White Salmon Oak Natural Resources Conservation Area

Color photo of White Salmon Oak Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA)
This 551 acre natural resources conservation area (NRCA) contains representatives of all of the Oregon white oak plant communities found in the White Salmon River drainage. These oak-dominant plant associations, which are quickly disappearing from Washington, provide a glimpse of the region's native vegetation and serve as important wildlife habitat for small mammals, birds and reptiles. White Salmon Oak NRCA also supports large areas of mixed Douglas-fir – Oregon white oak forest and open expanses of grassland balds. Much of this landscape can be seen from Klickitat County’s historic Weldon Wagon Trail which traverses the NRCA, providing exceptional opportunities for wildlife viewing and hiking.
Features Protected: Oregon white oak woodlands, mixed conifer-oak forest, herbaceous balds, western gray squirrel, and Suksdorf’s desert-parsley.
Ecoregion: East Cascades (Klickitat County)

Science, Research and Monitoring

Public and private universities, other research institutions and individual researchers may contact DNR to propose a research project at the site. If you are interested in pursuing research at White Salmon Oak NRCA, please contact David Wilderman, natural areas ecologist, at david.wilderman@dnr.wa.gov.  

Environmental Education and Public Access 

Currently no formal educational programs are available at White Salmon Oak NRCA. For more information, contact the DNR Southeast Region natural areas manager. Along the historic Weldon Wagon Trail when crossing the conservation area:
  • No pets allowed to help conserve the ecology of this site. 
  • Garbage service is not provided. Pack out what you pack in. 
  • Day use only. 

Directions to the Site

The in-out, roundtrip trail begins on an old road about a mile off of Washington Highway 14. The one-way distance is about 2.5 miles, gently sloping at the start and ascending 1,300 feet. The first couple miles of the county’s trail easement crosses private lands before entering the White Salmon Oak NRCA.
Weldon Wagon Trailhead: (adapted from: Washington Trails Association, May 2022): At the intersection of Washington Highway 14 and State Route 141-Alternative, turn onto State Route 141-A and head north for about 2 miles, then turn left to continue north on State Route 141. Go 3.8 miles and turn right onto Indian Creek Road. Follow this gravel road for 0.6 miles, then go left on Indian Cemetery Road and continue 0.4 miles further. Look for the unmarked jeep road on your right and a wide spot on the left where you can park. 
Additional online descriptions of the trail may be available from the Chinook Trail Association or Friends of the Columbia George.