Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Home Regions Campsites Penny Postcards My Corps of Discovery Image Index Links About This Site Main Menu
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"McNary National Wildlife Refuge, Washington"
Includes ... McNary National Wildlife Refuge ... Burbank Slough ... Juniper Canyon ... Wallula Unit ... Walla Walla River ...
Image, 2005, Burbank Slough, McNary National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
McNary National Wildlife Refuge, Washington: View at Burbank Slough Unit. Image taken September 25, 2005.


McNary National Wildlife Refuge ...
The McNary National Wildlife Refuge is located on the eastern banks of the Columbia River below the junction with the Snake River, and encompasses various Units from the Burbank Slough to the mouth of the Walla Walla River, and downstream to Juniper Canyon, with smaller sections dotting the Oregon bank of the Columbia down to Hat Rock State Park. McNary NWR was originally established at 3,600 acres, but now it encompasses over 15,000 acres of backwater sloughs, seasonal wetlands, shrub-steppe uplands, irrigated farmlands, river islands, delta mudflats, and riparian areas. The refuge is a resting and feeding area for migrating waterfowl.

Lewis and Clark and the McNary Refuge ...
On October 18, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the "Corps of Discovery" left the area of today's Sacajawea State Park and began their journey down the great Columbia River on their way to the Pacific Ocean.

"... Took our leave of the Chiefs and all those about us and proceeded on down the great Columbia river ..." [Clark, October 18, 1805]

They went past territory which would someday become the McNary National Wildlife Refuge, including the mouth of the Walla Walla River. Twenty-one miles after beginning their journey on the Columbia Lewis and Clark set up camp on the left bank of the Columbia River on the upstream edge of the Wallula Gap, near Port Kelley and Spring Gulch Creek.


McNary Refuge Complex ...
The McNary National Wildlife Refuge Complex is comprised of 7 units; the Strawberry Island Unit near the Snake River junction with the Columbia, and the Burbank Slough, Peninsula, and Two Rivers Units are located north of the Walla Walla River. The Wallula Unit covers the lower reach of the Walla Walla, and the Juniper Canyon and State Line Units are located along the southern shore of the Columbia River between the Oregon border and Hat Rock. These Units provide excellent places to view many species of animal, songbird, waterfowl, and migratory birds including tundra swans, snow geese, green-winged teals, Northern shoverlers, canvasbacks, redheads, ring-necked ducks and lesser scaup. The refuge includes 15,000 acres of water and marsh, croplands, grasslands, trees and shrubs, and is an important resting and feeding area in the Pacific Fly-way for up to 100,000 migrating waterfowl. The most favorable viewing opportunities occur between October and December. Nesting activity commences from March through Late July. More than 212 species of bird are regularly sighted at the Refuge, including several endangered species such as the Peregrine Falcon and the Bald Eagle.

Image, 2005, Duck Blind, McNary National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Duck Blind, McNary National Wildlife Refuge, Washington: View at Burbank Slough Unit. Image taken September 25, 2005.


McNary National Wildlife Refuge

  • McNary Headquarters Unit ...
  • Burbank Slough Unit ...
  • Juniper Canyon and Stateline Units ...
  • Peninsula Unit ...
  • Strawberry Island Unit ...
  • Two Rivers Unit ...
  • Wallula Unit ...


McNary Headquarters Unit ...
The McNary Headquarters Unit of the McNary National Wildlife Refuge comprises 2,961 acres.

Burbank Sloughs Unit ...
The Burbank Sloughs Unit of the McNary National Wildlife Refuge lines both banks of the Burbank Slough, located south of the Snake River and east of the Columbia River. The Unit has 431 acres. [More]

Image, 2005, McNary National Wildlife Refuge, Burbank Slough Unit, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Burbank Slough Unit, McNary National Wildlife Refuge, Washington: Image taken September 25, 2005.


Juniper Canyon/Stateline Unit ...
The Juniper Canyon/Stateline Unit is located along the southern shore of the Columbia River between the Oregon border and Hat Rock State Park. The combined Juniper Canyon/Stateline Units comprise 1,692 acres.
[More]

Image, 2005, McNary National Wildlife Refuge, Juniper Canyon Unit, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Juniper Canyon Unit, McNary National Wildlife Refuge: Image taken September 25, 2005.
Image, 2005, McNary National Wildlife Refuge, Juniper Canyon Unit, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Juniper Canyon Trail, McNary National Wildlife Refuge: Image taken September 25, 2005.


Peninsula Unit ...
The Peninsula Unit is located north of the Walla Walla River and includes the land and the waters of Badger, Foundation, and Crescent Islands. The Unit comprises 7,839 acres.

Image, 2005, McNary National Wildlife Refuge, Peninsula Unit, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Peninsula Unit, McNary National Wildlife Refuge. Image taken September 25, 2005.


Strawberry Island Unit ...
The Strawberry Island Unit is located on the Snake River near the junction of the Snake with the Columbia. The Unit is 136 acres.

