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H Lake, Ancient Lakes, Quincy Lakes Wildlife Refuge, Quincy Unit of the North Columbia Basin State Wildlife Recreation Area, Quincy, WA

The Quincy Lakes Wildlife Area covers 15,266 acres and is part of the Quincy Unit of the North Columbia Basin State Wildlife Recreation Area. Recreational opportunities include boating, hunting, water sports, fishing, and camping. Fish species include smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, rainbow trout, yellow perch, and crappie.

Lakes located in the Quincy Lakes Wildlife Area,

Ancient Lake
Burke Lake
Caliche Lakes
Cascade Lake
Cliff Lake
Crater Lake (in Quincy Lakes Wildlife Area)
Cree Lake
Crystal Lake (in Quincy Lakes Wildlife Area)
Cup Lake (in Quincy Lakes Wildlife Area)
Dot Lake (in Quincy Lakes Wildlife Area)
Dusty Lake
Evergreen Reservoir
Flat Lake
George Lake
H Lake
Martha Lake
Quincy Lake
Spring Lakes
Stan Coffin Lake

Camping available at the following locations,

Ancient Lake, tent camping only
Western side of Burke Lake
Caliche Lakes
Martha Lake
Dusty Lake
Multiple spots at the Evergreen Reservoir
H Lake
Quincy Lake
Stan Coffin Lake

Rugged geology and a series of lakes and wetlands filled by seepage from nearby irrigation channels make the Quincy Lakes Wildlife Area an interesting stop for bird-watchers. Waterfowl, pelicans, and Great Egret spend their summer months at the wildlife area. In the fall and winter, thousands of waterfowl use the lakes and wetlands—interspersed with basalt outcroppings and pillars—as a stopover on their migration route. Quincy Lakes is located just east of the Columbia River and southwest of the town of Quincy, in the heart of farm country. The wildlife area covers more than 15,000 acres, and its geology is marked by the clear signs of ancient lava flows that are exposed from the Missoula Floods that swept down the Columbia River during the last ice age. The result is a terrain pockmarked by varied habitats—steep basalt cliffs, ponds, mesas, wetlands, and areas of mature shrub-steppe. Some of the most accessible parts of the wildlife area center around the wetlands and lakes near Quincy, but the area also includes lands closer to the Columbia River and a natural area in Frenchman Coulee, just north of I–90 near Silica Road. Habitats: Shrub-steppe, lowland riparian, wetland. Specialty birds: American White Pelican; Great Egret; Tundra Swan; Greater Scaup; Barrow’s Goldeneye; Golden and Bald Eagles; Swainson’s Hawk; Peregrine Falcon; Chukar; Sandhill Crane; American Avocet; Blacknecked Stilt; Solitary Sandpiper; Long-billed Curlew; Baird’s and Pectoral Sandpipers; Wilson’s and Red-necked Phalaropes; Bonaparte’s Gull; Forster’s Tern; Short-eared and Burrowing Owls; Dusky Flycatcher; Cassin’s Vireo; Sage Thrasher; Sage Sparrow.

Ancient Lakes hike is flat-out excellent for easy adventure. It still feels like March on the western side of the Cascades. If you are tired of waiting for summer to come, you can always find it on the other side of the mountains. We have a favorite hike near Quincy and the Columbia River. It's a bunch of lakes set in a coulee left over from the Missoula floods. Called Ancient Lakes, they rub shoulders with Dusty Lake, another popular destination in the area. If you are a lazy backpacker and don't want to work hard for scenery, interesting geology, flowers and opportunities to fish, then this hike is ideal. This is a good beginner's hike or backpack -- there is no elevation gain and it gets pretty right away.

The most striking feature of the 15,266-acre Quincy Lakes unit, west of the town of George, is the geology. It is a product of erosion of lava flows by glacial floodwaters. The many layers of basalt are exposed in towering 800-foot cliffs, isolated mesas, stair stepped benches, box canyons and potholes. Several of the potholes are filled with water that has seeped from the irrigation of the Quincy Basin farmlands upslope. These wetlands, ponds and lakes have added an important diversity to the habitat of this area. Most of this unit is well vegetated with perennial plants. Big sage/bluebunch wheatgrass is the most common plant community. There are a variety of other native shrub-steppe communities in areas where the soil is scarce, and one farm unit has been turned into a 70-acre shrub plot. A White Eatonella (Eatonella nivea) plant site near Frenchman Coulee has been designated a Natural Area by DNR. Striped whipsnakes have been observed on this unit. Several of the lakes are managed for trout fishing.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on October 1, 2008
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Alex Tucker
    • Camera: Hewlett-Packard Photosmart M305
    • Taken on 2005/05/23 14:24:33
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/592)
    • Focal Length: 6.25mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.810
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash