About the Refuge

Spring in a Fallon riparian area.

Fallon National Wildlife Refuge was established by Executive Order 5606 in 1931 to "...provide a sanctuary and breeding ground for birds and other wildlife."

Fallon National Wildlife Refuge is a 17,848 acre unit of the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge Complex, located in north-central Nevada, 20 miles northeast of the community of Fallon, and approximately seventy miles east of Reno. 

At the terminus of a branch of the Carson River, Fallon National Wildlife Refuge lies within the Carson Sink, and boasts the lowest elevation of Stillwater NWR Complex at 3800ft.  This desolate patch of high desert is dominated by gently rolling to flat desert alkali-shrub habitat consisting of greasewood and saltbush. A system of both active and stable dunes also accentuates the topography in this area. Cultural history extends back to the Northern Paiute people known as the cat-tail eaters ('Toidikadi') and their occupation of the Stillwater marshlands several thousand years ago.

Conditions at Fallon NWR are extremely primitive with no cell service or public use facilities (NO restrooms, water, trash, trails, picnic areas, etc.) 

Access to Fallon NWR is very limited, consisting of a dirt track which is primitive and not maintained regularly. Wet weather can rapidly change road conditions, making travel impossible or dangerous. Vehicle use within Fallon NWR is permitted, but not recommended for anything other than high-clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicles. ATV/OHV/UTV and similar non-street-legal vehicles are not permitted anywhere within the Stillwater NWR Complex. 

Fishing is not allowed at any of the refuges within Stillwater NWR Complex.


For more information on Fallon refuge and the Stillwater NWR Complex, please click on the Plan Your Visit link, or contact us at 775/423-5128.