Plan Your Visit
Plan your visit according to the season and time of day. Wildlife is generally more active in mornings and early evenings than in the afternoon.
Spring, summer and fall are good times to take advantage of the Refuge’s excellent viewing opportunities. The months of May and June are especially prime times to see a lot of wildlife activity including young Canada goose goslings scurrying to follow their mothers.
Often the best bet is to drive along the Wildlife Observation Route around the Salt Meadow Unit; there you should see a variety of waterfowl, waterbirds and shorebirds. You may hike on all refuge roads that are open to vehicle travel. Driving the roads that encircle the refuge provides broad vistas of habitat and good chances to see wildlife.
Your car is an excellent observation and photographic blind. Staying in your car will often avoid scaring wildlife and provide you with better viewing opportunities.
Use binoculars and spotting scopes to bring animals “closer” to you without disturbing them.
Binoculars, camera, insect repellant, bird identification books, water and a lunch will contribute to a pleasant visit.
Hiking is permitted on all roads open to vehicle travel. General hiking is permitted July 1 - January 20 in areas of the refuge marked on the map as seasonally open. Horseback riding is allowed only on roads and trails shown on the brochure map.
The accessible walking trail is open March 15 - September 20.
Please respect the property rights of others. Permission should be obtained from adjacent landowners before crossing private land to enter open portions of the refuge.
Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing
Those who choose to enjoy the refuge in this manner are welcome. Use areas and dates are the same as those for hiking.
Vehicles and Parking
Use of any motorized vehicles and bicycles is permitted only on the roads and trails shown on the map in this brochure. You may park at any road’s edge in a manner that does not obstruct traffic or in designated parking areas. Refuge roads may be snowed in December to mid-March.
Boating is permitted only in those areas shown as open to boating on the map in this brochure. Motorized and non-motorized boats may be used September 20 - January 15.
The Canoe Trail is open July 1 - September 20.
Pets are allowed if on a leash or under close control.
Unloaded weapons that are dismantled or
cased may be transported by vehicle on refuge roads. Target shooting
and sighting-in weapons are not permitted.
The Bear Lake Valley has numerous services and accommodations available to visitors within a short driving distance. Further information may be obtained from:
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau
Public and private campgrounds are available nearby. Caribou National Forest maintains several public campgrounds, and private campgrounds are available throughout the valley.
All hunters must carry a valid State hunting license and all required State and Federal stamps, validations and permits.
Dates, hours and bag limits for species listed below correspond to State regulations.
Ducks, geese, coots, mergansers, snipe, gray partridge, sage grouse and cottontails may be hunted. All other species of wildlife are protected and may NOT be killed.
Approved nontoxic shot is required for hunting all species.
All personal property including boats and decoys must be removed from the refuge at the end of the day.
The use or possession of alcoholic beverages while hunting is prohibited.
Hunting Areas and Regulations
Hunting is permitted only in those areas designated as open to hunting on the map in this brochure and is subject to the following regulations.Motorized and non-motorized boats are allowed in the hunting area September 20 - January 15. Airthrust boats are prohibited. The south boundary of the hunting area within Mud Lake is delineated by a row of orange buoys. Temporary blinds of natural vegetation may be constructed, but such blinds shall be available for general use on a first-come, first-served basis. Construction of permanent blinds is prohibited.