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 Watchable Wildlife

Washington State offers a bounty of resources available to watch and observe game animals and birds in a non hunting setting.   Visiting these areas provide for great opportunities to see trophy animals or animals which are incredibly rare to see in the wild.  In addition, these areas provide a way to study and photograph wild animals without interrupting other hunterís hunting activity.  Please see the links posted below to find some great viewing opportunity for Washington State game animals and birds.  None of these areas allowing hunting.  Feel free to submit ideas for additional links to the site.

If you can contribute information click here Submit information (tips, area suggestions, etc)





Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park is located in west-central Washington

"At Mount Rainier you can find at least 56 mammal species; 11 species of amphibians and five species of reptiles; more than 229 species of birds; 8 species of native fish; but invertebrates probably represent 85% of the animal biomass in the park.  Some of the more popular mammals like elk and black bear range in many habitats throughout the summer. Mountain goats typically remain in alpine or subalpine life zones." 


Cat tales

N. 17020 Newport Hwy - Mead, Washington, 99021-9539
"Guest walk within 8 feet of the animals. You may tour the Zoo on your own and learn about the animals from informative signs located throughout the facility or you may take a guided tour (the best way to see the animals in action) given by our staff."

Northwest Trek

11610 Trek Dr E Eatonville, WA 98328

"Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is a treasure for wildlife enthusiasts. The signature tram tour through the 435-acre free-roaming area offers the opportunity to spot different species of animals as they wander through forests, wetlands and meadows. In the core walking-tour area, visitors can get a peek at native wild canines and cats as well as forest and wetland critters. The 723-acre park has a little bit of everything: lakes, trails, meadows and plenty of animals. Located near Mount Rainier in Washington state just south of Seattle and Tacoma, Northwest Trek is home to more than 200 North American animals representing more than 30 species."

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is west of the Seattle area on the Olympic Peninsula

"Here you will find Pacific Ocean beaches, rain forest valleys, glacier-capped peaks and a stunning variety of plants and animals. Roads provide access to the outer edges of the park, but the heart of Olympic is wilderness; a primeval sanctuary for humans and wild creatures alike." ____________________________________________________________________________________________

North Cascades National Park

Primary access to the North Cascades and Ross Lake National Recreation Area is off of State Route (SR) 20, which connects to I-5 at Burlington

"Jagged peaks, deep valleys, cascading waterfalls and over 300 glaciers adorn the North Cascades National Park Service Complex. Three park units in this mountainous region are managed as one and include North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake, and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas. These complementary protected lands are united by a contiguous overlay of Stephen Mather Wilderness." ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Olympic Game Farm

1423 Ward Road, Sequim WA  98382

"The driving tour leaves our visitors with vivid memories of these amazing creatures.  Experiences which at first are hard to imagine become pleasantly surprising: friendly llamas eat bread from your hand, performing bears, grazing elk, buffalo and.  You will also see many animals which are on the endangered species list, such as timber wolves, Bengal tigers, and African lions.  In addition to the endangered species, we are home to coyote, bobcats, cougars,  and many more species." ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Julia Butler Hansen Refuge For The Columbian White-tail Deer

Located in southwestern Washington

"Julia Butler Hansen Refuge was established in 1972 specifically to protect and manage the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer.The refuge contains over 5,600 acres of pastures, forested tidal swamps, brushy woodlots, marshes, and sloughs along the Columbia River in both Washington and Oregon. The mainland refuge unit, the Hunting Islands, and Price Island are in Washington. Tenasillahe Island, Wallace Island, and several parcels around Westport are in Oregon.The valuable habitat the refuge preserves for the deer also benefits a large variety of wintering birds, a small herd of Roosevelt elk, river otter, various reptiles and amphibians including painted turtles and red-legged frogs, and several pairs of nesting bald eagles and osprey. The Columbian white-tailed deer is one of 30 subspecies of white-tailed deer in North America, and the only one found west of the Cascade Mountains." ____________________________________________________________________________________________

-Watersheds (Pierce County, King County, and Mill Creek ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Mount St Helens National Monument

Located in Southwestern Washington

Numerous opportunities to see amazing elk herds rebounded from the total decimation of the 1980 blast. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Woodland Park Zoo

601 N 59th Street, Seattle, WA 98103

"For more than 100 years, Woodland Park Zoo has been a cherished community resource and a unique urban oasis. Generations of Puget Sound families have come to the zoo to marvel at the animals and be inspired by the peaceful and beautiful surroundings.

Woodland Park Zoo encompasses 92 acres and features more than 1,090 individual animals representing nearly 300 species. The grounds are divided into what are known as bioclimatic zones, the unique habitats around the world, from tropical rain forests to the frigid climes of the Far North." ____________________________________________________________________________________________

 Cougar Mountain Zoological Park   

19525 SE 54th Issaquah, Washington

"Our Zoo is nestled on the north facing slope of Cougar Mountain with a breathtaking view of the Cascade Mountain range and Lake Sammamish. We are dedicated to promoting the cause of the Earth's vanishing wildlife through the universal power of education." ____________________________________________________________________________________________

WDFW watchable wildlife program

"Watchable wildlife includes a wide array of state animals, some as common as a familiar bird at a backyard feeder, some briefly passing through on seasonal migrations, some rarely-seen species that provide the dedicated viewer with a reward for hours of patient waiting." ____________________________________________________________________________________________

 Fir Island (snow geese)

From late September through late February, travel the farm roads West of Interstate 5, North of Stanwood and South of Mount Vernon in an area called Fir Island.  The Geese can (and will) be easy to spot once you find their active feeding fields.  You will find tens of thousands of Geese massed together and you may have the ability to see some of the protected Trumpeter Swans which frequent the area.


