Skip to main content

Go Birding in the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge


Last week we went to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.  It's a beautiful wetland area where the Bear River flows into the Great Salt Lake, located west of Brigham City, UT.  According to their website, the Bear River MBR contains 80,000 acres of marsh, open water, uplands and alkali mud flats.  It provides critical habitat for over 250 species of migratory birds.

We like to go every spring during the large shorebird migration.  We usually go in May, but this year we went a little early because we were already up that way.  I'm glad we did, because I've never seen the water levels so high!  It was impressive to see flooded marshes extending for miles on both sides of the road.  There was one part of the road that was even submerged under about 6 inches of water.

We did the 12 mile auto tour loop, which is a dirt road that drives around the wetlands.  We saw a lot of our old favorite birds, including American white pelicans, great blue herons, double-crested cormorants, sandhill cranes (a personal favorite), white-faced ibis, American avocets, Western grebes, cinnamon teals, and hundreds of American coots (always lots of those guys).  We even saw a new life-lister, the Great Egret.  I wish I had a camera to get a better picture of it.

We didn't hit up the visitor center because the boys were sleeping, which I feel like happens every time we go there.  One day I'll go inside.

Here is a link to the website, which details when the roads may be closed:


Popular posts from this blog

Dig for Geodes at the Dugway Geode Beds

This week we made the long drive out to the West Desert to see the Dugway Geode Beds.  The Dugway Geode Beds used to have a private claim owned by the Crapo family, who also operates the U-Dig trilobite claim.  The claim was lost to the BLM, so now it's free for the public to dig for geodes in that location.

The trip follows the old Pony Express Route, and we drove for about 2 hours on dirt roads.  On our way we saw a lot of pronghorn antelope.   We also saw a large herd of wild horses.  Once we got to the brown sign above, the road was not well paved.  We had a four wheel drive vehicle that did okay, but I don't think a sedan would make it in some parts.

Our boys had a great time running around and climbing the excavation site.  There were geodes everywhere!  The hardest thing was deciding which ones to pick up and bring home.  A lot of the rocks you see have already been smashed open by people.  I recommend bringing a large shovel and choosing just about anywhere to dig. …

Mine for Crystals at Glitter Mountain

A few weeks ago we drove down to Southern Utah and visited Glitter Mountain.  It's not technically in Utah.  It's just over the border, near Littlefield, Arizona.  My grandmother lives in Hurricane, UT and loves rocks, so we brought her long with us.  We followed the GPS on our phones, which took us on a very interesting, off-road adventure through cattle pasture and creek beds.  We recommend using a different route:

Glitter Mountain, also called Sparkle Mountain, is an old gypsum mine.  Gypsum is a common mineral usually found in sedimentary beds.  It forms beautiful crystals that make the whole area sparkle in the sun.  We took a big bucket, a few hammers, and some screwdrivers, and let the boys have at it.  You could even just pick crystal up off the ground.  I think next time I'll bring some better chisels.

Stuff to bring:
protective eye wear

Soak or Swim in the Crystal Hot Springs

We recently made a day trip to Northern Utah that included Hill Aerospace Museum, the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, and Crystal Hot Springs in Honeyville, UT.  I remember going to Crystal Hot Springs as a child, but it had been a long time.

It was a cold, cloudy April day, so it was perfect for swimming/soaking in hot water.  The natural hot spring that feeds the pool is about 120-134 degrees Fahrenheit and contains 46,000 mg/L of minerals.  The mineral water makes you buoyant, and has a very salty taste.  I didn't realize how much razor burn I had until I dipped in the pool.  According to their website, 8,400 gallons of water surfaces from the spring every 5 minutes, from 8,000 feet below the earth's surface.  In 24 hours there are 2.4 million gallons of hot water.  Because of this constant flow of water, the pools do not require chlorination or other chemicals to clean the water.  The water flows from the pools to a pond on the far side of the park, and eventually to t…