Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you Recreate Responsibly.

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information.
  • Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, people who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


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

Refuge News

Reminder, Rock Climbing Is Prohibited

Rock Climbing

Due to the ‘discovery’ of an online video, there has been a surge in rock climbing at Columbia. We understand the attraction of the basalt columns to climbers. However, those same columns are also attractive to wildlife—bird nests, marmot dens, snake hibernacula, bat roosts, and any number of other uses. Please respect the fact that Columbia NWR is closed to rock climbing and that there are any number of other areas to climb basalt columns in central Washington.

Baby, It’s Hot Outside

Black-tailed Jackrabbit

It surprises a lot of people that the “Evergreen State” of Washington is largely arid—and it gets hot, often into triple digits for long stretches. We can beat the heat by heading to air conditioning. However, the animals of Columbia NWR don't have that luxury. How do they cope?

Beating The Heat
I Found A Bird . . .

Bird Rescue

Fledgling

We constantly get calls from people wanting us to take a lost or injured bird. Unfortunately, we do not have the capability to rehabilitate wildlife. Even more unfortunate is that, in many instances, the bird doesn’t need rescuing. Here’s a handy decision tree to help you determine what to do with the bird you found.

Bird Rescue

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