Crescent Junction (or Brendel) is a small unincorporated community located at 4,882' on I-70 at exit 182 named for the crescent-shaped formation of the Book Cliffs in the area. Most highway maps use the name Crescent Junction, as the name given to the junction of Interstate 70 and U.S. Route 191. Most railroad maps use the name Brendel, the name of the rail siding and junction at the same location. The town came to be when the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad constructed its main line through Eastern Utah in 1883. Over time two buildings were constructed, a gas station and restaurant. There are several small patches of trees surrounded completely by arid desert and shrubsteppe. The trees act as a mini-migrant trap, while the open habitat surrounding is similar throughout the area. The rest stop to the west on the south side of the interstate is only accessible to east bound traffic and sits on a bluff overlooking the junction. The habitat here is dry desert and is mostly used as a bathroom stop for tourists using the interstate.
Between the two locations making up this "hot spot" over 20 species have been observed. Year round COMMON RAVEN, WESTERN MEADOWLARK, and HORNED LARK may be encountered in the open desert. At the junction starlings, House Sparrows, and House Finches are a common sight. During the summer LARK SPARROW, SAY'S PHOEBE, WESTERN KINGBIRD, and SWAINSON'S HAWK might be seen. During migration in the spring and the fall various passerine species could be encountered at the tiny patches of trees at the junction. WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW, CHIPPING SPARROW, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, and LESSER GOLDFINCH have all been observed. Most birders skip over a stop here, if heading to Moab and parts south. If you happen to be on your way to or from the southeast, a quick stop to check the trees might turn up something interesting in the spring or fall.
From I-70 Exit 164 in Green River head east on I-170 for 16.3 miles. Here you can take the off ramp to the rest area on the bluffs to the south. If you stay on I-70 and continue another .9 miles take Exit 182, then turn left at the bottom of the off ramp. Crescent Junction is on the north side of the interstate here.