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.
The refuge and museum are open daily from dawn to dusk. The Visitor Center is open Monday - Thursday from 8:00 to 4:00 and from 8:00 to 3:00 on Friday. The Visitor Center will be closed on weekends beginning June 28th through July. Brochures are available in brochure boxes outside of the Visitor Center.
Wildlife Viewing Tips
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 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.
Fires, swimming, camping, and collecting natural objects such as plants, animals, insects, minerals, antlers, and objects of antiquity (including Indian artifacts) are prohibited.