• Mardon Skipper Promo

    Mardon Skippers

    Small and seldom seen, the Mardon skipper is having a tough time hanging on in Washington. Conboy Lake NWR is one of its last strongholds.

    Mardon Skipper

  • Elk In Aspen Promo

    Rocky Mountain Elk

    Massive antlers, bodies weighing up to 700 pounds, shaggy manes, distinctive calls—it's no wonder everyone loves elk.

    Rocky Mountain Elk

  • Sandhill Cranes Promo 2

    Sandhill Cranes

    Wolves and geese notwithstanding, the call of a Sandhill crane is the call of the wild.

    Sandhill Cranes

  • Western Gray Squirrel Promo

    Western Gray Squirrel

    However you might feel about squirrels—love 'em, hate 'em—the fact remains this is a species that needs our help.

    Western Gray Squirrel

Enjoying Conboy Lake

Management Through Prescribed Fire

Dancing Flames

The refuge includes 2,000 acres of forest represented by stands of ponderosa pine, ponderosa pine/lodgepole pine, and mixed conifer (Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, and grand fir). A 2009 forest management plan to maintain and restore the health of these forests uses a variety of tools, including thinning and prescribed burning.

Learn About a Prescribed Forest Burn in May 2019


Sandhill Crane Colt

June and July are possibly the most exciting months at Conboy Lake. The refuge is in full bloom after a long winter. A variety of birds and butterflies are active, and the forest floor, along with the wetlands, is covered with wildflowers. It is the lucky early morning visitors that glimpse new born elk calves and fuzzy orange greater Sandhill crane colts. Mid-July and August we will be busy banding the new colts to identify them before they fledge. Our easy trail lets you traverse along the wetlands, past the aspens and into the forest for a wonderful adventure, or you can bring a lunch, dine at the picnic tables and listen to the quiet.

Want To Know About . . .

Watching Wildlife

Deer Illustration

Want to see more animals on your trip to Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge? Here are some tips from the "experts."

Watching Wildlife

About the Complex

Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuges

Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuges.

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


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