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Racoons

Welcome to the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge  

 Sacramento NWR is just one of the 5 National Wildlife Refuges/3 Wildlife Management Areas that make up the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex.   

 

Visitor Activities at Sacramento NWR include: 

• Visitor Center (Discovery Room & bookstore)
• Auto Tour
• Observation Platform
• Trails (Wetlands Walk & Spring Trails)
• Photography & Photo Blinds (by reservation)
• Hunting (within designated hunting area) 
  
 The Visitor Center for the Complex is located at Sacramento NWR,
 where you can find maps/brochures, exciting programs, guided tours, exhibits, and a bookstore. To enhance your visit, the Complex lends binoculars and field guides. For the latest news, visit the Complex’s Facebook Page.) 

  • Hours

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    Sacramento NWR:  
    Visitor Center/Headquarters =
       • Winter Hours (Nov-Feb) 9am-4pm every day
       • Spring-Fall Hours (Mar-Oct) 9am-4pm Mon-Fri
       • Visitor Center is closed on federal holidays
    Auto Tour/Wetland Walk (open year-round)
       • 1 hr before sunrise - 1 hr after sunset
    Seasonal Trails (open Feb 15 - June 30)
       • 1 hr before sunrise - 1 hr after sunset


    Delevan NWR: 
    General viewing is limited to the bordering county roads 

    Colusa NWR
    : 
    Auto Tour/Trail (open year-round)
       • 1 hr before sunrise - 1 hr after sunset 

    Sutter NWR
    : 
    Seasonal Trails (open Feb 15 - June 30)
       • 1 hr before sunrise - 1 hr after sunset 

    Llano Seco Unit of North Central Valley WMA
    : 
    Trail (open year-round)
       • 1 hr before sunrise - 1 hr after sunset 

    Sacramento River NWR
    : 
    Trails (open year-round)
       • 2 hrs before sunrise - 1.5 hrs after sunset 

    Hunting Areas
    : See Hunting Webpage
  • What to Do?

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    Check out the numerous activities on the Complex....

    • DRIVE THE AUTO TOURS:
      The Sacramento NWR has a 6-mile Auto Tour that begins at the visitor center. Visitors are required to stay in their vehicle but there are 3 stop-and-stretch areas where visitors are able to get out of their vehicles. A multi-level platform is located approximately half way around the auto tour. Colusa NWR has a 3-mile Auto Tour and a platform at the beginning of the auto tour. By staying in your vehicle, wildlife are less likely to be disturbed.     
    See AUTO TOURS page   
    • HIKE THE TRAILS:  
      The Sacramento NWR has a 2-mile Wetland Walk that leaves from the Visitor Center and is open year-round, and 5 miles of Spring Trails that are open Feb 15 - June 30. Colusa NWR has a 1-mile Walking Trail that begins near the viewing platform at the beginning of the Auto Tour.  Sutter NWR has 6 miles of Spring Trails that are open from Feb 15 - June 30. The Llano Seco Unit has a 1-mile Walking Trail that connects 2 viewing platforms.  The Sacramento River NWR has 7 different Units that have over 17 miles of trails.
     
    See TRAILS page  

      

    • CHECK OUT THE VISITOR CENTER:
      The Visitor Center for the Complex is located at the Sacramento NWR.  At the Visitor Center you can enjoy our bookstore, Discovery Room, and displays.  Watch the Complex's film Unfinished Symphony. Shop our bookstore that is run by the Altacal Audubon Society to find field guides, nature books, postcards, t-shirts, and more. Beginning in August 2013 major credit cards are now accepted.  The Visitor Center is open 9am-4pm every day from November to February, and weekdays-only the remainder of the year.  Interpretive kiosks, picnic tables, benches and restrooms are located outside the Visitor Center and are available year-round.
    See VISITOR CENTER page

     

     
    •   PLAN A BIRD-WATCHING TRIP: 
      Check out our Sacramento Valley Birding Map and Sandhill Crane Birding Map, and plan a trip across the Sacramento Valley to see the great variety of birds found on the various refuges, wildlife areas, and state, county and city parks.  See our Wildlife page to find recent sightings, waterfowl survey summaries, wildlife checklists, and other information.  

