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

Blackfoot Reservoir

Nearest Town: Soda Springs
Site Size: 19,000 acres/ 50 mi loop

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

Access: Some roads closed due to snow. Access free of charge.

Site Location

Directions: From Soda Springs, follow ID 34 N 11.0 mi to mp 69.6; L on China Cap Rd; go 1.5 mi; R on Dike Rd; travel 1.4 mi to campground at edge of reservoir. Follow China Cap Rd to Government Dam Dr intersection; Gov't Dam Dr. explores W side of reservoir 15 mi to dam; (all rds to the R (E) lead to reservoir); 4.9 mi from intersection, R at sportsman access sign to Hopkin's Landing; mi 10 R at intersection; 1 mi loop; return to Gov't Dam Dr; zero mileage;mi 1.7 R at intersection; mi 2.8 R (S) to sportsman access; return to rd; stay R; explore rd for next 16 mi; mi 6.6 R to Pebble Beach; return to rd; R (S) on ID 34 in ~8 mi; go 2 mi to mp 76; walk or drive 2-track rd to R (W) on L(E) side of ID 34; reservoir in 0.2 mi; continue S on ID 34 to intersection with China Cap Rd.

Description: From Hopkin’s Landing, you can view "Gull Island," which supports one of the largest nesting colonies in Idaho for the American White Pelican (1,300+ nests), Doubtle-crested Cormorant (300 nests), and California Gull (6,000 nests). An active Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, and Snowy Egret rookery can be found here as well. The reservoir is also used by waterfowl, waterbirds, and shorebirds during the summer. Watch for Burrowing Owl, Sage Thrasher, Vesper, Savannah, Lark, and Brewer’s Sparrows, and Sandhill Crane. In summer, look for Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs and Long-billed Dowitcher.

More Information:
BLM (208) 236-7500
Soda Springs Chamber of Commerce (208) 547-4964

Blackfoot Reservoir
Photo Copyright Idaho Travel Council
Brewer's Sparrow
Photo Copyright Tom Munson
Great Blue Heron
Photo Copyright Colleen Moulton, IDFG
American White Pelicans
Photo Copyright Colleen Moulton, IDFG

General Services:
ParkingRestroomsNo PhoneNo BoardwalkCampgroundPicnic AreaNo Observation AreaNo Visitor CenterNo Interpretive Material AvailableBoat RampNo ConcessionsNo Hiking TrailsNo HuntingFishingWater SportsNo OHV/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?

agriculture Graph illustrating 30% 30%
other Graph illustrating 20% 20%
sage/shrub Graph illustrating 50% 50%

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

    Bittern, Herons and IbisesCranesGrebesJaegers and GullsOwlsPelicans and CormorantShorebirdsSparrows and alliesTernsThrashers


    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