Popular Birding Places
   Box Elder County

North Slope of the Raft River Mountains   by Merrill Webb    ©Merrill Webb

(To print a county map along with this information, go to the Print Center)

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge  (web site)

Directions:   From Interstate 15 at Brigham City, take exit #363 (Forest Street) and turn west. Go 13 miles to the beginning of the Auto Tour Route.
     - From U.S. Highway 89 in Brigham City, follow Main Street to Forest Street (downtown) and turn west, taking Forest Street all the way to the Refuge.


Box Elder Campground  (submitted by Kris Purdy)

Description: Box Elder Campground is located in the riparian corridor of Box Elder Creek on the east side of Mantua. The stream banks are thickly lined with dogwood and other shrubs and trees include Box Elders, cottonwoods, and willows..

Directions:  From Brigham City, take US-89/91 east. In 1 1/2-2 miles, take the first Mantua Exit, then the first right onto 300W and follow the signs to the campground. From Logan, travel south on US-89/91. Take the first Mantua exit, then turn right into town on Main Street. Follow Main to the stop sign and turn right on Box Elder Park Road

Birds: Great Horned Owls, Winter Wrens (in winter) Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Cedar Waxwings, Northern Flickers, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-naped Sapsuckers, chickadees, Ruffed Grouse, Red-tailed Hawk

Other: Park at the group use areas and wander through the campground loops. Be alert for chipping of Winter Wrens in late October and November, songbirds mobbing Great Horned Owls at all times of year (owls nest here), and quiet tapping of sapsuckers high overhead in willows.

     eBird Data:   |  Box Elder CG  |  Mantua Reservoir |

Clear Creek

Directions:   Go west from Snowville on UT 42 to Strevell, (an old town site) just across the Idaho border.  Go west on the gravel road 3.3 miles to the Clear Creek Campground sign.  The campground is south and west of the sign 6.2 miles.


Dale Young Nature Park  (Perry Nature Park)

Directions:  Take I-15 north and exit at the Brigham City 1100th south exit (#362). Go east to Main Street, turn right, (going south) you are now on US Highway 89. Go past Maddox Ranch House and turn right (west) at 2250 South. Go 3-4 blocks west and you are there.  ~ Sharon Andrus

     eBird Data:   |  Perry Nature Park | I-15 -- Exit 362 (Flying J & Vicinity)Bear River MBR -- Visitor Center |

Maps: Perry City

Devil's Playground

     East approach:  Go west then southwest on UT 30 from Rossette, exactly 27.2 miles.  Beyond a wash there's a gravel pit and dirt road going toward the mountains to the west.  Go west on the dirt road for just over a mile and bear onto the unimproved road that continues west for 1.2 miles.  Take the next right heading north into the sagebrush for about a mile.
     West approach: Take the unmark turnoff about 15 miles east of Grouse Creek Junction.

     eBird Data:   |  Keg Spring  (to the NW) |

Golden Spike National Historic Site

Directions:  Take Exit 365 off I-15 near Brigham City and go about 20 west on UT 83. Turn left and go about 8 miles, follow the signs to Golden Spike NHS.

Description:  Grasslands and desert shrub with rocky outcroppings. You can take the auto tour or walk along the 1.5 mile "Big Fill" trail.

Specialty Birds: Sharp-tailed Grouse, Ferruginous Hawk, Barn Owl, Sage Thrasher and Brewer's Sparrow
(also more commonly):  Gray (Hungarian) Partridge, Swainson's Hawk, Common Poorwill, Common Nighthawk,  Ash-throated Flycatcher, Say's Phoebe, Rock Wren, Common Raven, Lark Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, Northern Mockingbird, Brewer's Blackbird, (in winter):  Rough-legged Hawk, Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon, Merlin, American Kestrel and Long-eared Owl

     eBird Data:   |  Golden SpikeGolden Spike -- Big Fill |

Grouse Creek Mountains

Directions:  This area is north of Lucin.  (Good directions for access to this area are requested).

     eBird Data:   |  Keg Spring  (to the NE of Grouse Creek Jct.) |

Field Trip Lists

Johnson Creek

Directions: Go south then west of Yost for 1 mile until you get to a sign for Johnson Creek.

     eBird Data:   |  Raft River Mtns  -- Johnson Creek |

Locomotive Springs Wildlife Management Area

Directions: Go about a mile northeast from Golden Spike NHS (see above), to UT 504, follow the signs west about 22 miles then turn left and go about a mile to Locomotive Springs.

     eBird Data:   |  Locomotive Springs WMA  |

Lucin  ( Checklist )

Directions: Turn south from UT 30 about 8 miles east of the Utah-Nevada border (Grouse Creek Junction).  Go 5 miles on the gravel road until it crosses the railroad tracks.  Turn left and go to the ponds surrounded by trees.


