The scenic overlook is located near Milepost 31, State Highway 14. The refuge office is located at Pierce Refuge: West from Vancouver, Washington on State Highway 14 to milepost 36, first driveway on the right. The office and residence are combined, with the office entrance on the south side of the building on the first floor.
WILDLIFE VIEWING, PHOTOGRAPHY
Franz Lake Refuge is located in southwest Washington State, within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The refuge provides a variety of habitats including riparian wetlands, transitional woodlands from lower elevation willows, and cottonwoods to mid-elevation old-growth fir and cedar with associated native understory shrubs, open meadows, and numerous streams and seeps. Franz and Arthur lakes contain healthy stands of Wapato (Sagittaria latifolia) which provide a critical habitat component for wintering tundra swans and other waterfowl. Other wildlife commonly observed on the refuge include great blue herons, gulls, band tailed pigeons, red-tailed hawks, crows, numerous songbirds, killdeer, western painted turtles, Pacific tree frogs, western toads, garter snakes, and California ground squirrels. Several springs and seeps on the refuge have been identified as critical brood areas for Coho salmon and other juvenile salmonids. The refuge may be viewed from an overlook located off-refuge along State Highway 14. Arranged group tours are also available.