where, when, and what to find

Beaver Mountain Ski Area

posted by Tim Avery at
on Monday, March 16, 2015 

Beaver Mountain Ski Area from Google Street View

Beaver Mountain sitting between 7,200 and 8,800' opened in 1939 and is located near the summit of Logan Canyon in the Bear River Mountains just 3 miles from the Idaho border. Smaller and less developed than a number of Utah ski resorts, the slopes of the mountain are predominantly east-facing, and it receives somewhat less snowfall than those resorts facing west. Since it does not currently employ snow making equipment, the ski area is entirely dependent upon the (usually) ample natural snowfall, and therefore often opens several weeks later than most other resorts in Utah. "The Beav" is located 27 miles northeast of Logan.  Besides the open slopes, conifer and aspen forest are found here. The ski area is private property but the road to it is public along with most of the land nearby.  The large parking area provides excellent views of the surrounding habitat and the owners have never turned away birders to my knowledge.

"The Beav" doesn't see a ton of birding traffic but birders who ski here, those who search for northern owls, and those who pass through in the Summer have put together a small list of birds that can be found here on a regular basis.  In the winter birding is probably limited to the road leading to the resort, the parking area and the slopes.  But winter finches can be found most years including RED CROSSBILL, PINE SISKIN, and CASSIN'S FINCH.  There has also been a report of BLACK ROSY-FINCH, WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL, and EVENING GROSBEAK from here.  CLARK'S NUTCRACKER, MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE, and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH are the usual suspects year round.  During the summer months you can range further from the roads, parking area and slopes, and really explore the area.  WILLIAMSON'S and RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER have been found here along with AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER.  VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW may be seen soaring overheard, while the woods typically host HOUSE WREN, BROWN CREEPER, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, and HERMIT THRUSH.  One of the better sightings at the resort that is not all that common is NORTHERN GOSHAWK along the road between the highway and the resort.  I like birding the road and walking in the woods here to look for the above mentioned species. One other notable feature of the mountain birding here is owling.  During the spring NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL can be found quite easily singing in the mountains here.  This is also one area where BOREAL OWL has been reported in Utah.  In 2007 while looking for this species, I heard, and later described to another birder familiar with Boreal's what I had heard and he responded by saying it sounded like a female Boreal Owl call.  The encounter was brief and I never got a look at the bird.  This is one of those species worth really putting some effort in here in the future.  There is some speculation that GREAT GRAY OWL may also be found in the wood in the area; but there have been no modern sightings.

From the intersect on of Main and US-89/400 North in Logan, head east on US-89 into Logan Canyon for 27.7 miles.  Turn left onto UT-243 following signs as the road loops back to your left 1.5 miles.

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