Over 400 species of birds have been recorded in Greater Zion. This near endless birding habitats to explore is a result of the direct convergence of three major geologic regions here; The Mojave Desert, The Colorado Plateau, and The Great Basin. Additionally, the Pine Valley Mountain range is a ‘lacolith’, caused by volcanic pressures lifting the range to over 10,000′. In a few hours, one can drive from 2,100′ elevation in the Beaver Dam Wash to 8,000′ on Kolob Terrace and see an amazing variety of birds due to this diversity of habitat. Greater Zion is also home to the critically endangered California Condor, the largest bird in North America. These birds can be seen in the main Zion Canyon, Kolob Terrace, or by joining the Condor field trip to Marble Canyon. Below is more details on birding areas in Greater Zion:
The Mojave Desert
The Mojave Desert comprises the south-western corner of Greater Zion. It is in this area that we find the Joshua Tree forest of the Beaver Dam Wash as it gently slopes down towards the Virgin and Muddy Rivers.
Lytle Ranch is a green oasis of year-round water that is recognized by the Audubon as an Important Birding Area.
Utah Hill and Beaver Dam Wash are great places to explore for Mojave Desert birds.
The Colorado Plateau
The erosion from the top of this plateau combined with the iron in the rock give us our red cliffs. The stunning beauty of these features is what Greater Zion is most known.
Zion National Park is a migrant trap and has recorded over 230 species of birds including the Californa Condor.
Snow Canyon State Park is another visual masterpiece and often compared to Zion NP.
Kolob Terrace Road rises from 3,500′ to nearly 8,000′ at Kolob Reservoir to provide a wide variety of birds.
The Great Basin
Traveling north or northwest from St. George you gain elevation and reach the Great Basin. The town of Enterprise begins the agricultural fields, the best place to find raptors.
Newcastle Reservoir and surrounding areas highlight Great Basin habitat.
Beryl Junction, north of Enterprise, is a raptor haven.
All About Greater Zion
Click below to learn more about this amazing place our festival calls home. There is something here for everyone!