About the Refuge

Marsh View

Grays Lake NWR is located in Southeast Idaho, 30 miles north of Soda Springs, Idaho. The Refuge lies within Grays Lake, a high elevation 22,000 acre bulrush marsh.

Grays Lake NWR, created in 1965,  is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to protect a portion of the historic Grays Lake marsh and provide resting and feeding habitat for migrating waterfowl.

The large expansive wetland habitats within this montane marsh attract numerous bird species, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds, including the largest breeding concentration of sandhill cranes in North America. The Service has documented almost 250 species of birds on the Refuge, of which approximately 100 species known to nest within its boundaries. The Refuge provides significant habitat for breeding waterfowl in the late spring and early summer, and nesting habitat for colonial birds, including a large mixed colony of white-faced ibis and Franklin’s gulls. 

The Refuge provides a opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation including wildlife observation, wildlife photography and waterfowl hunting. Visitation is estimated at less than 5,000 per year. For more on the history, recent and ancient, visit our Historical Perspective page.