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Idaho Birding Trail LogoMale Sage GrouseMountain Bluebird
East Central Region

Lemhi Backroad Subloop

Nearest Town: Salmon/Tendoy/Leadore
Site Size: 60 miles

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

Access: Year-round. Access free of charge.

Site Location

Directions: From Salmon, 1 mi SE on ID 28 to mp 135; L (E) on Lemhi Backroad; zero odometer; at mi 7 turn L at T intersection; at mi 10.3 go straight at 4 way intersection (do not cross river); at mi 22.8 (Tendoy) go L (E) onto Agency Ck Rd 0.6 mi; L (N) onto steep, rough rd 3.2 mi to Pattee Ck (do not attempt in wet conditions); hiking available along ck here; backtrack to the Lemhi Backroad; turn L (S) and follow for 1.8 mi to the Lemhi Backroad junction with ID 28; L (S) onto ID 28 and go 7.6 mi; at mp 108.1, turn L (E) at the Lemhi Mercantile and go S toward Leadore on Lemhi Backroad; at junction of Lemhi Backroad/ID 29, L (E) on ID 29; go ~14 mi through Railroad Canyon to Bannock Pass (7,681 ft); backtrack on ID 29 to Leadore to access ID 28.

Description: Respect private land; bird from roads only. One of the more rare species is Gambel’s Quail, introduced to the Lemhi Valley in 1921 and the only place in Idaho where the species occurs. Watch and listen for this bird between mile 7 and Tendoy. In the riparian corridors look for Willow Flycatcher, American Dipper, Veery, Gray Catbird, Yellow, MacGillivray’s and Wilson’s Warblers, Yellow-breasted Chat, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Lazuli Bunting. Red-tailed Hawk, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Red-naped Sapsucker, Western Wood-Pewee, Bullock’s Oriole, and Western Tanager may be spotted near cottonwoods. Near marshes, look for Cinnamon Teal, Virginia Rail, Sora, Wilson’s Phalarope, and Brewer’s Blackbird. Common Nighthawk and all 6 species of swallow found in Idaho may be present. Near Pattee Creek Road, look for Greater Sage-Grouse, Gray Partridge, Chukar, Golden Eagle, Horned Lark, Rock Wren, Sage Thrasher, and Brewer’s and Vesper Sparrows.

More Information:
USFS BLM (208) 768-2500
Salmon Valley Chamber of Commerce 1-800-727-2540

Brewer's Blackbird
Photo Copyright Tom Muncon
Gambel's Quail
Photo Copyright Donald Metzner
Gray Partridge
Photo Copyright Tom Munson
Wilson's Warbler
Photo Copyright Michael Woodruff

General Services:
No ParkingRestroomsPhoneNo BoardwalkCampgroundPicnic AreaNo Observation AreaNo Visitor CenterNo Interpretive Material AvailableNo Boat RampNo ConcessionsNo Hiking TrailsHuntingFishingWater SportsOHV/ATVs AllowedHorseback Riding

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

high elevation mixed conifer Graph illustrating 35% 35%
other Graph illustrating 30% 30%
sage/shrub Graph illustrating 35% 35%

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

    Blackbirds and alliesGeese, Swans and DucksGoatsuckersGrosbeaks and BuntingsGrouse and TurkeyHawks and EaglesLarkQuailRails and CootsShorebirdsSparrows and alliesSwallowsTanagersThrashersThrushesTyrant FlycatchersWood 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

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