The lower stretch of the upper canyon starts at Mahogany Cover Rec Site Campground where the habitat is a mixed juniper and oak woodland along the montane riparian corridor on the Beaver River. Cliffs rise form the canyon floor and some talus slopes and rock slides can be found along the road. A ponderosa forest and mid elevation mixed conifer forest on the south side of the road eventually mix with aspen woodland as you gain elevation. Lush mountain meadows can be found in low areas where the canyon floor widens and the river slowly tumbles by. Side roads lead to various canyons, and deeper into the mountains away form the highway. Three Creeks Reservoir and Puffer Lake add a high elevation lake habitat to the mix, while the Eagle Point Ski Resort adds some open terrain in between the trees on the mountainside just below the summit. The drive here is beautiful, and worth the trip into the mountains alone!
Most birders visit here in the summer months--although the ski resort here would allow for winter birding if you were inclined--I would imagine ROSY-FINCH flocks could be found here if there were feeders present. During the summer months though the high elevations here provide relief form the heat in the valleys below--and the bird life changes dramatically from below. Finches like RED CROSSBILL, PINE SISKIN, and CASSIN'S FINCH are common while PINE GROSBEAK are occasionally seen. WESTERN TANAGER, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE, and HERMIT THRUSH are easy finds along the road. STELLER'S JAY and CLARK'S NUTCRACKER can both be found here, while MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET are easy finds in the forest. Looking to the sky you might see a soaring GOLDEN EAGLE or RED-TAILED HAWK; and along the river SPOTTED SANDPIPER and AMERICAN DIPPER are both likely to be found. If you find yourself here on the scenic byway, please share your sightings--not many birders find themselves here so you might discover something great!
From the Intersecton of Main Street and 200 North in Beaver, head east on 200 North for 3.6 miles till you reach the mouth of Beaver Canyon. Continueon the road up the canyon 7.5 miles till you reach the S-curve and the Mahogany Cove Rec Site Campground. The hot spot begins here and continues approximately 11 miles past Eagle Point Ski Resort.