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  • Writer's pictureEdward Leonard

Wenas Campground 6 July 2024

Last night, I boondocked at Wenas Campground and learned some important lessons. For at least a year, I've wanted to visit Wenas Campground as it a spot where Audobon organizes an yearly gathering. I imagined a bird-topia. I found a dusty camping area where frequent gun shots intrupted the ability for Merlin to register any of the nearby birds.

The first lesson I learned is my preparation for these trips need improvement. This manifested in how my van was organized and how little I knew about where to go or what to do when I got there. Despite grand plans to organize before I setout yesterday afternoon I didn't make the time. As a result, my gear was all over. I told myself I would organize once I got to camp, but it was over 95 degrees and all I wanted to do once I parked the van was to sit in the shade drinking a beer as the ocasional breeze cooled me. I am not utilizing the space in my van well and that is detracting from my overall enjoyment of the trip. This week I need to spend time getting more organized before we setoff for Idaho on Saturday.

As for planning the destination, I chose Wenas Campground this week because someone reported a Flamulated Owl a few days earlier. Once the guns started firing I doubted I would be seeing or hearing the Owl that evening. However, even without the gun fire the chances of me finding that Owl were slip. This Wenas area was large and it wasn't clear at all where I should look. I didn't really see trails in the area. Once in camp, there was no cell service so I was stuck sitting in my chair hoping birds would come to me. I honestly believe I saw more cows than birds. In fact, about 10 were in the spot this morning where I originally considered parking the Van before exploring further.

Before I left, I looked up Wenas at, but there were no entries. I should have done more research, looked at maps, etc before heading to the site. I could have predicted I would have been out of cell range.

The second lesson I learned was how well the air conditioning in the Van worked. Although it was a big draw on the battery, it worked well. It easily took the battery down to 50% overnight. This means it would be difficult to spend multiple days boondocking in hot weather. This was a great thing to learn on a simple overnight as I know this is an area where I can learn to experiment more to understand how many days I might be able to spend off grid.

Overall, not my favorite camping spot, but Wenas Campground provided an important learning experience.


Wenas Campground: A Nature Lover's Haven in Central Washington

Nestled in the picturesque Wenas Valley of central Washington, Wenas Campground is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a tranquil retreat amidst nature's beauty. This primitive campground, managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, offers a rustic yet serene experience, perfect for those looking to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Setting and Scenery

The Wenas Campground is situated along Wenas Creek, surrounded by rolling hills, lush meadows, and dense woodlands of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. The campground's natural setting provides a stunning backdrop, with the changing seasons bringing a tapestry of colors—from the vibrant greens of spring and summer to the golden hues of fall. The area is also known for its clear skies, making it an excellent spot for stargazing on clear nights.


Wenas Campground is a primitive camping area, meaning it offers minimal amenities, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural environment. There are no developed campsites, running water, or electricity, so campers should come prepared with their own supplies. The campground does have basic amenities such as fire pits and vault toilets, ensuring a comfortable yet rustic camping experience.


The campground is a haven for a variety of outdoor activities:

  • Birdwatching: Wenas Campground is renowned for its birdwatching opportunities. The diverse habitats around the campground attract a wide array of bird species, making it a popular spot for birders. During the spring migration, birdwatchers can spot species such as the western bluebird, mountain bluebird, and the colorful lazuli bunting.

  • Hiking: Several trails in the vicinity offer hiking opportunities for all skill levels. These trails wind through the scenic landscape, providing breathtaking views of the valley and surrounding hills.

  • Wildlife Viewing: Beyond birds, the Wenas area is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, elk, coyotes, and even the occasional black bear. Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the chance to observe these animals in their natural habitat.

  • Fishing: Wenas Creek offers opportunities for fishing, with species such as rainbow trout inhabiting its waters. Anglers can enjoy a peaceful day of fishing along the creek's banks.

  • Photography: The stunning natural scenery, diverse flora and fauna, and dynamic landscapes make Wenas Campground a great location for photography. Whether you're capturing the sunrise over the hills, the vibrant wildflowers, or the abundant wildlife, there's no shortage of subjects for photographers.


Wenas Campground is also known for hosting the annual Wenas Audubon Campout, an event that attracts birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts from around the region. This event, usually held over Memorial Day weekend, includes birdwatching tours, educational programs, and social gatherings, fostering a sense of community among participants.

Conservation and Stewardship

Visitors to Wenas Campground are encouraged to practice Leave No Trace principles to preserve the natural beauty and ecological health of the area. This includes packing out all trash, minimizing campfire impacts, and respecting wildlife. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife also oversees conservation efforts to maintain the habitat for the diverse species that call the Wenas Valley home.


Wenas Campground offers a peaceful and rustic escape for those seeking to reconnect with nature. Its beautiful setting, abundant wildlife, and range of outdoor activities make it an ideal destination for campers, birdwatchers, hikers, and anyone looking to enjoy the natural splendor of central Washington. Whether you're sitting by a crackling campfire under a star-filled sky or exploring the trails and creeks, Wenas Campground provides an unforgettable outdoor experience.

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