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Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, Boise

4.4
#8 of 11 in Wildlife Areas in Idaho
Wildlife Area Nature / Park
The Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area has one of the densest populations of nesting raptors. The National Conservation Area (NCA) is located 35mi south of Boise, Idaho along 81mi of the Snake River, and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The NCA covers 484873acre. In descending order of land area it is located in Ada, Elmore, Owyhee, and Canyon counties.Section 2301 of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009, section 2301 renamed the area as the Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in recognition of the contributions of Morley Nelson, a raptor expert and advocate and a leading proponent of the original creation of the National Conservation Area.About 14,000 years ago, as glaciers receded from the last ice age, the 20000sqmi Lake Bonneville crested at Red Rock Pass, Idaho, creating what is known as the Bonneville Flood. As soft soils eroded at the pass, the lake poured into the volcanic plain of the Snake River and its canyons. Today, visitors to the Snake River area can explore the house-size boulders, box canyons, and other evidence left behind by the tremendous flood. At Swan Falls (now Swan Falls Dam), peak discharge of the flood was an astounding 33 million cubic feet/second.
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Consider a stay in the city's historical Northend neighborhood, which offers a number of cultural activities, including a public art tour and festivals throughout the year. Lodgings in the downtown area offer convenient access to the central attractions.
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  • My daughter and I were there in early May during nesting season. We didn't see a lot of birds but we're very happy the conservation area exists. The drive through is lovely and the Snake River Canyon ...  more »
  • We went in late Sept. and fall was starting to cool things down but beautiful views and some wildlife. Relatively close to Boise and spectacular views of the Snake from Several hundred feet above the ...  more »
  • It's so quiet out there. In the nearly two hours we were out in the canyon area, we saw 2-3 card. The natural beauty of the scrub desert is amazing. While we saw few birds of prey at the time we went,...  more »