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Bird's-Eye View of the West

Program Number: 2254RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/18/2014 - 5/23/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Lakeview, Oregon
Price starting at: $749.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Birding; Natural History
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Join local experts along the Pacific Flyway for an unparalleled opportunity to observe migrant and resident waterfowl, nesting water birds and newly classified species in the picturesque Goose Lake Valley and Warner Wetlands, as well as the Modoc National Refuge and the Summer Lake Wildlife Management Area. Identify many of the more than 300 species of birds found in the vicinity, including Golden and Bald Eagles, two species of Sand Hill Cranes, hawks, harriers and even phalaropes.


• Experience the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge with a local birding leader, and hear about a rehabilitation program for injured raptors.
• Explore the Summer Lake Wildlife Area with a wildlife biologist for a close-up look at hundreds of species that reside there, including the Great Horned Owl.
• See a Master Gardner & habitat architect call in wild bluebirds, then take a break from birding at the unique Wild Plum Winery to taste several different varietals.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile at a time on varied terrain.

Beginning birders welcome. So you can get the most out of your experience, all of our birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1.

Coordinated by Lake County Chamber.


Lakeview is an undiscovered gem, bordering both ponderosa forests and the high desert in south-central Oregon near the California/Nevada borders. This ranching community offers rich history, scenic vistas, wildlife and small town charms with starry nights and clean air.

Comfortable motel/lodge within walking distance to the downtown.
Meals and Lodgings
   Fremont Inn
  Lakeview, OR 3 nights
   The Lodge at Summer Lake
  Summer Lake, Oregon 2 nights
 Fremont Inn
Type: Hotel
  Description: Located in Lakeview (known as the "tallest" town in Oregon at an elevation of 4820 feet) in Oregon's Outback Country. Close to the airport, local businesses and many activities and attractions.
  Contact info: 524 North St. Street
Lakeview, OR 97630 USA
phone: 541-947-2060
  Room amenities: Non-smoking rooms, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, cable TV, European style walk in showers with safety bars, clock radio, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, smoke detectors and electronic door locks.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant and lounge on site, interior corridors, guest laundry, lighted parking area, wake up service, free local calls, wireless internet access, ice machine, patio open in summer.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Contact Coordinator for price Coordinator can make reservation before and after the program.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 The Lodge at Summer Lake
Type: Lodge
  Contact info: 53460 Hwy 31
Summer Lake, OR 97640 USA
phone: 541-943-3993
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights after: $75+ Please advise of early check-in or late check-outs.
  Check out time: 10:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in between 3-5 pm. 6 pm Light Dinner Reception and Discussion You will be staying at Fremont Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after dinner on last full day. Check out by 11:00am. You will be staying at The Lodge at Summer Lake the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Plenty of free parking for both cars and RVs
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lakeview, OR
  Nearest city or town:  Lakeview, OR 97630
  Nearest highway: Highway 140
  Nearest airport:  Klamath Falls, OR
  From End of Program
  Location:  Summer Lake, Oregon
Travel Details

Redmond, Oregon


From Airport




Car Rentals


Travel Time:


3.5 hours driving time 






Medford, Oregon


From Airport




Car Rentals


Travel Time:


3 hours driving time 




175 miles


Reno, Nevada


From Airport




Car Rentals


Travel Time:


4 hours driving time 




225 miles


Boise, Idaho


From Airport




Car Rentals


Travel Time:


5.75 hours driving time 




327 miles

Driving Directions
  East From Burns, Oregon, take Hwy 395 toward Lakeview, Oregon. From Winnemucca, travel west on Hwy 140 until the junction at Highway 395; go south (left) toward Lakeview, Oregon, approximately 5 miles. As you enter the city limits, on your left you will see Fremont Inn.
  North North from Bend, travel south on Hwy 97 to the Reno/Lakeview cutoff. Turn left onto Hwy 31 and travel south through Silver Lake, Summer Lake, and Paisley. Continue on 31, and at the junction in Valley Falls, Highway 31 becomes US 395. Continue south on US395 to Lakeview. As you enter the city limits and just before the next highway intersection, you will see on your left the Fremont Inn .
  South From Alturas, California, travel north on Hwy 395 to Lakeview. You will see Jerry's Restaurant & Safeway on your right. Continue to the intersection of Hwy 140 & US395. Veer right onto 395 and you will see Fremont Inn on your right.
  West West From Medford or Bend, travel east on Highway 140 to Lakeview. Continue to the junction at the flashing light, then turn left onto US395 North. Fremont Inn will be on your right.
Elevation Note: Elevation 4800'

Equipment Requirements: Binoculars, camera, spotting-scope recommended. Bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and comfortable hiking shoes (waterproof if possible). Evenings get cool and we will have some optional evening walks, so please plan on versatile outer clothing. Layering is usually best, with extra socks and shoes in case we go through some muddy areas trying to achieve better viewing. Bring a swimsuit for soaking/swimming in the hot springs pool. A journal is nice to have for jotting down notes on birds and where we saw them.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Getting to Know You Orientation & light dinner.
(Sunday, May 18)

Note: Checking into the Fremont Inn in Lakeview between 3-5pm. Then meet in the dining area for a light dinner.

