NOTE: The northern (eastern) segment of the Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail is closed from October 1 through April 30 to protect wintering waterfowl. The southern (western) segment is open year-round.
©Kelley Beamer
©Kelley Beamer

Gibbons Creek at Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge

Western Gorge, washington

A lovely trail at Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge, great for birding and wildlife viewing. This trail is a flat graveled path that leads you through riparian areas rich in wildlife viewing opportunities. Hikers may see great blue herons, geese, ducks, grebes, pileated woodpeckers, great horned owls and more.

A couple times a year, Friends of the Columbia Gorge in partnership with Gorge Refuge Stewards lead bird walks here. Visit our Hike with Friends page to learn more.

No dogs are allowed at the wildlife refuge.



Like the Sandy River Delta across the river, Steigerwald was once a dairy farm and was zoned industrial land prior to passage of the National Scenic Area Act. Proposals such as nuclear power plants had threatened the area, but eventually local birding enthusiasts Wilson and Susan Cady and others convinced Senator Mark Hatfield to push for designation of Steigerwald as a national wildlife refuge and the Trust for Public Lands purchased an option on the property until the federal government could purchase it. Today, Steigerwald and the Sandy River Delta are the Gorge’s western gateways, serving as development buffers that support thousands of acres of wildlife habitat. More about the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Trail Map

Driving Directions

Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge: From Oregon, travel north on either I-5 or I-205. Then head east on WA Hwy 14. Travel through Washougal. Just past the National Scenic Area welcome sign (MP 18), look for the Steigerwald parking entrance on the right/south side of highway. No Discover Pass is required here.

Hike Information:

  • Type of Hike: Loop
  • Length: 2.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 0 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Restroom Facilities: Yes
  • Fees and Regulations: None


  • Beautiful Views
  • Bird Viewing
  • Ice-Age Floods
  • Family Friendly

Difficulty Levels

Easy: Up to 3 miles, less than 700 ft. elevation gain

Moderate: Up to 5 miles, less than 1,500 ft. elevation gain

Strenuous: Up to 10 miles, up to 2,500 ft. elevation gain

Expert: Over 10 miles, steep trail, over 2,500 feet elevation gain

All hike distances are round-trip.

Gorge Wildflower Search

Want to look up Gorge wildflowers, or find out bloom conditions? Greg Lief's website Oregon Wildflowers has search options for both the Oregon and Washington sides of the Columbia River Gorge.

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Contact Information


Trail maps are courtesy of Hike descriptions were collaboratively written with the generous support of