Oak Creek Wildlife Area
One of the best locations for watching elk in the entire United States, Oak Creek is truly a sight to behold. In winter, elk congregate at the Oak Creek feeding station, the largest in Washington State in herds by the thousands. Visitors see the elk up close as they jostle for position at the hay drop stations. Tours of the feeding stations are offered daily mid December through March, depending upon weather conditions. Other wildlife viewing nearby includes bighorn sheep, woodpeckers, raptors, and a variety of songbirds.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) first acquired land in the area in 1940 to provide a home for the growing Yakima elk herd that was conflicting with private landowners, orchard growers and livestock producers. The area now has a winter feeding program that has helped to reduce damage to agricultural lands and also provides a great opportunity to see elk up close.
The parking area for the feeding station is located adjacent to US Hwy 12 just a few miles west of Naches and the intersection of Hwy 12 and Hwy 410. Watch for signs.