Here’s what we’re planning for Flocks and Rocks 2019!
This adventure will begin at the Las Vegas NV McCarran Airport and venture north to the Colorado Plateau in southwestern Utah. This area of the plateau hosts some of the most spectacular Mesozoic and Cenozoic geology of North America. Ornithologically, southwestern Utah is a surprising combination of southern Arizona and the Colorado high country.
After climbing onto the plateau through the Virgin River gorge, we will spend two nights and days in the Dixie National Forest exploring the alpine geology of nearby Cedar Breaks National Monument and environs. This will be our chance at such high country birds as Dusky Grouse and Gray Jay, maybe even Pine Grosbeak. From there, we will venture east through Bryce Canyon National Park to the town of Escalante. In the Escalante – Grand Staircase National Monument, we will explore slot canyons carved by the Escalante River and its tributaries and be up close to the Jurassic sandstones of the Vermillion Cliffs.
Our next stop is Capital Reef National Park where we will see the formations and architecture of the Grand Staircase, a unique geological province of the Colorado Plateau that exhibits the changing climate and environments of western North America during the Triassic and Jurassic periods. The historic Fruita townsite, representative of the Mormon pioneering days, is also located in the park. It hosts a variety of mid-elevation birds typical of the Rocky Mountains.
From Capital Reef NP, we will return to the southwestern edge of the Plateau near St. George for a final night among the ancient sand dunes of the Navajo sandstone and recent basalt flows of the Hurricane volcanic field. Here at the northernmost arm of the Mojave Desert we find such desert birds as Costa’s Hummingbird, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Crissal Thrasher, Verdin, and Lucy’s Warbler. The Virgin River punctuates the desert with luxuriant riparian vegetation, providing homes for such desert riparian specialists as Common Black Hawk, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, and Abert’s Towhee.
Expect lots of good stories, laughter around the evening campfire and great food, too!
Is this trek right for me?
- Great for the science and adventure-minded
- Perfect for birders, hikers, and outdoor-lovers
- No previous outdoor experience required
- A overall adventurous spirit & serendipitous mindset will serve you well
What is included in the cost?
Tuition includes everything once you arrive in Las Vegas:
- All meals
- All transportation
- Staff, educators, field specialists
- All gear necessary for group expedition
- Special activities (rafting, mountain biking, art classes + more) and backcountry permits
Trekkers are responsible for covering travel costs to and from Las Vegas the first day and last day of the trek. Gulch staff will be at the Las Vegas Airport to greet incoming Trekkers.
For more logistical questions, visit our FAQ page, or give us a call: 505-248-0563.
“Winging Across Red Rock Country”
- Southwestern Utah is an ornithological combination of Southern Arizona and Colorado high country
- Chance to see high country birds such as Dusky Grouse, Gray Jay, and maybe Pine Grosbeak
- Desert birds such as Costa’s Hummingbird, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Crissal Thrasher, Verdin, and Lucy’s Warbler
- Riparian vegetation that allows for Common Black Hawk, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, and Abert’s Towhee
- Which birds and plants are where, and why?