    • PLAN A PHOTOGRAPHY TRIP:
      Sacramento NWRC offers many photographic opportunities.  The auto tours and walking trails are great places for photographers of all ages and skills.  We offer photography programs from November through March, and  there are 4 photography blinds that are available by reservation only.  

    See PHOTOGRAPHY page

    • PLAN A HUNTING TRIP:
      Portions of Sacramento NWRDelevan NWRColusa NWR, and Sutter NWR are open to waterfowl and upland game bird hunting.  Portions of Sacramento River NWR are open to migratory game bird, upland game and big game hunting. 
     
  • Entrance Fee

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    The Sacramento NWR has a $6 entrance fee. Fees collected stay at the Complex and are used for the visitor services program. Visit the Passes and Permits page for more detailed information on the entrance fees.  The Colusa NWR, Sutter NWR, Sacramento River NWR, and Llano Seco Unit of the North Central Valley WMA have no entrance fees.

  • Wildlife

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    Find out what wildlife are here and when it is the best time to see various species. Learn more. 

    Injured WildlifeThe Complex is not equipped to take in or care for injured or orphaned animals. Please leave young wildlife where they are found! The parents often know the young are still there and will continue to feed and care for them.  In Butte, Glenn and Colusa Counties the Valley Oak Veterinary Center on Dr MLK Parkway in Chico accepts wildlife. In the Sacramento metropolitan area contact the Wildlife Care Association at 916-965-WILD(9453).See a list of rehabilitators in CA 

  • Accessibility

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    The Complex is committed to providing equal opportunities for all of our visitors. Refuge-specific brochures are available in Braille and audio versions. All tour routes, platforms, and public buildings have access for people with disabilities. The north loop of the Wetland Walk Trail is wheelchair accessible. The restrooms at Sacramento and Colusa NWRs and the Llano Seco Unit are accessible. For information on hunting, visit the hunting accessibility page. A CD is available in the visitor center describing the auto tour of Sacramento NWR. 

  • How to Get Here

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    Click on the links below for driving directions and maps:

    • Sacramento NWR 
    • Delevan NWR 
    • Colusa NWR 
    • Sutter NWR 
    • Llano Seco Unit 
    • Sacramento River NWR 

  • Local Amenities

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    Click here for a map of Willows Food and Lodging options.  For other areas, visit the Chamber of Commerce links listed below.

  • Local Information and Activities

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    The surrounding communities offer a variety of amenities for visitors. Visit the following webpages for more information about restaurants, lodging, and other activities. Camping is not permitted on the Complex.
    • Willows Chamber of Commerce
    • Colusa County Chamber of Commerce (including the Colusa-Sacramento River SRA)
    • Chico Chamber of Commerce
    • Black Butte Lake National Recreation Area
    • Mendocino National Forest
    • Local California State Parks with camping: Colusa-Sacramento SRA and Woodson Bridge SRA
    • Local California Department of Fish and Wildlife Areas (no camping permitted): Upper Butte Basin WA, Colusa Bypass WA, Gray Lodge WA, and Sutter Bypass WA

  • Other Tidbits

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    Dogs are permitted on trails on a 6 foot leash. Spring and summer are tick season. Carry in and carry out - the Complex is a carry in/carry out facility. This means any trash or items you bring in with you, must leave with you. Please leave only footprints, and take only photos and memories!

  • Weather

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    The weather in the Sacramento Valley can range from extreme heat (100+) in the summer to dense fog or blustery winds in the winter. Often there is spotted fog in the Valley. If traveling from the Bay or Sacramento area, feel free to call the Complex to find out if it is foggy here. Check your local news stations to determine what to expect or check The Weather Channel or the National Weather Service (these sites will link to the weather in the town of Willows which is the closest town to Sacramento NWR).

  • Contact Information

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    Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex
    752 County Road 99W, Willows, CA 95988
    Phone: 530-934-2801
    Fax: 530-934-7814
    TTY: 711
    email: sacramentovalleyrefuges@fws.gov

Last Updated: Jan 27, 2015
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