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Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge - Bowerman Basin

Southwest Washington


Southwest Washington -- Long Beach Area
View map below


1.3 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 0 ft.
Highest Point: 20 ft.


3.00 out of 5


Parking Pass/Entry Fee


The short boardwalk at Bowerman Basin provides a quiet, contemplative place to enjoy the wildlife resting at the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge.

Situated on the western edge of Hoquiam, the Sandpiper Trail is accessed by first walking near the Hoquiam airport. As a courtesy to airfield employees and users, please stay on the paved path and don’t stray into the nearby buildings.

Walk a brief half mile section on the paved road near old buildings, now abandoned, or at least infrequently used, to the true trailhead for the Sandpiper Trail. Head northwest along this boardwalk, which can be slippery because of catkins that fall on the boardwalk from alders lining either side. Tread carefully. Listen to the riotous calling of a myriad of birds, and if you’re visiting at lowtide, look for shorebirds like plovers, dunlin, and the trail’s namesake, sandpipers. 

Nearly half a mile later, arrive at a fork. Here you can go either way, since it is a short lollipop loop that allows you to see more of the refuge close up, and offers a look into Bowerman Basin itself from a bench situated at the westernmost edge of the trail. Back on the loop, admire the warped driftwood in the basin, or take advantage of the binoculars mounted on the boardwalk to get a closer look at the wildlife here as you complete your loop. When you’re done exploring, head back the way you came.


Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge - Bowerman Basin

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.9740, -123.9301 Open map in new window


Southwest Washington -- Long Beach Area

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Olympic Peninsula

ed. 2 (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

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Getting There

Drive Highway 12 west, through Montesano and to Aberdeen. Just outside of Aberdeen, 12 turns into E Wishkah Street. Follow Wishkah west through Aberdeen to N Alder Street, about 0.6 miles. Turn right onto N Alder Street. Follow Alder around as it becomes Sumner Avenue and Riverside Avenue (both also signed for Highway 101 west). Cross the river after 3.1 miles, and turn right onto Levee Street. Turn left onto W Emerson Ave after 0.1 mile, and proceed 2 miles to Paulson Road. Turn left on Paulson and then make a right onto Airport Way. Drive to the end of the road to the second yellow gate -- don't drive through the gate if it is open.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


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Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge - Bowerman Basin

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