Sage-Grouse Lek Viewing Guide

Sage-Grouse Lek Viewing Guide

The greater sage-grouse is the largest species of grouse in North America. Each spring, male sage-grouse perform an elaborate sunrise display on communal breeding grounds known as “leks”. While sage-grouse require sagebrush landscapes to survive, leks are often located in open areas where the males can be better seen and heard by females. The dramatic display makes viewing sage-grouse a popular recreational activity in March and April across much of Wyoming.

The Wyoming Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Plan recommends that only a small number of lek viewing sites be publicized along with information on how to minimize viewing disturbance to the grouse. This information is designed to implement that recommendation.

When you follow the American Birding Association’s Principles of Birding Ethics, you prevent harm to sage-grouse and their habitats. Respect and practice these principles while birding in Wyoming.

Your cooperation is needed to ensure protection and perpetuation of Wyoming’s sage-grouse populations.
 

LEK VIEWING ETHICS

  • Arrive at lek sites at least one hour before sunrise
  • Don’t drive onto the lek. Park away from the edge of the lek.
  • Turn off the vehicle lights and engine.
  • Use binoculars and spotting scopes to observe birds.
  • Stay in your vehicle.
  • Do not make loud noises or sudden movements.
  • Do not leave until the birds do.
  • Keep pets in your vehicle. Better yet, leave them home.
  • Do not trespass on private land.
  • Postpone your visit if roads are muddy.
  • Be especially cautious with viewing activities during late March and early April when breeding activity usually peaks. Late April is a better time to visit because most of the breeding is complete but the males are still actively strutting. The weather is usually better too.
     

WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO

  • Respect the birds providing your recreation.
  • Always practice ethical and responsible bird watching.
  • Keep pets under control and away from all wildlife. Dog training on sage-grouse outside the hunting season is not legal.
  • Don’t camp on desert springs or wet meadows in late summer.
  • Restrict your ORV use in sage-grouse habitats. Stay on established roads and trails. Off-road use in the spring can disturb or destroy nests.
  • Visit WGF’s sage-grouse web page to learn more about sage-grouse conservation: wgfd.wyo.gov/Habitat/Sage-Grouse-Management
  • Report harassment of sage-grouse, or any wildlife, to the STOP Poaching Hotline:
    1-877-WGFD-TIP (1-877-943-3847) or
    Text keyword WGFD and message 847-477.

AVAILABLE SAGE-GROUSE LEK LOCATIONS

LEK LOCATIONS


BLM Road

How to get there: Take Hwy 189 east/northeast from Kemmerer about 19 miles to the Opal Cut-off (Hwy 240). Go right (south) on Hwy 240 about 2 miles. There you will see a sign with directionsto the lek. The lek is about 2 miles from the first sign. Travel east about 1 mile to another lek direction sign and then take another left (north) to the parking area.

Click Here for More Lek Information

Calpet 2

How to get there: Take Hwy 189 south of Big Piney for about 3.25 miles to the Big Piney Calpet Rd/Calpet Hwy and turn west onto the Calpet Hwy. Proceed west-southwest about 11 miles to Pinegrove Rd. Turn west onto Pinegrove Rd and go about 0.25 miles. The lek is on the north side of the road.

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County Road Reservoir

How to get there: Take Hwy 220 west of Casper for approximately 40 miles. Just west of mile post 73, turn right on Oregon Trail Rd. (Natrona County Rd 319). Proceed northeast along County Rd 319 for approximately 9 miles. There is a stock pond on the north side of the road; park there and look south. The lek is on the south side of the road.

Click Here for More Lek Information

Keyton 1

How to get there: Around milepost 37 on Hwy 450, take Lynch Rd (County Rd 7A) approx. 6 miles south to its junction with Cheyenne River Rd (County Rd 54). Turn right and continue west approx. 300 yards onto Keyton Creek Rd (USFS Rd 937). The lek is about 0.5 miles down Keyton Creek Rd, near a solar well.

The lek is on private property. Use of binoculars or a spotting scope is a must.

Click Here for More Lek Information

Mule Creek Pass

How to get there: From Laramie head north on Hwy 30 for 42 miles. Turn right onto Fetterman Rd and continue for 10.5 miles. Stay left at the Y intersection and continue on Fetterman Rd for another 22.5 miles to the junction with Mule Creek Rd. Turn left onto Mule Creek Rd and continue for 9 miles. The lek will be on the left side of the road.

Click Here for More Lek Information

North Halfway Hollow

How to get there: From Green River travel 20 miles south on Hwy 530. Take the two-track road on the left (east) about 0.5 miles. Take next dirt road to the left for about 0.25 miles and park. Lek is to the east.

Click Here for More Lek Information

Pass Creek 24

How to get there: From I-80, at Walcott Junction, take Wyoming Hwy 130 south about 8 miles. Turn left on County Rd 406 and travel east for approximately 2 miles. Lek is on the right side of the road.

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Schoononver

How to get there: From Gillette travel west on I-90 about 22 miles to Exit 102 for Barber Creek. Take Barber Creek Road about 2 miles south to Schoonover Road. Travel southwest on Schoonover Road about 3 miles and cross a cattle guard. The sage-grouse will be strutting on, or adjacent to, the road 200 to 300 yards past the cattle guard.

Click Here for More Lek Information

Speedway

How to get there: At milepost 73 on Hwy 191, about 27 miles south of Pinedale, turn east onto Muddy Speedway Rd. (County Rd 113). Travel 3 miles and stop. The lek is about 400 yards south.

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Twin Creek

How to get there: Take Hwy 287/789 southeast of Lander 8.3 miles to the Rawlins Junction. (Intersection of Hwy 28 and Hwy. 287/789). Travel east on Hwy 287/789 about 9.7 miles (1 mile past the Twin Creek Rd). Turn left (north) onto a pipeline road through a cattle guard. Stay to the right on a two-track road about 0.4 miles to the edge of a clearing in the sagebrush at the end of a pond dam. The grouse strut in the clearing just to the left of the dam. Avoid the two-track road if muddy.

Click Here for More Lek Information

Upper Red Creek

How to get there: Take Hwy 789 north of Baggs about 7 miles to the Sand Creek Rd (no sign), which is on the west side. This road is about 0.6 miles south of a large metal building that is on the east side of Hwy 789. Go west on the Sand Creek Rd. about 4.3 miles to an intersection and then go north (right) about 0.5 miles. The lek is on the west (left) side of the road.

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West Sage Creek

How to get there: Take Hwy 120 south from Cody for 4.3 miles. Take the first right (west) past the Landfill Road turn-off. From the cattle guard, drive 0.7 miles then turn left (south) at the powerlines. Drive 0.3 miles then turn left (east), turning away from the powerlines. Drive 0.3 miles then veer right (south) at the fork. At the next fork in 0.5 miles, veer right. In 0.3 miles, the road dead-ends at a water reservoir, park here. Sage-grouse should be strutting to your right and across the water.

Do not drive on roads if muddy. Drive safely around semi-trucks on the haul road.

Click Here for More Lek Information
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