|Deer Creek Elk Viewing Area (click on image to enlarge). (Julianne G. Crane)|
Jimmy and I are lucky enough to spend many months each year in Oregon State. Our very favorite “comfort station” is the “Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area, on State Highway 38, just a couple miles east of Reedsport, Ore., on Coast Hwy 101.
|RVer Jimmy Smith photographs elk herd (Julianne G. Crane)|
Not only are there free toilet facilities and room to walk around, the “Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area
is the year-round residence for a herd of about 100 Roosevelt elk. A
mild winter climate and abundant food allow the Roosevelt elk to remain
at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area all year.”
Completed in 1992, “the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area Wetland Enhancement project involved the installation of levees to create five district basins and the construction of four ponds to increase open water areas.”
The best times to view and photograph wildlife are early mornings and just before dusk. That said, on our recent visit, it was early afternoon and there were plenty of elk roaming around grazing. (Click on photo above right.)
|Birds are constant companions of elk. (Julianne G. Crane)|
The elk are just one of the attractions here. The number and assortment of birds is also outstanding. Some of the birds even have lunch while hitchhiking on the elk.
This wetland project was a joint effort the Coos Bay District Bureau of Land Management, Ducks Unlimited, Pacific Coast Joint Venture, and their sub-group Oregon Coast Wetlands Joint Venture. It is managed by BLM.
The free viewing area is open year-round. There are restrooms and it is handicap accessible. The available parking is spacious enough for any size rig.
|Bull elk. (Julianne G. Crane)|
Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area
48819 Hwy 38
Reedsport, OR 97467
Directions: From Reedsport and Highway 101: Travel about three miles east on Hwy. 38 to the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area signs.