Things to do at the Refuge
The Visitor Center is open from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. From November 15 to March 31, also open Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Enjoy the exhibits, native plant garden, and watch a wildlife video.
See Tips for Watching Wildlife for suggestions to make your visit more enjoyable.
Red Cloud Mine Road
Follow this scenic drive through the Sonoran desert landscape to access the lookout points and the Painted Desert Trail. If you intend to drive further than the Painted Desert Trailhead, a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. Check with the Visitor Center for road conditions.
Mesquite, Ironwood, Palo Verde and Smoke Tree Points offer beautiful views of the Colorado River valley. Often, both desert and wetland wildlife may be seen. All of the lookout points can be reached by vehicle.
Painted Desert Trail
Walk this 1.3-mile self-guided trail for an opportunity to see desert plants and wildlife. The trail takes you through a rainbow of colors left by 30,000 year-old volcanic activity and features a panoramic view of the Colorado River valley.
Looking for a quiet place to canoe or fish? Meers Point has shaded tables, toilets, and a boat launch. The refuge surrounds one of the few remaining "wild" places on the Colorado River. This stretch is valued by boaters for its remote scenery.