Wandering the Mount Nebo Scenic Byway

Looking southwest from the Mount Nebo Scenic BywayLooking southwest from the Mount Nebo Scenic Byway

Yesterday we went wandering on the Mount Nebo Scenic Byway and although it wasn’t “birdy”  it was a beautiful drive and I enjoyed it immensely. The air was fresh, the sky was clear and the scenery was a delight. The 37 mile byway is located in the Uinta National Forest in Juab and Utah Counties which are south of Salt Lake City.

Mount NeboMount Nebo

Mount Nebo northern peak reaches an elevation of 11,928 feet and at the summit of the scenic byway the elevation is 9,345 feet. The cooler air temperature at the high elevations felt wonderful after several days of high 90’s and low 100’s in the Salt Lake Valley. I was hoping to see some raptors or possibly some Black Bears but that wasn’t to be.

Least Chipmunk on the Mount Nebo Scenic BywayLeast Chipmunk on the Mount Nebo Scenic Byway

But I did see some interesting mammals that included a baby Yellow-bellied Marmot and adult that scurried across some rocks at one of the lookouts, unfortunately I wasn’t able to get images of them before they dropped out of sight.

I was able to create a series of images of the Least Chipmunk in the image above after descending from the summit of the byway.

Least Chipmunk walking down a rockLeast Chipmunk walking down a rock

Chipmunks have fascinated me since I saw my first one as a child, I love their big, dark eyes, their masked faces, the stripes on their backs and the amazing energy they appear to have as they scurry hither and yon. So, I didn’t get any great bird images but it isn’t always about the photos for me, it is also about the journey into nature.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. The mountains are so beautiful and the chipmunk so sweet!

  2. Chipmunks are totally gorgeous, and so are your images! I wish our little possums came out in daylight so I could share images of them.

  3. Gorgeous light and scenery, Mia!

  4. what a wonderfull place, very good picture of landscape =))
    and the Chipmunk give you nice extra shoots to do, bravo mia ☺

  5. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    Your photos are so great I can almost tell the composition of the rocks from that last chipmunk photo. I’d say you have some lovely photos here… nature is the whole environment… all of it worth exploring.

  6. Mia…my keyboard skills are pitiful…those little chippies are POPPING up…not pooping up all over the place, thank goodness!

  7. Mia, I wonder about those orange spots of land on Mount Nebo. Is it just land devoid of vegetation?

    • Maria, those are Hoodoos, think of them as rock totem poles made up of soft layers of rock topped by harder layers and as they erode the softer layers are protected under the harder layers which in time gives them the totem pole shape. Bryce Canyon in southern Utah has many more hoodoos than the area you pointed out in my image which is called “Devil’s Kitchen”.

  8. How lovely this scenery is. It would give me a sense of joy and peace! I love chipmunks too. They are such lovely and gentle animals and so delightful to watch.

  9. So beautiful are the mountain ranges and a lone chipmunk, it’s nice to go out wandering Mia.

  10. These shots really are eye candy for me….Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I love chipmunks too. A big, gray, feral cat killed most of ours last fall, but they’re coming back as tame as ever…about 7 come when we call them. We’re OK, but they sure don’t like each other….ambush, attack and chase each other all over the place, pooping up here and there like popcorn through the low ground cover. Haven’t seen any wounds.

    • Patty, I wish I had chipmunks closer to home but if I did I might not get anything done except sitting wand watching them through my viewfinder! I’ve seen chippys be aggressive with each other, they can sure look mean while they are fighting. Thank you for your comment.

  11. What dramatic countryside. Thank you for bringing it to us. And the chipmunk is such an alert and charming looking animal.

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