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Plan Your Visit

Visitors look out over wetlands at the refuge“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
― Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge provides numerous recreation opportunities to thousands of visitors every year. Bird watching, wildlife viewing, hiking, fishing or hunting are the primary activities enjoyed by visitors on the refuge. Regulation of recreation activities allow for public enjoyment of the refuge while still protecting wildlife and habitats.

Come Prepared

Fuel is not available at the refuge. Fuel is available at the Narrows, Burns and in Crane.

The nearest camping is at Page Springs Campground at the south end of the Blitzen Valley or at the Narrows RV Park.

Dress appropriately. Bring a hat, water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, field guides, binoculars, camera, etc.

We have so many birds because we have so many mosquitoes! Remember to bring your bug spray.

The refuge is truly wild and cell phones might not work.

If you have a serious health-related emergency try to call 911 first and if possible notify staff at the visitor center. The refuge has a first aid kit and AED unit for emergencies.

Visitor Center - Temporarily Closed

The Visitor Center includes The Friends of Malheur Nature Shop, an information desk, views of wildlife using Marshall Pond and an expansive view of Malheur Lake. The Visitor Center is temporarily closed.

Benson Memorial Museum - Temporarily Closed

The museum is open from sunrise to sunset each day of the week. It contains historic taxidermy mounts of many of the birds that may be viewed in the wilds of the refuge, as well as interpretive exhibits. The museum offers an opportunity to see elusive birds up close and personal. The museum is dedicated to the memory of George Benson, the first full-time employee at the refuge.


The Refuge is open each day from sunrise to sunset.

Refuge Brochure

A good place to begin your visit to the refuge is to view our brochures:

Refuge Brochure

Refuge Map

Watchable Wildlife

Refuge Hiking Trails Brochure

Auto Tour Route Brochure


Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is located 35 miles south of the Burns/Hines communities in southeast Oregon at the base of Steens Mountain. Easiest access is via State Highway 205 from Burns or from Frenchglen. The Refuge can also be accessed from State Highway 78 at Princeton via the Princeton-Narrows gravel road.

Contact Us

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
36391 Sodhouse Lane
Princeton, Oregon 97721

email -

541-589-0819 - messages only

Email our Visitor Services Manager

Please note, due to staff restrictions your email may not be returned for a number of days. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Page Photo Credits — © Barbara Wheeler Photography
Last Updated: May 23, 2016
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