Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Region



Birding Tips

Refuge Map

Hiking and Biking

Fishing Map

Where to Stay

Watchable Wildlife Narrated Auto Tour Route MP3 Files Auto Tour Route Brochure Fishing Hunting


Narrated Refuge Auto Tour Route available for download

The Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge have created a Narrated Tour of the Blitzen Valley portion of the refuge.

The tour provides information about the wildlife, natural history and history of the refuge.

map of tour route stops


The tour can be accessed three ways:

Download the MP3 files from our Friends Group Web Site for each stop on the tour before you arrive at the refuge - cell coverage is spotty and most major carriers do not have coverage at the Refuge.
Download a pdf brochure of the tour
Pick up a free CD of the narrated tour at the Visitor Center at Refuge Headquarters

With more than 320 species of birds, and 58 species of mammals, the refuge offers prime wildlife viewing. Before visiting the refuge consult the seasonal pages under birding tips for the best season to see specific bird species. 

In the spring waterfowl using the Pacific Flyway stop at the refuge and on the Silvies River flood plain around Burns to refuel for their journey northward.  Large flocks of lesser and greater sandhill cranes, and flocks of snow and Ross' geese provide spectacular viewing opportunities.  During the summer greater sandhill cranes, trumpeter swans and a variety of ducks and shorebirds nest on the refuge. Large flocks of greater sandhill cranes return in the fall to feed before their journey to the Central Valley of California. Winter is quiet, however ducks, geese, ravens, a variety of raptors, bald eagles, great horned owls and black-billed magpies can be seen.

Refuge Hours

The refuge and museum are open daily from dawn to dusk. The Visitor Center at Refuge Headquarters will be open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm each day until October 10th; after October 10th the Visitor Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and Friday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. Brochures are available in brochure boxes outside of the Visitor Center.

Wildlife Viewing Tips

  • Use Your Car as a Blind: Your car is an excellent observation and photographic blind.  Please stay in you car to avoid scaring wildlife - the next visitors will appreciate it.
  • Move Slowly: Quick movements and loud noises will scare away most wildlife.
  • Use Binoculars: Binoculars and spotting scopes allow you to get a closer look without leaving your car.


Bicycles and Horseback Riding

Bicycles and horseback riding are permitted on roads that are open to motorized vehicles.


Year round hiking is permitted only on roads open to motorized vehicles and the following trails. Two short paths -- one at Buena Vista and one at Headquarters -- lead to overlooks. Additional trails are the Barnes Springs Foot Path near Frenchglen, and the public fishing loop near P Ranch.  Hiking is also permitted along the banks of Krumbo Reservoir.

No other refuge lands are open to hiking.

Be prepared as you may encounter wet areas, thorny vegetation, and rough ground.

Please stay on designated trails.

Fishing and Hunting

Fishing and hunting are permitted with restrictions.See our fishing and hunting pages.



Boats with electric motors are permitted on Krumbo Reservoir during the fishing season.



Pets must be kept leashed while on the refuge.



Archery bows that are dismantled, unloaded and cased may be transported through the refuge on public roads.


Prohibited Activities

Fires, swimming, camping, and collecting natural objects such as plants, animals, insects, minerals, antlers, and objects of antiquity (including Indian artifacts) are prohibited.


Last updated: June 18, 2013