7 Best Birdwatching Hikes in Idaho

By Ian-Spiegel Blum

7 Best Birdwatching Hikes in Idaho

Idaho is a birdwatcher’s paradise. With an incredibly diverse state park system and birding trails throughout, you’ll discover species ranging from mallard ducks to beautiful songbirds. Here are seven of the best birdwatching hikes in the state. 

1. Camas National Wildlife Refuge, Hamer, ID

Birdwatchers will love trekking the walking trail in Camas National Wildlife Refuge. The trail is open all year long, and visitors are encouraged to hike off the roads, too, charting their own course. The refuge is home to many different kinds of water birds, waterfowl, songbirds, and others. 

2. Hagerman Wildlife Management Area, Hagerman, ID

The entire Wildlife Management Area in Idaho is huge, covering up to 85,000 acres. For our purposes, let’s take a closer look at just the Hagerman portion of the area. Birdwatchers can find mallards, gadwalls, ruddy ducks, Canada geese, and much more along the many trails.

#visitidaho

A post shared by Rob Bartholomew (@barthophoto) on

3. American Falls Area, Pocatello, ID

American Falls near Pocatello, Idaho, is widely recognized as one of the best spots in the state for birdwatching. The site is only three miles-long, but features raptors, songbirds, upland birds, shorebirds, water birds, and more. It is available year-round for free. 

4. Mink Creek Area of Caribou-Targhee National Forest

The Mink Creek Area along the Bannock Highway is part of the greater Caribou-Targhee National Forest. The site has many multi-use trails, and is an ideal location to find juniper titmouse, bushtit, blue-gray gnatcatchers, and other types of birds.

5. Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Montpelier, ID

Hiking in the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge is allowed on all roads, with both an accessible walking trail and a general hiking trail open seasonally. The wildlife refuge is home to some 60+ different birds throughout the season. Find birds such as loons, grebes, herons, egrets, and a variety of raptors, as well. 

Willson's Snipe. Utah USA. #utah #birdingutah #birding #birdphotography #snipe

A post shared by thebirdingbeardsman (@thebirdingbeardsman) on

6. Silver Lake Loop at Harriman State Park

Harriman State Park covers about 11,000 acres and is open year-round. Birdwatchers should take the Silver Lake Loop for the best views. The bald eagle, common loon, and great gray owl call Harriman home.

7. Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, Nampa, ID

Deer Flat is another large national wildlife refuge, and boasts six unique hiking trails. The East Dike Trail has the best birdwatching. Visit to see over 250 different bird species. Find birds such as snow geese, blue-winged teal, common loon, American white pelican, and even the amazing harlequin duck! 

Northern Flicker December 2017

A post shared by DWarwick_Photography (@dwarwick_photography) on

Subscribe for future Step Outside News!