Hidden between the foothills of the Cascades and the Rocky Mountains, this unique, forested, mountainous Refuge provides habitat for large mammals like bear, cougar, deer, elk, and moose as well as over 200 species of birds.
Seasonal Closure of Auto Tour Route

Due to road conditions, refuge gates will be closing three days early and will remain closed from December 28, 2023 to April 14, 2024.

Visit Us

Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge is 13 miles southeast of Colville, Washington in the northeast corner of the state. The Refuge provides numerous recreation opportunities to thousands of visitors every year. Recreational activities you may enjoy here include: wildlife observation, birding, photography, hiking, fishing, camping,  hunting, bicycling, horseback riding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

Vehicle traffic is restricted from January 1 through April 14 due to road conditions and to limit wildlife disturbance. Fees are not collected for visitor use. This Refuge is managed by the Federal Government and a Discover Pass is NOT required for access.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      The Little Pend Oreille (pronounced "ponderay") National Wildlife Refuge is located in northeastern Washington about 70 miles north of Spokane, 40 miles west from the panhandle of Idaho and 40 miles south of British Columbia, Canada. Our 42,657 acres are within the Columbia River Basin Ecosystem and the Okanogan Highlands Province. The Refuge is on the western edge of the Selkirk Mountains; elevations range from 1,800 feet to 5,600 feet. Other public lands surround us- to the north the Washington Department of Natural Resources; to the east and south the U.S. Forest Service are the land stewards.

      The Refuge was established on May 2, 1939 to protect and provide a breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. Most of the land was acquired through the Resettlement Administration which retired marginal farmland. Other land was purchased from willing sellers or acquired through exchange with the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

      We will use our Comprehensive Conservation Plan to build on native wildlife habitat diversity as a theme with emphasis on developing late successional forest and restoring riparian riparian
      Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

      Learn more about riparian
      habitat. Refuge staff will focus management efforts in over-stocked stands of dry forest using thinning and prescribed fire techniques that mimic natural ecological processes like wildfire. Degraded streams will be restored to enhance and maintain the natural diversity of the Refuge.

      A healthy Refuge environment will provide opportunities for visitors to enjoy wildlife viewing, hunting and fishing in a natural setting. Interpreting wildlife and the Refuge's unique heritage will enhance visitor's experience while protecting the cultural integrity of the area. We will continue to seek partnerships with other agencies, landowners and local communities to accomplish our objectives.


      To schedule a program, tour, or field trip of Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge, contact Joshua Contois at 509-559-3034, or via email at joshua_contois@fws.gov

      Our Species