Thing to Do

Winter Birding

Owl in flight, snow in the backdrop.

Few places in Idaho other than the City of Rocks checklist area offer such a high concentration of bird species, making this a top birding destination. The City of Rocks checklist area includes the National Reserve, Castle Rocks State Park, and the Almo and Upper Raft River valleys. Birders may want to download a copy of the City of Rocks Bird Checklist or purchase Birder's Guide to City of Rocks National Reserve at the Visitor Center for $5.

Some of the more noteworthy winter birds include: Pinyon Jay, Ferruginous Hawk, Golden Eagle, Northern Shrike, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, Bushtit, and Canyon Wren. The more productive birding areas include Bath Rock, Smoky Mountain Campground, and the Almo Creek Picnic Area near the Castle Rock Lodge.

Check our calendar on the NPS Mobile App, City of Rocks website, or Facebook for upcoming birding events. The Reserve sponsors the annual Jim Sage Mountains Christmas Bird Count, usually held January 2 or 3. Stop by the Visitor Center for a CHECKLIST, field guide, or just the latest tips from a park ranger. Watch the feeders from the large picture window or capture the birds with close-up photography. Park visitor donations help keep the feeders full and the birds coming back for more.

The Visitor Center winter hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, closed on official holidays.

Pets must on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times. Please clean up after your pet and pack out waste.
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Accessibility Information

Bird watching can be done anywhere, from the comfort of your vehicle or miles out into the backcountry. 

City Of Rocks National Reserve

Last updated: August 15, 2021