Scotch Creek
Wildlife Area Location

Jim Olson
1514 Concunully Highway
Okanogan, WA 98840
(509) 826-4430

Wildlife Areas
Scotch Creek Wildlife Area
Scotch Creek Unit
The largest continuous unit is Scotch Creek’s 8,694 acres, located about 10 miles northwest of Omak and four miles southeast of Conconully. It’s primarily shrub steppe, with some conifer forest and riparian habitat, and 80 acres maintained in agriculture (sharecrop fields). To date, nearly all of the 1,500 acres of old dryland agricultural fields have been restored to native shrub steppe habitat, providing diversity and nesting cover for sharp-tailed grouse. Over 100,000 trees and shrubs have also been planted in wet draws, north slopes, and under irrigation to provide critical winter habitat for sharp-tailed grouse. In recent years between 30 and 40 sharp-tailed grouse have wintered in the water birch plantings near the area headquarters. Scotch Creek, a spring fed stream originating about three miles west of the area boundary, submerges into a marsh area at the eastern boundary. There are no inlets, outlets or tributaries to this 10-mile long perennial stream. Several springs and two lakes are also located on the property. This unit is a major recreation area for both fishing in the summer and deer hunting in the fall.
Viewing Opportunities


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

  • Bear
  • Deer
  • Small Mammals
  • Other

  • Butterflies
  • Reptiles/Amphibians
  • Wildflowers
  • How to Get Here
    Access Site #1
    Driving Directions
    From Omak or Okanogan, follow the Conconully Highway to the northwest toward the town of Conconully. At the junction with the Happy Hill road (approximately m.p. 14) turn right into the parking area next to the fire hall and corrals.
    Parking/Restroom Information
    Undeveloped gravel parking area with reader board. Large enough for trailer turn around. No restrooms available.
    Other Information
    May be un-accessable during periods of heavy snow.
    Access Site #2
    Driving Directions
    From Omak or Okanogan, follow the Conconully Highway to the northwest toward the town of Conconully. Turn right on Hess Lake road (approximately m.p. 12) and follow to the end. This site accesses the Coulee Creek drainage to the north and connects to the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area approximately 7 miles to the north (by non-motorized trail).
    Parking/Restroom Information
    Large graveled parking big enough for trailer turn around. No restrooms available.
    Other Information
    May be un-accessable during heavy snow periods.
    Unique Features
    Scotch Creek was acquired primarily for the recovery of the Columbian Sharp-tailed grouse and enhancement of shrub steppe habitat. The area is open grasslands, with little public improvments.
    Other Information

    Sharp-tailed grouse
    The Sharp-tailed grouse population is increasing in the Scotch Creek basin, however they are still considered sensitive to public viewing. The best time to see Sharp-tails is in winter along the Conconully Highway in the water birch and other riparian vegetation along Scotch Creek. Especially after a heavy snow. Please do not disturb or flush the birds while in their winter habitat.

    Mule deer hunting is popular on this unit. You can expect crowded conditions at all parking areas during the modern firearm deer season, especially opening weekend. Hunting pressure declines as the season progresses. White tailed deer are also present on the area so know your rules and identify the species before pulling the trigger. Upland bird hunting is also available. Natural production of pheasants, quail, grey partridge (most abundant), chukar partridge, and blue grouse occur here. Note: All lands in Washington State are CLOSED to the taking of Sharp-tailed Grouse including all Scotch Creek Wildlife Area Units. The WDFW is very concerned with the accidental take of this protected species. Again, know your target before pulling the trigger. Other wildlife species you may encounter include black bear, cougar, bobcat and, the western rattlesnake. Hunting seasons vary depending on species, consult Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife hunting regulations for seasons and dates.

    Fishing opportunity is limited on this unit. Scotch Creek contains brook trout, and is open to fishing with-in season, however the largest fish rarely exceeds 6”. Other waters of the unit do not contain fish. However WDFW access sites within driving distance that offer fishing include, Blue Lake and Green Lake. Additional fishing opportunities can be found on the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area to the north and both the upper and lower Conconully reservoirs. Consult Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Fishing Regulations for further information on seasons and the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area Homepage.

    Camping is permitted adjacent to established roads. Firewood can be gathered from downed dead wood only and must remain on the wildlife area. Fire restrictions are governed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources and Okanogan County. Consult WDNR website for up to date fire restrictions. Length of stay is limited to 14 days.

    Other Recreation
    Hiking, biking and horseback riding. Non-motorized recreational activities are allowed, however currently there are no developed trail systems. Established parking areas (mentioned above) allow easy access for cars, or trucks with trailers, and each have gate access through boundary fences. Farm roads provide the only “trail” system on this unit and dispersed riding or hiking is encouraged.

    Wildlife Observations and Photography
    Wildlife viewing and photography encompasses a vast number of wildlife species. During the winter, deer can be viewed roaming the hills with eagles and hawks soaring high above in the sky. Wintering upland birds and waterfowl can be seen in the riparian areas and ponds, and in the spring numerous songbirds and blue birds can be heard and seen.

    Wildlife Area Habitat Conservation Plans
    Weekender Report
    Wildlife Viewing Guides
    Accessing Washington's Outdoors
    Find a Water Access Site
    GoHunt - Interactive Mapping
    Green Dot Maps
    • Bird watching
    • Camping
    • Hiking
    • Horseback riding
    • Hunting
    • Mountain biking
    • 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.