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Plan Your Visit

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Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge offers wildlife viewing year-round on the Carty Unit and River S' Unit Auto Tour Route.

  • Hours

    Current hours daily are: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm

    The Refuge is open everyday during daylight hours. Closing times for the automated gate are posted on the gate at the refuge entrance. No pedestrian access allowed after dark.

    Note: Periodically, the refuge may be closed for scheduled maintenance or construction projects, or because weather conditions have created hazardous conditions. Look for updates on this website before you visit.

  • Fees

    The daily entrance fee to the Refuge is $3.00 per non-commercial vehicle.  Cash and check only - NO debit/credit cards.  Please bring exact change.   

    There are many pass options available to waive the entrance fee. Please visit the Entrance Fee page, to learn more about the entrance fee and pass options for the Refuge. 

    All revenues from entrance fees will be used to support recreation related expenses including: brochures, signage, facilities enhancement, trail/road maintenance, restoration associated with wildlife-dependent recreation and public safety.

  • Seasonal Closures

    The Kiwa trail on the River S' Unit is closed October through April to reduce disturbance to wintering waterfowl.

    The Auto Tour Route is restricted to access by car only October through April, also to reduce disturbance to wintering waterfowl that is caused by visible human presence.

    Please respect these closures as they allow both people and wildlife to use and enjoy the same areas while keeping to the conservation mission of the Refuge.

    The Viewing Blind on the River S' Unit remains open year-round in addition to the Carty Unit, to pedestrian foot traffic.

  • Directions

    For the Carty Unit, Refuge Office, and Plankhouse:


    From Interstate 5 (both north and south) take Exit 14 for Pioneer Street/ Washington 501 W toward Ridgefield.

    At the exit, (from the north) turn right for NW 269th/Pioneer Street.
    At the exit, (from the south) turn left for NW 269th/Pioneer Street.

    At the traffic circle, take stay on NW 269th/Pioneer Street.

    At the second traffic circle on NW 269th/Pioneer Street. Continue to follow Pioneer Street.

    At Main Street, take a right. Continue on N Main for 1 mile.

    Refuge Entrance will be on the left.

     




    For River S' Unit, Auto Tour Route, and Hunter Check Station:


    From Interstate 5 (both north and south) take Exit 14 for Pioneer Street/ Washington 501 W toward Ridgefield.

    At the exit, (from the north) turn right for NW 269th/Pioneer Street.
    At the exit, (from the south) turn left for NW 269th/Pioneer Street.

    At the traffic circle stay on NW 269th/Pioneer Street.

    At the second traffic circle stay on NW 269th/Pioneer Street. Continue to follow Pioneer Street.

    At S 9th Ave to S Hillhurst Street, turn left. Continue on S Hillhurst Road.

    Refuge Entrance will be on the right.

  • Visitor Facilities

    Parking, information kiosks, and restroom facilities are located at both the Carty Unit and River S' entrances. There is also an additional restroom facility located approximently half way around the Auto Tour Route at the Viewing Blind parking lot, which is open year-round.

    There are no drinking fountains, picnic areas, or garbage cans available so please come ready to pack out what you bring in.

    Facilities are almost exclusively maintained by volunteers so please respect their hard work and leave everything as you found it.

    Note: Garbage thrown in toilets is NOT retrievable. If the toilets are filled with trash they will eventually have to be closed permanently.  Please help us keep this facility functional for everyone and take your trash home with you.

  • Activities Harmful to Wildlife

    Because this is a home for wildlife, activities that disturb wildlife are restricted.

    Please leave the following at home:
         - Bicycles, scooters, etc.
         - Horses, dogs, or any other animal (except for certified service animals)
         - Electric or gas-powered off-road vehicles unless needed for a disability
         - Anything used to collect plants or animals

  • Groups

    Parking areas and Auto Tour Route is wide and tall enough to accommodate most buses and RVs. Pre-scheduled group tours are asked to check in with Refuge management to ensure that they are not conflicting with an already scheduled group. Assistance for schools and other educational groups may also be available. Please contact Josie Finley for more information at 360-887-4106 or Josie_Finley@fws.gov.

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2016
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