Explore McCartney Creek Meadow

  1. Select a Monitoring Location
  2. Learn about Location
  3. Explore Photo Points

About McCartney Creek Meadow

McCartney Creek Meadow
is a shrub steppe and freshwater habitat in Moses Coulee, managed by The Nature Conservancy, with 5 photo points monitored in spring and summer for changes in native vegetation.

About the Land Manager

Chuck Warner, Moses Coulee Conservation Area Program Director for The Nature Conservancy. Chuck may be reached at 509-665-9920 or by email.

At the Trailhead

From parking area, walk through the gate and follow the gravel road 1/8 mile downhill. You will see the kiosk which marks the beginning of the trail. The first photo point is across the footbridge and to your right, near the utility pole.

You are standing in the riparian area of McCartney Creek, within a meadow in Moses Coulee, part of the vast Columbia Basin shrub steppe ecosystem. The landscape you see was formed by a series of lava flows that laid down layer after layer of thick basalts. The coulee was carved by massive ice age floods – the largest floods known to science.

This landscape has been inhabited by humans for at least the last 10,000 years, tribes known today as the Wanapum, Yakima, Umatilla, and others. These meadows were homesteaded and farmed by a European American family, the McClures, beginning early in the last century. Agriculture and other human development have altered and fragmented much of the shrub steppe. Today, Moses Coulee and the Beezley Hills contain the largest, relatively intact shrub steppe landscape remaining in Washington State. The meadows were plowed and planted with crops and the stream channel was moved and straightened.

Explore the photos taken over time at McCartney Creek Meadow
to see how citizens are helping to generate scientific data.

"The Conservancy is working to restore a healthy riparian system at this 35-acre site that will provide habitat for a diverse array of native plants and animals and opportunities for community learning."

Mary O'Brien tells about growing up near McCartney Creek Meadow

Mary O'BrienMary O'Brien

Photos of McCartney Creek Meadow

McCartney Creek Meadow, Moses Coulee McCartney Creek Meadow, Moses Coulee Overview Photo Mccartney Creek Meadow in 1941

This project was made possible through support provided by the Washington Biodiversity Council (active 2004–2010).

Preparing for Your Trip

  • Walk-in access
  • April - August
  • Daylight hours
  • Please leave dogs at home.

Driving Directions

From Wenatchee:

  • Follow US-97/US-2 North to Orondo
  • Take US-2 East toward Waterville
  • From Waterville continue East on US-2 for 20 miles into Moses Coulee
  • Turn right (South) onto Coulee Meadows Rd/Moses Coulee Rd continue for 5 miles
  • Turn right onto Olson Hill Rd continue for .2 miles
  • Take first left onto Old Todora Rd and continue for 1.1 miles
  • Turn left on dirt road, follow to gate and designated parking area.
  • Enter walkthrough gate and follow road down to meadow