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Idaho Birding Trail LogoMale Sage GrouseMountain Bluebird
East Central Region

Cape Horn Loop (Marsh Creek)

Nearest Town: Stanley
Site Size: 4,000 acres

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

Access: Open June-October. Snow may limit vehicle access. Access free of charge.

Site Location

Directions: From Stanley, ID 21 N 11 mi; at mp 119.5 turn R (N) onto FR 203 (Marsh Creek Rd) for 5.5 mi to Cape Horn Guard Station; stop along the way to bird and view wildflowers; from Guard Station continue NW on FR 203 and follow directions to Cape Horn lakes (EC20) or continue for 3.3 mi to junction with ID 21; this is a great route to bike.

Description: The Marsh Creek meadow area is carpeted with blue camas lilies in June for one of the most beautiful wildflower spectacles in Idaho. The Cape Horn region contains one of the largest, contiguous, undeveloped wet meadow complexes in the Upper Salmon basin. The landscape mosaic of riparian, wetland, meadow, sagebrush, and mixed conifer vegetation types creates a diverse habitat matrix for a wide array of bird species. During breeding season, the braided creek channels and surrounding wet meadows of Marsh Creek support many waterbirds as well as one of the highest nesting densities of Sandhill Crane in the Upper Salmon basin. Watch and listen for nesting waterfowl (primarily Mallard), Virginia Rail, Sora, and Wilson’s Snipe. Songbirds found among willows, sagebrush uplands, and mixed conifer forest include Olive-sided Flycatcher, Cassin’s and Warbling Vireos, Horned Lark (in the more arid areas), Mountain Bluebird, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Western Tanager, Chipping, Brewer’s, Vesper, Lincoln’s, and White-crowned Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Junco. Watch for raptors, including Northern Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, and the occasional Great Gray and Northern Saw-whet Owls along the route.

More Information:
USFS (208) 838-3300
Stanley Chamber of Commerce 1-800-878-7950

Lincoln's Sparrow
Photo Copyright Tom Munson
Northern Goshawk
Photo Copyright Karen Nitz
Sandhill Crane
Photo Copyright Tom Munson

General Services:
ParkingNo RestroomsNo PhoneNo BoardwalkCampgroundPicnic AreaNo Observation AreaNo Visitor CenterNo Interpretive Material AvailableNo Boat RampNo ConcessionsNo Hiking TrailsHuntingFishingNo Water SportsOHV/ATVs AllowedHorseback 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?

grassland Graph illustrating 30% 30%
other Graph illustrating 40% 40%
sage/shrub Graph illustrating 30% 30%

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

    CranesGeese, Swans and DucksHawks and EaglesLarkOwlsRails and CootsShorebirdsSparrows and alliesTanagersThrushesTyrant FlycatchersVireosWood Warblers


    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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