Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington.

The first evidence of interest in protecting the mudflat habitat in Bowerman Basin was in 1985, at the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Conference. A proposal to establish a Western Hemisphere Sister Reserve System was made to protect shorebird populations. The concept was developed to identify essential migratory shorebird habitats in the western hemisphere, supporting 48 species with an estimated population of 10 to 20 million birds. Bowerman Basin at Grays Harbor, Washington, was among the sites proposed for inclusion in the Sister Reserve System. A grassroots effort, and support from the Port of Grays Harbor who administered Bowerman Basin at the time, resulted in the establishment of Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge in 1988. The first parcel of land was included in 1990. Currently, 1,408 acres of the 1,851 acres within the approved boundary have been acquired. 

Nearby Activities


Grays Harbor Refuge is adjacent to Bowerman Airfield in Hoquiam, Washington.

From Hoquiam, drive west on WA 109 and turn left onto Paulson Road (Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge can be seen on the corner). When you get to the end of Paulson Road, turn right onto Airport Way, and travel to the end. There is plenty of parking and the Refuge kiosk provides additional information.  The official street address for the Refuge is 1000 Airport Way, Hoquiam, WA, 98550 but the building is not open.  

From Ocean Shores, drive north on WA 115 to WA 109 until you arrive at Paulson Road. Turn right and drive to the end then turn right onto Airport Way.

Additional Information