Plan Your Visit

Heritage Trail

Whether you come for an hour or a day, to hunt or to watch wildlife, to see the smallest song bird or photograph the biggest buck, Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge has something for everyone. But this isn't a city park, and visitors need to know a few things before they come.

The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset, except for hunting, which has special hours from 1-1/2 hours before legal hunting time to 1-1/2 hours after. To protect nesting birds and wintering waterfowl, most refuge islands are closed to public entry year round. The gates on the McCormack Unit auto tour route automatically open at dawn and close at dusk. The Umatilla Refuge Headquarters is periodically staffed in the early morning and late afternoon hours.

The main refuge entrance, located on the McCormack Unit, is located 10 miles south of I-84 at the end of Paterson Ferry Road. Parking is allowed in designated parking areas only. The Boardman Unit can be accessed from the Tower Road Exit (Exit 158) off of I-84. The Whitcomb Island, Ridge and Paterson Units can all be accessed from Washington State Highway 14. Please access the refuge only from designated public access areas.

Access difficulty varies by area. Contact the Mid-Columbia River NWR Complex Office for suggestions using the area safely (509-546-8300). Most areas of the refuge are very remote with no restrooms or drinking water facilities; there is one restroom located at the Hunter Check Station on the McCormack Unit off of Paterson Ferry Road. Refuge visitors should plan their trips accordingly.

Lodging is available in Boardman, Umatilla and Hermiston, Oregon. Camping facilities in Oregon are available at the Boardman Marina.  In Washington, camping facilities are available at Crow Butte State Park. Gasoline, supermarkets and restaurants are located in Boardman, Irrigon, Umatilla and Hermiston, Oregon.

See the Regulations page for what's allowed and what's prohibited.