The aspen groves shelter downy woodpeckers, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, western flycatchers, mountain bluebirds and warblers. Long-tailed weasels, yellow-bellied marmots and chipmunks provide ample sustenance for the many red-tailed hawks, golden eagles and ferruginous hawks that are also common to the area. In the evening is when campers and hikers can often spot beavers at work, coyotes on the prowl and great horned owls silently awaiting their next meal.
The five-acre campground is a fee area managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The nearest town is Mountain City, which is 10 miles away. Campers are urged to keep any eye out for rattlesnakes along the river banks.
The 400 acres of meadows have no facilities. Travelers must not enter the meadow, as not to disturb nesting birds. The dirt roads are also narrow, and may be impassible during early spring. To get to the meadows, travel 55 miles north on Mountain City Highway, drive 21 miles east on county road 746 (CR746) to the reservoir and go one mile south. Other locations in proximity to Bruneau Meadows are Bear Creek Summit, Jarbidge Canyon and Biroth Ridge. These locations are accessed by turning north instead of south from country road 746.
Many songbirds make their homes near the refuge and nearby Cave Creek, including hummingbirds, flycatcher, swallows, wrens, warblers, blackbirds, finches, western bluebirds and mountain chickadees. There is a Forest Service-managed campground on the west side of the road. The closest town is Spring Creek.
Considering it’s a major hunt unit, that must mean there is wildlife big enough to interest area hunters. That would be an understatement. The mountain and its west valley are home to mule deer and elk that winter there. The plentiful spruces and pinyon pines provide shade and nut forage for a wide array of rodents, while the deer and elk browse on native grasses and other plants. The mountain is also home to bobcats and mountain lions, although both are reclusive around humans, and are more commonly seen in the fall and winter.
Visitors patient and quiet enough are liable to discover mountain bluebirds and nuthatches, among other songbirds. Visitors should also plan on sticking to the main trail, as entering any of the abandoned mines is technically illegal. All abandoned mines are still on private property, as someone still owns that mineral claim.
There are no camping facilities on the mountain. The nearest town is Wells, which is about a half-hour drive north back on Interstate 80.
Hawkwatch International provides seasonal interpretive services and conducts raptor captures for scientific data collection August through October. The observation area can be accessed by following the raptor-shaped signs up the two-mile, 1,600-foot rise hike. The nearest town is Wendover, 27 miles away. Due to road conditions, travelers are encouraged to call the Bureau of Land Management’s Elko office at 753-0200 for details.