 Afternoon: Check into rooms at the Fremont Inn between 3 and 5pm. Relax or take a walk through town.
 Dinner: 6:00 pm at Fremont Inn. Light Dinner Reception.
 Evening: Orientation and program briefing, getting to know each other, then rest up for a busy week.
Accommodations: Fremont Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Modoc Refuge, raptors, and also Goose Lake State Park are on the schedule, with walks down trails known for birding opportunities; then add in a stop to the local wild plum winery/distillery.
(Monday, May 19)

Note: We will leave at 6:30 am for the wildlife refuge and tours along the way.

 Breakfast: 6am breakfast at the Inn.
 Morning: Drive south on Highway 395 to the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge in Alturas for a tour of their wetlands projects with Refuge Biologist Dominic Bachman and Cameron King. We will be looking for many species of waterfowl, shorebirds, sand hill cranes and others.
 Lunch: We will bring a picnic lunch to the WLR Pavilion and enjoy a raptor demonstration by Eagle Peak Rescue’s Bill & Tina Hodge.
 Afternoon: Heading back north, we will tour Stringer’s Wild Plum Winery & Distillery, and then travel to Goose Lake State Park for birding hosted by Park Ranger Tim Harris. Refreshments and more beautiful birds will be shared at the New Pine Creek Cabins with your hostess, Anita Spence. Time permitting, we'll travel east up Crane Creek Canyon for more birding opportunities, then return to the Inn for time on your own before dinner.
 Dinner: Enjoy our meal at a local restaurant.
 Evening: After dinner, we will listen to the sweet sounds of the Sagebrush Echoes.
Accommodations: Fremont Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Today we're heading west to areas where white headed woodpeckers have been spotted. This will be our last night in Lakeview as we will transfer our viewing experiences to the central and north county tomorrow. Transportation is provided.
(Tuesday, May 20)

Note: We will be in the woods and up in the mountains, so wear comfortable shoes.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at 5:45am, bus/van leaves at 6:30am
 Morning: First we'll head to the local settling ponds where waterfowl, shorebirds, gulls and others congregate in the mornings. We then travel towards Booth Park to seek a view of the white-headed woodpecker that resides there. Dave will take us on a short hike up into the terrain where we'll seek out other species such as the western bluebird, hairy woodpecker, and the northern flicker. We'll then head to Junipers Reservoir RV Resort where the camp host, Laura Benson, will tell us about the species that frequent this beautiful property and ranching operation. Roads permitting, we will drive around the reservoir on the ranch looking for hawks, eagles, geese, cranes, and other species typical of the mountain foothills.
 Lunch: Returning to the RV campground, we will have lunch in their open-air visitor center.
 Afternoon: The afternoon will be spent in several local areas: the Cox Creek burn offers sooty grouse & green-tailed towhee; Stock Drive is a habitat for black-bellied plover and long-billed curlew; Vernon Road may offer us a view of white-faced ibis & marbled godwit.
 Dinner: Back to the Inn to relax a bit before another great meal.
 Evening: This is our last evening in Lakeview. After dinner, we can have the option for a short evening stroll to look and listen for night birds, and then head back to the Inn to pack for our transfer to the Lodge at Summer Lake.
 In Transit: You may leave your vehicles in Lakeview through Friday, or, if you prefer to leave for home from Summer Lake on Friday, you may drive behind the van with your gear tomorrow as we bird on the way to the Wildlife Management Area. Thanks to our hosts, KK and Joan, for a lovely stay at the Fremont!
Accommodations: Fremont Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Today we will transfer to accommodations at the Lodge at Summer Lake. This morning we head north to Abert Lake where hundreds of birds stop to feed on the brine shrimp. Our destination then is the Summer Lake Wildlife Management Area to view and hear talks about nesting & migratory birds with Manager/Biologist Marty St. Louis and Assistant Josh Schmucker.
(Wednesday, May 21)

Note: We will be leaving at 6am to head north to the wildlife management area & lakes. We'll be doing some walking/hiking so bring comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk a bit.

