The refuge is open year-round during daylight hours. Existing facilities are limited to an isolated, unpaved parking area and several walking trails. Please help keep our trails clean and take your trash home with you. There are no restrooms, drinking water, or picnic facilities at the refuge. While the refuge is open year-round, access is difficult during the rainy season due to mud on the entrance road.
Trails The refuge has two main trails that begin from the parking lot - the River Trail and the Beach Trail. The Beach Trail provides access to surf fishing on the beach. See Visitor Activities for more details. Because of the sensitivity of the habitat and for protection of endangered species, visitors must stay on trails. Pets are not allowed on the refuge. This includes dogs and horses.
HuntingWaterfowl hunting is permitted in designated areas along the Salinas River. Waterfowl hunting season extends from approximately mid-October to mid-January. During the season, hunting is permitted daily from one half-hour before sunrise until sunset. More specific information is contained in California Hunting Regulations, Waterfowl.
FishingThe Salinas River NWR provides access to surf fishing on the beach. Some commonly caught fish include striped bass and surfperch. There is no fishing on the Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge, including the saline pond and the Salinas River.
For driving directions, please visit our Directions page.
For questions about recreation, please contact the refuge office.
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The precocious chicks use camouflage to protect themselves from predators.