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Trips on the BMT:
Wenaha State Wildlife Area

Wenaha State Wildlife ARea - Driving Trip

Directly west of Troy, Oregon, along Eden Bench above the Grande Ronde Wenaha Rivers, visit the Wenaha State Wildlife Area. It is accessible from alternate sections of the Blue Mountains Trail. The various parcels of land that make up the wildlife area are administered by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

the stats:
Recreation type: Vehicle/ADA or road walk from Troy

Duration: 1-4 hours

Time of year: April to June for best wildlife viewing

Physical difficulty: Easy

Logistical difficulty: Easy

Permits required: None

Planning links:

Wildlife Area access point: Eden Lane - Google Maps link — ODFW Visitors Guide

Nearby town guide: Troy

Local Administrative Office: Wenaha Wildlife Area, 85060 Grande Ronde Rd, Enterprise, OR 97828 - 541-828-7721

Weather forecast at Wenaha State Wildlife Area: National Weather Service

Trip description:

The Wenaha State Wildlife Area covers over 12,000 acres on mutliple land parcels to the west of Troy, Oregon. The largest occupies the north slope above the Grande Ronde River on Eden Bench, and smaller parcels overlook the Wenaha River. Together these sites are home to many species of migrating birds, mule deer and elk, bobcats, black bears, and it is even designated as moose habitat.  The best time of year to visit is during the spring migration when the area's bird population swells. 

The wildlife area was initially designated in 1953 to reduce conflicts between elk and ranchers. It has tripled in size since then, and under the management of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, it is open to visitation year-round. All recreation activities, including hunting and fishing during their respective seasons, are allowed in the area. However, it remains a popular destination for bird watching and wildlife viewing.

While there are limited trails in the Wenaha State Wildlife Area, a few gravel roads wind through the larger parcels. The Blue Mountains Trail crosses a small section of the wildlife area west of Troy along the Wenaha River, and the alternate section to bypass high river flows on the Wenaha leads up the grade to Eden Bench and through a longer stretch of the designated lands.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife maintains a Visitors Guide webpage with information on the Wenaha State Wildlife Area and additional resources. Specific rules on activities permitted in the wildlife area are available in the Wenaha State Wildlife Area Management Plan last updated in 2007.

Wenaha State Wildlife Area Map Thumbnail.png


Full guide with hiking map (5 pages, 10.4 mb)

Map only (3 pages, 8.4 mb)

GPX map (174 kb)

Before and After in Troy

Troy is a very small unincorporated community located at the confluence of the Grande Ronde and Wenaha Rivers. It has a total population of 25 people according to the most recent U.S. Census. Troy serves as the takeout point for people rafting and kayaking the Grande Ronde River; outside of the peak river rafting and fishing periods, the few amenities in the town are closed for much of the week.​

The Troy Resort and the Wenaha Bar and Grill operate from Thursday through Sunday. Notably, both establishments only accept cash. They provide a comfortable place to stay and an opportunity to have some food and beverages if you are in town while they are open. You can also camp at Troy Resort and use their showers and/or laundromat for a small fee. There are a couple of vacation rentals that can sleep 6 or 7 people in Troy, and there is a small rustic campground that has a vault toilet just out of town in the Wenaha State Wildlife Area.

Just a few miles south of the Oregon-Washington border, Troy will transport you back in time. The surrounding farms along Eden Bench and to the east of Troy toward Flora offer a glimpse of the lives of settlers that came to the region over 150 years ago. Journeys into the surround canyons along the Blue Mountains Trail provides a view of the lands that were lived in since time immemorial by indigenous peoples prior to Western settlement.

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