The Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) was established by Congress in 1993 to protect a unique desert environment that supports North America’s highest density of nesting raptors. More than 700 pairs of raptors nest each spring along 81 miles of the Snake River Canyon, including 150-200 pairs of Prairie Falcons (highest breeding density in the world). Watch for eagle flight displays in March; chick feeding in May; and see young taking their first flights around early June.
Things To KnowIn addition to outstanding bird and wildlife viewing, visitors may ride on horseback, hike, hunt, mountain bike, picnic and camp. The 485,000-acre Birds of Prey NCA also encompasses these great recreation sites:
- Celebration Park and Visitor Center
- Cove Camping
- Halverson Bar Trail System
- Swan Falls Picnic Area
- You can find a map of the entire Conservation Area here.
- The map also shows an auto tour of the Conservation Area so you can plan your route.
- Raptors are in the Snake River Canyon year-round, but the best time to see them is mid-March through June, when birds are on the nest and the young are learning to fly.
- Catch a glimpse of the area’s birds of prey at Dedication Point, a spectacular overlook on the rim of the Snake River Canyon. A ¼-mile trail with interpretive signs offers insights about the birds, geology and other wildlife. You can find a map of the Conservation Area here.
- Spring and fall weather conditions in sheltered canyon areas average 5-10 °F warmer than temperatures in nearby Boise. This makes recreation outdoors possible in winter, early spring and late fall when many higher-elevation recreation areas are still affected by weather. Consequently, it is also warmer in the canyon in the warmer months so be prepared with proper clothing, hats and water.
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