A chance to explore Columbia National Wildlife Refuge

Print Article

By CASEY MCCARTHY

Sports Writer

MOSES LAKE — A pair of hiking areas just south of Potholes Reservoir provide opportunities to explore the geological history of Central Washington area, as well as a chance to see some of the birds and wildlife that still call it home.

Inside the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, the landscape is scattered with varying terrain of rock, canyons, plateaus, lakes, marshes, and grasslands. The Reserve, and its trails and lakes, have all been carved and molded by floods, glaciers, and lava over vast spans of time.

Trails and gravel roads help patrons traverse the area and explore all the area has to offer. The Goose Lake Plateau Trail offers hikers the chance to explore one of the many wider open areas alongside Goose Lake, one of the many bodies of water scattered around the area.

The roundtrip hike around the entire plateau is around seven miles, according to the Washington Trails Association, with an elevation gain of about 100 feet. Pants or hiking boots are beneficial as parts of the hike are heavily scattered with sagebrush and tall grasses, while also be sure to bring plenty of water as the dry, arid climate can be draining in the summer months.

Not far from Upper Goose Lake, another trio of trails allow for visitors to explore a different portion of the Reserve. The Frog Lake, Crab Creek, and Marsh Loop Trails all offer different trips that allow for vantage points alongside the creek bed and marshes. The trails offer hiking trips, spanning from one hour up to 2-3, depending on the route taken. Visitors are rewarded a chance to view some of the basalt formations the area is well known for, as well as some of the rich environments that bring numerous migratory birds to the area each year.

Sagebrush, cheatgrass, and other lush vegetation provide homes to a number of wildlife that can be seen from up close, or high above, depending on the route taken. Northern pacific rattlesnakes also call the area home, while the snakes will avoid human visitors unless provoked. Hikers and birdwatchers who visit the area should remain aware while traversing the trails, and leave the animals alone if encountered.

A Discover Pass is required for vehicles entering to explore some areas of the Reserve, with all the trails open between March and October, with some closing as to not disturb the influx of migratory birds that arrive each year.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Special three-day filing period for Adams County Aug. 26-28

August 20, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald RITZVILLE — Because offices up for election in Adams County did not receive candidate filings, a special three-day filing period will be open for three days next week. The following offices will b...

Comments

Read More

1 injured in Schawana collision

August 20, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald SCHAWANA — One person was injured in a collision on state Route 243 on Saturday. About 11:21 a.m. Victor Villagra, 33, of Quincy, was driving a 2003 GMC Yukon south on state Route 243 in Schawana wh...

Comments

Read More

WSP: Speeding caused weekend fire truck rollover near Royal City

August 20, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald ROYAL CITY — Sunday’s rollover of a fire truck belonging to Grant County Fire District No. 10 occurred because the vehicle was traveling too fast for conditions, according to the Washington State P...

Comments

Read More

VFW members learn about auxiliary

August 20, 2019 at 5:00 am | The Royal Register OTHELLO — Many wives attended the monthly meeting of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8889 on Thursday, Aug. 15 to hear a representative of the VFW Auxiliary speak about the benefits of joining th...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

509-765-4561
705 E. Hemlock (downstairs)
Othello, WA 99344

©2019 Sun Tribune Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X