Koosharem Canyon located just west of the town of Koosharem is a popular part of the Paiute ATV trail during the summer months. The area described in this location includes a camping area 2 miles from town and the lower reaches of the canyon. The hills here are rolling juniper woodlands which converge on a ravine at the bottom of the canyon at Koosharem Creek. Following the creek is a trail for 5 miles up stream to Koosharem Pasture Spring in a riparian habitat with mixed oak woodlands leading into the juniper. The riparian habitat is dense in some areas and quite sparse in others and is comprised mostly of aspen, cottonwood and willow. ATV's use trails away form the river, but the actual dirt trail that follows the creek is seldom used by others. As a side note I have seen MOUNTAIN LION tracks here. The camping area sits to the south of the "mouth" of the canyon with a trial leading to the creek on the north side. This area is in the junipers. The canyon extends further into the mountain with a variety of other habitats as it rises--but for now the focus of this location is on the lower portion.
Birding here is much like birding any other lowland canyon mouth. An easy trail follows the creek up canyon allowing for great looks at birds at a close distance. The juniper and oak habitats that border the creek bring in species not normally found in riparian areas. During the late spring and early summer WARBLING VIREO and YELLOW WARBLER are abundant along the creek. VIRGINIA'S, BLACK-THROATED GRAY, and MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER are all relatively common here as well. DUSKY FLYCATCHER and PLUMBEOUS VIREO can be found on most trips, while WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE and HOUSE WREN are often heard. RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER are another easy find here, while HAIRY WOODPECKER and NORTHERN FLICKER will also usually be seen. In late May at the height of breeding season here, birding is at its best. Koosharem is a seldom visited town, and the nearby reservoir gets far more attention than the canyon. If you have some time and happen to be in the area, I suggest spending a night here and enjoying the birds.
From the intersection of Hwy 62/Main Street and Center Street in Koosharem, head west on Center Street for .3 miles. The road will curve sharply to the north and then bend back northwest. From here continue 1.9 miles till you reach the openings in the junipers. From here there are several "roads" and trails heading north and northwest that will drop you into the river bottom. If you walk along the road directly out the north that quickly heads northwest, and follow this about .5 miles it will drop into the trail across the river and put you in some great habitat.