Nearest Town: Challis
Site Size: 9 mi (one way)
Directions: In Challis, from junction of US 93/Main St; S on US 93 for 3.9 mi; L (N) on Hot Springs Rd (mp 159.8); zero odometer; stop to bird at the sites described below.
Description: This route traverses a variety of habitat types (agricultural fields, rock/talus cliffs, freshwater pond, and river corridor) that attract diverse bird species. Six species of swallows can be easily viewed along this route. Birds found in the open meadows and agricultural fields include Long-billed Curlew (spring/early summer), Ring-necked Pheasant, Red-tailed
Hawk, and an occasional Northern Harrier. At mile 7.8 on Hot Springs Rd, on the right, is a gravel pit with one of the
largest Bank Swallow colonies in the Salmon Region. At ~mile 8, scan the cottonwood treetops and river bottoms for roosting or strutting Wild Turkey. At mile 8.8, a small pond on the left (west) may contain Cinnamon Teal or a Solitary Sandpiper. The cliffs and rocky slopes to the right (northeast) of the pond offer viewing for Chukar, Red-tailed Hawk, Golden Eagle, and White-throated Swift. At mile 9 is the Challis Hot Springs. Stop at the front desk to ask permission to access the river by crossing the camping area. Common cottonwood forest riparian birds can be viewed here, as well as Bald Eagle, Osprey, and American Dipper. Consider bringing your bathing suit and taking a soak in the developed hot springs.
IDFG (208) 756-2271
Challis Chamber of Commerce (208) 879-2771