Two Rivers Unit ...
The Two Rivers Unit of the McNary National Wildlife Refuge is located on the east side of the Columbia River north of the Walla Walla River and Wallula Unit, and south of the Burbank Sloughs and Peninsula Units. The Two Rivers Unit is 344 acres.

Wallula Unit ...
The Wallula Unit of the McNary National Wildlife Refuge borders the lower reach of the Walla Walla River where the Walla Walla River merges into the Columbia River. The Unit comprises 2,264 acres.

Image, 2005, Wallula Unit, McNary National Wildlife Refuge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Wallula Unit, Walla Walla River and McNary National Wildlife Refuge, Washington: Upstream view of the Walla Walla River, as seen from Marie Dorion Park, Washington, looking towards the McNary National Wildlife Refuge. Image taken September 24, 2005.
Image, 2005, Walla Walla River, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Walla Walla River, Washington: Looking at right bank of the Walla Walla River, from old road bridge near mouth of the Walla Walla. Image taken September 24, 2005.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 18, 1805 ...
This morning Cool and fare wind from the S. E. ...     Took our leave of the Chiefs and all those about us [from their camp, the location of today's Sacajawea State Park] and proceeded on down the great Columbia river     passed a large Island at 8 miles about 3 miles in length, a Island on the Stard. Side the upper point of which is opposit the center of the last mentioned Island and reaches 3 miles below the 1st. Island and opposit to this near the middle of the river nine Lodges are Situated on the upper point at a rapid which is between the lower point of the 1st Island and upper point of this; great numbers of Indians appeared to be on this Island, and emence quantites of fish Scaffold     we landed a few minits to view a rapid which Commenced at the lower point, passd this rapid which was verry bad between 2 Small Islands two Still Smaller near the Lard. Side, at this rapid on the Stard. Side is 2 Lodges of Indians Drying fish, at 2 miles lower and 14 below the point passed an Island Close under the Stard. Side on which was 2 Lodges of Indians drying fish on Scaffolds as above

[Today this reach has been inundated by the waters of Lake Wallula, the reservoir behind the McNary Dam. The Burbank Slough - part of the McNary National Wildlife Refuge - dominates the eastern bank of the Columbia and two islands which remain offshore of Wallula are Crescent Island and Badger Island.]    

at 16 miles from the point [junction of the Snake River with the Columbia, location of today's Sacajawea State Park] the river passes into the range of high Countrey at which place the rocks project into the river from the high clifts [Wallula Gap] which is on <both> the Lard. Side about 2/3 of the way across those of the Stard Side about the Same distance, the Countrey rises here about 200 feet above The water and is bordered wth black rugid rocks [Columbia River Basalt],     at the Commencement of this high Countrey [Wallula Gap] on Lard Side a Small riverlet falls in [Walla Walla River] which appears to passed under the high County in its whole cose     Saw a mountain bearing S. W. conocal form Covered with Snow [Mount Hood, Oregon].    passed 4 Islands, at the upper point of the <first> 3rd is a rapid, on this Island is two Lodges of Indians, drying fish, on the fourth Island Close under the Stard. Side is nine large Lodges of Indians Drying fish on Scaffolds as above [Yellepit area]; at this place we were called to land, as it was near night and no appearance of wood [Lewis and Clark are in the Port Kelley area, where today the islands offshore are under the waters of Lake Wallula.],     we proceeded on about 2 miles lower to Some willows, at which place we observed a drift log     formed a Camp on the Lard Side [Spring Gulch] under a high hill nearly opposit to five Lodges of Indians; Soon after we landed, our old Chiefs informed us that the large camp above "was the Camp of the 1st Chief of all the tribes in this quarter [Chief Yellepit], and that he had called to us to land and Stay all night with him, that he had plenty of wood for us &" This would have been agreeable to us if it had have been understood perticelarly as we were compelled to Use drid willows for fuel for the purpose of cooking, we requested the old Chiefs to walk up on the Side we had landed and call to the Chief to come down and Stay with us all night which they did;     ... we made 21 miles to day.





Snake River ConfluenceReturn to
Menu
 



SNAKE RIVER CONFLUENCE | COLUMBIA PLATEAU
COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE | VANCOUVER PLAINS | JOURNEY TO THE PACIFIC
CAMPSITES


HOME | REGIONS | PENNY POSTCARDS | MY CORPS OF DISCOVERY
IMAGE INDEX | LINKS | ABOUT THIS SITE


COLUMBIA RIVER IMAGES - HOME
NORTHWEST JOURNEY - HOME
NORTHWEST BIRDING
RIDGEFIELD NWR - BIRDS
COMPLETE BIRD LIST - PHOTOS
THE BARLOW ROAD
THE COLUMBIA RIVER HIGHWAY
WILDFLOWERS and WEED BLOSSOMS



*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:    McNary and Umatilla NWR Comprehansive Conservation Plan;    Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau website, 2003   

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
ColumbiaRiverImages.com/Regions/Places/mcnary_NWR.html
© 2017, Lyn Topinka, "ColumbiaRiverImages.com", All rights reserved.
Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
May 2014