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Chief Joseph Wildlife Area - 4-O Ranch

Eastern Washington > Palouse and Blue Mountains
46.0407, -117.2912 Map & Directions
Length
4.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1500 feet
Highest Point
3000 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Moderate
Large elk herd - only a small portion of the elk that live in the area! Photo by Holly Weiler. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Wildlife
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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Famous for its wildlife, the 4-O Ranch portion of the Chief Joseph Wildlife Area provides hikers with access to the Grand Ronde River in the Blue Mountains. Walk over rolling hills and through ponderosa pine woodlands as you search for numerous species that call the area home. Continue reading

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Hiking Chief Joseph Wildlife Area - 4-O Ranch

The 4-O Ranch section of the Chief Joseph Wildlife Area provides hikers with incredible opportunities to view wildlife. As you follow the Grand Ronde River, walk over rolling hills through meadows filled with wildflowers, talus slopes, and ponderosa pine woodlands. The 4-O Ranch Unit is 10,500 acres of land acquired between 2011 and 2015 dedicated to preserving endangered species. There is also opportunity for fishing in the Grand Ronde River, a tributary of the Snake River.

Begin your journey from the parking lot, where there is a vault toilet for your convenience. A sign indicates the Wildlife Area behind a gate across the road. The trail continues behind the gate as you walk on an old farm access road. Quickly spot wildflowers in the spring as you walk up the hillside. At the crest of the hill, look out for a massive ponderosa pine at the top as you look out onto large herds of elk. 

There are many different animals that call this area home. Hikers have the chance of seeing eagles, bear, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, cougar, butterflies, and various other small mammals and reptiles/amphibians. Steelhead and bull trout live in the creeks and river. It is a wonderful spot for wildlife viewers looking for a day hike.

Hike Description Written by
McKenzie Carlson, WTA Correspondent

Chief Joseph Wildlife Area - 4-O Ranch

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.0407, -117.2912 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Asotin, WA: Turn right (east) on Washington Street to continue on Hwy. 129 towards (and past) Anatone and Field Springs State Park, traveling about 32 miles to the Grand Ronde River Road; continue west on the river road about 4 miles to the WDFW 4-O Ranch Wildlife Area sign on the right.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Eastern Washington > Palouse and Blue Mountains

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Chief Joseph Wildlife Area

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Chief Joseph Wildlife Area - 4-O Ranch

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