Spieden Island

Spieden Island is a privately owned island in the San Juan Islands in the state of Washington.  Approximately two miles long and a half-mile across at its widest point, it is located directly north of San Juan Island across the Spieden Channel. The unusual climate of the area causes the island to be virtually barren on its south-facing side, while the north side is heavily forested.

In the past the island was used for big game hunting; game animals were imported and a hotel, airport, and small hangar built to accommodate visitors. This no longer occurs due to the risk of shots carrying across to highly populated San Juan Island.  The resident animal population still includes exotic animals such as Mouflon Sheep and Sika deer from Asia.  No public access is known at this time, but if you can get near the shoreline a person could be in for quite a treat.


Moran State Park

Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands

"Moran State Park is a 5,252-acre camping park with five freshwater lakes and over 30 miles of hiking trails. Atop the 2,409-foot-high Mt. Constitution, the highest point on the San Juan Islands, there stands a stone observation tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936. The tower offers panoramic views of the surrounding islands, the Cascade Mountains and a variety of Canadian and American cities." You can see a huge population of resident deer and quite a few number of rare sea ducks along the shores of the saltwater beaches. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Bay View State Park 

 Located seven miles west of Burlington, Wash., and 14 miles east of Anacortes, Wash

"Bay View State Park is a 25-acre camping park with 1,285 feet of saltwater shoreline on Padilla Bay. Over 11,000 acres of Padilla Bay are designated as National Estuarine Sanctuary. Breazeale Padilla Bay Interpretive Center is located a half mile north of the park"  It is a strong possibility during some times of the year to see 100,000 ducks sitting on the water. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Oak Creek Wildlife Area

The Oak Creek Wildlife Area is located in the Yakima River basin of south-central Washington in Yakima County.

"The area provides critical winter range for populations of big game, primarily Rocky Mountain elk. The area provides needed habitat for a small herd of California bighorn sheep that were reintroduced on Cleman Mountain in 1967 from a herd in British Columbia. The Oak Creek Wildlife Area is also home for golden eagles and many other species of game and nongame wildlife.

A winter feeding program was started on the Oak Creek Unit in 1945. A large parking and viewing area with an interpretive center allows the public to closely approach the elk."


LT Murray Wildlife Area

South of I-90 outside of Thorp


 Kamiak Butte

From Pullman, Take State Highway 27 North 11 miles.  Turn left on Clear Creek Road for .5 mile.  Turn left on Fugate Road (Road No. 5100). Travel .5  mile to Kamiak Butte County Park Road (Rd. No. 6710) to the park entrance on the left.

"Welcome to Kamiak Butte, recognized as a National Natural Landmark. The park has over five miles of forested hiking trails.  The 3.5 mile Pine Ridge Trail is part of the National Trails System!  Reaching an elevation of 3,641 feet (second highest point in Whitman County), the park offers visitors a panoramic view of the Palouse region.  Keep your eyes open as the park plays host to over 150 bird, mammal and vegetation species.  Pack a lunch and spend the day hiking trails or utilizing the day use area" Plenty of trophy sized Whitetail deer inhabit this county park. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Steptoe Butte

Located 12 miles north of Colfax, Wash.

"Steptoe Butte State Park is a 150-acre, 3,612-foot-tall natural monument. Thimble-shaped, the quartzite butte looms in bald grandeur over the prevailing flat lands." Trophy sized Whitetail deer can be found on its slopes. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Mount Spokane State Park

Located 25 miles northeast of Spokane, Wash

"Mount Spokane State Park is a 13,919-acre camping park in the Selkirk Mountains. The view at the top of the 5,883-foot elevation includes surrounding states and Canada. The forested park features stands of old-growth timber and granite rock outcroppings. In winter, the park receives 300 inches of snow." You can find significant populations of trophy sized deer, elk, and moose within the park boundaries. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

 Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

The Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is located near Sequim in Clallam County, Washington

"At Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, the world's longest natural sand spit softens the rough sea waves to form a quiet bay and harbor, sand and gravel beaches, and tideflats. In these calm waters and tideflats rich in marine life, wildlife find food, a place to rest, and protection from winds and pounding surf. Eelgrass beds in the bay and harbor provide food for Pacific black brant and a nursery for young salmon and steelhead. Tideflats teem with migrating shorebirds in spring and fall; flocks of waterflowl find food and rest in these protected waters during the winter." ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Hurn Field (Skagit County)

On Hwy 20 Three miles west of Concrete

"This property provides food and shelter for over 50 elk during the winter and spring seasons. House Slough, which flows into the nearby Skagit River, provides high quality fish habitat for juvenile coho salmon and cutthroat trout. Beaver, songbirds, and waterfowl are also at home in the luscious habitat. The purchase in March, 1999 was the result of a successful fundraising campaign."

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