Drive east 5.4 miles from Joseph, on Hwy 350. Turn right on Tucker Down Road (County Road 633). Drive south for approximately 4.6 miles, (one mile past the Ferguson Ridge Ski Area turnoff). Turn right on FS Road 3920-012. The trailhead is approximately 0.5 miles. You can park at the trailhead and access the trail there or you can park down by the gate (don’t block the gate) and begin your walk there. Hike about 0.75 miles and the gravel ends where the trail splits. Take the left split (Look for an arrow made from small rocks) and hike for as long as you have time. Watch for cryptically colored grouse along the trail edges and on fallen logs off the trail. The author has found August to be a good time to find birds here as the chicks are well grown and the adult females make soft contact calls to warn all the kids of approaching danger.Directions
Habitat and Birds
Mixed conifers and high mountain meadows. This is one of the best locations in the Wallowa Mountains for finding the big three most wanted birds (White-winged Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, Spruce Grouse). That’s not all you can see here though. Look for Snow Buntings and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches on the way up to the trail (Tucker Down Rd.). Dusky and Ruffed Grouse are here along with the Spruce Grouse and you have a decent chance of seeing all three. Keep an eye out for Great Gray Owl in the open areas. Cassin’s Finches and Red Crossbills are here along with Gray Jay, Black-backed Woodpecker, and American Three-toed Woodpecker. If you will be visiting the Joseph area, this is a must see location. Be careful of snow levels in winter.