Oak Creek
Wildlife Area Location

CONTACT INFORMATION
Ross Huffman
Manager
16601 Highway 12
Naches, WA 98937
(509) 653-2390

 
Wildlife Areas
Oak Creek Wildlife Area
Oak Creek Unit

The 48,990-acre Oak Creek Unit is located west of Naches and is bisected by the Naches and Tieton Rivers. This is a popular area for hunting deer, elk, and upland game birds, as well as camping, rafting and rock climbing along the Tieton River. Hiking trails provide access to spectacular displays of spring wildflowers and bird watching opportunities, especially the Tieton River Nature Trail. Tim’s Pond along Hwy 12 is stocked with trout several times a year, making it a popular family fishing spot.

A winter elk feeding program is conducted annually to help reduce conflict between elk and neighboring agricultural land. California bighorn sheep are also fed during the winter on Cleman Mountain. These feed sites provide an excellent opportunity observe elk and sheep up close. Bald eagles and golden eagles are also abundant in winter.

A visitor’s center is staffed by volunteers during the winter and contains information on the wildlife area and the various wildlife species on display. 

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recently acquired of 10,000 acres of Plum Creek Timber Company land in the Oak Creek watershed, which includes eight miles of riparian habitat along the Tieton River. It also features uplands abounding with intact shrub steppe habitat, oak woodlands, ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forests, cliffs and talus slopes. This new property is in mixed ownership with the U.S. Forest Service.

In 2012, WDFW transferred 7,040 acres to DNR in the Bethel Ridge, Rattlesnake Creek area, removing this area from WDFW management.  In 2014, WDFW acquired 2,900 acres of shrub steppe and pine forest habitat adjacent to the Oak Creek Unit.

Oak Creek Unit Road and Motorized Trail Map
Best printed at 11x17 or larger

Viewing Opportunities

Birds

  • Birds of Prey
  • Eagles
  • Songbirds
  • Upland Birds
  • Waterfowl
  • Mammals

  • Bear
  • Bighorn sheep
  • Deer
  • Elk
  • Small Mammals
  • Other

  • Butterflies
  • Reptiles/Amphibians
  • Wildflowers
  • How to Get Here
    Access Site #1
    Driving Directions
    Visitor's Center/Headquaters:
    From I-5 south of Olympia go east on Hwy 12. HQ entrance is 10 mi. east of Rimrock Retreat on left (north) side. From I-82 at Yakima, west on Hwy 12 through Naches. Four miles west of Naches, turn left at Junction to White Pass. Proceed 2 mi. to HQ entrance on right (north) side.
    Parking/Restroom Information
    Viewing sites require a Discover Pass or WDFW Vehicle Access Pass to park.

    Very large gravel parking area and covered ADA accessible viewing platform, with three vault toilets open year-round. Visitor Center open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily during winter months (when elk feeding is underway) and staffed with Wildlife Education Corps volunteers

    Other Information
    Large portion of upland range above HQ feedsite is closed March and April to all public entry to protect big game during winter recovery period.
    Access Site #2
    Driving Directions
    Cleman Mountain big horn sheep feed site:
    From I-5 south of Olympia go east on Hwy 12. HQ entrance is 10 miies east of Rimrock Retreat on left (north) side. From I-82 at Yakima, west on Hwy 12 through Naches. Four mi. west of Naches, turn right at Junction of Hwy 12 and 410 on Old Naches Rd. Follow Old Naches Rd for ½ mile to parking lot on left.
    Parking/Restroom Information
    Viewing sites require a Discover Pass or WDFW Vehicle Access Pass to park. .
    Unique Features
    The area is a popular big-game hunting area for deer, elk, bear, and big horn sheep (permit only) during fall seasons. It is also a popular rock-climbing destination, with multiple routes along the Tieton River cliffs. White-water rafting is big on the Tieton River during September.
    Other Information

    Viewing sites require a Discover Pass or WDFW Vehicle Access Pass to park.   During winter feeding guided truck tours of the feed site are conducted daily.  Reservations are recommended and must be made at least 24 hours in advance; remaining seats are filled on a first come first served basis.  Call the Oak Creek Wildlife Area for more information.  Tours are approximately 30 minutes and provide photo opportunities and information on the wildlife area and elk.  Be sure to dress appropriately.  Donations are suggested and support the winter feeding program. 

    The Oak Creek Unit is under a green dot travel management system.  Roads open to motor vehicles are marked with a white carsonite post with a green dot.  Roads that are unmarked are closed to motor vehicles.  Maps are available at the Oak Creek Headquarters and the Region 3 Office in Yakima.

    Seasonal Closure Information
    Annually from the start of winter feeding until May 1 at 6 a.m. large portions of upland range is closed to all public entry to protect big game during winter recovery period.  The boundary of the closure is clearly posted and marked on green dot maps available at the Oak Creek Headquarters and the Region 3 office in Yakima.

    Annually from December 30 until May 1 at 6 a.m. the Cleman Mountain/Sanford Pasture area is closed to motor vehicles to protect wintering wildlife.  This area is open to walk in access.

     
       OTHER INFORMATION
    Wildlife Area Habitat Conservation Plans
    Weekender Report
    Wildlife Viewing Guides
    Accessing Washington's Outdoors
    Find a Water Access Site
       MAPPING
    GoHunt - Interactive Mapping
       OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
    • Bird watching
    • Camping
    • Dog walking
    • Fishing
    • Hiking
    • Horseback riding
    • Hunting
    • Mountain biking
    • Rock climbing
    • Target shooting/trap shooting/archery
    • Wildlife viewing
     

    If you are Hunting or Fishing, remember to check all current regulations.

    Activities may include restrictions or require permits. Please see Public Conduct Rules for more information.