Frog Lake / Crab Creek / Marsh Loop Trails

Moses Lake, Washington 98837

Frog Lake / Crab Creek / Marsh Loop Trails

Frog Lake / Crab Creek / Marsh Loop Trails Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"By late spring, this area becomes very hot and dry, yet every valley bottom is covered with lush green vegetation and at least a small body of water —be it a creek, a lake, or a largish bog/mosquito hatchery. While the small waters are rich with aquatic life, the desert begins 1 or 2 feet above the waterline, with prickly pear cactus, sagebrush, cheatgrass, lots of dusty bare ground, and rattlesnakes.

In winter, bitter cold weather settles in, and a cold silence envelops the land—until the birds wake up. Then you’ll be blasted awake by the call of the 100,000 ducks and geese that stop in this refuge during the annual migration. Most notable of the migratory birds are the sandhill cranes that stop over in March each year."

More Frog Lake / Crab Creek / Marsh Loop Trails Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Day Hiking Eastern Washington (The Mountaineers Books)
Rich Landers
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"From the trailhead kiosk two trails diverge. The trail left heads north along Crab Creek (Hike 94). The trail straight drops off the small bench you’re on, leading to the Frog Lake and Marsh Loop Trails. Go straight and walk across an earthen dam (elev. 840 ft), one of several responsible for the nearby large wetland ponds teeming with birdlife. The refuge is a bird lover’s delight. Between its diverse habitats and being located along the Pacific Flyway, more than 225 species of birds have been recorded on the refuge, including burrowing owls, prairie falcons, and ferruginous hawks. But the refuge’s most famous avian resident is its migratory lesser sandhill cranes. Arriving in March and flying in large flocks resembling phalanxes of pterodactyls (and sounding like them), they are spectacular to watch."

Frog Lake / Crab Creek / Marsh Loop Trails Trip Reports

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I originally drove to this site to do the Goose Lake Plateau, but after getting frustrated with the lack of trail I returned to the trailhead and crossed the street. I only did the Frog Lake Trial (3 miles). All three hikes mentioned share the same trailhead. It was a nice, little trail. Scattered throughout the hike were five or six signs that explained different things about this part of the refuge. I felt this hike would be great for a school field trip. The scenic loop at the top is worth it. Be sure to do the whole loop and not just an out and back to the nearest viewpoint. Also, the guide mentions rattlesnakes in the area. I didn't see or hear one during my hike. My Time: 53 minutes.

Frog Lake / Crab Creek / Marsh Loop Trails Photos

Trail Information

Moses Lake
Nearby City
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
2 to 3 hours
950 feet
Trailhead Elevation
1,000 feet
Top Elevation
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Columbia National Wildlife Refuge
Local Contacts
Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Priest Rapids
Local Maps

Trail Log