Skip Navigation

Rules and Regulations

Open/ClosedOn National Wildlife Refuges, WILDLIFE COMES FIRST!

All areas of the refuge are closed to the public unless otherwise explicitly posted as an auto tour route, nature trail, photo blind, or parking lot. Some areas are closed seasonally and are posted as such. 

The following rules apply except where otherwise posted:

Visitors to National Wildlife Refuges must comply with all applicable local, State, Federal regulations and signs.

Hours- Kern National Wildlife is open daily from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Fees- There are no fees to use the auto tour routes, nature trails, photo blinds, or parking lots.

Permits- There are no permits required to use the auto tour routes, nature trails, photo blinds, or parking lots.

State/Federal permits are required for activities that are traditionally highly regulated (such as hunting or fishing) or otherwise prohibited. Common examples include:

A refuge Special Use Permit (SUP) is required to enter closed areas or conduct activities that are otherwise prohibited (ex. wildlife trapping and tagging). For more information contact the refuge manager for the area where the proposed activity will occur at the Kern National Wildlife Refuge Complex Headquarters: (661)-725-2767.

Speed- Speed limit is 25 mph unless otherwise posted.

Open Areas- Areas open to public use will be posted as such. Road entrances to public use areas have a large brown sign, open gates, posted hours, or tour route signs. Areas open to the public include designated auto tour routes, nature trails, parking lots, and photo blinds.

Closed Areas- Areas closed to the public include all property that is not explicitly posted as an area open to the public including an auto tour route, nature trail, parking lot, or photo blind. Closed areas boundaries are posted along accessible areas with signs that may list the following: "UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY PROHIBITED", "AREA BEYOND THIS SIGN CLOSED All public entry prohibited." Visitors must stay our of posted closed areas. Visitors that enter posted closed areas are trespassing and are subject to law enforcement action including citations.   

Permitted Activities:

  • Use of posted auto tour routes, nature trails, parking lots, photo blinds.
  • Pets on a leash when outside of vehicle
  • Day use only 
  • Hiking along the auto tour routes only, watch out for traffic!!
  • Bicycling along the auto tour routes only, watch out for traffic!!

Prohibited Activities:

All areas of the refuges are CLOSED to public entry unless explicitly posted as a public use area. Visitors must comply with ALL posted rules and regulations, in addition to what is listed below, except where otherwise permitted/posted.

  • No trespassing in posted closed areas
  • No entry behind close gates or fences
  • No night use
  • No camping 
  • No travel off of designated public use road or trail
  • No parking outside of designated parking lots
  • No pets off leash when outside of vehicles 
  • No dog field trails or dog training that involves being off-leash
  • No horseback riding
  • No ATV's or UTV's
  • No fires or cooking grills
  • No weapons (except during lawful hunting activities and authorized by permit)
  • No discharge of firearms (except during lawful hunting activities and authorized by permit)
  • No take, disturbance, or collection of objects of antiquity or other valued objects 
  • No prospecting or mining 
  • No removal of any property from refuge    
  • No feeding wildlife
  • No spotlighting 
  • No interference with persons engaged in authorized activities
  • No drugs or alcohol 

Kern Visitor Map

Hunting

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated: Mar 03, 2016
Return to main navigation