Habitat Tour

NilgaiHabitat

Take in the sights at one of the most beautiful natural areas in South Texas.


The Refuge Tour explores the habitat of Laguna Atascosa along Steve Thompson Drive (formerly Bayside Drive), the Laguna Atascosa, and Bahia Grande Unit. Winding and weaving past bushlands, wetlands, and the Laguna Madre, this interpretive tour is a great way to see what is truly a piece of living history and the largest federally protected area in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Fall and winter sightings may include osprey, redhead ducks, sandhill cranes, reddish egret (we have many white phase), tri-colored heron, shorebirds, snow geese, white tailed deer, nilgai antelope, bobcat, coyote, javelina, western diamondback rattlesnake, Texas tortoise, and American alligator.  

The tour includes several short stops along the way with short walks. Participants are welcome to take the walk or stay on the tour vehicle. 

  Tours are by reservation only, please call ahead for availability. 956-244-2019

Cost: CASH OR CHECK ONLY $4.00 per adult (ages 16+); $3.00 for 62 and older; FREE for children (15 and under)

Habitat Bus Tours

Our buses can accommodate up to 10 visitors and have 1 wheelchair accessible area.

Bahia Grande Unit: Thursdays 8:15am
Steve Thompson Wildlife Drive: Thursdays 1:00pm

Habitat Tram Tours

The tram is open air and can accommodate up to 36 visitors. Please dress accordingly.

Steve Thompson Wildlife Drive: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday  8:30am & 1:00pm

Tours last approximately 2 - 3 hours, restroom facilities are available along the tour on Steve Thompson Wildlife Drive (formerly Bayside Drive).

Wildlife Wednesdays

Explore Laguna Atascosa during prime time with this special tour led by Ranger Georgie Garcia.

March 4, 18   April 1, 15, 29   May 13, 27. Time varies to end at sunset. Call for details

Tours last approximately 2 - 3 hours, restroom facilities are available along the tour on Steve Thompson Wildlife Drive (formerly Bayside Drive). 

Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the morning tour and an hour before the afternoon tour to have enough time to park, purchase your tickets and use the restroom. Check our "Plan Your Visit" section for up to date directions.

  Other information

  • Refuge entrance fees ($3 per vehicle) are in addition to the tour fees. 
  • Binoculars are highly recommended, so bring yours along.  The visitor center has a limited number of binoculars to loan.
  • After rains, the Mosquitos can be quite numerous and insect repellent is recommended.