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May 20 - May 23

Pacific Northwest Trip: Birding & Hiking the Rogue Valley

The Rogue Valley sits at a major confluence geologically, botanically, and climactically, with dry open scrub, high mountain conifer forests, and lush wildflower meadows. On this four-day, van-based trip we’ll explore a variety of those habitats, from grasslands that may hold Grasshopper Sparrow and Oregon Vesper Sparrow, to mountain forests and prairies, where Great Gray Owl breed (but require luck to see), and the famous Oak forests of Southern Oregon that teem with Acorn Woodpecker and Ash-throated Flycatcher. Along the way we’ll hope for chance encounters with Northern Mockingbird, Black Phoebe, and other local favorites.

Several of the areas we’ll visit feature beautiful hikes of up to three miles, and we’ll expect to hike 4-5 miles per day, at a naturalist’s pace, to gain an up-close appreciation of the fascinating natural history here. On the first day, we’ll visit the Rogue River itself, outside of Grants Pass, where Wrentits play peekaboo in the willows.

On our next day we’ll venture up the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument for a scenic hike, enjoying wildflowers and butterflies, before heading to the Howard Prairie Lakes region, and its large meadows and open water habitats.

On our third day we’ll visit the dry habitats of the valley, home to charismatic species like California Towhee, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Oak Titmouse. And on our final day, we’ll journey up Mt. Ashland in search of montane species like Green-tailed Towhee and Cassin’s Finch, before starting the trip back north to Portland, where we hope to arrive by 6 pm. 


Distance: Each day will feature individual hikes of up to 3 miles, for a total of 5-6 miles per day. This trip will feature more dedicated hiking than our typical PNW trip, because of the nature of access to some specialized habitats.
Elevation changes: Most hikes will have elevation changes of 200-300 feet, with one hike with 700 feet elevation gain
Trail: A variety of treads, but mostly packed earth and gravel single track
Pacing: Slow to moderate. We will be stopping to appreciate what we see, while also striving to cover more distance in between nature moments
Rest Stops: We’ll have van rides between all hikes
Sun Exposure: Full to partial. This area can get quite hot, particularly in the afternoon in the valleys; participants should bring sun protection and ample hydration
Amenities (bathrooms and parking): We will strive to provide formal facilities every 2-3 hours, with the understanding that on certain hikes, we may only have informal opportunities for up to 3-4 hours
Public transit: Our meetup location is served by the Max and several buses.


Visit the stunning Rogue Valley!

The Rogue Valley sits at a major confluence geologically, botanically, and climactically, with dry open scrub, high mountain conifer forests, and lush wildflower meadows. On this four-day van trip, we’ll also use our hiking boots to search for some of Oregon’s hardest to find bird species like Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Oak Titmouse, and California Towhee, while enjoying the unique plants, butterflies, and geology that make this region so special.


Trip Details

  • Leaders: Brodie Cass Talbott and Cameron Cox
  • Date and time: May 20-23, 2024
  • Fee: $1045 members / $1245 non-members
  • Single Supplement: $260
  • Deposit: $500
  • Limited to 12 participants.
  • What is included: Transportation, breakfast, lunch and lodging, as well as the services of your experienced Bird Alliance of Oregon leader.
  • Not included: Dinners and alcoholic beverages


May 20
May 23
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