The Chief Joseph unit is located in the southeast corner of Washington State between the Snake and Grande Ronde Rivers, straddling Joseph Creek. It was acquired in 1974 to enhance bighorn sheep, mule deer, and upland game bird populations. The rugged grassland canyons now support populations of deer, elk, bighorn sheep, upland birds, and raptors. It also includes quality riparian habitat that support a diversity of neo-tropical migrant birds, reptiles and amphibians. The Joseph Creek watershed is home to both steelhead and bull trout, both federally listed as threatened and managed as state species of concern. The area is popular with native wildflower viewing in the spring, wildlife watching in the summer and winter months, and hunting during the fall.
Birds of Prey
How to Get Here
Map and Driving Directions
Access Site #1
Driving Directions From Asotin, drive up Snake River Road along the Snake River to Heller Bar, which is located at the mouth of the Grande Ronde River. Continue along the county road, which now follows the Grande Ronde. The entrance to the wildlife area is approximately 2 miles past Heller Bar. Continue past the boundary sign on the county road. The road will eventually leave the Grande Ronde and follow Joseph Creek. Continue up Joseph Creek to marked WDFW property along both sides of the road. There is private property in blocks along the road, which are clearly identified.
Parking/Restroom Information There are several access sites along the Grande Ronde and Joseph Creek. Restrooms are available.
Other Information The Chief Joseph Wildlife Area is open year-round. Motorized vehicles 48" and under in size are permitted to travel up Green Gulch Road during the months of October and November only.
This wildlife area is characterized by steep canyons and brushy riparian bottoms. Elk, turkeys, quail, bighorn sheep, and deer are commonly seen along Joseph Creek.
A Discover Pass or WDFW Vehicle Access Pass
is required on all WDFW lands. Learn more at DiscoverPass.wa.gov