Rules and Regulations

Nighthawk sitting on a closed area sign

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge consists of more than 187,000 acres, a tremendously important source of wildlife habitat. The Refuge represents a crucial stop along the Pacific Flyway as a resting, breeding and nesting area for hundreds of birds and other wildlife. Please observe and follow all rule and regulations for your safety and to protect wildlife and their habitat.

We hope you enjoy your visit to the Refuge. Enforcement of Federal wildlife laws, regulations specific to the Refuge System, and State Laws is essential component of Refuge operations; enforcement ensures that natural and cultural resources are protected and that visitors have a safe environment.

If you have a question, please contact us at 541-493-2612 or

Day Use Only

The Refuge is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Refuge Roads (Gravel)

Motorized vehicles and horseback riding are permitted on designated roads shown on the Refuge Map. Horseback riding in not permitted on East Canal Road. All other Refuge roads not shown on the Refuge map are closed to the public.


Hiking, bicycling, and cross-country skiing are permitted on designate roads and trails shown on the Refuge Map. Use caution on the East Canal Road, it is shared with vehicular traffic. All other roads not shown on the map are closed to the public.

Fishing and Hunting

Fishing and hunting are permitted on Refuge at certain times of the year. Fishing and Hunting brochures are available and lists the designated hunting and public fishing areas.


Non-motorized or electric boats are permitted on Krumbo Reservoir for recreational boating and Fishing year round, and in designated hunt area during the Malheur Lake Hunting Seasons. All other Refuge waters are closed to the public.


Pets must be kept on leash while on the Refuge. Please pick up after your pets.


Use of drones are illegal on the Refuge and illegal to operate unmanned aircraft on Refuge lands. In addition, if a drone operator stands beyond Refuge boundaries and flies the vehicle over the Refuge, fines can be levied if the drone is observed disturbing wildlife.

Audio Playback

Use of audio devices to lure birds violates Refuge regulations (50 CFR 27.51 and 50 CFR 27.72) and is not permitted on the Refuge.

Birding Ethics

Your car is an excellent observation and photographic blind. Please be considerate and bird from the curb.


Possession of weapons on the Refuge must abide by all Oregon State laws and regulations. Discharge of weapons outside of the hunting seasons are prohibited.

Prohibited Activities

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs), camping, fires, swimming, ice fishing and collecting natural objects such as plants, animals, mineral, antlers, objects of antiquity (including Indian artifacts) are prohibited.