 Breakfast: 5:45 am we'll pick up breakfast-to-go at the Inn and pack your bags; Van leaves at 6:00 am.
 Morning: Travel north to Chandler Park for a rest stop and prospective viewing of the red-naped sapsucker, Steller’s jay, brown creeper, and western tanager. We will then travel to Abert Lake, an alkaline body of water sustaining brine shrimp that provide an important feeding ground for migratory birds. Look to the east for a spectacular view of Abert Rim, one of the highest and longest fault scarps in North America. The US Department of the Interior-BLM has designated Abert Lake as an area of” critical environmental concern,” and the Oregon Audubon Society deems it an “important bird area.” On our way, we will make a stop in Paisley for a drive down “Lovers’ Lane,” which borders private ranch lands, looking for the rare bobolink and several resident sparrow species. Continuing northwest on Hwy 31, we will arrive at the Summer Lake Wildlife Management Area, a beautiful wetlands with a viewing blind off of Schoolhouse Lake. Here we will meet Wildlife Biologist and Area Manager, Marty St. Louis and Wildlife Tech Josh Schmucker who will spend the day guiding us through the rich habitat of the WMA.
 Lunch: We will bring along sack lunches to eat along the way at one of the Area Campgrounds.
 Afternoon: The nearby River Ranch Barn is the home to a pair of Great Horned Owls that have inhabited the barn and also roosted in the hay slide for many years. We will enjoy the Bird Viewing Loop, and view some of the 250 species of birds that frequent the Management Area. After our tour of Summer Lake, we will return to the Lodge to unpack and rest before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner will be served at the Summer Lake Lodge, Marty and Josh will join our group, and give us a talk about the history of the Management Area and the birds that frequent there.
 Evening: Enjoy the quiet of the evening and calls of the night birds.
Accommodations: The Lodge at Summer Lake
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: An early and busy day today, we will enjoy a special private tour of the Sycan Marsh Preserve looking for white-faced ibis and yellow rails.
(Thursday, May 22)

Note: It can be breezy on the marsh, so layer your clothes. Bring a hat and use sun screen--the altitude brings us closer to the sun! We may be hiking/walking on some uneven terrain. Comfy shoes are a must.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at 5:30, departing from the Lodge at 6am, taking sack lunches with us.
 Morning: Head to the Sycan Marsh Preserve to the beautiful Nature Conservancy Jim Castles Applied Research Station for a guided tour of the facility by Preserve Steward, Mark Hedrick. We will tour the preserve with Mark, an avid bird enthusiast and researcher. Many birds are present on the Marsh this time of year, including breeding greater sandhill cranes, black terns, white-faced ibis and yellow rails.
 Lunch: We will enjoy a picnic lunch along the way when the time is right.
 Afternoon: Mark will guide us along roads and trails as we head back toward the Research Station and will also share some of the secrets of Long Creek and Coyote Creek
 Dinner: Our 4:30 dinner reservations will provide a special treat as we will be enjoying a truly unique feast (an understatement!) at the renowned “Cowboy Dinner Tree” in Silver Lake, owned and operated by Angel & Jamie Roscoe. This promises to be a meal you will not forget!
 Evening: Back to the Lodge to relax with evening beverages as we review the day’s sightings and think about our week’s adventures together.
Accommodations: The Lodge at Summer Lake
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Sleep in or head out early. We hope you have enjoyed your week on the Pacific Flyway. Safe travels!
(Friday, May 23)

Note: 7am, breakfast at the Lodge; Van leaves at 8:15 am.

 Breakfast: Say good bye to all of your new friends
 Morning: Program ends after breakfast. The van will be available to take you back to your cars if you do not depart for home from Summer Lake.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Lakeview, OR Chamber of Commerce
541-947-6040 For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

National Audubon Society - The Sibley Guide to Birds

Author: David Allen Sibley

Description: David Allen Sibley, America's most gifted contemporary painter of birds, is the author and illustrator of this comprehensive guide. His beautifully detailed illustrationsmore than 6,600 in alland descriptions of 810 species and 350 regional populations will enrich every birder's experience.

National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America

Author: Jon L. Dunn, Jonathan Alderfer

Description: This is the ultimate, indispensable bird field guidecomprehensive, authoritative, portable, sturdy, and easier than ever to use.

Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America

Author: Roger Tory Peterson, Lee Allen Peterson

Description: A historic collaboration among renowned birding experts and artists to preserve and enhance the Peterson legacy, this new book combines the Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Birds and Peterson Field Guide to Western Birds into one volume.

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