Due to the sensitive nature of the habitat, the refuge is closed to the public. However, our docent-led tours are back. See below for details.
Location and Contact Information
The refuge was established in 1980 to protect plants and insects federally listed as endangered: Lange's metalmark butterfly (Apodemia mormo langei), Contra Costa wallflower (Erysimum capitatum var. angustatum), and Antioch Dunes evening primrose (Oenothera deltoides var. howellii). The refuge is the only known location in the world where the Lange's metalmark butterfly is found. Once part of an extended riverine sand dune ecosystem, the dunes of the refuge hosted a variety of endemic plants and insects. During the last 150 years, the dune ecosystem was seriously degraded by sand mining (removal), invasive plants, and other threats. Today, the refuge represents one of the last remaining riverine sand dune environments in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta.
Docent-led tours are BACK!
Time to get outside again and enjoy a stroll through the dunes.
Our knowledgeable and fun docents lead a free 1-1.5-hour tour through the dunes every second Saturday of the month throughout the year.
Many spring flowers are in full bloom, including the magnificent endangered species, Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose. No registration necessary.
Every second Saturday of the month at 10:00 a.m. throughout the year.
501 Fulton Shipyard Road
Antioch, CA 94509
Note: If it is raining, the tour will be canceled.
What We Do
Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge was established to protect endangered plants and insects. All activities allowed on the refuge must be evaluated to ensure each activity is compatible with the purpose of the refuge.
Projects and Research
The Service undertook a major project using dredged sand from the San Joaquin River for sand dune restoration at Antioch Dunes NWR. The project was completed in partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers and Port of Stockton contractors on October 3rd, 2023.