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Rules and Regulations

There are lots of fun, interesting, and educational things you can do on the refuge.  Be safe and have fun!

  • Stay on trails.  If a trail looks too narrow, is eroding, or is too uneven/steep, then do not take it.  The refuge is currently undergoing a trail system plan.  Until the trails are finalized, please use trail ethic to respect other trail users. Pedestrians and bicycles yield to horses, bicycles yield to pedestrians. 
Trail courtesy yield sign 
  • Be aware of wildlife that could take your presence by surprise. This includes rattlesnakes, which love to come out when the sun is shining.  They can also be hiding under rocks, so do not ever step on rock piles.  If you see a rattlesnake, go around it or turn around and leave.  If you get bit by mistake, remain calm, call 911, and if you have a fellow hiker to help you, get to an area where an emergency vehicle can come pick you up.
  • Keep dogs on a leash at all times.  Keeping your dog on a leash prevents them from disturbing the sensitive wildlife on the refuge, and also is safer for the other hikers on the trail. In addition, it will help prevent your dog from getting bit by a rattlesnake.
  • Pick up after your dog. At each trailhead on our refuge, there are doggie-bags to clean up after your dog. It is a good idea to bring your own cleanup bags yourself. Leaving your dog's waste is not only disturbing to other hikers and wildlife, it severely contaminates the water after rains.  Almost all creeks drain to the Sweetwater River or Otay River, which is drinking water for the citizens of San Diego.
  • If you see something disturbing or unlawful, please contact the Refuge Manager.  Please make sure you know the date, time, and location of the unlawful activity.  it may not be something law enforcement can act on, but reporting it is still important.  Call (619) 468-9245
  • Do not use the refuge night. The refuge is open sunrise to sunset and closed at night.
  • Try to hike with a buddy. It is wisest to not hike alone.
  • Get out there and enjoy nature ... SAFELY! 


        SDNWR Dog brochure coverClick here for more info and places to take your dog off-leash in the area! 



Last Updated: Oct 24, 2013
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