sign, then a right turn (north) will lead to the park. The north entrance to the park is approximately 11 miles north of I-15 on UT-18, then a left turn (west) at the park sign. GPS COORDINATES: 37° 12' 07" N , 113° 38' 33" W

LAND OWNERSHIP: Snow Canyon State Park.

NOTES: Fee area, camping, handicapped access, and maintained walking trails.

(You will find more information on SNOW CANYON HERE)
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  [9]  TONAQUINT PARK AND NATURE CENTER  
This city park is along the Santa Clara River in St. George. Walking through the cottonwoods and other lowland riparian vegetation offers the opportunity to see numerous bird species. Sometimes during spring migration the number and diversity of birds along this river is almost overwhelming. Some of our favorite birds, not featured, are Summer Tanager, Cooper’s Hawk, Western Screech-Owl, Black Phoebe, Yellow Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, and Spotted Towhee.

Mathis Park is just east of where Dixie Road crosses the Santa Clara River and also offers an excellent birding opportunity. The Santa Clara River from its confluence with the Virgin River (hotspot #10) through St. George provides excellent stopover habitat for migrating birds, a traveling corridor, and good nesting habitat for summer birds. Most of the Santa Clara River riparian corridor through St. George has been subdivided and developed, this has concentrated the birds in remaining habitat like Tonaquint and Mathis Parks.

HABITATS: Lowland riparian and stream.

FEATURED BIRDS: Gambel's Quail, Crissal Thrasher, Abert's Towhee, Lucy's Warbler, and Greater Roadrunner.

SEASON: Best during spring and fall migration, but good all year long.

LOCATION: From I-15 exit 6 (Bluff Street) in St. George drive north. At the stop light (Hilton Drive), just north of the Interstate, turn left (west) and drive past the Southgate Golf Course, turn right on Dixie Drive, then turn right at the Tonaquint Park sign which is on a large rock. Continuing northwest on Dixie Drive will lead to Mathis Park. GPS COORDINATES: 37° 04' 47" N , 113° 35' 53" W

LAND OWNERSHIP: City of St. George.

NOTES: Facilities are available.

(You will find more information on TONAQUINT PARK & NATURE CENTER HERE)
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  [10]  VIRGIN RIVER TRAIL  
From the Confluence Trailhead there are excellent trails either up or down the Santa Clara and Virgin Rivers. A favorite trail is down the Santa Clara to the Virgin River and then down the Virgin (towards the Interstate highway bridges). One side of the trail offers cliffs and desert vegetation and on the other side is the river riparian vegetation. Bird diversity is good. Some favorite bird sightings include Greater Roadrunner, Crissal Thrasher, Phainopepla, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Lazuli Bunting, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-breasted Chat, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Song Sparrow, Verdin, Bushtit, Hooded Oriole, and Abert's Towhee. Look for Canyon Wren and White-throated Swift along the cliffs just after crossing under the I-15 bridge/overpass.

The paved trail passes under I-15 in 0.5 miles and continues for another 1.5 miles to the town of Bloomington. There is also a footbridge crossing the Virgin River just north of the Interstate crossing that offers access to trails on the other side of the river. The Virgin River trail provides good birding between the Confluence Trailhead and the trailhead near the town of Bloomington.

[Another birding area along the Virgin River is at the Virgin River/La Verkin Creek confluence. From St. George, go north on I-15 to UT-9 (exit 16), then follow UT-9 east through Hurricane to La Verkin. At the UT-9/UT-17 intersection, which is at the traffic light in La Verkin, proceed north on UT-17 approximately 2-miles as if going to Toquerville. Just prior to the La Verkin Creek bridge turn left on a non-paved road and drive about 300 yards then park and walk slowly south. The habitat is primarily lowland riparian with some agriculture with shrubs along the edges of the riparian area. Birds are usually plentiful and similar to those found elsewhere along the Virgin and Santa Clara Rivers.]

HABITATS: Desert, cliffs, and lowland riparian.

FEATURED BIRDS: Green Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Gambel's Quail, Greater Roadrunner, Crissal Thrasher, Verdin, Blue Grosbeak, and Lazuli Bunting.

SEASON: Best during spring and fall migration, but also good for winter birding.

LOCATION: Take I-15 exit 6 near the south side of St. George. Cross to the southeast side of the Interstate Highway (left turn from I-15 exit ramp), then turn on Convention Center Drive (first street to the south) and drive to the end of the road and park at the Confluence Trailhead.

To bird from the Bloomington trailhead, take the Bloomington Exit from I-15 (Exit 4) drive east on Brigham Road to Sugar Leo Road and go south to Man O War Road, then west (right) to the trailhead just across the Virgin River bridge.

Note: The Virgin River/La Verkin Creek confluence birding area is described in the above text and is not identified as a separate hotspot. GPS COORDINATES: 37° 04' 28" N , 113° 35' 02" W

LAND OWNERSHIP: Public.

NOTES: Restroom facilities are located at each trailhead parking lot. Restaurants, lodging, and gas is available in St. George.

