Skip Navigation
Decrease Normal Increase

Cowlitz Wildlife Programs

Habitat for all

Tacoma Power's Cowlitz Wildlife Area is one of the largest designated wildlife areas in Western Washington. 

Providing the wildlife area is part of Tacoma Power's responsibility for operating the Cowlitz River Project.

The majority of the wildlife area surrounds Mayfield and Riffe lakes, including the 7,000-acre Peterman Ridge unit north of Riffe Lake, and other lands in seven smaller units along the river valley. View a map of the area.

The federal license for the Cowlitz Hydroelectric Project, the Cowlitz Wildlife Area management plan, and state and federal oversight guide the wildlife program. Protection and management of habitat for native species is the focus of the program.

Please visit

The wildlife area is open to the public for low-impact uses including nature watching, photography, hiking, boating, swimming, fishing, hunting, biking and horseback riding (only on established trails).

Part of the area is included in the Great Washington Birding Trail.

Protect habitat by following the rules

Please enjoy the wildlife area and help us protect our natural resources. Rules are posted on signs at main entrance points and other state wildlife area rules apply.

  • You may not remove petrified wood, minerals, fossils, wood products or artifacts from the lands.

  • Digging is not allowed.

  • Campfires are prohibited during burn bans and fireworks are never allowed.

  • Visitors should be aware the water levels in the lakes and rivers can rise and fall quickly.

Discover Pass not needed to access the Cowlitz Wildlife Area
This pass does not apply to our parks, boat launches, day-use areas or wildlife lands.