Birdseye Marble is really neat geological find! We started out the ride this morning at about 8, a late start according to my husband (who was crazy enough to want to get up for the trip at 5:30!), but a good start as it was light enough to see and not freezing. We topped off with gas, just to be safe. Then we headed north on Highway 89 till we reached the tiny “town” of Birdseye, which was named for the marble that was found nearby. We went north of the small town church a little over a mile, to find the forest service road tun off. There we unloaded the four-wheeler and got our backpack (which has bottles of water, granola bars, first aid kit, and emergency blankets and fire starters – just in case we ever get stranded) and headed up the trail.
Don’t let the sign discourage you if you are planning on checking out the place, It’s a forest service road most of the way up aside from the small area at the top where the claim is. However, if you do go up by or on the claim, please respect the rights of the owners of the claim and don’t remove any of the material there. They have to pay money to own the claim, and do work on the claim. If you want to remove rocks, do so off of the claim and follow the Forest Service guidelines. Which means don’t take a truck load of rocks with you when you leave, or obtain the removal permit from the Forest Service Office in Ephraim.
As you can see in the pictures above, the “birdseye” formations sort of look like little bulls-eyes. You can find these rocks all over the place, just off the road. They look like any normal rock you would find on the side of a dirt road, so you kind of have to look for them. Once you get closer to the top of the mountain, where the claim is located, you will see the formations more and more in the large boulders off the side of the road. There is also a large amount of Conglomerate up toward the top of this mountain, which is pretty common to the mountains of this area.
As you get closer to the top you may also come across these super fast little lizards! I’m not sure what kind they are, but they are fast and tiny, and super fun to pull off and watch.
The scenery at the top is gorgeous, especially early in the summer. It was so green and beautiful, and our short walks off the road showed us that there are plenty of deer and elk frequenting the area (there is also a Wildlife Management Area near the beginning of the road). I was really surprised that the road stayed nice the whole way up. We turned around at the claim area, mostly because we weren’t too sure of where the road went, but also because we had other things we needed to do at home. Overall we were only gone about 2 hours, and we got a good idea of what the area looked like, found some really cool examples of the marble, some lizards, wildflowers, and satisfied the urge to go for a four-wheeler ride. 🙂