36. Butte Valley

36. Butte Valley - Area Map.


Dorris, California and southward.


Much of Butte Valley is farmland, primarily alfalfa, strawberries, onions and potatoes. Non farm habitats include junipers which are mixed in with the sage and grasslands.

Distinct Features:

Butte Valley is well known for its excellent raptor viewing, but there are many other attractions besides raptors. Butte Valley is an area of intergrade between the pure Mule Deer and the Pacific Blacktail sub-species. Look for deer with all black tails on the west side of the valley and notice that the ones on the east side mostly have white tails with black tips. Pronghorn can be seen in large groups in winter and are seen in smaller, widely scattered groups the rest of the year. Birding in Butte Valley is enhanced by having so many places available to stop and observe wildlife.

Birds to Look For:

After February and up to June, this is probably the best place in the vicinity of the Klamath Basin to see good numbers of Bald and Golden Eagles. They feed on abundant Belding's Ground Squirrels in the farmlands. Ferruginous Hawks are seen in good numbers in late fall through winter. Swainson's Hawks are common breeders from late spring through summer. The western edge of the valley is good for Lazuli Bunting as well as Chipping, Lark, Savannah and Brewer's Sparrows.


From Highway 97 at the California/Oregon state line drive almost 3 miles south to First and Main Streets in Dorris. Take First Sreet west for 3 miles. Note, First street becomes Picard Road. After passing the cemetery, the next 2 miles is very good raptor viewing. GPS: 121° 54' 53.54" W. 41° 57' 57.53" N.

Another good raptor viewing area is the Shady Dell/Sheep Mountain Road area located further south to the east of Highway 97. From the state line, Shady Dell Road is less than 10 miles south on Highway 97. Turn left (east) at the National Grassland sign. When you come to the irrigated fields, check for raptors.

Sheep Mountain Road is the next road to the south and can be reached by either the Dorris-Technor or Macdoel-Dorris Roads. Raptor viewing is also good on the west side of Highway 97 from Meiss Lake Road or the other farm roads to the south.

For more information Contact:

Klamath National Forest
Goosenest Ranger District
37805 Highway 97
Macdoel, CA 96058
Phone 530 398-4391

Web info:



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