If it’s diverse scenery and idyllic recreational opportunities in the Northwest that you seek, then we have identified just the place for you. Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge, one of the jewels of the Refuge System, is nestled near the foot of Mount Adams in Washington’s Cascades Range. While the scenery and abundant wildlife are what draw people at first glance, visitors soon discover more. Conboy Lake NWR offers hidden gems that will keep them returning for years!


The forests, wetlands, and streams that make up the area have become a haven for plants and animals. Therefore, the area now supports an abundant and diverse wildlife community. The rich habitat sustains growing populations of migrating waterfowl, songbirds and the rare Oregon spotted frog breeds Elk are plentiful and frequently seen along refuge roads as well!


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Located within an easy drive from Portland, Oregon on what now encompasses 6,532 acres of the historic Conboy lakebeds, a shallow marshy wetland area drained by early settlers, the refuge helps support Washington’s largest and healthiest populations of Oregon coyote-thistle, rosy owl-clover, Kellogg’s rush, dwarf rush and long-bearded sego lily. Therefore, you’ll want to bring your camera! When you’re not capturing wildlife, you can snap photos of Mount Adams, Washington’s largest and second highest volcano.


A quiet place outside of hunting seasons, solitude is an easily found commodity in the area. It is greatly appreciated by those coming from bustling metropolitan areas. In addition, visitors to the refuge may choose to enjoy the scenery, hike the Willard Springs Trail, or observe wildlife. As a national wildlife refuge, it is sure to satisfy your longing for splendor and serenity. Remember, it did for the indigenous people long ago.


Furthermore, history is an important part of Conboy Lake, as Native Americans once depended on the area’s plentiful resources and continue to collect plants for food and religious purposes to this day. In addition, these same resources drew settlers to the area in the 1870s. One of the early homes, the Whitcomb-Cole Hewn Log House, still stands and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Have you had the opportunity to visit Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge? We would love to hear about your experience! In addition, share your favorite memories in the comment section below.


Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge