Wildlife Viewing in Early Spring (continued from Page 1)
by Dennis Weaver
If you would like to make this trip, do so in February through early April -- weather permitting. We've crossed it twice this spring, and the well-graveled road was easily navigable in a two-wheel drive vehicle but may not be plowed after a storm. Some of the roads in the Camas Wildlife Refuge were plowed, and those that weren't were easily navigable in a four-wheel drive vehicle. Later in the spring, the Camas National Wildlife Refuge is a great place for ducks and geese and is one of the great staging areas in the west for snow geese. If you are driving on I-15 instead of coming from St. Anthony, there is signage that will direct you to the exit at Hamer for the wildlife refuge.
To make the trip from St. Anthony to Hamer, exit Highway 20 at the only St. Anthony exit and go left across the Henry's Fork Bridge and into town. Continue to 600 North and go west. As you head west on this secondary road, it will jog left twice until you are on 400 North. Stay on this road heading due west as it leaves the farmland and heads through the sage brush hills. To the north, you will see the St. Anthony Sand Dunes. As you enter the sage, watch for moose feeding in the draws. As you approach the highlands on the Hamer end of the road, watch for antelope and elk around the grain fields. When you reach the frontage road along I-15, turn right to reach Camas National Wildlife Refuge or left to Hamer and highway access.
There are other places in the area worth visiting. The St. Anthony Sand Dunes are interesting. The Sand Creek Wildlife Management Area north of St. Anthony is a great place to find wildlife and waterfowl but is not likely to be accessible until mid-April. Market Lake Wildlife Management Area and Mud Lake Wildlife Area are only a short drive from Camas National Wildlife Refuge and all three can easily be visited in an afternoon. In late spring, you will find thousands of ducks in geese in all three of these refuges. An hour and half west of Camas is Craters of the Moon National Monument. Late spring and early fall are the best times to visit Craters of the Moon -- before the desert heat bears down. And of course, West Yellowstone is just an hour up the road from St. Anthony.
Don't wait till summer; get out and enjoy the West now.
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