White River Wildlife Area (WRWMA) and Environs

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Tygh Valley

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Smock Prairie

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Rock Creek Reservoir

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Clear Lake

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Timothy Lake Snow Park

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White River Falls State Park

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Pine Grove

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Dodson Road

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Price Road

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Camas Prairie

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Pine Hollow Reservoir

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Seasons

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Location

From The Dalles, travel 34 miles south on Hwy. 197 to the blinking light at Tygh Valley. Turn right into Tygh Valley and follow the signs to Wamic on Wamic Market Road. Continue straight ahead on Dodson Road rather than follow the sharp curve (the WMA is 3.8 miles from the beginning of Dodson Road in Wamic). Continue on Dodson Road through three 90-degree turns. Turn left on the gravel road 1/4 mile past the last curve (45.237234,-121.338165), and continue 1-1/2 miles to the cattle guard.

ODFW Map of the Area

Directions

Habitat and Birds

An ODFW parking permit is required for all WRWMA sites. It is the same permit used for Sauvie Island, Fern Ridge, EE Wilson and other ODFW sites in the state. A Northwest Forest pass will be needed if you park at a Mt Hood National Forest site.

This large area (over 30,000 acres) covers the Oak/Conifer foothills east of Mt Hood National Forest. Access depends on the time of year. During the winter months FR 48 and FR 44 will be closed. Access is via The Dalles and Hwy 197 from the north or Hwy 216 through Pine Grove then Victor Road up to Wamic or Hwy 197 from the south. Late spring through about mid November will find FR 44 and FR 48 open.

Be cautious during the winter if you travel Victor Road down to White River Crossing then up to Smock Road. The roads are well kept except the road sections down into the canyon, they are not maintained during the winter. The steep grade can be slippery and bouncy. Victor and Smock Roads are good for Tricolored Blackbirds and other open country birds (see Pine Grove and Smock Prairie).

The Headquarters are at the end of Dobson Road (accessed in center of Wamic). The oak woods west of the headquarters need more exploring. Two irrigation ditches pass through the area providing year-round water. Walk past gate on Dobson Road, take first left fork, hike until you pass a gate at a campsite, the irrigation ditch will soon be seen off to the left. Hardwoods along the stream and the nearby woods might be great Nashville and MacGillivray’s Warbler. Or rather than taking left fork, continue up road through mixed oak/pine woods. It is not a steep climb. Soon you will reach ridge on south side of the beautiful Badger Creek. Please report any bird sightings into eBird.

Another option any time of year (if winter conditions allow) is to explore the area along FR 27. FR 27 is accessed from north via Friend Road and FR 2710 or from the south via Badger Creek Road or from Rock Creek Res. (see map for important intersections). It should be noted that many of these roads appear under different names. See the attached map for more information. Some of the lands along FR 27 are National Forest, others will be the WRWMA. The mixed oak/pine woods in this area may provide the closest access to study breeding Nashville and MacGillivray’s Warblers, Gray Flycatchers, Chipping Sparrows, and Lewis’s Woodpeckers for the Portland area. The north side of Tygh Creek’s canyon should not be overlooked. Wild Turkey, Western and Mountain Bluebirds, and a variety of woodpeckers are also in area. A number of roads hit FR 27, park at one of them and walk into the WRWMA. Owling could be good with Flammulated reported once. Northern Pygmy-Owl, Barred Owl and Great Horned Owl are found in area.

J Hix Road on the NE corner of the WRWMA is a quiet dirt road that allows access to the grass plains of the far east side of the WRWMA. Access is via Dufur Gap Road to Kingsley Road or from Friend Road. Northern Shrike, Rough-legged Hawks, Prairie Falcon, sparrow flocks, Horned Lark and blackbirds are in area during winter.

MORE AREA eBIRD LINKS White River Wildlife Area–Dodson and Rock Ck. Rds. White River Wildlife Area–Endersby Rd. White River Wildlife Area–Smock Prairie White River Wildlife Area–Tygh Creek

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