[Temporarily closed] Visit Goshute Mountains, Aug 15-Nov 5
Due to health recommendations regarding COVID-19, as well as recommendations from groups like the Bird Banding Lab and North American Banding Council, HawkWatch International is temporarily suspending operations at five of our HawkWatch research sites for the 2020 season. Our full statement is available here.
Goshute Mountains HawkWatch is a well-known and popular migration site with hundreds of people visiting each fall. Sitting at 9,000 feet in northeastern Nevada, the site not only offers spectacular panoramic views of nearby mountains and the Salt Flats, visitors also get incredibly close views of raptors as they migrate through the Intermountain Flyway. HawkWatch International has operated the site since 1980, and it serves as one of the longest running standardized migration monitoring efforts in the West. Annual counts typically range between 10,000-25,000 migrants of up to 18 species, making this one of the largest concentrations in the western U.S. and Canada.
The project site is located on BLM Wilderness Study Area and offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore a pristine part of our Nation's public lands while witnessing the raptor migration. HWI and the BLM (site managers) stress the principles of minimum impact and "Leave No Trace" to ensure that future visitors have the same opportunity and that the area does not become degraded either for humans or wildlife.
Download the site brochure and species check list.
Visitors and Groups
Come visit us at the site--everyone is welcome! Our educational interpreters will help you learn more about migration ecology, raptor identification, and our research efforts. If you are a large group, please contact us to schedule your visit in advance. Weekends can get busy, and we want to make sure your group has the best experience possible. If you are an individual or small group (5 or less), you do not need to schedule your visit.
From Wendover, NV, take U.S. Highway Alt. 93 southwest approximately 24 miles to a major dirt road at Ferguson Springs Station. Turn west onto major dirt road and follow it 1.8 miles to the "T". Make a right at the "T" (follow the wilderness viewing sign) and proceed for 1.3 miles to the top of the hill. Take the left fork and continue on 2 miles to the parking area at the trailhead. Be prepared for the strenous 2.5 mile hike with a 1,800 foot elevation gain. There is no water source, so make sure to bring plenty of your own water.
Bird Field Guide (we have Jerry Liguori’s raptor guide books available at our store)
Water (plenty of water!)
Hat and sunscreen
Dress in layers, as the weather can be variable at this altitude (windshell, base layer, jacket, gloves, etc.)
When to Visit
We operate daily 9am-5pm, August 15-November 5. All activities are weather dependent and we do not conduct migration counts in inclement weather (heavy rain or snow). Click here to see a weather forecast for Wendover, and take the altitude into consideration. The best time to visit is during bulk passage (highest volume of raptors migranting through), which occures September 10 through October 14. Because of the sensitivity associated with raptor trapping/banding, as a general rule we do not allow visitors into our trapping blinds.
Generally, we don't provide camping supplies or encourage visitors to camp at the top of the ridge during their visits. The reasoning behind this is because the Goshute Mountain Watchable Wildlife Area is located within a wilderness study area. In a given season we host over 300 visitors and as such, allowing everyone to camp would significantly effect the vegetation/habitat at the site in a negative way. Alternatively, we ask visitors to camp near the parking area and make the day hike to the top of the ridge. Pleae note there are no services at the trailhead, so we recommend you bring food and water for the days that you will be visiting the ridge, and plan your restroom need accordingly. For lodging, Wendover offers many options including motels and casino resorts. Contact the West Wendover Tourism and Convention Bureau for lodging questions.