Features

  • Coyote Sentinel

    Coyotes

    Possibly the most adaptable animal in North America (raccoons might disagree), coyotes thrive almost anywhere—including shrub-steppe.

    Coyotes

  • Basalt Columns

    Geology

    Columbia NWR has a fascinating—and violent—geologic history. To truly know the refuge, you have to understand its past.

    Geology

  • Cedar Waxwings Kissing

    Photo Galleries

    Some incredible photographers have donated some incredible photographs. If you can't visit Columbia NWR, this is a great consolation prize.

    Photo Galleries

  • Washington Ground Squirrel Promo

    Washington Ground Squirrels

    Too cute by half, Washington ground squirrels unfortunately spend most of the year below ground. Too bad; you can never get enough of them.

    Washington Ground Squirrels

  • Rattlesnake Promo

    Rimrock Species

    Columbia NWR is blessed with an abundance of rock faces, cliffs and crevices—perfect habitat for many species.

    Rimrock Species

Of Interest

21st Annual Othello Sandhill Crane Festival

March 23, 2018 Sandhill Crane Festival Promo

Experience the beauty and wonder of wildlife, highlighted by the return of Sandhill cranes to the Channeled Scablands. This three-day community event features a variety of activities. Field trips take you to view cranes and thousands of geese and duck, burrowing owls (when they are around), and the other wildlife of Columbia NWR. Learn about songbirds, geology, local agriculture, and human projects that affect the natural world. All Saturday, experts present diverse and absorbing lectures on the area's natural and cultural heritage. An art contest, a live raptor presentation, and numerous children's activities are offered. The festival charges an admission fee that covers entrance to all lectures.

Othello Sandhill Crane Festival Site

New Trails

New Trails

We just turned the Marsh Unit 2 Trail into a loop. The new section brings you back to the parking area through some nice sagebrush and fantastic scenery. March 1 all trails will reopen; new interpretive panels on bats, floods and geology installed; and new trail linkages opened. Oh, and we're remodeling the office. We hope you’ll like it all.

Watching Wildlife

Watching Wildlife

Chickadee

Want to see more animals on your trip to Columbia National Wildlife Refuge? Ready to add to your birding "Life List?" Here are some wildlife viewing tips from the "experts."

Watching Wildlife

About the Complex

Mid-Columbia River Complex

Columbia National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Mid-Columbia River Complex.

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System

NWRS Logo

The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS