Big Bend Wildlife Area

The Big Bend Wildlife Area presents a dramatic landscape sculpted 15,000 to 12,000 years ago by the Okanogan Lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet. It is located within the Columbia Plateau along the shoreline of the Columbia River on the reservoir created by the Chief Joseph Hydroelectric project.

Big Bend Wildlife Area in Okanogan Country
Photo by WDFW


This wildlife area is comprised of basalt cliffs, rolling hills peppered with basalt haystack rocks, low buttes that overlook the Columbia River, riparian draws, permanent and seasonal creeks, and rugged slopes filled with Ponderosa pine.


Diverse habitats on the wildlife area provides habitat for sharp-tailed grouse, sage grouse, waterfowl, shorebirds, Neotropical migrants, songbirds, mule deer, butterflies, and wildflowers.


The Big Bend Wildlife Unit is located 14 miles north of Grand Coulee on the south shore of the Columbia River in northeast Douglas County. The unit is accessed from the Strahl Canyon, Alameda Flats, Twin Springs, China Creek, Smith Lake, and Barry and Pendell roads.


This unit has diverse habitats, including shrubsteppe, aspen and Ponderosa pine stands, wetlands, pothole lakes, basalt cliffs, low buttes, and caves, offering opportunities to view a variety of wildlife, including mule deer, chukar, golden eagle, four grouse species (dusky, ruffed, sharp-tailed and sage), gray partridge, California quail, sage thrasher, and wild turkey.


No developed parking.