Trails

Columbia National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to see the power of the ice age floods that ripped the landscape of eastern Washington. The view above is from the Rimrock Trail and shows how the swirling waters and scouring rocks created pockets everywhere, pockets that would later be filled with water from the Columbia Basin Project.

Marsh Loop Trail

The Marsh Loop is about 1.8-miles-long and has little elevation change; most of the trail is flat. This trail follows Crab Creek and circles two marshes, remaining in the lowlands near wetland habitat. The trail is open from March 1 through September 30. Allow an hour.
Trail Length (mi)
1.17
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / introductory
Easy
Estimated Time
1 Hour
Route Type
Loop
View Trail

Pippistrelle Cliffs Trail

The trail is 3.3-miles-long with an elevation gain of 200 feet. Although starting out near Crab Creek, this trail promptly leads into the drier shrub-steppe habitat. After meandering past striking columnar basalt formations, the trail ascends, circling the top of a mesa and provides a beautiful view of the surrounding refuge landscape. You have to return back along the same trail. Allow 2-3 hours.
Trail Length (mi)
0.37
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / intermediate
Moderate
Estimated Time
2 Hours
Route Type
Out & back
View Trail

Crab Creek Spur Trail

Trail Length (mi)
0.17
View Trail

Crab Creek Trail

This trail is a 1.0 mile that primarily follows Crab Creek, immersing one in its riparian habitat. With scattered willows and large patches of wild rose and golden currant, this trail is a favorite among birders. For an extended hike, you may follow an additional 3/4-mile section of trail connecting the Crab Creek Trail to the Rimrock and Marsh Loop trailheads. Caution: Where the trail climbs out of the marsh is steep and the substrate is not stable. Proceed with caution. This is also the only part of the trail that is difficult.
Trail Length (mi)
1.45
Trail Difficulty
Difficulty Meter / intermediate
Moderate
Estimated Time
1 Hour
Route Type
Point to point
View Trail