BIRDING SPOTS

where, when, and what to find

Pilot Mountain Road -- TL Bar Ranch to Lucin

posted by Tim Avery at
on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 

The West Desert from Google Street View


Description:
Pilot Mountain Road follows the historic west shore of the Lake Boneville and now the Bonneville Salt Flats.  Currently the road is in a vast wasteland with dry lake bed stretching for miles to the east, and shrubsteppe and desert stretching to the west. The long road is miles from any services and can often wreak havoc on tires.  Rattle Snake are a common sight during the heat of the day basking on the road surface--scorpions, and tarantulas can be found under rocks and shrubs, and Pronghorn are occasionally seen grazing near the road.  The main reason for using the road isn't for birding, but to get to Lucin quickly for birding purposes.

Birding:
I didn't create this hot spot till years after my last visit to Lucin.  Although I would love to visit here every spring and fall, there just aren't enough weekends to make it happen.  Driving the road at night or day there will be different things worth seeing.  At night during the spring through fall it is not all that uncommon to see COMMON POORWILL sitting on the road.  SHORT-EARED OWL and BURROWING OWL may also be perched on the roadsides and flush as you pass.  During the day species like WESTERN MEADOWLARK, HORNED LARK, SAGEBRUSH SPARROW, LARK SPARROW, and SAGE THRASHER are found here.  There are actually quite a few more species you might come across so its worth submitting a list if you ever find yourself going to Lucin.

Directions:
From I-80  exit 4 just before you reach Nevada, go north on Leppy Pass Road toward the Bonneville Speedway for 1.9 miles.  Take a slight left to stay on Leppy Pass Road and continue 2.4 miles.  After the pass the road will split at a small building.  Stay to the left here.  The road will loop west out into Nevada before arching back to the east and into Utah.  You will be going 19.5 miles until you reach TL Bar Ranch on your right--the hot spot continues on this road from here for 24 miles to Lucin.  The road is dirt and can be hazardous if you go too fast.  Stay under 40 to avoid any serious issues with your tires, and make sure you have a spare.

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1 Comments:
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July 12, 2020 at 10:26 PM  

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