Mantua Reservoir

Directions: Mantua is located on Route 89/91 east of Brigham City (Exit 362 from I-15).  Once you can see the reservoir, take any Mantua exit and drive east until you reach access roads to the dike.


Mayor's Pond

Directions:  From points along the Wasatch Front, take I-15 to exit 362 (Brigham City, Logan, and UT 91). Turn east. UT 91 intersects Main Street in about 2 miles. Turn left (north) on Main Street and drive to the Brigham City Tabernacle. Turn right (east) after the tabernacle on UT 91. Drive .9 miles and look for the pond on your left. ~ Kris Purdy  (see Details)


Perry Nature Park  See "Dale Young Nature Park"

Raymond M. Hansen Park (Elwood, Utah)

Description: Hansen Park is located in the town of Elwood, Box Elder County, southeast of Tremonton. The park sits on a curve of the Bear River and offers old-growth deciduous woods, open fields and brushy edges.

Directions: Take I-15 to Exit 376 and turn north. Just after the red-roofed Exxon/Arby's Travel Center, turn right (east) on 9600N. The intersection might not have a street sign, but there's a sign for a health food store in the direction you should turn. Drive east for a mile and turn right (south) onto 4400W. at the four-way stop. Drive south a half mile and turn right (west) onto River Road. The park entrance is a couple hundred feet down River Road on the left.

Birds: Lazuli Bunting, Black-headed Grosbeak, Bullock's Oriole, Yellow Warbler, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ring-necked Pheasant, Black-capped Chickadee, Bank Swallow, Belted Kingfisher, American Goldfinch, Cedar Waxwing.

Other: The park is closed in the winter, however, if you continue down River Road past the entrance you can look down into the park along a hillside covered with Russian Olives. You'll also get a view of the river from this vantage point and you may see waterfowl if the water is open.

     eBird Data:   | Petersen Park |

Submitted by Kristin Purdy

The Promontory Mountains

Description: The Promontory Mountain Range separates the north end of Great Salt Lake into Bear River Bay to the east and Gilbert Bay to the west. Promontory Road runs 21 miles down the east base of the mountains through sagebrush and grasslands, and farm and range.

Directions: From I-15, take exit 365 and turn west onto SR-13. Drive three miles into Corinne and pick up SR-83. Drive approximately 17 miles west on SR-83 and turn west onto Golden Spike Road. Drive west another mile and continue straight onto Promontory Road.

Birds: Summer: Gray Partridge, Short-eared and Burrowing Owls, Swainson's Hawk, Long-billed Curlew, Sage Thrasher, Lark Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow
     Winter: Prairie Falcon, Merlin, Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, Rough-legged Hawk, waterfowl
     Rare Birds: Cackling Goose

Birding: All car touring; no walking. A spotting scope on a window mount is helpful as the vistas are wide open. Last chance rest stop available at the Bear River Valley Country store in Corinne at the junction of SR-13 and SR-83.

Submitted by Kristin Purdy - 16 May 2012

     eBird Data:   |  Promontory Rd -- 6.5 mile PondPromontory Rd |
                            |  ATK Ranch -- North PondATK Ranch -- South Pond

Salt Creek WMA, Compton's Knoll

Directions:  Take I-15 north to Exit # 365 (900 N. St.). Turn RIGHT onto Hwy. 13 North. Go 6.2 miles west on Highway 83 (taking the LEFT fork at Corinne).
Turn RIGHT onto 6800 W. Iowa String. (small green street sign). A larger sign at this corner also says Tremonton with a right arrow.
Go 4.4 miles to 6800 N. Evans. (another small green street sign - also at this corner is a larger sign that says County Landfill 3 1/2 miles, and a wooden Salt Creek WMA sign).
Turn LEFT onto 6800 N. Evans. This road takes you directly to Compton's Knoll, which is 3.5 miles north from the turn. There is large, brown, wooden sign that says Salt Creek, etc. - turn right into the drive that takes you up on the knoll and into the parking area. You can see the knoll, which has a couple of little brown buildings and some fencing around the parking area, well before you get there, on the right hand side of the road.  (by Betsy Beneke - 14 Aug 2006)

