Visual Tour

Welcome to the Visual Tour of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. This tour highlights some of the Refuge's features, viewing areas, and parking lots for your visit.

Refuge Entrance

Welcome to the Refuge! General information is located just outside the Refuge entrance on Prairie Parkway. The Refuge is open from sunrise to sunset seven days a week and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Visiting the Refuge is free! 

  Refuge Entrance Summer 520x348


Visitor Center

Begin your visit at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 am to 4 pm (closed on Federal holidays). Helpful staff at the Visitor Center information desk can orient you to the trail system, the 11-mile self-guided Wildlife Drive auto tour, upcoming nature programs and more. Trail/Wildlife Drive maps are available at the Visitor Center and the Visitor Center parking lot kiosk located on the south side of the building. 


Spend some time exploring the exhibit hall to learn about the site’s unique history and wildlife that calls the Refuge home. Don’t miss the Discovery Room next to the auditorium at the end of the building, which features seasonal, hands-on wildlife activities for the young and young at heart. Off the back patio is a 200-seat amphitheater.

Visitor Center Exterior 520x348

Black-Footed Ferret Live Exhibit
Step inside the world of the endangered black-footed ferret by visiting our indoor/outdoor exhibit. Get an up close look at our resident ferrets. Located near the Visitor Center patio, the indoor exhibit is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, and the outdoor exhibit is open from sunrise to sunset.

Ferret Exhibit

Wildlife Drive 

As you enter the Refuge, signs will direct you to the 11-mile self-guided Wildlife Drive. A car symbol and arrow will help guide you along the route. If you haven’t already picked up a Trail/Wildlife Drive map at the Visitor Center, additional maps are available at the Visitor Center parking lot kiosk or on our website.  

The Wildlife Drive is for motorized vehicles only and the speed limit is 30 miles per hour. Please be aware that visitors must stay in their vehicle while traveling through the bison enclosure, which is marked with signs and cattle guards. Please be sure to follow and obey all signage including “Area Closed Signs”. You may see vehicles in “closed areas” beyond the Wildlife Drive – these are employees driving to and from their work sites on the Refuge.

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Bison Enclosure

More than 180 bison roam the Refuge and the Wildlife Drive auto tour provides a great opportunity to see North America's largest mammal and symbol of the west. Please remember bison are wild and unpredictable animals so please stay in your vehicle at all times. If bison are blocking the road, please give them plenty of space, be patient, and enjoy the view. Honking your car horn or using your vehicle to divide the herd is not permitted at any time.

Entering Bison Area Summer 520x348

Contact Station

The Contact Station is an educational facility that provides youth groups and educators the ability to conduct self-guided field trips and programs. It contains all the tools and resources needed to compliment educational programs and is a great gateway to the lakes and trail system on the Refuge.

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Fishing Fee Station/Information Kiosk

On the south side of the Contact Station parking lot is an information kiosk with Refuge brochures. From mid-April to mid-October, the Refuge’s fishing permit, rules and regulations, and fee envelopes to pay the $3.00 daily fishing fee are found here. Next to the kiosk is an “iron ranger”, where fishing fee envelopes are deposited. There is another kiosk and iron ranger to pay your fishing fee on the south side of Lake Ladora. Anglers, please be sure to carry with you a signed copy of the Refuge’s Fishing Permit, Rules, and Regulations, and receipt for your fishing fee. The fishing season is closed mid-October through mid-April. 

 Contact Station Kiosk with I Ranger

Lake Mary Parking and Restroom

Behind the Contact Station, and just down the road, are a few gravel parking areas to access Lake Mary. There is also a port-o-let at the north edge of the lake across from the amphitheater and close to handicap parking spaces. 
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Lake Mary Floating Boardwalk and Fishing Piers

Lake Mary is an easy ½ mile hiking trail featuring a floating boardwalk, two piers and two amphitheaters.

Lake Mary Boardwalk 520x348

Lake Ladora Parking and Restrooms

Just up the hill from Lake Mary, at the top of the dam, is a paved lot for additional parking and easy access to Lake Ladora and hiking trails. A restroom is located in the corner of the parking lot.  

Lake Ladora romtek summer 520x348

Lake Ladora Floating Boardwalk

Lake Ladora is a 1.8 mile loop, and like Lake Mary, it too has a floating boardwalk, located along the east side of the lake. Fishing is not allowed from the boardwalk. 

Lake Ladora Boardwalk 512x348

Additional Parking

Along the Wildlife Drive on the south side of Lake Ladora is a paved parking lot to access Lake Ladora, Prairie, Woodlands and Havana Ponds trails. Additional restrooms are located here.

Lake Ladora Old Lot 520x348

Rod and Gun Club Trail Wildlife Blind

At the end of the Rod and Gun Club Trail there is a large wildlife blind sitting at the edge of a small wetland and nestled among the trees. It is a great place for spotting and photographing wildlife moving through the mid-grass prairie, wetland, and woodlands.

Rod and Gun Club Viewing Blind 520x348



Photo Credit: USFWS