Friday, June 9, 2023


Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area Wetland Enhancement near Reedsport, Ore.

Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area. (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.”

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
Phone:(541) 756-0100

Directions: From Reedsport and Highway 101: Travel about three miles east on Hwy. 38 to the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area signs.

— Julianne G. Crane
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Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane writes about the RVing and camping lifestyles for print and online sites. She was been hooked on RVing from her first rig in the mid-1980s. Between 2000-2008, she was a writer for The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash. One of her popular columns was Wheel Life about RVing in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008, Crane started publishing RV Wheel She and her husband, Jimmy Smith, keep a homebase in southern Oregon, while they continue to explore North America in their 21-foot 2021 Escape travel trailer. Over the years they have owned every type of RV except a big class A. “Our needs change and thankfully, there’s an RV out there that fits every lifestyle.”


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