A picturesque combination of wetland, forest, and grassland, Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area is a great location to enjoy sights of the wildlife in its natural habitat. It is 1040 acres of land in total. Forest takes 600 acres while wetland and grassland take other 440 acres. In addition to Roosevelt elk, you can also enjoy seeing various types of birds as well as waterfowl living in the area.
Elk moves unrestricted in nature which gives you an opportunity to see the real life of the elk in its habitat. The number of elk changes depending on the year and season, but generally, there are up to a hundred elks living there.
You can enjoy sights of elk all year long, however, there are better times to see those animals. Mating season for elk is between late August and early October, so if you want to see the most elk activity, September would be the best month to visit Dean Creek for elk viewing. This is the time when elk males, also known as bulls, are attracting elk females, also known as cows. Males are making loud sounds and crushing small trees and bushes in order to impress females and scare competition away.
Sometimes you might even see two males fighting to establish dominance. In September elk viewing is a popular activity, so if you are trying to avoid crowds, your best bet would be to show up during the week rather than on the weekend.
Also, elk is pretty active between late April and early May once new vegetation is in active growth and the site is less crowded during that time than during fall. Early morning and right before sunset is the best times of the day to see elk activity. However, elk is out roaming in the wild constantly and can be spotted during the day.
Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area is managed by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as by Bureau of Land Management. A lot of effort has been put into the maintenance of the area for wildlife in general and elk preservation in particular.
Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area is located off of highway 38 on the Oregon Coast about 8 miles away to the East of Reedsport.
There is plenty of parking space available for visitors. Restrooms are available on site for visitor’s convenience. Feel free to bring spotting scope or binoculars in order to more easily see elk and other forms of wildlife.
Directions to Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area
From Oregon Coast Highway 101 in Reedsport,
- Turn east onto Highway OR-38 (Umpqua Avenue)
- Follow 3.5 miles on Umpqua Avenue to the destination on the right.