The 3,202 acres of the Priest Rapids unit are along the east bank of the Columbia River south of Sentinel Gap. The land is relatively flat and during ancient glacial floods was intermittently under water, resulting in a thin layer of soil covering a mostly river cobble substrate. This unit has three large peninsulas that create sheltered backwater pools. The water level in the Priest Rapids Pool is subject to frequent and dramatic fluctuations, but the riverbanks are slowly developing riparian habitat. The shallow back water sloughs and the ponds of the WB-48A Wasteway are fringed with willows, Russian olives and other trees. In the 1960's, many woody shrubs were planted in the moist areas around the middle and lower peninsulas. An irrigated field was also developed at that time for a goose brooding pasture. The uplands here are mostly a poor quality mix of rabbitbrush and cheatgrass. A few scattered occurrences of big sage or bitterbrush and needle and thread grass can be found on the upper peninsula. A WDFW public parking area and boat launch is near the middle of this unit.
Birds of Prey
How to Get Here
Map and Driving Directions
Access Site #1
Driving Directions From I-90 Exit 137 at the east end of the Vantage Bridge, take Hwy. 26 one mile to Hwy. 243. Go south on Hwy. 243 about 16 miles to county Road 26 SW. Turn west (right) on Road 26 SW and go one mile to the WDFW Priest Rapids Unit access road at the intersection of the county Roads 26 SW and U SW.
Parking/Restroom Information One mile into the Priest Rapids Unit from the end of Road 26 SW, WDFW has a large parking area with an outhouse and a concrete boat ramp on the left bank of the Columbia River.
Access Site #2
Driving Directions From the intersection of the county Roads 26 SW and U SW as described above, take Road U SW north two miles to the west end of county Road 24 SW where there is a very primitive WDFW access road leading west into the north part of the Priest Rapids Unit.
Parking/Restroom Information There are three small spots along the primitive (rocky) access road where vehicles can pull off or turn around. There are no improvements in this area.
A Discover Pass or WDFW Vehicle Access Pass
is required on all WDFW lands. Learn more at DiscoverPass.wa.gov