Visitor Activities


Visit the Merced National Wildlife Refuge




  • Please Respect Refuge Signage

    Please note that ALL areas of the refuge are closed to public entry unless otherwise explicitly posted as an auto tour route, nature trail, hunting area, or parking lot.  National Wildlife Refuges are managed for wildlife first.

  • Hunting

    The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex has a longstanding waterfowl hunting program. The various units of the Complex offer diverse opportunities for waterfowl hunting, such as free-roam, hunting from blinds, and hunting by boat.

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  • Wildlife Viewing

    The Merced NWR provides visitors with a variety of ways to observe and experience its diverse assortment of wildlife. An auto tour route and three nature trails provide optimal wildlife viewing opportunities year round.

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  • Interpretation

    Many interpretive amenities throughout the Refuge Complex help visitors understand the importance of Valley wildlife. Look for information kiosks, elevated viewing platforms, and interpretive panels along the auto tour routes and nature trails.

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  • Environmental Education

    By exploring the Complex, classes of all ages and grade levels can integrate the natural world into their classroom lessons. The San Luis NWR Visitor Center’s indoor classroom and outdoor amphitheater and wetlands are well suited to host quality curriculum-based field trips. Field trip programs are by appointment only. Field trips can also be conducted outdoors at the Merced NWR.

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  • Photography

    Whether an amateur photographer or professional, seeking mammals, birds, wildflowers, or natural landscapes, the Merced NWR provides endless opportunities for wildlife photography. Your vehicle can serve as an excellent photo blind while on the auto tour route.