Wildlife observation and photography
The refuge is a popular place for wintering tundra swans, which may be viewed from an observation platform along State Route 14 near milepost 31.5, Washington's highway through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The refuge observation platform offers views of waterfowl and lush wetland landscapes amid a backdrop of the waterfalls and rugged canyon walls of the Columbia River Gorge. In keeping with the refuge's unique habitat attributes and wildlife value, public access to Franz Lake is limited to research and management needs. Additionally, the refuge is not served by a public road and access routes are not maintained for passenger vehicles.