Historically a shifting riverine sand dune ecosystem, the Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge supports the last known populations of the endangered Antioch Dunes evening primrose, the Contra Costa wallflower, and the Lange's metalmark butterfly.

Visit Us

Due to the sensitive nature of the habitat, the refuge is closed to the public. However, free docent-led tours are available. 

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      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.


      Want to get outside and enjoy a stroll through the dunes? Our knowledgeable and engaging docents lead a free 60-90 minute tour through the dunes throughout the year.

      Spring features several flowers in full bloom, including the magnificent endangered species, Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose. No registration is needed.

      Tours occur the second Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m.

      Meet at: 

      501 Fulton Shipyard Road
      Antioch, CA 94509

      Enter from Fulton Shipyard Road off of Wilbur Avenue in Antioch. Cross over the railroad tracks, and take the second driveway on the right. There you will find a large Antioch Dunes NWR sign. There's a limited number of free parking spaces available by the entrance for those attending tours.

      Note: If there is inclement weather in the forecast, 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.

      Our Species

      Our Library

      Antioch Dunes NWR 2023 Vegetation Inventory Report

      This vegetation inventory report is an analysis of our management area. It includes a comparison of 2017 to 2023 vegetation changes, maps of target invasive and native species, and vegetation inventory standard operating procedures. This inventory will help direct invasive control and...

      A large boat with heavy equipment in the water with greenery on the coast.

      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.