Columbia Basin Wildlife Area Lower Crab Creek Unit
The Lower Crab Creek unit is 24,958 acres along the north side of the Saddle Mountains, east of the Columbia River and southwest of Royal City. The wetlands and riparian areas along the creek and the seep ponds and uplands above the creek valley provide habitat for many species of wildlife. A native black greasewood and saltgrass community near Smyrna has been designated a Natural Area Preserve. Large flocks of migrating sandhill cranes use this area and ferruginous hawks historically nested here. Lenice and Nunnally lakes are quality trout fishing lakes. The abandoned Milwaukee Railroad right-of-way (part of the John Wayne Trail) traverses the length of this valley. About 110 acres of WDFW land on the east end is leased for farming. Other developments include a five-acre shrub plot, a few lakes with low dikes, access roads and parking areas. An Off Road Vehicle Area on the west end is managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Birds of Prey
How to Get Here
Map and Driving Directions
Access Site #1
Driving Directions From Moses Lake, Go west on I-90 to the Dodson Road Exit 164. Go south on Dodson Road 15 miles to State Highway 26. On Hwy. 26 go west two miles from Dodson Road to county Road E SW. Turn south (left) on Road E SW and proceed south four miles to the intersection of Lower Crab Creek Road. Follow this road west 16 miles, through the Lower Crab Creek Unit, to State Highway 243 on the Columbia River.
Parking/Restroom Information WDFW has five primitive access roads and small parking areas that are accessible from the Lower Crab Creek Road. Nearer the west end of the unit, the Lenice Lake and the Nunnally Lake parking areas are larger, gravelled and both have an outhouse.
The Lower Crab Creek Unit lies within the valley of lower Crab Creek along the steep north side of the Saddle Mountains. The wetlands and riparian areas along the creek and the seep ponds and uplands on the bench north of the creek, provide a diverse habitat for many species of wildlife.
A Discover Pass or WDFW Vehicle Access Pass
is required on all WDFW lands. Learn more at DiscoverPass.wa.gov