Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge

Facility Activities

Although the Refuge is in a rural setting, the area is well-known in the birding community and visited often by birders from throughout western Washington. Most visitation occurs during a three-week period in the spring when shorebirds migrate through the area. The Refuge is close to U.S. Highway 101's Pacific Coast Scenic Byway and is adjacent to State Highway 109, which is the main highway for visitors along the Washington coast. This route was designated the Hidden Coast Scenic Byway. Other wildlife can be seen from the trails, including deer, coyote, and small mammals. Songbirds are abundant in the alder and cottonwood forest. During April and May, the Refuge offers field trips for classes participating in the environmental education program so they can witness the wildlife and ecological connections learned in the classroom.

A majority of the Refuge is intertidal flats and salt marsh salt marsh
Salt marshes are found in tidal areas near the coast, where freshwater mixes with saltwater.

Learn more about salt marsh
that is crucial habitat for shorebirds to build reserves for their long migration. Human disturbances can have detrimental effects on their ability to rest and feed. For this reason, fishing, clamming, and hunting are not permitted within the Refuge.  

Take your pick of 2,100 miles of refreshing trails and boardwalks. Whether you want a short, easy walk or a challenging hike, you’re likely to find what you want. Some trails are paved and universally accessible. Some trails include displays on visual arts, local history and culture or environmental education.
From bald eagles to spoonbills, from condors to puffins, birds abound on national wildlife refuges. Refuges provide places for birds to nest, rest, feed and breed making them world-renown for their birding opportunities.
Whether you wield a smartphone or a zoom lens, you’ll find photo-worthy subjects at national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. Wildlife photography is a priority public use on national wildlife refuges, so you’ll find wildlife drives and blinds and overlooks to help you get the images you’re after.

The Refuge's environmental education program is a collaboration with local schools, the community, and other educational groups to engage students in nature and develop an appreciation for conservation.

Refuge staff delivers classroom lessons for third and fourth grade students located...