Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


For Our Refuge Visitors

Current 2021-2022 Hunting Season Began September 1st

Waterfowl female hunter / USFWS

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge's current 2021-2022 hunting season is open beginning September 1, 2021 through February 15, 2022. The Refuge's hunting season offers opportunities for a variety of game birds, water fowl, and mammal species including deer, feral hog and rabbit. Specific dates and mandatory Bag limits apply for each allowed hunting species. View all this fall - winter hunting seasons information on the Refuge's Visitor Activities page, in the Hunting section.

Refuge's Visitor Activities Page - Hunting Section

Refuge Trails Open to the Public

Sunrise on Refuge Lake / © Bernadette Madison

View the Refuge's Visitor Access Map, linked below. The Refuge lands are open to the public, even though our Visitor Center remains closed due to COVID-19 pandemic. The map shows our visitor trails, overlook observation areas, auto tour road, and lakes. The Refuge is open every day from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. The tour road is open daily.

Refuge Visitor Access Map

Refuge May Experience Intermittent Phone Outages

Alternate communication - Maxwell Smart with his shoe phone

The refuge has been encountering recurring telephone outages to facilities, including the refuge' Visitor Center. If you experience a recurring busy signal when calling into the refuge through the primary number of 575-625-4011 or 575-625-2015, please call a temporary, alternate number of 575-420-4304 for any visitor and business office inquiries. We apologize for this occasional inconvenience.

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Agency Precautions to COVID

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announcement: Keeping with guidance from the White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and acting out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily suspending (closing) operations of the Visitor Center at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge. We are committed to doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, and you--our friends and neighbors. Therefore, planned Refuge events and programs may not take place as scheduled. Refuge lands, including nature trails and outdoor recreational activities, remain open and accessible to the public. Please visit refuge information kiosks or brochure boxes for visitor information and refuge maps. We apologize for any inconvenience and will provide updates as they become available. More information is available by calling 575-420-4304 or emailing

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