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.


  • Refuge Fact Sheet Map

    Refuge Map Showing Visitor Access

    Map of Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge visitor areas and scenic routes showing trails, overlooks, observation blind, and lakes.

    Refuge Visitor Access Map

  • Threatened status Pecos orange sunflower / USFWS

    Temporarily Closing Visitor Center

    . . . to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, and you--our friends and neighbors.

    Agency's COVID-19 Announcement Letter

  • Killdeer plover / © Bernadette Madison, USFWS

    eBird Observation Entries

    Find out what birds are being seen at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, including the most recent sightings.

    eBird Daily Observations

For Our Refuge Visitors

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.

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
Featured Stories
Featured Stories

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