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Plan Your Visit

Columbian white-tailed deer frequent the refuge/Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth MaternaJulia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer is rich in wildlife. Thousands of people come to the refuge each year to enjoy solitude, to commune with nature, and to share the joys of wildlife with family and friends. Regulation of recreation activities, such as use hours, hiking in designated areas, and hunting, allow for public enjoyment of the refuge while still protecting the wildlife and habitats.

Hours

Visitors are welcome on the refuge during daylight hours only. Hunters are allowed to enter the refuge up to 1.5 hours prior to legal hunting times as set by the state. 

Tides

Wrapped by the Columbia River, river currents and ocean tides play a role at Refuge. If you plan to boat or hunt, we recommend you pay careful attention to the tide cycle.

Visitor Information

The refuge office is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. The office is closed on all federal holidays. For more information, contact the refuge by phone at 360-795-3915 or by email: willapa@fws.gov 

Download a refuge brochure (4.2 MB PDF)

Driving Directions

The Julia Butler Hansen Refuge consists of several units. The Mainland Unit, and portions of Hunting and Price Islands are in Washington State. Tenasillahe, Crims and Wallace Islands and the Westport Unit are in Oregon. 

Directions to the Refuge Headquarters:

  • From I-5, take the Longview exit.

  • Proceed west on Highway 4 to Cathlamet, WA.

  • Continue on Highway 4 approximately 1 mile past Cathlamet to Steamboat Slough Road which is just west of the Elochoman River bridge.

  • Turn left on Steamboat Slough Road.

  • Refuge Headquarters is approximately 1/4 mile farther, on the right.

Boat Access

Tenasillahe, Hunting, Price, Wallace and Crims Islands are accessible only by boat. Tidal flows and fluctuations, and strong winds can make boating difficult and sometimes dangerous. In Washington, launch ramps are located at the Cathlamet Marina, at mile marker 30 off of State Highway 4, adjacent to Skamokawa Vista Park and at Willow Grove west of Longview.  In Oregon, boat launch sites are located at Aldritch Point near the Brownsmead area and at the John Day boat ramp east of Astoria. Learn more about boating on the Columbia River...

Fees

Julia Butler Hansen Refuge has no entrance fees.

Activities

The diverse habitats and locations of the refuge provide visitors with a wide-range of activities including boating, hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife observation and photography. Discover more about the range of opportunities available…

Groups

Few refuge facilities are designed for large groups. The two locations that can accommodate a motor coach and groups over 10 individuals are the Wildlife Viewing Platform at the headquarters office, and the Wildlife Viewing Site along Highway 4. Keeping voices low, traveling in smaller groups, and using binoculars or spotting scopes will help individuals see more wildlife.

Page Photo Credits — Columbia white-tailed deer - ©Elizabeth Materna
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2014
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