Cold Springs National Wildlife Refuge and Reservoir
Cold Springs Dam and Reservoir are features of the Umatilla Project. The dam was completed in 1908. The reservoir covers 1,600 acres with 12 miles of shoreline and is a national wildlife refuge heavily used by migrating waterfowl. A riparian component of willow and cottonwood provides refuge for birds, mammals, and other animals in this unique desert environment. Opportunities for recreation at the Cold Springs National Wildlife Refuge include hiking, wildlife observation, bicycling, horseback-riding, fishing, boating and hunting. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the lands, whereas the reservoir's water levels are regulated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
The refuge is open from 5:00 a.m. to 1/2 hour after sunset. The entrance gates close automatically 1/2 hour after sunset. Most areas of the Refuge are very remote with no restroom or drinking water facilities. Refuge visitors should plan their trips accordingly.
Firearms, bows and arrows, and other weapons are prohibited on the refuge, except for legal weapons used as permitted during designated hunting season. The following are prohibited on the refuge: dogs off-leash, camping, OHV use, and collection of plants, animals, minerals, antlers and artifacts. Parking is allowed in designated parking areas only. No overnight parking is allowed on the refuge.
Lodging is available in Hermiston, Oregon. Listings are available through the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce at (541) 567-6151. Telephones, gas and supplies are available year-round in Hermiston.
Only non-motorized boats and boats with electric motors are permitted. Gasoline or other internal combustion engines are prohibited. If these types of motors are permanently affixed or built into the boat, they must be temporarily rendered inoperable by removing gas tanks, batteries, etc.
Fishing is allowed as per State regulations March 1 through September 30. Bank fishing is permitted in a designated area near Parking Area B, October 1 through February 28/29.
Sport hunting is permitted on the refuge in accordance with all State and Federal regulations. Hunters should consult the Oregon State hunting regulations. Firearms, bows and arrows, and other weapons are prohibited on the refuge, except for legal weapons used as permitted during designated hunting season.
From Highway 395 in Hermiston take Highland Hills Road east, which turns into Loop Road. The refuge is approximately 6 miles from Hermiston. Visitors access the refuge via the Loop Road. Roads throughout the refuge are graveled and visitors must maintain the posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour.