Birdingwise, I think that this park was a great addition to the north Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Located at a much lower elevation, its climate is obviously much more arid, but has the great advantage to offer many different ecosystems. Many short trails, accessible by Bus Shuttles, made travelling in the park very easy. We choose to stay in one of the Lodges inside of the park, thinking that the campground was going to be really hot. We decided this during our stay at grand canyon, and were lucky enough to book the last available cabin (they were quite expensive, though, slightly less than $200 a night). The cabins were very confortable, (with Air Conditioned, which we really appreciated) and offered a breathtaking view on the surrounding mountains. Lesser Goldfinches and Chipping Sparrows were quite numerous around the cabins.
Emerald Pools Trail
Looking at my Sibley (the western edition of course), I knew this bird was slightly out of range, and was not found very often in Utah, so I took my time to look at the bird. But no mistake possible.
Climbing up through the Junipers Trees
Wild Turkey. They were running around at night on the cabin's lawn.
A concrete bike path follows the river toward the entrance of the park. This hike was our last one, and we were trying to look for the few birds we had missed so far. We found a group of Lucy's Warbler at the very start of the hike, as well as a flock of Western Scrub Jay. Diane saw a Western Tanager (I missed this one!). The House Wrens were quite vocal, and puzzled me for a while (they really have a different "accent" than back in Michigan!)
Pa'rus Trail, at Sunset
A really wonderful national park, with a great variety of habitats. If I have only two regrets :
- I wish we could have visited the Narrows at an earlier time of the day
- I wish we could have try to visit the most arid parts of the park, to look for cactus wrens, bushtit, thrashers. But these parts are not so easily accessible, specially without a 4x4 car.
- I don't think I have seen a single raptor (except red tails hawks) during this trip. Too bad.
The complete list for this park :
Black-throated Gray Warbler