Columbia Basin
Wildlife Area Location

Chad Eidson
6653 Road K NE
Moses Lake, WA 98837
(509) 765-6641

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Columbia Basin Wildlife Area
Lower Crab Creek Unit
The Lower Crab Creek unit is 24,958 acres along the north side of the Saddle Mountains, east of the Columbia River and southwest of Royal City. The wetlands and riparian areas along the creek and the seep ponds and uplands above the creek valley provide habitat for many species of wildlife. A native black greasewood and saltgrass community near Smyrna has been designated a Natural Area Preserve. Large flocks of migrating sandhill cranes use this area and ferruginous hawks historically nested here. Lenice and Nunnally lakes are quality trout fishing lakes. The abandoned Milwaukee Railroad right-of-way (part of the John Wayne Trail) traverses the length of this valley. About 110 acres of WDFW land on the east end is leased for farming. Other developments include a five-acre shrub plot, a few lakes with low dikes, access roads and parking areas. An Off Road Vehicle Area on the west end is managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Viewing Opportunities


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

  • Deer
  • Small Mammals
  • Other

  • Butterflies
  • Reptiles/Amphibians
  • Wildflowers
  • How to Get Here
    Access Site #1
    Driving Directions
    From Moses Lake, Go west on I-90 to the Dodson Road Exit 164. Go south on Dodson Road 15 miles to State Highway 26. On Hwy. 26 go west two miles from Dodson Road to county Road E SW. Turn south (left) on Road E SW and proceed south four miles to the intersection of Lower Crab Creek Road. Follow this road west 16 miles, through the Lower Crab Creek Unit, to State Highway 243 on the Columbia River.
    Parking/Restroom Information
    WDFW has five primitive access roads and small parking areas that are accessible from the Lower Crab Creek Road. Nearer the west end of the unit, the Lenice Lake and the Nunnally Lake parking areas are larger, gravelled and both have an outhouse.

    See listing of Lower Crab Creek Access Sites and Facility Information

    Unique Features
    The Lower Crab Creek Unit lies within the valley of lower Crab Creek along the steep north side of the Saddle Mountains. The wetlands and riparian areas along the creek and the seep ponds and uplands on the bench north of the creek, provide a diverse habitat for many species of wildlife.
    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
    No activities currently listed for this Unit.

    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.