Rules and Regulations

Observation Tower

There are lots of fun, interesting, and educational things you can do on the refuge.  Keep in mind, if an activity is not wildlife related and doesn’t help in the protection or understanding of wildlife or their habitat, there are probably refuge rules governing this activity.  Please check with the refuge management before participating in an activity that could harm the environment or yourself.  There are plenty of activities on Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge for you to enjoy.  Be safe and have fun! 


Designated Trails:  Walking and hiking are enjoyed on designated trails.  The Rock Hill Trail located at the visitor center is about 2 miles.  The Micheal Hardenberger Trail is located at our Unit 1 area and is 1/2 mile.  Most refuge roads and all trails are closed to vehicles.


Waterfowl hunting:  During designated seasons (November-January) waterfowl hunting on the refuge is permitted on certain areas.  These areas are managed by state and federal regulations.  For more information, please contact California Department of Fish & Game at 1-760-359-0577.


Fishing:  Boat fishing only is permitted, except where posted as closed.  From April 1 to Setpember 30, areas of the Salton Sea within the refuge are open to boat fishing.  These areas are closed to all entry at other times of the year.  Bank fishing is not permitted at any time.


Pets:  Pets must be on a leash at all times.  Hunting dogs on the public hunting areas must be under effective control.


Camping:  No camping is allowed on the refuge.


Signs:  Some areas of the wildlife refuge are closed to the public in order to protect resting wildlife and endangered species.  Please respect the designated areas that posted signs alert you to.  Thank you.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 1-760-348-5278.