Plan Your Visit


Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge has diverse habitats for you to explore, including sagebrush steppe uplands, grassland meadows, willow riparian areas, and wetlands.

Refuge Hours: The Refuge is open from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.  Camping and overnight parking are not allowed.  Refuge roads are typically closed from December through April, however the Refuge Headquarters’ access road is maintained from the Highway 125 entrance to the Headquarters building.

Refuge Headquarters and Visitor Center: The Refuge Headquarters and Visitor Center is open year-round, Monday through Friday, from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm, except on Federal holidays.  To arrive at the Headquarters and Visitor Center, look for the Refuge Headquarters sign at County Road 32 located on the east side of State Highway 125, about 7 miles south of Walden, Colorado.  Turn east and continue straight for about 2 miles.  You will see the building in the distance once you crest the hill. Winter conditions excluded, you can also get to the facility by taking County Road 31 from the west side of State Highway 14 to access the Refuge back entrance. 

Auto Tour Route - A 6-mile self-guided auto tour route will take you through a variety of habitats on the western side of the Refuge, providing excellent opportunities to view and photograph waterfowl and other water birds, white-tailed prairie dogs and pronghorn. 

 Moose-Goose Nature Trail - An ADA compliant 1/2-mile interpretive nature trail, which winds along the Illinois River, provides a great chance to view song birds and other riparian residents.  During hunting seasons it is a good idea to wear hunter orange or brightly colored clothing while walking on the Refuge.  

Overlooks - There are three ADA compliant overlooks to facilitate viewing wildlife and habitats at a distance. The Brocker Overlook located off Highway 14, the Allard Overlook located on the Refuge Headquarters’ entrance road and the Owl Ridge Overlook located on Jackson County Road 32 near the Refuge Headquarters.  

Viewing Blind - An ADA compliant waterfowl viewing and hunting blind is located at Fox Pond on the Refuge back entrance road where you can view waterfowl and shorebirds.

For complete information about recreational opportunities at Arapaho NWR, please read the Refuge general brochure available at the Headquarters building and information kiosks located at the Auto Tour, Moose-Goose Nature Trail and the Brocker Overlook.  If you have questions about recreation, please contact the Refuge Headquarters at 970-723-8202 or email us at: 

Questions about licensing or the limited draw for the special elk hunt for youth and disabled hunters should be addressed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-297-1192.