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  [11]  WASHINGTON FIELDS  
Washington Fields are located east of St. George and south of Washington. They offer a great area for a diversity of birds, some of which are difficult to find in other locations. In migration the fields are covered with thousands of feeding swallows and large flocks of White-faced Ibis. Many species of sparrows, including Brewer's, Vesper, Lark, and Savannah can be found during winter and migration seasons. Other winter specialties include American Pipit and Loggerhead Shrike. These fields offer one of the best locations for wintering raptors in southwest Utah. Look for Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon, Rough-legged Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Northern Harrier and more.

Birding is accomplished by wandering around on the gravel roads throughout the agricultural area. One option is to drive south of St. George on River Road, then turn east just after crossing the Virgin River on 1450 South. Where the river runs between the Virgin River corridor and the rocky cliffs, there are good pullouts to view both riparian and upland species. A good side trip is to turn north on Springs Road (The Springs Estate) to the Springs Park. At the park there are restrooms and a great little pond with a trail around it. After birding the pond return to 1450 South and go east around a curve to the south - you are now on 3000 East. Bird for 1.5 miles south, then turn east. Bird on roads heading north or east until returning to 1580 South. Driving further east will lead to some unique birding in desert shrub lands. Driving north on Washington Fields Road (4000 East) provides birding opportunities and will take you to the town of Washington, Utah.

The agricultural fields south of Washington and east to Hurricane also provide excellent birding during spring and fall migration and during the winter months. Again, travel slowly along various roads and view the adjacent fields. Watch for traffic and pull well off the road before stopping. Especially during spring migration these fields offer waterfowl and shorebird viewing. The agricultural wetlands at 1450 South 3000 East are currently good and may be included in the newly established Hela Seegmiller Memorial Park.

HABITATS: Agricultural fields and wetlands.

FEATURED BIRDS: Rough-legged Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Merlin, Bald Eagle, Prairie Falcon, Burrowing Owl, Blue Grosbeak, American Pipit, Savannah Sparrow and Say's Phoebe. Look for an increasing population of Eurasian Collared-Dove.

SEASON: Good for winter birding and excellent during spring and fall migration.

LOCATION: To reach the Washington Fields from St. George, drive south on River Road to just beyond the Virgin River Bridge. Drive east on 1430 South, wondering through the area or following the option described above. River Road can be accessed by exiting I-15 (exit #8, St. George Boulevard). River Road heads south just one block east of I-15 at exit 8. GPS COORDINATES: 37° 05' 15" N, 113° 32' 06" W

LAND OWNERSHIP: Private property, bird from the roads only.

NOTES: No facilities (except at Springs Park). As this birding area is along county roads, drive carefully and pull off the road for stops. The Washington Fields are located in both St. George and Washington, so street numbers may change.

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  [12]  FORT PEARCE TO HURRICANE DRIVE  
The drive on gravel and dirt roads to the Fort Pearce, then on to Hurricane can, at times, seem bird-free. Local birders have asked, "why was this area selected?" We selected the area as much for it's history (Fort Pearce) and unique dinosaur tracks as for the birds. However keep looking for uncommon sparrows and other "rangeland" birds. At the Fort Pearce site, walk downstream through the lowland riparian vegetation area near a stream. The area has been impacted by livestock grazing, but still contains many bird species – especially during migration. The rangelands in this area are also good for wintering birds, especially sparrows.

Another interesting birding spot is along the trail to the Dinosaur Tracks. The turnoff to this site is well marked and 2.3 miles east of Fort Pearce. The trail passes through sparse desert shrub vegetation.

The drive from St. George to Hurricane is approximately 30 miles with designated stops at Fort Pearce at 11.4 miles (from the River Road/1450 South junction south of St. George) and at the Dinosaur Tracks at 13.7 miles. Spend a little time looking for birds at the livestock water tanks. Many desert birds visit the water tanks regularly for a drink.

HABITATS: Dry rangelands, and lowland riparian.

FEATURED BIRDS: Ash-throated Flycatcher, Common Yellowthroat (riparian), and Sage Sparrow (winter). Vermilion Flycatchers have been seen near Fort Pearce, but are rare.

SEASON: Best during spring and fall migration, but also good for winter birding.

LOCATION: Drive south of St. George on River Road (I-15 exit 8, see hotspot #11) just beyond the Virgin River bridge turn left (east) on 1450 South. The main road goes east, then curves south and junctions with 1580 South, which heads east then curves south. It is 5.7 miles from the River Road/1450 South junction to a left turn with a "Fort Pearce 6" sign. It is another 5.7 miles to Fort Pearce. The drive continues past Fort Pearce, offering a side stop at a dinosaur tracks area then east and north to Hurricane. It is 30.5 miles from the River Road/1450 South junction to the Junction with UT-9 in Hurricane (700 West) - two miles less if the dinosaur track side trip is skipped. GPS COORDINATES: 37° 00' 27" N, 113° 24' 40" W

LAND OWNERSHIP: Mixed public and private, don't trespass on private land.

NOTES: This is a gravel road that may be rough in spots and muddy after a rain. There are no facilities or services between St. George and Hurricane along this birding trail.

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