back BACK

Pitta Nature Tours
Mountain Highlights

Rising from 4,200’ in Salt Lake City to more than 13,500’ at their highest peaks, the mountains in northern Utah provide an incredible wealth of habitats, scenery, and of course birds. This all-day tour is a perfect introduction to the mountains.

Upcoming Tour Date(s)

Sat, June 22, 2024

6 of 7 Spaces Available


Up to 7 Spaces!


Itinerary subject to change due to weather, birding conditions, and other factors out of our control.

Birding the Wasatch Pickup from SLC at 6:00 AM.

Northern Utah's rugged landscape is dominated by mountains. And the mountains hold a variety of interesting and coveted target birds. Starting at sunrise we depart Salt Lake City and visit a riparian habitat where Lazuli Bunting, Willow Flycatcher, and Yellow Warbler introduce us to the day with their eclectic ensemble. Throughout the day the birding will be easy with several short strolls on well maintained roads and trails, and plenty of birding from the car.

Traversing the High Uintas 13,000' Peaks and Lodgepole Forests

Touring a mid-elevation agricultural area we'll track down Bobolink, Wilson's Snipe, and Sandhill Cranes. This unique habitat is quickly disappearing from the mountain west and these amazing fields provide the best viewing for many of the above mentioned birds. We'll follow a river high into the Uinta Mountains to seek out American Dipper, Hammond's, Cordilleran, and Dusky Flycatcher, MacGillivray's Warbler, Fox Sparrow, and Violet-green Swallow in a monatane riparian habitat that is a world away from the city we departed in the morning.

Ascending to almost 11,000' we find our selves in high elevation conifer where birds like Pine Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, Gray Jay, Clark's Nutcracker, and American Three-toed Woodpecker can be found. Sometimes we are lucky and scope out Black Rosy-Finch on exposed snow patches before descending into southwest Wyoming for lunch.

Exploring Monte Cristo High Desert and Unique Birds

Our afternoon visits a high desert along the Utah and WYoming border where Vesper Sparrow, Golden Eagle, and Sage Thrasher are found, followed up with a stop at a wetland where American Bittern, Sora, Black Tern, and Wilson's Phalarope breed. Depedning on the timing of our visit these marshes may be either flooded or nearly dry!

Making our way into an aspen covered portion of the northern mountains we encounter the mountain subspecies of the Purple Martin, Western Tanager, and occasionally Williamson's Sapsucker.

Visiting 3 distinct sections of northern Utah mountain ranges, we typically pick up around 100 species before making our way back to SLC by 6:00 PM.

2024 Pricing

Private Tour

You’ll have van to yourself, and up to 6 friends. Perfect for families or small groups!

Max Participants: 7
$400 + $100/person
Book Now  
Looking for something else?

Want to combine this tour with a visit to the Great Salt Lake? What about seeing the sage and juniper specialists of Utah's West Desert? Or an evening of Flammulated Owling? The Best of Utah Summer Tour might be perfect for you! OR check out all our Utah Tour options.

What's Included & What to Expect

What to Expect on Your Tour

On the day our tour beings we will provide pickup from local hotels and/or one of our set departure locations by 6:00 AM.  At the end of the tour, we will drop you off where we picked you up around 6:00 PM.


During the tour, we will travel in our comfortable 12-person Transit Van (aptly named Otus).  Since this tour caps at 7-people, that means each of our 3-rows in the back has just 2-people, with the 7th passenger riding shotgun.  Lots of room to stretch out with your gear and not feel like a sardine in a tin.

We provide a step stool for easy access in and out of the van and ice-cold water is available whenever you need from the back of the van with a custom tour water bottle provided for you to keep at the beginning of the tour.


Breakfasts will usually be boxed and eaten in the field.  Lunch will be a quick stop at a sandwich shop in Evanston, Wyoming so we can keep birding and make the most of our time in the mountains!


The pace of the tour is fast--we cover over 300 miles during the day. 


This tour is not physically demanding. We will do numerous short outings, under 1-mile (usually much shorter), on even terrain.

Weather and Temperature

This tour provides for interesting mix of temperatures as we move between high elevation sites in the mountains and low elevations sites in the Great Basin.  It is not uncommon for daytime temperatures at lower elevations to reach into the high 90’s or even low 100’s.  While in the mountains daytime temps range from the 50’s to 70’s.  I recommend bring a variety of clothing, that is easily layered.  

Insects, Snakes, and Predators

Oh my!  Mosquitoes can be found at most places we will be visiting, so protective clothing or repellent is highly recommended.  While there are other biting bugs, most are not very active this time of year.  There is one species of rattlesnake in the Great Basin, but we have not encountered them on any tours.  With that being said, please be aware it is possible to encounter them.  And lastly, there are both Black Bear and Cougar in the Mountain West, but in 13 years of guiding I have never encountered either during a tour!

Non-bird Highlights

  • Bald Mountain Pass
  • Mirror Lake Highway
  • Deseret Ranch
  • Up to 10 Possible Mammal Species
  • Summer Wildflowers & Butterflies

What's Included

  • Professional Guide Service
  • Transportation from SLC
  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Spotting Scope while Birding
  • Water for Refreshment
  • Birds—we’ll find some birds
  • Some Flammtastic Tour Swag
  • Delightful Conversation about Birds
  • A Thoroughly Enjoyable Time!
We also include SFW dad jokes, witty bird puns, and the occasional commentary on things non-bird related!

What's Not Included

  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Binoculars
  • Cameras and Lenses
  • Bug Spray
  • Jackets or Sweaters
  • Shoes and Socks
  • Flights or Transportation to Utah
We highly recommend all of the above ;)

Still have questions? Ready to book a tour? Either way tapping the buttons below will put you in touch with us!

Past Mountain Highlights Tours

June 27, 2019
Mountain Highlights Read Recap

Recent Photos from this Tour

Still have questions? Ready to book a tour? Either way tapping the buttons below will put you in touch with us!

Mailing List

Sign up for our mailing list so you never miss an update, get our latest tour news, and exclusive deals on new products and tours!