Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you recreate responsibly.

  • Check alerts and local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information. Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, all visitors (age 2 and older), who are fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask inside of federal buildings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.. All visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.


  • Rio Mora scenic view / USFWS

    View Rio Mora's Facebook Page

    The Refuge has created their Facebook page! View in the link below.

    Refuge's New Facebook Page

  • Bison with calves / © Jenny and Oliver Davis

    Refuge Improvements to Early Summer 2021

    The refuge's federal roads project is scheduled for November 2020 to July, 2021 to rehabilitate numerous areas within the refuge.

    Visitor Activities page

  • Swainson's Hawk / Leann Wilkins, USFWS

    Swainson's Hawk

    Swainson's have an unusual diet among raptors - they feed mostly on insects! Tragically, it is in decline because of pesticide use.

  • North American porcupine-Erethizon dorsatum/Bennette Jenkins

    North American porcupine

    The porcupine is a rodent. The North American porcupine is the largest of all porcupines. A single animal may have 30,000 or more quills.

Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge

Neighboring Refuge

Rio Mora Ranch view / USFWS

The Mora River flows through the center of this beautiful, scenic 4,224-acre refuge established in 2012. The Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area, formerly the Wind River Ranch, is a continuation of the vision of philanthropist Eugene V. Thaw and his wife Clare E. Thaw who bought the Ranch in 1980 with the intent of protecting and restoring the land as a representative piece of southwestern ecological heritage. Inclusion of this important ranch and conservation area into the refuge system, coupled with the newly established Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area in Colorado, creates a wildlife corridor that will ensure protection and restoration of the Mora River watershed and one of the great prairie grassland landscapes of North America. The headquarters for Rio Mora are collocated with Las Vegas and Maxwell National Wildlife Refuges.


Refuge Improvements in Preparation of Public Opening

Mule deer doe pair / USFWS

Rehabilitation Projects at Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge are continuing. The Refuge's federal roads project began in November 2020 through July, 2021 to rehabilitate numerous areas within the refuge. Projects for rehabilitation include: the entrance road and the gravel, chat, boulders, information kiosk, and picnic table for the trail. Once these projects are completed, Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge will be open to the public. A 2-mile round trip hiking trail (overlooking the Mora River) will be coming soon, this spring 2021. Currently, wildlife observation and photography are conducted along the Loma Parda County Road and State Highway 161. Public access is limited to the county road, state highway, and special events on refuge that include five organized guided hikes offered throughout the year. Wildlife observation and photography are permitted during organized events.

Visitor Activities

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS