Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge lies in northern Utah, where the Bear River flows into the northeast arm of the Great Salt Lake. On the ancestral homelands of the semi-nomadic Shoshone, Paiute, Bannock, and Ute people known as the Newe or Meme (the People), the Refuge protects the marshes found at the mouth of the Bear River. Surrounded by arid desert lands, these marshes are the largest freshwater component of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem and are an oasis for waterbirds and wildlife.
Refuge Updates
Auto Tour Route and Trail Conditions: 3/28/2023

The Auto Tour Route gate is broken, but the hours are still the same, sunrise to sunset.

⚠️With all the rain and snow we have been having, the Auto Tour will continue to be bumpy, muddy, and uneven. Until the ground thaws and dries, Refuge staff won't be able to the grade the road to improve conditions. Please drive with caution if you choose to go on the Auto Tour in the coming weeks. Trails have water running across the paths. The lower loop "Marsh Meander" may also be muddy.⚠️

Visit Us

The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Brigham City, Utah offers a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities.  On our 12-mile auto tour route, view a great diversity of birds without ever leaving your vehicle.  Want to stretch your legs?  Walk the 1.5 miles of trails around our world-class Wildlife Education Center located just 1/4 mile from I-15, exit 363.

The Wildlife Education Center is open limited hours: Tuesday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  The auto tour route, Wetland Wonders and Marsh Meander trails continue to be open sunrise to sunset.

Enjoy photography, wildlife watching, birding, hiking, cycling, running, hunting, fishing, and painting on the Refuge.  Check our page often for special events and environmental education opportunities.

Location and Contact Information

      About Us

      The Refuge lies along the eastern edge of the Pacific Flyway and the western edge of the Central Flyway, making it an important resting, feeding, and nesting area for birds in both flyways. Of more than 200 bird species that use the refuge, 67 species nest on the refuge. American avocets and black-necked stilts nest by the thousands along refuge dikes and roads. White-faced ibis nest in dense emergent vegetation in large colonies of up to 10,000 birds. Migrant tundra swans can number in the tens of thousands in the spring and fall. The Refuge uses a complex system of dikes and water control structures to provide different water depths for a variety of waterbird species over the seasons. 


      The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Brigham City, Utah provides different activities to enjoy and learn about nature.  On our 12-mile auto tour route, view a great diversity of birds without ever leaving your vehicle.  Want to stretch your legs?  Walk the 1.5 miles of trails around our world-class Wildlife Education Center located just 1/4 mile from I-15, exit 363.

      What We Do

      Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It drives everything on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters managed within the Refuge System, from the purposes for which a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
      A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

      Learn more about national wildlife refuge
      is established to the recreational activities offered to the resource management tools used. Using conservation best practices, the Refuge System manages Service lands and waters to help ensure the survival of native wildlife species. 

      Refuge staff use a variety of habitat management techniques to maintain, recover or enhance plant and wildlife values. Management techniques are carefully considered and employed in varying degrees according to needs.

      Our Organization

      As part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, we work directly on the land and water the Refuge is legally obligated to protect and maintain.  We work with a variety of different programs within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well.  Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, and Fire Management are a few of the key programs that help us protect and conserve the lands and water of the Bear River and the Great Salt Lake.

      The Urban Wildlife Conservation Program improves lives by expanding access to green space, education and outdoor recreation for Americans living in and around cities. Program members work to clear social and historical barriers and foster new connections that advance conservation and strengthen...

      Our Species

      The Refuge and other wetlands associated with the Great Salt Lake provide critical habitat for migrating birds from both the Pacific and Central Flyway of North America. This area contains abundant food for birds, including very important brine shrimp and other macroinvertebrates as well as necessary plants like sago pondweed.  Birds come to the Refuge by the millions to eat and rest during migration, and many other species stay to breed, nest and raise their young across the Refuge wetlands. 

      Our Library

      Looking for a particular Refuge-related document?  Check out our Library!

      Monthly Bird Happening at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

      Document summarizing the timing of bird migration, breeding, and nesting for Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.

      Folleto de pesca del refugio de aves migratorias Bear River en español

      Folleto de pesca del refugio de aves migratorias Bear River en español.  Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge Fishing Regulations brochure in Spanish. Este folleto contiene las regulaciones de pesca y un mapa de los lugares de pesca.

      Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge Fishing Brochure

      Fishing brochure contains location information for fishing access and other regulations as it relates to fishing on the Refuge.

      Water Conditions as of 03/11/2023

      Get Involved

      You can make a difference in conservation through volunteering, participating with the Friends of the Bear River Refuge, and/or practicing conservation at home and in your community.