SHORTCUT from Bear River's Wildlife Education Center
At the end of the Wildlife Education Center driveway, turn LEFT onto Forest Street. Go west on Forest Street 4/10 of a mile.
Turn RIGHT onto 2560 W. (Corinne Rd. - just past the refuge bunkhouse). Go 2 miles to Hwy. 13. Take a LEFT onto Hwy. 13 and travel 5.5 miles (taking the LEFT fork at Corinne) to 6800 W. Iowa String. Rest of the directions are above.  (by Betsy Beneke - 14 Aug 2006)

Specialty Birds: Northern Harrier, Cinnamon Teal and Sandhill Crane (winter) Bald Eagle

     eBird Data:   |  Salt Creek WMA  |

 | Trip Report: Wasatch Audubon | Map (PDF) |

Salt Hills Flat / Salt Wells Flat WHA

Directions:  From the road about 1 mile north of Promontory, go west about 12 miles.

     eBird Data:   |  Salt Wells Flat WHA  |

West of Willard Reservoir  (submitted by Kris Purdy)

Description: Great Salt Lake's Willard Bay and the manmade Willard Reservoir meet along Willard Reservoir's west dike. Due to the proximity of the freshwater Willard Reservoir outlet, the lakewater is very fresh here and supports fish which attracts fish-eating birds.

Directions: From 1-15, take exit 351 at the Box Elder/Weber County line. Turn west at the end of the exit ramp. Drive about two-tenths of a mile and turn west again at the Willard Bay sign at 4000N, Farr West. Drive west on 4000N until the pavement ends and turn north. continue to turn west and north on this dirt road until you're heading west and paralleling Willard Reservoir's south dike. At the southwest corner of Willard Reservoir, the road turns north. Also note the Harold Crane WMA main gate (closed in spring and summer) at this turn. Contine north about a mile and a half until you see water west of the road. Distance from I-15 to where the waterline generally is is about 7.5 miles.

Birds: Great Blue Herons, Snowy and Great Egrets, White-faced Ibis, terns, shorebirds, gulls, waterfowl.

Other: Best in late July, August and September for thousands of migrants. Don't attempt this trip if the road is wet; some of the ruts can swallow a car. The road can be very bumpy at times and occasionally is only passable with a high-clearance vehicle. In dry summers, 2WD cars are OK.

     eBird Data:   |  Willard Bay SP  |  NW Playas |

Whites Valley 

Directions:  Take I-15 north and I-84 west. Remain on I-84 when the two roads split and take Ranch Exit 32. Turn right, or north. The pavement ends after .3 miles and the road is gravel thereafter. Continue north. You'll reach Whites Valley after approximately 4 miles. The road zigzags west and north across the valley until it ends at two silos; however, the last half mile is marked, "No Trespassing".


Willard Bay State Park
Directions:  Take Exit 357 about 5 miles south of Brigham City and go west.  Immediately turn left into the park.

Willard Peak Road
(Submitted by Kristin Purdy)

Description: Willard Peak Road connects the town of Mantua to Willard Basin Campground near Willard Peak, rising in elevation from about a mile to over 9,000 feet. The road parallels Box Elder Creek at the lower elevations, and is forested with open, deciduous woods and fragments of grassy/scrub oak woods. Information on the higher elevations would be appreciated!

The lowland deciduous forest gives way to coniferous forest at higher elevations, and which gives way to alpine wildflower meadows near the top of the road. Some of the south facing hillsides at mid-level elevations support a mahogany forest. Specialty bird at approximately 7500 feet elevation is Common Poorwill. ~ Joseph

This mountain range is an extension of Wellsville range which is world renowned as the original "Hawk Watch International" site, and you can drive right to it in a jeep rather than doing that 3 mile hike up the Wellsville mountains!  ~ Joseph

Directions: Mantua is located east of Brigham City (Exit 362 from I-15). Exit UT 89/91 at the westernmost Mantua exit, also signed for Box Elder Campground. Consider making a brief jaunt into Box Elder Campground especially in the spring to look for Ruffed Grouse. Turn right on Main Street in Mantua and proceed southwest. Main Street becomes Willard Peak Road.  (It may be closed in the winter).

Specialty Birds: Hermit Thrush, Lazuli Bunting, Orange-crowned Warbler, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Western Tanager

Other Information:  It is recommended that you use a 4WD vehicle (just in case) and not go when the road is wet?  The road is pretty rutted in places and looked like it could be slippery or washed out when raining.  The Willard Peak area is the domain of the 4-wheeler, and it might be best to bird here during the week to avoid the noise and ATV traffic. Park anywhere there's a turnout or ATV path, especially one that provides open views. Your ears are your best birding tools to get started!

     eBird Data:   | WillardBen Lomond Peak & Willard Basin (Weber Co.) | Willard Canyon |

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