Plan Your Visit

Lake Alice 512x219

North Platte National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) provides numerous recreation opportunities to thousands of visitors every year. People enjoy viewing the unique geology and diverse wildlife, whether boating, driving or hiking. Regulation of recreation activities allow for public enjoyment of the Refuge while still protecting the wildlife and habitats.

  • The Refuge is open from sunrise to sunset.  
  • Roads throughout the Refuge are graveled and visitors must maintain the posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour. 
  • Parking is allowed in designated parking areas only. 
  • No overnight parking is allowed on the Refuge.
  • Hiking is allowed in all areas open to the public. 
  • Wildlife observation and photography are encouraged.
  • Please stay out of closed areas to minimize disturbance to plants and animals. 
  • Horseback riding is allowed on signed Refuge public access routes open to motor vehicles and only while in pursuit of other active recreational pursuits.
  • Fishing is allowed as per state regulations January 15 through October 14.
  • Only non-motorized boats and boats with electric motors are permitted. 
  • Gasoline or other internal combustion engines are prohibited. If these types of motors are permanently affixed or built into the boat, they must be temporarily rendered inoperable by removing gas tanks, batteries, etc.
  • Sport hunting is permitted on the Refuge in accordance with all state and federal regulations, as well as special Refuge regulations. Hunters should consult the Nebraska state hunting regulations and the Refuge-specific regulations provided on this site. 
  • Firearms and other weapons are subject to state law. At all times, persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on National Wildlife Refuge System lands must comply with all provisions of State and local law. Persons may only use (discharge) firearms in accordance with refuge regulations (50 CFR 27.42 and specific refuge regulations in 50 CFR Part 32), i.e., only during the lawful pursuit of game during legal seasons.
  • Other prohibitions on the Refuge are dogs off-leash; off-road vehicles; and collecting of plants, animals, minerals, antlers and artifacts.
Lodging is available in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, 8 miles southwest of the Refuge. Listings are available through the Scotts Bluff County website. Telephones, gas and supplies are available year-round in Scottsbluff.

For driving directions, please visit our "Directions" page.
For questions about recreation, please contact the Refuge office.