Wildlife Area Location

Pete Lopushinsky
9000 Tarpiscan Road
Malaga, WA 98828
(509) 663-6260

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Colockum Wildlife Area
Colockum Wildlife AreaThe 105,662 acre Colockum Wildlife Area is located between the city of Wenatchee in Chelan County and the city of Ellensburg in Kittitas County. Managed as one unit, WDFW owns 73,199 acres, the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) owns 21,440 acres, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) owns 11,023 acres managed by WDFW through a Memorandum of Understanding. The Colockum is contiguous to the south with the Quilomene unit of the L.T. Murray Wildlife Area. Elevations range from 480 feet to 6,875 feet, with steep, rocky slopes and a rolling series of ridges and canyons that generally drain west to east.

Acquisition of the Colockum began in the mid-1950s using federal Pittman-Robertson funds to expand winter range for deer and elk herds and to perpetuate and improve upland game bird habitat.

Colockum Elk Herd Study: 2008-2012
Powerpoint presentation of the preliminary results from the Colockum Elk Study, that was presented at a public meeting in Ellensburg on January 7th.

Download the Colockum Elk Herd Study Presentation

Year-round surface water is scarce. The major water source is 15 miles of the Columbia River on the eastern boundary. Clara and Marion lakes are along the northwest boundary at 5,500 feet in elevation. Year-round streams include Colockum, Tarpiscan, Brushy, Coleman, Cooke, Stray Gulch and upper Tekison Creeks. Intermittent streams are found in several other drainages. There are also numerous springs and an occasional seasonal pond.

About 30,000 acres are conifer forest and the balance is predominantly shrub steppe. Vegetation ranges from the lower elevation shrubs and bunch grasses into Ponderosa Pine, then to higher elevations with denser stands of timber, mostly Douglas fir, grand fir, and some larch. Grasslands interspersed with rock outcrops and shrub-steppe communities dominate hillsides in transitional zones.

Wildlife use is diverse, including elk, deer, bighorn sheep, forest grouse, turkey, quail, and a myriad of small mammals, neo-tropical/upland birds, raptors, and reptiles. Resident and migratory fish species including Chinook, sockeye and coho salmon, steelhead, smallmouth bass, perch, trout, walleye and white sturgeon inhabit the Columbia River and its tributaries. Hunting, camping and wildlife watching are the major forms of recreation.

Viewing Opportunities


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

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

  • Butterflies
  • Reptiles/Amphibians
  • Wildflowers
  • How to Get Here
    Access Site #1
    Driving Directions
    Drive south from Wenatchee on the Malaga/Alcoa Hwy. 13 miles to the junction of the Colockum and Tarpiscan Roads. Turn left onto the Tarpiscan Road and drive 3 miles to the end of the county road and the Colockum Wildlife Area Headquarters. Or, turn right at the Colockum/Tarpiscan Road junction, and drive 6.5 miles up the Colockum Road and enter the wildlife area.
    Parking/Restroom Information
    Motorized vehicles allowed only on green dot roads. Parking allowed within 100 ft. of green dot roads. One restroom is available at the Yoyo Rock boat launch, located 1.5 miles north of the wildlife area headquarters off Tarpiscan Road.
    Other Information
    Tarpiscan Road is currently impassable to vehicles immediately south of the wildlife area headquarters due to several large washouts.
    Access Site #2
    Driving Directions
    From the town of Ellensburg drive 6 miles east on I-90 and take the exit into the town of Kittitas. From Kittitas drive 4 miles north on the Number 81 Road to the Brick Mill Road. Drive 2 miles east on the Brick Mill Road. Turn left on the Colockum Road and drive 13 miles north to the boundary of the Colockum Wildlife Area near Colockum Pass.
    Parking/Restroom Information
    No restrooms. Rough, primitive road not recommended for passenger vehicles. Motorized vehicles allowed only on green dot roads. Parking allowed within 100 ft. of green dot roads.
    Other Information
    The Colockum Road is usually impassable by wheeled vehicles December-March. Snowmobiles not allowed on big game winter range (east of the Colockum Road, Brewton Road, Powerline Road and Colockum Road).
    Unique Features
    Spring wildflowers bloom in April and May at lower elevations. Elk viewing available near Colockum Pass in summer.
    Other Information
    Colockum roads are extremely primitive. High clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended. Carry water, supplies and a spare tire.
    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
    • Boating
    • Camping
    • Dog training/trials
    • Dog walking
    • Fishing
    • Group events and tours
    • Hiking
    • Horseback riding
    • Hunting
    • Mountain biking
    • Nordic skiing and snowshoeing
    • 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.