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Idaho Birding Trail LogoMale Sage GrouseMountain Bluebird
East Central Region

Challis Hot Springs Road

Nearest Town: Challis
Site Size: 9 mi (one way)

Highlights: Raptors, Shorebirds, Songbirds, Upland Birds, Waterbirds, Waterfowl

Access: Year-round. Access free of charge.

Site Location

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.

More Information:
IDFG (208) 756-2271
Challis Chamber of Commerce (208) 879-2771

Bank Swallow
Photo Copyright Terry Gray
Barn Swallow colony
Photo Copyright Dave & Elise Faike
Solitary Sandpiper
Photo Copyright Tom Munson

General Services:
ParkingNo RestroomsNo PhoneNo BoardwalkNo CampgroundNo Picnic AreaNo Observation AreaNo Visitor CenterNo Interpretive Material AvailableNo Boat RampNo ConcessionsNo Hiking TrailsNo HuntingNo FishingNo Water SportsNo OHV/ATVs AllowedNo Horseback Riding

Handicapped Services:
No ParkingNo RestroomsNo PhoneNo BoardwalkNo CampgroundNo Picnic AreaNo Observation AreaNo Visitor CenterNo Interpretive MaterialsNo Boat RampNo ConcessionsNo Hiking Trails
What do these icons mean?

agriculture Graph illustrating 40% 40%
grassland Graph illustrating 20% 20%
other Graph illustrating 40% 40%

Best Observation Times
Bird Species Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec AM/PM
Raptors Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y ALL
Shorebirds N N N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N N ALL
Songbirds N N N N Y Y Y Y Y N N N ALL
Upland Birds N N N N Y Y Y Y Y Y N N ALL
Waterbirds N N N Y Y Y Y Y Y N N N ALL
Waterfowl N N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N ALL
Target Species for this Site

Select a species from the list to view other sites on the Idaho Birding Trail Sites this species may be observed.

    Geese, Swans and DucksGrouse and TurkeyHawks and EaglesShorebirdsSwallowsSwiftsWrens and Dipper


    R - Resident 1 - Abundant, easily found s - Statewide
    M - Migrant 2 - Common, but sometimes difficult to find e - Southeast
    W - Winter 3 - Uncommon or local w - Southwest
    S - Summer 4 - Rare or very local c - Central
    5 - Casual, 3-10 accepted records p - Panhandle (North)
    6 - Accidental, 1-2 accepted records
    7 - Experimental
    (B) - Documented breeding evidence(End) - Threatened or Endangered
    (b) - Circumstantial breeding evidence(Int.) - Introduced species

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