Plan Your Visit

West Blackhorse Lake Boardwalk 512x219

Excellent wildlife viewing and photography opportunities can be found along Turnbull's auto tour route or hiking trails. Early riser? Dawn and dusk are often the best times for these activities.  Contact us for directions to the refuge and other information.

Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge provides numerous recreation opportunities for thousands of visitors every year. People enjoy viewing the unique geology and diverse wildlife, whether hiking, bicycling, or driving. Regulation of recreation activities allow for public enjoyment of the refuge while still protecting the wildlife and habitats. A refuge brochure and Birds of Turnbull brochure are available at the fee kiosk and the Visitor Center.

The refuge is open year-round during daylight hours (6 am -9 pm PDT/6 am - 6 pm PST). The office is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. The Friends of Turnbull bookstore, located in the new Complex Headquarters, is open on weekends from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm from April 1st through October 31st and reopens its doors for their annual winter festival held in early December. During the months of March through October, a $3.00 fee per car is charged, $15.00 for a commercial bus or van with 20 or fewer people, and a $25.00 fee for over 20 people. There is a $3.00 fee per family for bicycles or walking. Winter months have free admission. Permits for entry in lieu of the daily fee include a Refuge Annual Pass, Annual Federal Duck Stamp, and Interagency Access, Senior, and Volunteer Passes. There is no entrance fee charged to schools or nonprofit groups participating in refuge conducted environmental education (EE) programs or for schools conducting a self-facilitated environmental education program of their own. However, an entrance fee waiver must be completed prior to their visit. 








Visitor access is limited to a 3,190 acre Public Use Area, Columbia Plateau Trail and designated sites identified in hunt permits. The remaining portions of the Refuge are preserved as a wildlife sanctuary, with disturbance even by refuge staff kept to a minimum. Wildlife observation and photography are encouraged. You will find excellent wildlife viewing opportunities in the Public Use Area with its several trails that loop through wetlands, grasslands and pine forest habitats. Visitors are welcome to drive, walk or bicycle the 5.5-mile auto tour route where most waterfowl and other wildlife can be observed. Moose and elk are often observed during the early morning or evening hours which is the best time for viewing wildlife. To minimize disturbance to plants and animals, visitors are required to stay on trails and designated roadways March 1st through August 15th and are asked to comply with all regulatory signs. Bicycling is allowed only on designated public access routes. It is not allowed on trails or roads closed to public vehicles.
Several short hiking trails, bathroom facilities, EE shelters, and wildlife observation and photography blinds are also available for the visiting public. Three trails are wheelchair accessible. Turnbull’s Pine Lake Loop Trail has two stationary SeaCoast binoculars that overlook Winslow Pond. The binoculars were purchased by the refuge’s support group, Friends of Turnbull NWR. The Kepple Peninsula Interpretive Trail provides an opportunity to learn more about refuge wildlife and habitats at several numbered stops corresponding to a brochure available at the trailhead. The refuge also has 4 EE shelters thanks to the efforts of Inland Northwest Associated General Contractors of America, Inland Northwest Wildlife Council, Spokane Home Builders Association, Master Hunter Program, Spokane Service Team ESD101, and Geiger Correction Facility, Veterans Conservation Corps and Spokane Community College.
Sport hunting is permitted on the refuge in accordance with all state and federal regulations. Hunters should consult the Washington state hunting regulations. Special refuge hunting regulations also apply.
Firearms and other weapons are subject to state law. At all times, persons possessing, transporting, or carrying firearms on the refuge must comply with all provisions of state law. Firearms may only be discharged in accordance with refuge hunting regulations, i.e., only during the lawful pursuit of game during legal seasons.
Prohibitions on the refuge include: dogs off-leash; off-road vehicles; fishing; camping, fires, swimming, boating, horseback riding, on-ice activities, and collecting of plants, animals, minerals, antlers and artifacts.
For driving directions and other information about recreation please visit our "Contact Us" page.