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  • Volunteer_at_Allard_Ditch_218x116

    We appreciate our volunteers!

    From its start in 1903, the NWRS has owed its very existence to concerned citizens eager to protect our natural resources by helping out.

    Get Involved

  • Colorado Junior Duck Stamp BOS 2016

    Colorado Jr. Duck Stamp Program soars!

    K-12 students, submit your artwork up until the mid-March deadline! Here is the 2016 Best of Show painted by Marina Boiko.

    Junior Duck Stamp Program

  • Arapaho_gallery1_218x116

    Diversity thrives at Arapaho ~

    See songbirds,waterfowl,raptors,large and small mammals,and many types of plant life on the Refuge.

    Wildlife & Habitat

  • Am_wigeon_release_218x116

    Staff work in support of their mission ~

    Working to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

  • Prescribed_burn_218x116

    Habitat management is essential!

    Prescribed burning is just one of several tools used for habitat management on Arapaho. Here is a burn that took place during a wet May.

    Learn More

Auto Tour Favorites!

Celebrities of the Auto Tour


From May to September when the ponds are filled these popular water birds can be easily observed: pintails, ruddy ducks, American avocet, and Wilson's phalarope!

Learn about birds found on Arapaho NWR

About the Complex

Arapaho NWR Complex

Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge is part of a refuge complex that includes one refuge in Colorado and four refuges in southern Wyoming.

Arapaho is managed as part of the Arapaho NWR Complex.

Learn more about the complex 

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

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Important things to know

  • Road & Water Conditions

    cinnamon teal pair along Illinois RiverApril 17, 2016

    Spring storms and warming temperatures are currently influencing the water and roads on the Refuge. All roads are open, except the Back Entrance Road from County Road 31. Weather conditions may cause mud and ruts. Please use caution. The river is rising out of its banks to form shallow grassy areas for waterfowl to spend time in and the ponds are full so there are many birds on them.

    Check on the weather at
  • What's being seen!

    mountain_bluebird_150x118April 13, 2016

    The mountain bluebirds are back in North Park. The waterfowl and shorebirds have begun to return to the open areas of the Illinois River along the Moose-Goose Nature Trail and the ponds of the Auto Tour. Check out a summary of this year's Arapaho staff fauna and flora sightings.

    Learn more about staff sightings
  • Star Party


    The Star Party is our annual star gazing and nocturnal wildlife education event held at the Arapaho NWR Headquarters. Date and time to be announced. Supervised children and young adults are welcome! This event is sponsored by the Friends of Arapaho Group.

  • Limited Draw Elk Hunt

    Bull Elk

    Questions about licensing or the draw for this special elk hunt should be addressed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-297-1192. BASIC INFORMATION: There is a Limited Draw Elk hunt in Units B and C during Colorado State Elk seasons 1 through 4. Selection preference is given to youth and disabled hunters. Hunters must possess a Unit 17 or 171 tag in addition to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife selection letter for Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge. Selected hunters are required to attend a pre-hunt meeting at the Refuge prior to participating in the hunt.

Page Photo Credits — All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Reflection of snow covered mountains in pond. Photo Courtesy of Meg Van Ness/USFWS, Comet clip art. Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art, Bull Elk.  Copyright:  Scott Peckham
Last Updated: Apr 13, 2016
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