Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Columbia National Wildlife Refuge and Potholes Reservoir, Moses Lake, Washington

Boondock Destination:  Columbia Wildlife Refuge and Potholes Reservoir

Right next door to the wonderful boondocking sites at Seep Lakes is the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge and Potholes Reservoir.

The wildlife refuge offers interpretive and hiking trails, and a campground.  There is no dispersed camping on the refuge.

The Columbia Wildlife Refuge has the absolute worst campground that I have ever seen in my nearly 40 years as a Forester.  The picture above shows the only sites that are somewhat functional.  However, the campground fee is only five dollars for which you get a toilet and a shaded picnic table some distance from your rig.  With the discount passes the price drops to $2.50 a night.  I would rather stay next door on the Seep Lake sites.

There are nice hiking trails and lakes to fish.  There are fewer people using the refuge so it is a nice spot to get away!  Lots of areas to canoe or kayak also.

Here is the link to the refuge website:  http://www.fws.gov/columbia/ .  Be sure to click on the Recreation tab for a list of trails.

Potholes Reservoir is an interesting area to visit and camp.  There is dispersed camping available at the Fish and Wildlife boat launches, but you need that $14 parking pass or buy a fishing license.

The north end of Potholes Reservoir near I-90 has a wonderful sand dune area.  Here is a Google Earth image.  As always, click on the picture to bring up the full screen version.

That is water between the sand dunes.  If you take you canoe or kayak in there, be sure to have a GPS that can leave a breadcrumb trail so you can find your way out!!

Potholes State Park offers upscale camping complete with full hookups for $28/night.  The non-hook up sites, I believe, are $14 a night.  Nice park with lawn and playground for the kids.  You might want to call for reservations if you want to stay here during summer.  888-226-7688.  In the Google image the State Park is just south of the waterway entering from the west (Frenchman's Wasteway).  It is the funny green spot with the X's and O's!

For more information see Washington State Parks site for Potholes:


The tab on the left under Potholes will give you additional information on the Park.

There are many more areas to explore in the neighborhood.  Rather than listing them I will let you discover them on your own.

1 comment:

Bart said...

I camped at the Potholes Reservoir Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife area last September. It's a beautiful place for fishing, camping, watching sunsets, and general relaxing. I put together a couple of short videos of my stay here: http://gobart.tv/2010/08/26/potholes-reservoir-wa-usa/, so that you can see it before you go.