McKay Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Quick Facts

McKay Creek National Wildlife Refuge


(509) 545-8588

Map Directions

Things To Do


Nestled between the plains and the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, McKay Creek National Wildlife Refuge offers habitat for rare and endangered species and is a haven for breeding and migratory birds. The lack of other local wetland habitats elevates the importance of this refuge as a home to a variety of wildlife and plant species in an arid environment. Aquatic habitats serve as resting and feeding areas for wintering waterfowl, while surrounding shrub-steppe and riparian corridors provide habitat for small mammals, mule deer, songbirds, and birds of prey. Osprey nest in cottonwoods; and bald eagles are seen in the area in fall and winter. During late summer, exposed mud flats provide a source of food for migrating shorebirds. Situated only 5 miles south of the town of Pendleton, Oregon, the refuge receives almost 50,000 annual visitors, most during the summer months. Upland bird hunting remains popular, with as many as 500 hunters each year pursuing pheasant and quail. Other visitors simply enjoy driving, walking, picnicking or observing the abundant wildlife and scenic beauty.

Map of McKay Creek NWR

Latitude, Longitude: 45.606352, -118.793793



  • Boating

    Fishing is allowed from March 1 through September 30.

  • Bicycling

    Horseback riding is permitted on designated public access roads during the spring and summer seasons.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Auto touring available.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is permitted during the spring and summer seasons.

  • Hiking

    Hiking is allowed in all areas open to the public.

  • Historic Sites

    If you are an educator and would like to bring your class to McKay Creek NWR or have Refuge staff come to your classroom, please contact the refuge.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding is permitted on designated public access roads during the spring and summer season, March 1 through September 30.

  • Hunting

    Waterfowl and upland bird hunting are permitted October 1 through the end of state waterfowl hunting season in accordance with state and federal regulations. Access for hunting is from two parking lots off the Shaw Road on the east side of the refuge. The south end of the refuge is open to hunting; most of the refuge is closed to all access. Hunt days are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.


The refuge will be closed to all public entry during the winter season (end of state waterfowl season through the last day of February) to ensure protection and minimize the disturbance to wintering waterfowl and bald eagles.

Park Partners



From Pendleton, take Highway 395 south toward the town of Pilot Rock. The refuge entrance is approximately 8 miles from Pendleton.

Phone Numbers


(509) 545-8588