Columbia Basin
Wildlife Area Location

CONTACT INFORMATION
Greg Fitzgerald
Manager
6653 Road K NE
Moses Lake, WA 98837
(509) 765-6641
colbaswa@dfw.wa.gov

 
Wildlife Areas
Columbia Basin Wildlife Area
Banks Lake Unit
The Banks Lake unit includes 44,700 BOR acres and 41 WDFW acres in the upper Grand Coulee on 27-mile-long Banks Lake. Banks Lake is a man-made impoundment for irrigation water in the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project. It is formed by the North Dam near Grand Coulee and the Dry Falls Dam near Coulee City and is filled with water from Franklin D. Roosevelt Reservoir (Lake Roosevelt). Most of the shoreline is ringed with basalt cliffs and talus slopes, the dry uplands have shallow soils and rocky outcrops with shrub-steppe habitat. Willows and Russian olives grow on the fringes of some cattail and bulrush wetland areas. There are about 23 islands in the reservoir from one to several acres in size, including basalt and granite outcroppings, shrub-steppe and wetlands. Steamboat Rock, in the northern part of the lake, is the largest of several peninsulas and is designated a Research Natural Area. Unique wildlife use can include common loons, wintering bald eagles, mule deer and peregrine falcons.
Viewing Opportunities

Birds

  • Birds of Prey
  • Eagles
  • Shorebirds
  • Songbirds
  • Upland Birds
  • Waterfowl
  • Mammals

  • Deer
  • Small Mammals
  • Other

  • Butterflies
  • Reptiles/Amphibians
  • Wildflowers
  • How to Get Here
    Access Site #1
    Driving Directions
    From Moses Lake take SR 17 north to the junction of SR 2 at the southwest corner of Banks Lake. Turn east (right) toward Coulee City and proceed across Dry Falls Dam. About 1/2 mile past Coulee City is the junction of Hwy.155 and SR 2. Take Hwy. 155 north along the east side of Banks Lake. Highway 155 connects to Hwy. 174 in the town of Grand Coulee at the north end of Banks Lake.
    Parking/Restroom Information
    WDFW maintains public fishing parking areas with outhouses at the southwest corner of Banks Lake and north of Million Dollar Mile (where Hwy. 155 goes through and over the basalt cliffs). There is a parking area, without an outhouse, on Hwy. 155 at the south side of Million Dollar Mile. At Osborne Bay, a few miles north of Steamboat Rock State Park, WDFW maintains a primitive road that provides access and parking around the part of the Osborne Bay that is east of Hwy. 155.

    See listing of Banks Lake Access Sites and Facility Information

    Unique Features
    Banks Lake is a man-made impoundment in a 27 mile portion of a natural coulee. Most of the 91 miles of shoreline are ringed with basalt clifs and talus slopes. There are about 23 islands in the reservoir.
    Other Information
    Public conduct rules for WDFW Lands restrict the discharge of firearms within 500 feet of the designated campgrounds for the Banks Lake Unit. See locations for all 21 WDFW designated campgrounds here.
     
    IMPORTANT NOTICE
    Public conduct rules for WDFW Lands restrict the discharge of firearms within 500 feet of the designated campgrounds for the Banks Lake Unit. See locations for all 21 WDFW designated campgrounds here.
       OTHER INFORMATION
    Columbia Basin Wildlife Area Management Plan
    Wildlife Area Habitat Conservation Plans
    Weekender Report
    Wildlife Viewing Guides
    Accessing Washington's Outdoors
    Find a Water Access Site
       MAPPING
    GoHunt - Interactive Mapping
       OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
    No activities currently listed for this Unit.
     

    If you are Hunting or Fishing, remember to check all current regulations.

    Activities may include restrictions or require permits. Please see Public Conduct Rules for more information.