skip to the main content area of this page
Idaho Birding Trail LogoMale Sage GrouseMountain Bluebird
Southeast Region

Mesa Falls Subloop

Nearest Town: Ashton
Site Size: 15 mi one way

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

Access: Snow may limit vehicle access. Admission Fee

Site Location

Directions: Zero odometer in Ashton, just N of Rexburg; E on ID 47 (Mesa Falls Scenic Byway/FR 294); at mi 15 go L (W) at signed entrance to Lower Mesa Falls for 0.1 mi to overlook. To reach the Upper Mesa Falls overlook, return to ID 47; go 0.6 mi farther N to mp 15.8; L (W) on FR 295 for 1 mi to falls (consider walking this steep, winding mile to bird); from the parking lot at the end of the rd, follow the protected walkway down to Upper Mesa Falls; hike from Upper to Lower Mesa Falls on the 1 mi trail; trailhead is located at Upper Mesa Falls on the E side of the rd between the 2 major parking lots.

Description: Explore the river, waterfalls, and forest for Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Red-naped Sapsucker, Cassin’s Vireo, and Western Tanager. In the canyon, look for Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle and Northern Pygmy-Owl. In winter, forested areas host Ruffed Grouse, Clark’s Nutcracker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Townsend’s Solitaire, Red Crossbill, and Pine Siskin. Look for Turkey Vulture and Red-tailed Hawk.

More Information:
USFS (208) 652-7442
Ashton Chamber of Commerce (2080 652-3355

Upper Mesa Falls
Photo Copyright Colleen Moulton, IDFG
Pine Siskin
Photo Copyright Tom Munson
Downy Woodpecker
Photo Copyright Terry Gray

General Services:
ParkingRestroomsNo PhoneBoardwalkCampgroundPicnic AreaObservation AreaVisitor CenterInterpretive Material AvailableNo Boat RampNo ConcessionsHiking TrailsNo HuntingNo FishingNo Water SportsNo OHV/ATVs AllowedNo Horseback Riding

Handicapped Services:
ParkingRestroomsNo PhoneCampgroundNo Picnic AreaObservation AreaVisitor CenterInterpretive MaterialsNo Boat RampNo ConcessionsNo Hiking Trails
What do these icons mean?

high elevation mixed conifer Graph illustrating 5% 5%
lodgepole pine Graph illustrating 93% 93%
other Graph illustrating 2% 2%

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 N N N N N N N N
Songbirds Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Upland Birds N N N N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Waterbirds N N N N N N N N N N N N
Waterfowl N N N N N N N N Y Y Y Y
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.

    CorvidsCranesFinches and alliesGeese, Swans and DucksGrouse and TurkeyHawks and EaglesNuthatches and CreeperOwlsRails and CootsSparrows and alliesStork and VultureTanagersTernsThrushesTyrant FlycatchersVireosWood WarblersWoodpeckersWrens 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

    New! Browse the Idaho Birding Trail in Google Maps or Google Earth