Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area

Map and Facilities

This area’s spectacular, vast and unique landscape supports one of the world’s densest concentrations of nesting birds of prey. Congress established the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) in 1993 to help recognize and protect the area’s wildlife values. This 485,000-acre area hosts about 800 pairs of falcons, eagles, hawks and owls that arrive each spring to mate and raise their young.

In addition to outstanding bird and wildlife viewing, this area hosts various recreational opportunities. Visitors can sightsee, ride on horseback, hike, hunt, mountain bike, picnic and camp. The NCA is one of the many units within the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System which serves to protect and conserve special places on public lands.

Catch a glimpse of the area’s birds of prey at Dedication Point, a spectacular overlook on the rim of the Snake River Canyon. A ¼-mile trail with interpretive signs offers insights about the birds, geology and other wildlife.

Experience the magnificence of this area from the waters and shorelines of Cove Recreation Site. This is a popular area to fish, hike, view wildlife, boat (motorized and non-motorized), waterski, swim and picnic. About one mile east of the dam, day-use and overnight camping facilities are available on the south shore of C.J. Strike Reservoir.

Halverson Lake is nestled along the canyon wall with opportunities for all types of outdoor adventure, as well as cultural education. During a visit to Halverson Lake, visitors can also check out Celebration Park to learn about the history of Native Americans who still use this area.

Spring and fall weather conditions in sheltered canyon areas average 5-10 °F warmer than temperatures in nearby Boise. This makes recreation outdoors possible in the late winter, spring and fall when many higher-elevation recreation areas are still affected by weather.

A visitor guide containing general maps of the NCA, raptor viewing information, shooting regulations/information and recreational opportunities is available from the BLM.

Primitive camping is allowed throughout the NCA. However, please avoid areas where birds are nesting and observe low-impact camping practices:

  • Pack out all trash.
  • To dispose of human waste, ashes and waste water, dig a small hole at least 200 feet from water and 6-8 inches deep. Do not bury food waste in the hole, as animals will dig it up.
  • If you pack it in, pack it out, and always LEAVE NO TRACE!
  • Open fires are prohibited outside of BLM-approved fire rings to help avert human-caused wildfires. Additional restrictions on open fires and other burning may be imposed during periods of high fire danger. 

CJ Strike Reservoir - a popular boating area in the Birds of Prey National Conservation Area

NCA Access Map