Shutdown Notice
Due to the lapse in federal appropriations, this website will not be updated until further notice. Where public access to refuge lands does not require the presence of a federal employee or contractor, activities on refuge lands will be allowed to continue on the same terms as before the appropriations lapse. Any entry onto Refuge System property during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor's sole risk. Please read this important updated message about the closure of National Wildlife Refuge System facilities during the shutdown, and refer to alerts posted on individual refuge websites for the status of visitor facilities and previously scheduled events that may still occur during the shutdown.

For more information, please visit the Department of Interior webpage at


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    Bring a paddle!

    The refuge offers an excellent opportunity to canoe and kayak the Bill Williams River.

    Enjoying the river

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    Refuge Gallery

    View a gallery of images showing wildlife living on the refuge.

    Wildlife of the River

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    Listen for it...

    A refuge resident, the Yuma clapper rail can be heard in the marshes making its distinct kek, kek, kek notes.

    Wildlife & Habitat


East to West

Unlike most rivers in Arizona, the Bill Williams runs east to west across the landscape. Ecologically, the river serves an important function as a wildlife corridor. It allows wildlife to travel across the desert landscape expanding their range and establishing new territories. For centuries it has served humans in the same way, allowing Native Americans and many others to travel across the otherwise hostile environment.

Wildlife & Human Corridor
Featured Stories

Rare Visitor


The Nutting's flycatcher, a small migratory bird whose range rarely extends into the United States, has been seen on the refuge. The small bird is a 'life bird' for birding enthusiasts and has been seen at the end of Planet Ranch Road on the auto tour road.

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS