Visitor Activites

  • Visitor Center

    The Sonny Bono Salton Sea visitor center and administrative offices with palo verde and palm trees. The building is low, has shaded walkways around it, and is painted in colors that match the desert surroundings.

    Your first stop on any visit to the refuge should be at the visitor center, which is also our headquarters. The center is surrounded by native vegetation, agricultural fields, river and wetland habitats, and the Salton Sea.  Inside, you can pick up brochures and information packets, as well as explore a bird diorama and shop in the bookstore. Outside near the main parking lot, there is a self-guided trail, observation tower and picnic area. Take a look at our bulletin for up-to-date information and bird sightings!

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  • Wildlife Observation & Trails

    Cormorants and pelicans rest on a small island in the Salton Sea. Towering above them is Rock Hill. The trail to the top can be seen in the middle of the image.

    The refuge has two observation towers and trails: at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center and at the refuge's Unit 1 off Vendel Road.

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  • Environmental Education

    Environmental Education. A refuge staff person works with children learning about the refuge.

    One of the primary objectives of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge is to provide high quality environmental education to an interested audience. Our dynamic environmental education program offers free half-day or full-day educator-led field trips. 


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  • Hunting

    An American coot splashes through the water, taking fight. The bird is black with a white bill. There is a dark stripe around the end of the bill.

    The refuge offers several sites for waterfowl hunting from October through February in accordance with the State of California regulations. 


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  • Accessibility

    It is the policy of Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge to accommodate all individuals.  We have two hunting blinds that are specifically constructed and available to accommodate hunters who are physically challenged.  If you have any questions concerning the refuge's programs, or if you need any accommodation to enable you to participate in the Refuge's programs, please contact the visitor center at 1-760-348-5278.