Situated in one of the last major free-flowing stretches of the Columbia River, this 200-acre island preserve offers stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge and Beacon Rock. It is one of the best remaining natural islands in the Columbia River Gorge area.

Originally proposed to be turned into a dredge disposal site in the early 1980s, the Nature Conservancy acquired the island in 1984. The Conservancy transferred the island to the Columbia Land Trust in 2013, with an endowment for ongoing stewardship. It now lies within the federal Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area for all to visit and enjoy!

Black cottonwood, willow and ash are the dominating woodlands here and its gravel shoreline hosts native river plants, including the rare sepal yellowcress. Additionally, there are a variety of songbird and fishing bird species that can be seen here as well as the great blue heron and osprey. Beavers can be seen making their homes here sometimes too. Bring the kids for a day of exploration but leave your canine companions at home as due to the sensitive nature of this preserve and its animals, no pets are allowed on the preserve.

For more information on the Pierce Island, please click here.


  • From Vancouver, Washington, take State Highway 14 east approximately 25 miles and follow signs to the boat launching wharf at Beacon Rock State Park. Pierce Island is immediately to the east. 

Written by Noelle van deer Straaten, Volunteer.