At 2,206 acres the Chester Butte unit is located in the middle of Douglas County 7 miles southeast of Mansfield and 13 miles northwest of Coulee City. Elevation ranges from 2,394 feet to 2,070 feet. Shrubsteppe dependent wildlife such as sage thrashers, Brewer’s sparrows, sage sparrows, white-tailed jackrabbits and Washington ground squirrels use the area throughout the year. Greater sage grouse are often seen on the area. In years of high precipitation, there are seasonal ponds and wet meadows that provide habitat for migrating waterfowl. Long-term management objectives are to restore old agricultural fields to native vegetation.
Birds of Prey
How to Get Here
Map and Driving Directions
Access Site #1
Driving Directions From North: Travel State Highway 17 to it's intersection with State Road 172 in Douglas County. Turn west on to State Road 172. Travel 6 miles to Douglas County Road L NE. Turn south on to L NE and travel 5 miles to Road 9 NE. Turn west on to Road 9 and travel 2.75 miles to parking area. From south: Travel US Highway 2 to it's insection with Douglas County Road L NE. Turn north on to Road L and travel 9 miles to Road 9 NE. Turn west on to Road 9 and travel 2.75 miles to parking area.
Parking/Restroom Information Parking area is at end of Road 9 and large enough for 2 - 3 average sized RV's. There are no restroom facilities. Fires are NOT permitted at any time during the year.
Other Information Douglas County Road 9 NE is an unimproved road and not suited to use by sedan or other vehicles with low ground clearance. It is not plowed during winter months - travel is not advised. When wet it can become impassable - travel at your own risk.
The Chester Butte and Dormaier units are located in an area of Douglas County that was extensively affected by glaciation 15,000 years ago. The result is a landscape that features many examples of glacial deposition including eskers, kames, drumlins, erratics (haystack rocks) and a terminal moraine. This moraine, known as the Withrow Moriane, extends across the width of Douglas County from the Columbia River east to Coulee City. So unique are these features within the Columbia Plateau that the National Park Service designated several sites within the county as National Natural Landmarks. The Chester Butte unit and the nearby Dormaier unit are part of the Withrow Moraine and Jameson Lake Drumlin Field National Natural Landmark. Chester Butte is one of the most prominent features within this area.
For more information on the Withrow Moraine and Jameson Lake Drumlin Field see the following links:
No motorized vehicles are allowed on the unit. Interior service roads offer opportunities for hiking and mountain biking. The primary hunted species is mule deer. Although Hungarian partridge do occur on the area, hunting opportunities for upland game birds is limited. Sage grouse are a protected species and can be found anywhere on the unit. Hunters are advised to be proficient at identifying these birds. Cell phone coverage is not reliable. This unit is just 2.75 miles west of the Audubon Coulee Corridor Scenic Byway Birding Trail. See the Washington Audubon web site for more information.
A Discover Pass or WDFW Vehicle Access Pass
is required on all WDFW lands. Learn more at DiscoverPass.wa.gov