Plan Your Visit

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Be sure to stop by Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge the next time you're in Northwest Colorado. Located in a remote valley between Diamond and Cold Springs mountains, the Refuge provides visitors with a multitude of recreational opportunities as well as unmatched solitude. 

  • Visiting the Refuge

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    Due to the remote nature of the Refuge, visitors are encouraged to bring extra supplies including water, food, and fuel in case of emergency. Cell phone coverage is sporadic at best in this area and should not be relied upon in times of emergency. If you are planning on being in this area for an extended time, Refuge staff suggest notifying a friend or family member of your location in case you need to be contacted in an emergency.

    The Refuge contains accessible facilities at Hog Lake hunting blind and fishing pier; and at the Spitzie overlook. There are accessible restrooms at the Swinging Bridge Campgrounds and Crook Campground. 

    For more information about the Refuge and a map of the Refuge please read our General Brochure

  • Recreation

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    Visitors to Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge will find spectacular scenery in a remote wilderness setting. To maintain this wilderness experience, facilities and commercialism are limited. Recreation off the established roads involves non-motorized or non-mechanical means of transport. This approach provides wildlife and wildland viewing and enjoyment opportunities in an uncrowded setting. Restrictions are also minimized, and visitors may hike cross-country or follow any of numerous trails created by big game. All visitors are encouraged to use good wildlife viewing practices and ethics, especially when viewing species sensitive to human disturbance. 

    For specific information about recreational activities, go to the Visitor Activities page.

    Other information that you will need or find useful is contained in other Refuge brochures, available on request from the Refuge.

    If you have specific questions, please contact the Refuge Office at 970-365-3613

  • Driving Directions

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    Refuge Visitor Center is located in northwest Colorado approximately 1 mile from the Utah border and 10 miles from the Wyoming border. There are several routes available depending on your direction of travel and local weather conditions. 

    Craig, CO: Drive 31 miles west on Hwy 40 and turn right on Hwy 318 after passing through Maybell, CO. Follow Hwy 318 for 60 miles to the Refuge Visitor Center. 


    Vernal, UT: There are two possible routes depending on the season and weather conditions.

    • The most reliable route is 81 miles total and involves following Hwy 191 around the Flaming Gorge. From Vernal, drive 52 miles north on Hwy 191 and turn right on the Browns Park Road just inside Wyoming. Follow this road for approximately 28 miles until you see the Refuge Visitor Center 1 mile east of the Colorado-Utah border. 
    • During good summer weather an alternative route is to drive 50 miles over Diamond Mountain (this requires a 4x4 high-clearance vehicle). Turn east on 500 N St. and follow it approximately 26 miles, during which it changes names to the Jones Hole Road. After 26 miles, turn left on Browns Park Road 1250 and follow it approximately 17 miles to the Swinging Bridge. Drive over the bridge and follow CO-83 north to Hwy 318. Turn left on Hwy 318 to reach the Refuge Visitor Center just down the hill. Much of this route is gravel and dirt roads. 


    Rock Springs, WY: There are two possible routes depending on the season and weather conditions. 

    • The most reliable winter route is 93 miles total. Drive 77 miles south on WY-430 S CO-10N (gravel road). When this meets Hwy 318, turn right and drive 16 miles west to the Refuge Visitor Center. This route includes 22 miles of well-maintained gravel road. 
    • The alternative route is 85 miles total. Drive 51 miles south on Hwy 191 and turn left on the Browns Park Road. Follow this road for approximately 28 miles until you see the Refuge Visitor Center1 mile east of the Colorado-Utah border. This route includes 2 miles of gravel road. 


    To see a map of the Refuge, visit the Maps page or search our address: 1318 Hwy 318, Maybell, CO 81640

    Due to the remote location, visitors should bring sufficient water, food, and fuel for their visit since there are no nearby services. Cell phone signal is unreliable in this area. Call the Refuge staff at 970-365-3613 if you have questions about travelling here.