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Yuba Pass Area of Sierra Nevada

Wednesday, June 14, 2023 - Thursday, June 15, 2023

08:00 AM - 03:00 PM

Meet: Bassett Station

39.61759360470238, -120.59159220367518

Before signing up for this trip, please take a moment to read our trip policies and view our liability waiver.

Yuba Pass Area of Sierra Nevada

Leaders: David and Floy Zittin (408) 515-7104

The Sierra Nevada Mountains offer many unique environments and opportunities to see bird species that are uncommon in Santa Clara County. In June birds have migrated to their mountain nesting areas. Migrants and endemics are singing and generally active, making them easier to find.

Individuals are responsible for their own transportation, lodging, all meals, snacks, and beverages. This field trip will require at least two nights in the area: Tuesday, June 13 and Wednesday, June 14. Tuesday is a travel day. We will meet Wednesday morning for a full day of birding. Thursday will be an optional three-quarter day of birding ending in mid-afternoon so that you have time to drive home that day if you wish to do so.

Day 1, June 13: This is a travel day to allow everyone to establish themselves in the Yuba Pass area for an early morning meet-up on day 2. The drive from the South Bay takes about 4.5 hours.

Day 2, June 14: 8:00 AM. We meet at Bassett Station which is on Google Maps. We will walk across the highway and bird along a meadow of grass and willow trees for about one hour. At the end of the hour, we drive to Yuba Pass Campground and bird the meadow there. Lunch will be at the campground parking lot. You are responsible for your own lunch and snacks. After lunch, we drive to the San Francisco State Nevada Field Station for a brief stop at the feeders there. We then proceed to Church Meadows and possibly Frazier Falls. 

Target species: White-headed Woodpecker, Cassin's Finch, Evening Grosbeak, American Dipper, Mountain Quail, Fox Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Green-tailed Towhee, Yellow Warbler, MacGillivray's Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Western Tanager, Hammond's Flycatcher, Dusky Flycatcher, Pacific Slope Flycatcher, Western Wood-Pewee, Townsend's Solitaire, Sooty Grouse.

Day 3, June 15: 8:00 AM Rendezvous at Bassett Station. Drive to Sierra Valley, the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Feather River where we hope to see several aquatic species and some soaring raptors.

Target species: Black-billed Magpie, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Sage Thrasher, American Bittern, Sandhill Crane, Brewer's Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, and Swainson's Hawk. 

Later we will drive to the Donner Picnic Area on Highway 89, a few miles north of Truckee. There are other places with similar names containing “Donner”. The picnic area is at 39°22'34.0"N 120°10'56.8"W.

Target species: Williamson’s Sapsucker

Trip Difficulty: There will be limited walking over level fields and through level forests. Time permitting, we will walk to Frazier Falls on a paved trail that is about 1/2 mile long. There will be about 10 miles of driving on dirt Forest Service roads that are kept in good condition.

Weather: Mornings will likely be around freezing. Sometimes it is windy and the wind-chill factor can be below freezing. We recommend clothing layers, warm hats, and gloves.

Accommodations, restaurants, lodging

Make reservations as soon as possible. Individuals are responsible for their transportation, lodging, all meals, snacks, and beverages. If you are planning to do your own meals, bring groceries with you to the Yuba Pass area. Graegle is about a 45-minute drive from Basset Station and there is a grocery store there. If you plan to use restaurants, check ahead on their open hours before arriving to make sure that they are open. This is a list of a few facilities, and it is not meant to be complete. Use Google Maps for more information.


  • Basset Station 8:00 AM-4:00 PM (Between Sierra City and Yuba Pass)
  • The Red Moose Café (Sierra City)
  • Sierra Pines Resort (Sierra City)
  • The Farmhouse (Sierraville - 30 minute drive to Basset Station)
  • Los Dos Hermanos (Sierraville)
  • Several restaurants in Graegle (45 minutes from Basset Station)

Lodging (Make reservations as soon as possible)

  • Bassets Station (3 units)
  • Sierra Pines Resort (Sierra City, Used to be Harrington’s)
  • The Sierra Chalet
  • Yuba River Inn


  • Wild Plum Campground (fs.usda.gov)
  • Sardine Lake Campground (fs.usda.gov)

Trip attendance limited to 8 participants


  • rain or snow cancels with refund
  • or cancel by March 1 for full refund

Banner Photo: Green-tailed Towhee by Dave Zittin

Questions? Email general questions to fieldtrips@scvas.org or contact the trip leader for questions regarding the event.

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