Plan Your Visit

Fire Tower - Mark Lindvall

Pristine lakes, vast expanses of native prairie, and abundant fish and wildlife provide great opportunities to bird watch, hike, hunt, and fish.  You can experience the vastness of the prairie from the observation deck located on the old fire tower at the west end of Hackberry Lake.

Directions, Address & Contact Info

Marsh Lakes Trail - Mark Lindvall
 (Marsh Lakes Nature Trail)

The Valentine National Wildlife Refuge office is located 30 miles south of the town of Valentine on US Highway 83 then 1 mile east on Pony Lake Road. The highway turn off is marked with a sign. Work hours are 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday except Federal holidays. Call ahead to assure that staff is available at the office.

Valentine National Wildlife Refuge
39679 Pony Lake Road
Valentine, Nebraska 69201
e-mail us at

Navigating by GPS? Enter coordinates:

N 42* 29’ 12.224”
W 100* 31’ 12.28”

Click here for a refuge map.

The 480 acre Yellowthroat Wildlife Management Area is managed by Refuge staff. It is located 13 miles south of Ainsworth, Nebraska on State Highway 7 and then 1.5 miles east on a primitive gravel road. There is a sign at the highway turn off.

What to Do at Valentine National Wildlife Refuge

         Owlettes in tree - Robert Gibson


Pelican Lake Ramp - NGPC
          (Pelican Lake Ramp) 
  • Accessible fishing docks at Hackberry, Pelican, Dewey, Clear, Watts, and West Long Lakes. 
  • Marsh Lakes Overlook and Nature Trail
  • Restrooms at Hackberry Subheadquarters, Open 7 days a week
  • Restrooms at Pony Lake Headquarters, Open Monday - Friday
  • Permits to use an ATV for ice fishing are available to persons with disabilities. Contact the Refuge Office for an application.
  • People with a special Nebraska Game and Parks Commission permit may shoot game from a vehicle on Refuge public use trails in areas open to public driving.
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks to provide persons with disabilities full accessibility or reasonable accommodation. Contact Refuge staff for information or to address accessibility needs. For visitors using TTY, contact the Nebraska Relay Service at 1-800-833-7352.

Know Before You Go

Antler and Flower - Mark Lindvall

Remember to bring:

  • Sunglasses and sunscreen 
  • Bug Spray 
  • Water Bottle 
  • Comfortable shoes for walking/hiking 
  • Binoculars and camera

Local Accommodations

City of Valentine Logo

Hotels, gas stations, and restaurants are located in the town of Valentine. Ballards Marsh, Big Alkali Fish Camp, and Merritt Reservoir Campgrounds are a short drive from the Refuge. For information on accommodations go to the Valentine Chamber of Commerce web site,