Mormon Lake, Arizona 86038
Mormon Lake webpage
Mormon Lake location map
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Tips for birding Mormon Lake
Mormon is one of two natural lakes in Arizona (the other is Stoneman). Birding starts at the overlook (marked), where observers can scan the lake (a scope is almost necessary) for pelicans, gulls, ducks, shorebirds, grebes, or just about any water bird. Birding is even good when the lake is dry. Raptors use the air currents from the cliff face to fly, so chances are good that a short stop will include birds of prey passing overhead. The riparian vegetation below the overlook acts as a corridor for migrants, and fruiting shrubs attract huge numbers of pigeons and thrushes. The extensive grasslands across the highway contain an entirely different set of birds. A Northern Shrike has spent the past few winters here, and the grasslands have also attracted longspurs, Rough-legged Hawk, and Short-eared Owl in recent years. The adventurous can climb down from the overlook to bird the trees below, although the road below the overlook is also accessible by car. Continue driving south from the overlook, and take the first road to the west. Park at the gate and hike along the road – the trees here are excellent in migration.
From Northern Arizona Audubon Society
About Mormon Lake
Mormon Lake is the largest natural lake in Arizona… sometimes. During droughts, it’s frequently not so large, and not so much a lake. Occasionally it’s even bone dry.
Wet or not, this has an excellent overlook where you can often see wildlife and birds across the lake’s landscape. There is also a picturesque little resort on the lake’s western shore where you can rent recreational equipment such as mountain bikes, horses to ride, snowmobiles and cross-country skis in season. Or you can drop in at the Mormon Lake Lodge, a famous cowboy steak house where the brands of local ranches are burned into the log walls.
Dairy Springs and Double Springs National Forest campgrounds are located nearby, too. There, in addition to developed campsites, you’ll find some excellent hiking trails which lead to panoramic overlooks of the lake and the surrounding area.
From Mormon Lake webpage