Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington.

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is located on the shores of Willapa Bay near the Pacific Ocean. The bay is one of the most pristine estuaries in the United States. From the protected bay, Chum, Chinook, and Coho salmon move to refuge streams to spawn. The bay's shallow water and mud flats support vast beds of eelgrass and shellfish, providing spawning habitat for fish. During spring migration, more than 100,000 shorebirds are present. Isolated sandbars provide pupping grounds for harbor seals and rest sites for migratory birds. Seabirds, such as brown pelicans, stream into the bay from the ocean in summer and fall. Other coastal habitats include sand dunes, sand beaches, and mud flats to grasslands, saltwater and freshwater marshes, and coniferous forest, including an old-growth stand of western red cedar-western hemlock forest. Important species include the threatened marbled murrelet, bald eagles, great blue herons, and Brant. Grasslands and neighboring forests are home to bear, elk, bobcat, woodpeckers, flying squirrels, spotted owls, silver-haired bats, and Pacific tree frogs.

Nearby Activities


The refuge is located 13 miles north of Ilwaco, Washington, on Highway 101. From Interstate 5, take the Longview exit. Take Highway 4 west to Highway 101. Proceed south on Highway 101 about 5 miles to refuge headquarters.

Additional Information

Photo Gallery