Tucked up against the base of the Wasatch Mountains between Big and Little Willow Canyons in Draper, Hidden Valley Park has an expansive tract of native shrubsteppe habitat covering 2/3 of its grounds with trails leading through the sage. With a parking lot at the north end, a large gazebo/picnic area, playground, and large grassy section this looks like a typical park--but these areas are completely surrounded by shrubsteppe to the east, west, and south. Further east and south the hills become oak woodland; while to the west houses border the park. Aside from various paved trails looping both the grassy area, and further out into the sage, tails to both Big Willow Canyon and Little Willow Canyon can be accessed along the east end. The close views of the mountains could potentially be good for hawk-watching.
Over the years I have driven by this park countless times. I always wondered what birds might pop up in the sagebrush areas in the spring and early summer but never managed to make it over to check it out, This year I am planning on stopping by 1 day every week in April, May, and early June to see what's here. Resident species that can be seen and heard here or along the east side in the oak includes WESTERN SCRUB-JAY, BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE, SPOTTED TOWHEE, and CALIFORNIA QUAIL. Birds typical of east side suburbia in Utah pass through the park as well and can be heard in the neighborhoods, including LESSER GOLDFINCH and BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE. During migration birds moving along the hills could easily come in contact with the park, and given the oak habitat some breeders likely include BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, LAZULI BUNTING, and probably VIRGINIA'S WARBLER. While I've spent time here I have thought the hawk watching could be pretty good from this location with several low peaks close in view. A small hike might also put you on a good ridge line to see what passes by. Just north at Bell Canyon in September, BROAD-WINGED HAWKS have been seen among the more common buteos, accipiters, and GOLDEN EAGLES. This interesting park might be a diamond in the rough worth checking out.
From the north taking Wasatch Blvd from I-215 at 6200 South head south past both Cottonwood Canyons. At 9800 South continue straight another 3.5 miles till you arrive at the park on your left. Pull in to the lot and keep right to go to the parking area for the park. From the south follow 12300 South in Draper east as it loops north and becomes Draper Parkway just past 1300 East. Eventually turning into 1700 east, take a right on to Wasatch Blvd at about 11700 south. Follow the road east 1.7 miles till you reach the park on your right.