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Rules and Regulations

Raccoon by Mike PetersThere are lots of fun, interesting and educational things you can do on our refuges. Keep in mind, if an activity is not wildlife-related, and doesn’t help in the protection or understanding of wildlife or their habitat, there are probably refuge rules governing this activity. There are plenty of activities on the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex for you to enjoy. Be safe and have fun! 

Hours of Operation

Go to our "Plan Your Visit" page to find hours for the auto tour routes, trails, and Visitor Center.


The Complex is committed to providing equal opportunities for all of our visitors. Refuge-specific brochures are availabel in Braille and audio versions. A CD is available in the visitor center describing the auto tour of the Sacramento NWR. 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 Sacramento NWR's hunting accessibility page.

Auto Tour

While on the Sacramento and Colusa NWR auto tours, visitors are required to stay in their vehicles. The Sacramento NWR auto tour has 3 park-and-stretch areas to allow visitors to get out of their vehicles. This is a citable offense with fines up to $250.

Respect Closed Zones

National Wildlife Refuges were created for wildlife. Areas throughout the refuge are designated as closed or restricted-use areas to protect wildlife or for public safety. Please read and adhere to the regulations identified by signs.


Hunting is allowed in designated areas. Visit the Sacramento NWR Complex hunting page and the Sacramento River NWR hunting page for more information.


Dogs are allowed where visitors are allowed. Dogs must be on-leash (no more than 6ft long) while on trails or parking lots, except for authorized hunting activities under the immediate control of a licensed hunter. Owners/handlers are responsible for disposal of dog droppings on refuge public use concentration areas such as trails and parking lots. National Wildlife Refuges provide habitat for native wildlife. Pets (including waterfowl) are not allowed to be released on the refuge.


Take out what you bring in. Littering is unlawful!

Camping and Fires

Camping is not permitted on the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Along the Sacramento River, camping is permitted on gravel bars for up to 7 days during a 30 day period. For waterfowl hunting, overnight stay is permitted in a vehicle or RV in designated areas. Tents are prohibited. No person may build or maintain fires except in portable gas stoves. Visit the plan your visit page for information on some local areas to spend the night.


Fishing is permitted on Packer Lake (Sacramento River NWR) and on the Sacramento River. Follow state regulations.


The Sacramento River NWR permits bicycles from May 15 - August 31 on the trails of the following units: Rio Vista, Pine Creek, Capay, Sul Norte, Packer, and Drumheller. Bicycles are permitted on the Colusa and Sacramento NWR auto tours between May 15 - August 31. Visit the Bicycling page for more information.

Alcohol and Drugs

The use or possession of alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs are prohibited.

Page Photo Credits — by Mike Peters
Last Updated: Jan 27, 2015
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